I was SO close; so, so close to being able to share my completed NICU series quilts today. But, with Hurricane Matthew ushering in clouds and near-constant rain in mid state South Carolina, I'll have no chance to photograph my series today or even tomorrow. Of course, I'm lucky that clouds, rain and some wind are all that's forecasted in my area. I'm sure I can speak for many of you when I say that our thoughts are with those whose home and livelihoods are threatened. Please stay stafe.
Happily, this drippy morning won't stop me from photographing and sharing some fabric candy with you today! Would you like to see what's been motivating me whilst I finish these seven baby quilts?
Oh, just this stack of breathtaking gorgeousness!
"What is it!?!?" you exclaim. It's Anna Maria Horner, doing her magic again. You see, several years ago I made the mistake of not buying her first yarn dyed collection, Loominous. I was scared off by reports that Loominous had a different hand than quilting cotton. Would it fray too much, unravel too easily for the making of durable quilts?
Just recently I bought one piece from Loominous, Big Love in Candy. When that fabric arrived, I was enchanted by its smooth weave and luxurious drape. I even used it right away in Cranberry Tart. Big Love didn't seem to have fraying issues, like linen would for instance. It was altogether a pleasure to cut and sew, reminding more of shot cottons, but without the wrinkling issues. So, when I heard that Horner was releasing a follow-up yarn dyed collection, Loominous II, I immediately reached out to Freespirit to request some samples for a Loominous project.
You can view both Loominous collections here at Freespirit's website. Prepurchase Loominous II fabrics, which are expected in October, from Fabricworm. But none of those photos do the fabrics justice. And, indeed, maybe no photos can as these fabrics are tactile experiences, but I'll try...
First, Loominous II includes some plaid-like weaves similar to the popular Big Love of the original Loominous. All of these fabrics are incredibly smooth with a lovely drape and slightly lighter weight, similar to shot cottons. I adore the way she has designed some colors to seem to bleed into their neighbors due to the unusual weave.
Other Loominous II fabrics are richly textured. These two at front have occasional raised ribbon-like stripes, while the two at the back have all-over stripes in a thicker thread that creates an effect very much like a solid line of hand quilting.
And these - so entirely surprising and charming! They're sprinkled with squares woven into the fabric so that their frayed edges are exposed at the fabric's surface. This design, called Treasure, is probably my favorite.
I'm also enamored of the dark, sultry hues Anna Maria has mixed in with lighter, cheerful shades. These are perfectly suited to the quilt I have in mind, which is all angles and drama. Of all the Loominous II fabrics, the chemistry prints (above, at left) seem to have a slightly heavier weight. Not so heavy that I fear using them with the others, but very well suited to cool-weather shirts and dresses, I imagine.
As soon as I finish sewing the binding on my NICU quilts, I'll be plotting my first cuts into these lovelies. Yes, they present some challenges for quilting, but I believe a lot can be accomplished by using a smaller-than-normal stitch length and true (not scant) seam allowances. Some of the prints have weaves that would be easy to snag, so I'm making a throw quilt that would be lovely to show off on a sofa or in a guest room.
Because I won't make the mistake of missing Loominous again! It's really something special.