Op Ivy Quilt in Progress

I’m home from retreat and want to share my progress on the Operation Ivy quilt! This project gave me a lot of trouble, primarily due to my poor planning. I usually plan everything out to the tiniest detail, but this project was more of a concept that required, “OK….What do I do next to clean up this mess?” at every step.


Backing up a bit to the initial concept. The modern quilt group I’ve been going to has recently gone through some internal drama. Long story short, I wanted to make a statement to them about the reason I come to the group, which is for the most part the community of other quilters with an interest in modern quilting. Operation Ivy, being one of my all-time favorite bands, came to mind after the meeting felt like an attack on all quilters that stray from the modern ideal.  Specifically, Take Warning, with lyrics: “We say stand together! Not to fight. Just to exist.” So I set out to make an Op Ivy quilt. Because they’re cool, and I’m not so sure I can stand up and directly speak my mind any more in that group.

This project was full of new skills attempted and troubles encountered, mostly due to problems faced by attempting other new skills and previous bad decisions:

  • 1-inch finished squares
  • Fusing those squares to gridded interfacing before sewing all the seams
  • Figuring out what to do when said interfacing stretches and tears, destroying said grid
  •  Tracing a design onto back of fusible interfacing and forgetting that seam allowances will eventually cover up 7/16 of said design (almost half)
  • Making an improvised panel out of scraps (!)
  • Haphazardly free motion “tracing” the outline through to the front side
  • More interfacing, more tracing
  • Ironing this whole thing to somewhat-square and somewhat-flat
  • Sewing through up to 14 layers of assorted fabrics without breaking the thread or needle
  • Cutting around the panel to create raw edge applique

I started taking photos only after most of the way through the process.  The grid, partially sewn up, with the torn center removed:


Figuring out the right size panel to make:IMG_9319

Free motion tracing the design to attach the panel, after ineffectively adding more interfacing:


Initial trim around the appliqued figure:


The finished top!

IMG_9323Now I get to decide how (or if) to quilt it!


3 thoughts on “Op Ivy Quilt in Progress

  1. That is awesome!!!! 😀 Ryan recognized it right away – “That’s Op Ivy!” I love the textures and the wildness of it. 🙂 And I love reading about the story behind it, your reasons for making it, etc. Awesome! I’m so glad I get to see your quilting projects. Hoorah for WordPress!


  2. Also, sorry to hear you don’t feel like you can stand up and share your ideals with the quilting group. It’s funny that people can be so uptight about definitions. Art – people can get pretty weird about it, while forgetting that expression is whatever we want it to be. :/


  3. Also, Ryan liked Wormy so much, he said, “I want to get a Wormy tattoo.” And don’t forget, he’s allergic to cats and doesn’t really like them. 😉 Wormy is quite compelling.


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