Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wave (or Lava Lamp) Quilt Finished!

I am so happy to have finished this quilt!  It is also my last PhD Challenge quilt, so there's that to be stoked about as well.

I pieced this last year using Elizabeth Hartman's New Wave quilt pattern, but I've always thought it looked like lava lamps to me.  That's the direction I went with, both in quilting it and hanging it up to photograph. Tilt your head left or right, and it looks like the waves it was intended to be.

But with the lava lamp thought in mind, I pondered doing something bubbly or swirly with the quilting.  Mind you, I'm still a novice with free-motion quilting, but I thought if I could maybe do a meander with a loop now and then (on right in green, below), it might look something like the blobs that percolate in a lava lamp.

Except that didn't really work when I practiced it.  The meander with loop contained within the shape reminded me too much of a pinball machine.  I dunno, maybe I have an overactive imagination.

So I kept doodling and soon enough the idea of a spiraling loop was hatched.  It seemed to work on paper.  I drew it from the top down (as in a spiral), and I thought it'd be relatively easy to quilt the same way, top to bottom.

Not so much.

The vertical, clockwise motion didn't go so well on my practice quilting pad.  It was herky-jerky and just didn't feel right.  Then I turned the quilt sideways and made the same loops working from left to right, like handwriting.  That felt more natural and proceeded more smoothly.  

Working from the center of the quilt, I "wrote" the loopies, moving to the right along each row between the white "waves."  When I got half the quilt done, I turned the whole works around and did the same thing, working center to outer edge.

But before I did any of the spiral-loopy quilting, I ditch-stitched the white waves. That took a couple hours in itself but was worth it to anchor things in place for the rest of the quilting.

As I've mentioned before, the fabric is a mix of vintage and contemporary.  I like mixing it up. 

Different generations sitting at the same table; everyone gets along, even though grandma's got on a crazy print shirt.  

So, waves or lava lamps, what do you see?  Any clever ideas for a name for this quilt?  How about, "Grandma Invented the Lava Lamp"?  Too long?


  1. Whatever you call it, it's gorgeous! I definitely see the lava lamps and not so much the waves.
    Another beautiful quilt.

  2. Beautiful, beautiful job! I love your quilting. The white really pops. It looks like a really comfy quilt, and as usual, I love your combination of fabrics. As for the name, I'll have to think on it some more. I'm really bad at naming quilts. Congrats on an awesome finish!

    xo -E

  3. Your comment about many generations sitting at the table made me look at the quilt a different way - it also looks like "hourglass figures" - you know, women? all dressed differently. So I'd call it Tea Party!

    It's beautiful, by the way!!

  4. i like grandma invented the lava lamp .. which is probably true to our grand kids at least .. it's beautiful! congrats!

  5. I have no luck with quilt names, but it turned out fabulous! I really like the quilting. Lol, it does look lava lampish!

  6. Cant help you with the quilt name since I spend so much time avoiding naming my own.

    The quilting is something special on this quilt and the design is something else (and I mean that in the best possible way )

    Fantastic -I bet you're dancing a jig!

  7. An awesome finish P!! Love the quilting you did in it! Looks great!!!
    Lava Lamps is a great name for it!!! I like it! 8-)

  8. I love it...and I too am thinking Lava Lamps!

  9. I see the lava lamps, too! The spiral quilting and the fabric selections blend into a fine finish. Love your poetic phrasing in your post, too, Grandmas can be the coolest person in the room...!

  10. I agree with Pokey that Grandmas are the coolest!!! I see Chinese lanterns when I look at this quilt or an old fashioned pole lamp my Mom had. Why not just call it "Lamps"?

  11. I love that you see Lava Lamps in this pattern...I do too and I just thought I was nuts!

    Terrific quilting! Isn't it fun when you find the "natural" pattern!

    Terrific quilt-and its gorgeous from the back too!

  12. Hi, I just "found" your blog..love it. The wave quilt is so cool, thanks for sharing the quilting process! I like to name my quilts too, how about "Lighting the Waves" or "Lighting the Way Home"
    anyway, I'll be back to read more>

  13. Wow! This quilt came out beautifully! What perfect quilting.

  14. I love this quilt, it's definitely a lava lamp to me too! And the loops are genius, I need to make this quilt!

  15. Not sure how I missed this, but it's fantastic! I thought of my mom with the grandma's crazy print shirt comment. Your quilting is very creative and so is the title!

  16. I visualize the complex and wanted a picture of a Lava Lamp blob. My eye was attracted immediately to your quilts - I keep doing this, finding an added dimension where a craft skill is involved in the execution of the image, where the idea I have in my head is better expressed where it has been filtered through the mind of an artist. You can both enjoy the beauty of the artifact, or art work ... but also sense the skill and thinking that has gone into its creation. Apologies if I am making no sense - all I'm trying to illustrate is how we learn ... in thermals and blobs!!


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