The top finally got to be too much. I need to sew most of the top together in order to move the whole piece up (and hang some over the top of my design wall), so I can work on the bottom. I have been sitting on the floor, which is fine, but not so fine when the quilt doesn’t fit on the design wall. Pieces in order on the floor doesn’t work.
In order to move the whole piece, I had to be certain of all the piecing on the top and sew the whole top section together, perhaps including the red-violet and yellow Friendship Circles. The top middle was bugging me, however.
I finally decided that the Flying Geese were too low. They were supposed to add interest that low, but they just looked weird. Unpicking was in order. It was a hassle, but I did it. Anything for the sake of art, right?
The Flying Geese along edge are supposed to be a border. No, they are not a traditional border, but they are still a border because I say they are. Next, I moved the whole section of Flying Geese up higher. This move was intended to get it more in alignment with the Flying Geese border pieces above the purple and Green Friendship Circles. With this move, I had to move one of the red FGs to the other side of the group.
I don’t know why there is a missing FG between the deep purple and the yellow/pink FGs on the right. That space will have to go. It might have looked arty before. Now, it isn’t right.
That big white space under the new placement is still weird looking. I sewed a piece in. It didn’t look right. Another big space that was not the center of a Friendship Circle just looked wrong.
The answer? More FGs.
I found another red FG, which I thought would work. I think it is looking better. The red dot FG is not yet sewn in. I wanted to see if I could see how it would look before I committed myself. What I think looks strange is the two greens near each other on the right. I don’t know if I will change one of them, but it is a possibility.
I don’t think I will add more Flying Geese to the ‘white’ space. I think I will break it up with different greys and hope that helps.
I decided that orange would look good with that shade of green. I cut some oranges and have started to put the top together. This is not interfering with Flying Around, but I put the Orange Improv top on a brief hiatus while I put this thing together.
It might just be quick and dirty with no back or batting since I know the Community Quilt stash has both of these. We will see since using fabric is high on my priority list.
I mentioned the Orange Improv donation top yesterday and realized it had been awhile since I showed it. I just finished adding a major piece, so it was time to post it again.
It is progressing. The orange scraps in my drawer are significantly fewer than before. I have some large-ish pieces and am wondering if I should add them as is or cut them up. I like the look of the piece now, which is mainly small pieces.
I thought it had been awhile since I posted my design wall, but not as long as I thought. I found a post from May, which is relatively recently. My design wall is active, as per usual.
1. These are a few leftover blocks from my strip donation projects. I didn’t use them in the quilts already made, so I saving them for one that I will make at the end of the project.
2. I am still cutting for FOTY 2019
3. That Ring Toss block is still on my design wall. I still want to try and make a larger block, but haven’t gotten to it yet.
4. I cut some plain green blocks for the background of one of the strip donation quilts and didn’t use them. I decided that I wanted them off my table, so I cut some orange and am making them into a top. Yes, I am interrupting my work on the Orange Improv top to do it. The stack was really bugging me and I want those green blocks out of my hair.
5. While the Orange improv donation top might take a break while I work on #4, it is still in process. I got a lot done last week and it is growing.
Things are happening here. I am linking up with others showing off their design walls via Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, the hosting site of Design Wall Monday.
Quilt Diva Julie had an ideas post recently. I really liked the methodical way she went about deciding what projects from inspiration would turn into actual quilts AND when!
I last wrote about my dream projects in March. Since then, I have, actually and surprisingly, made a little progress on this list. This makes me kind of feel like writing down dream quilts isn’t a terrible idea. Of course, many of the potential projects on the list haven’t changed.
Art Institute of Chicago Fusible Applique’ (Ticker Tape Style) Quilt
Status: Dream state
Pattern: Original, I do have a version of the pattern I used for the Whole Cloth quilt and I will use it as starting point.
Fabric: Turquoise and red, mainly, but other colors for the leaves and flowers, perhaps
Steps: need to fuse a bunch of turquoise to some piece of fabric in the ‘ticker tape’ style so I can cut it up into small pieces. I am thinking of making it similar to the Whole Cloth Quilt and using red, again, for the background.
Thoughts: I might make another one with turquoise on top of red with just two pieces of fabric. I’d really like it if someone else would apply fusible to a bunch of turquoise for me.
Art Institute of Chicago Fusible Applique’ (one sheet of fabric) Quilt
Status: Dream state
Pattern: Original, I do have a version of the pattern I used for the Whole Cloth quilt and I will use it as starting point.
Fabric: Turquoise and red, mainly
Steps: need to fuse a big piece of turquoise to SoftFuse or similar, then cut out the image and fuse it to the background. I would satin stitch all around the image. I don’t know that I can make one continuous piece, but will try. The image would be similar to the Whole Cloth Quilt and using red, again, for the background.
Thoughts: I might make it with turquoise on top of red with just two pieces of fabric.
Thoughts: I can’t decide if this is still a dream or if it is already started and I just need to arrange it and start piecing. I have done a lot of cutting, so I think I have started it, thus it may not be a dream anymore. The original idea stemmed from the FOTY quilts. I just decided to do a monochromatic version – using just blues, in this case. I probably have enough patches now and just need to slot the time to work on it into my schedule.
Thoughts: I probably had enough squares to make this quilt, but then I used a bunch of them to make En Provence. Now I am working on cutting more. I hope to slot the time into my schedule int he not too distant future.
Status: have pattern/ dream state
Pattern: Easy Street by Bonnie Hunter
Thoughts: I really liked Daisy‘s version of Easy Street, which she calls Cherry Bomb (she thinks of the best names for her quilts) in terms of color and feel. I don’t want to copy her, but if I do this quilt, I’d like to have the same pinky-red feel to it. One challenge about a mostly monochromatic quilt is getting enough contrast. I look forward to that challenge. Not sure this will become a reality.
En Provence #2
Status: Dream state
Pattern: En Provence by Bonnie Hunter
Thoughts: I loved the one I made before and can’t stop thinking about it. I have to make another one, but I can’t figure out what colors to use next. The ones I used before were almost perfect.
Feathered Star Block (or quilt?)
Status: Dream state.
Pattern: I haven’t decided on a particular feathered star
Fabric: I decided not to use a layer cake and will use the scrap 2.5 inch squares I have been cutting. I love the cheerfulness of Scrapitude Carnivale, as I say over and over, and am not done with that fabric combination yet.
Thoughts: I thought about using dots on a white background as the background, as I did with the Scrapitude Carnivale quilt. It makes the Scrapitude quilt look so cheerful. I probably wouldn’t call it Good Night Irene.
Interlocking Triangles Quilt(s)
Status: dream state
Pattern: This is an idea that I designed myself. I made two quilts and have variations on the pattern to make more.
Fabric: I have a few different collections of fabric I want to use. Most are rainbow colored; I also have a lot of stripes to use
Thoughts: This is a quilt from which I get a lot of bang for my buck. The visual impact is tremendous. The easiest way to do the spiky triangles is with paper piecing. I am not that big of a fan of paper piecing (read my laments about the Spiderweb‘s paper piecing). I made Spiky Stars using templates and that was meditative and won a prize, so it is doable.
Jack’s Chain Quilt
Status: dream state
Pattern: Jack’s Chain, a continuous pattern
Fabric: bright scrappy, consistent centers
Thoughts: This is one of the first quilts I saw hanging in a quilt store and thought of making. I have seen a number of variations lately using different hexagons in the center. It occurred to me recently that I could do four rings and make a pillow cover instead of a whole quilt. Partially, I thought of this because I saw an EPP pattern for this quilt. Taking on another large EPP quilt right now is not in the cards. I could also make the pattern larger, making the piecing for a quilt much quicker. I still like the smaller version better.
Status: dream state, but not very inspired
Pattern: Top will have a piece of music the Young Man can actually play. That will probably be applique’
Fabric/Colors: music prints and tone-on-tones with a little red
Thoughts: The Young Man has requested this quilt as his high school graduation quilt. I missed that deadline and now I have missed the college graduation deadling. He has sent me a piece of music, which I printed out. Now I need to make into an applique’ or do something else (print on fabric?).
Pineapple (Hunting and Gathering)
Status: I have some strips cut.
Fabric: dots. Have most of the strips cut. Will be much more selective about which strips I use.
Thoughts: I have made a couple of, what I call, Colorblock quilts over the years. One was the Kona Challenge in 2011, another was my 1990 Colorblocks 2 and the first one, Colorblocks, also made in about 1990. I bought the silk fabrics at the Marin Needlearts show about a zillion years ago and they have languished waiting for me to learn to back them so I can use them. I think I have that covered now and there is nothing stopping me except time and will.
Fabric: Scrappy with controlled scrappy background
Thoughts: I like the construction of this quilt and am convinced that I will make it. Another one just waiting for time and will. I have added the correct size piece to my cutting sheet and now have a huge stack of patches waiting for a background color.
Status: half cut; need more greys for the background
Fabric: Scrappy. I will use a grey for the background, because if I use more of the cut fabric patches, the pattern will be lost. The pieces are too oddly shaped and I don’t want to lose the pattern in a mass of scraps.
Pattern: Come Quilt with Me Rotary templates
Thoughts: I thought I would buy the Sizzix template and cut grey windmill pieces with that instead of by hand. Friend Julie tested the Sizzix die and found it to be the wrong size, so back to cutting
Out of the Dream State: Below is a list of projects that were on this list at some point that I actually made or am working on:
The other day I showed you most of a photo of Flying Around. After posting that, I started in on the last two Friendship Circles.
The placement of these will be tricky for a number of reasons. First, they will be on the floor (see the bottom most red Friendship star? It is right at the bottom of my design wall) as I place them unless I sew together the top and move everything up. I have been wanting to do that, but am waiting because I am not sure I am happy with the top middle of the piece. That big piece of grey at the top is of concern to me. I wonder if it pushes the Flying Geese down too much.
I want the Geese around the edge to act as a border without being a separate entity, but I am not sure that particular section achieves that goal.
Next, I don’t want the ratio of width to length to be too strange. If the piece gets to be too long, it might look too long and skinny. Of course, I am often hampered by the width of my design wall and this is the case with this piece. Sigh. I don’t want to take apart the whole piece and make it wider, so I have to measure and try and estimate how long it will be.
I also need the Flying Geese to wrap around each of the Friendship Circles and there isn’t quite enough space for them to do that with the placement of the red HSTs. You can see that dark Goose near the second Friendship Star; notice how crowded that area appears. Of course, I could move the red Friendship Circle over to the left, but I also don’t want it to be directly below the red-violet circle. I want them to appear randomly placed. The width is really a problem for me.
As you can see, there is still work to do on this piece. I started it sometime in April, I think, so it has been on the wall for a long time. I would like it to be finished, but I also want it to be right.
In 2014 Friend Julie, my mom and I went to Houston for Quilt Festival. I remembered a photo I took and went looking for it. Blue and Orange has been on my mind lately, so something in my subconscious must have nudged me. I assume that it has been on my mind because of my recent donation top finish.
I didn’t just want to show you a picture of bowls, but I wanted to show you how something like this photo can influence your quiltmaking. I don’t know if finishing the Wonky 9 Patch made me see these colors or not, but clearly, the bowls are similar as is the arrangement of colors.
The recent Orange Strip Donation top finish is in the same colors and I do feel strongly that I am not done with this combination.
I went to The Granary the other day and Friend Julie pointed out a row of greys. She called it the “problem with greys.” I thought the photo explained the ‘problem’ beautifully.
The colors in the photo look different from when I saw them with my eyes, but it doesn’t matter, because you, dear Reader, can still see the difference.
None of the colors would be called anything but grey. The bolt on the far right looks black but was a charcoal (you’ll have to trust me). The shelf sports a wide variety.
I like using a variety of greys as background on my quilts and it is a happy chore to find the right ones. You can see the variety in Flying Around. Mostly I like to use greys that are very close in tone to each other so there is no grey that obviously stands out. Also, I don’t like the taupe based greys. I am sure I have said that before.
In the photo of the Flying Around background, I have more variety. It might be because I want the eye to move around the background as well as the foreground or it might be laziness. Not sure or not admitting to anything. 😉
This is an example of why my rule of ‘make visual decisions visually’ is so important. It is impossible to match any color, perhaps particularly greys, without putting the bolts or pieces next to each other.
I dragged myself away from pillowcases and worked on Flying Around as well. I was kind of facing a hump and working on the project this weekend got me over the hump. I actually used the pillowcases as leaders and enders. The small finishes kept me going.
It’s not that I don’t like Flying Around. I like it a lot and think it will be a really good design once I finish. It is a hard quilt to make. There is a lot of thinking required with a dose of extra seam ripping as well.
Still, I am over the hump and am seeing the end of the adventure. The hump was the bottom left corner, currently comprising the red-violet Friendship Circle and the pink Friendship Circle as well.
That corner will end up with a red circle eventually, but I haven’t done the cutting yet.
The upper left corner has been sewn to the center, so there is a big chunk finished. I haven’t quite figured out how to sew the yellow circle to the part above it. Partial seams will be involved, for sure.
I went on a binge of pillowcase making over the weekend. I had several pieces of fabric I had purchased for pillowcases. Somehow they had never risen high enough on the list, but this past weekend was the time.
I needed some quick finishes. I have been working hard on Flying Around, but it slow going and I just needed to finish something. I know I finished the Jelly Roll Rug recently, but that didn’t really feel like a finish somehow.
The YM gets a new pair (tacos). His new roommates each get one (taco, Mexican food cuff). A niece and nephew each get a pair and I will keep the turquoise dotted one for myself. I love that chocolate fabric.
Friend Julie put up some links that I wanted to include here. However, there turned out to be too many, so I am linking to her Cornucopia post. Check out her links. I especially like the no bulk elastic join, which I think could be really useful!
I like the red blocks in Julie’s Luminous quilt. They give me a new idea for my strip donation quilts after I finish the ones I am working on. I wrote more about this a few days a go. What do you think?
You may have heard that Rosalie Dace was deported when she tried to enter the country to teach recently. The Quilt Show posted the story of what happened to her.
My guild is contributing stitches to Jennifer Kim Sohn’s 25 million stitches project. This is described as a public engagement art installation. If you or your guild want to participate, there are instructions on the site. The final deadline is Apr 30, 2020.
I delved into one of (I think??) the Modern Quilt Guild’s sites after getting a link in an email. I don’t know if they have changed the site or there are multiple sites, but I didn’t recognize it from where I had been before. I looked around and came across a section on virtual bees. There are some interesting and, at least one, moving stories included. What was not included was things that are problematic about any kind of round robin. I have experienced poor workmanship, bad fabric (ugly and poor quality) and projects disappearing. I am sure my experience is in the minority and I did have a couple of good in person experiences, but I stay away from these types of projects as I see them as possibly turning into problems or ending up as projects I don’t like or don’t want to do.
Sara of Sew Sweetness has a book club as part of her site. With each book she releases a free pattern. This time it is the Suffolk Coin Purse. This would make great gifts for guild mates.
MellySews has a whole bunch of tutorials. I was impressed with the accessories section, but there are clothing and kids sections as well.
I found a Purse Organizer pattern in my quest for zipper pouches. I think it is more like a super sized zipper pouch, or makers wouldn’t need to use it as a purse organizer, but could use it as sub-organizer in other bags. With the fabric, men could use it as well.
Barbara is starting up a Daredevils QAL. I talked about this before, but now it has started. She introduced the first block a week or so ago. This block is not for the faint of heart, but speaks to me and my desire for more complicated and interesting blocks. I haven’t decided if I will do the QAL or not, but am thinking about it. She has some great examples of quilts made with the first block. One thing I like about the first block is that Barbara is showing old blocks, talking about them and exposing people with new and modern fabrics to them, so we can make something new out of them.
I get the Paintbrush Studios newsletter. In a recent issue, sent July 29, 2019, they introduced their Hallowe’en fabrics, Halloween Night by Katie Larson. They also said “Halloween Night will not be available online this season, so the only way to get it is through your local fabric store!” I discussed it a little with Friend Julie and we have lots of questions. What if a fabric shop has an online presence? Do they just mean Amazon and other large fabric selling sites?
Spoonflower’s newest issue is out. Yes, it is all about trying to sell you their fabric, but it is a beautiful magazine with great imagery. I like the way they combine different fabrics and show various ways they can be used. There are no internal links, apparently, so you can’t click from something in the magazine to their website. I am sure that functionality is coming. Find a pattern for zipper pouches referenced.
Scruffy Quilts was probably the closest shop to me. I went there for a few hours periodically to take advantage of their open sew and also to take classes. The brick and mortar store closed this year. The other day I got an email, so I think their online store is still open (or open again?).
Articles, Exhibitions & Books
The Quilters’ Guild of the UK is celebrating 40 years of collecting quilts. A book about their 40 years of collecting is available through their shop for 12 English pounds. It does not appear to be available on Amazon.
The Craft Industry Alliance has an article about Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness and how she uses video.
With all of the celebrations around the Apollo 11 spacecraft, I was not surprised to see an article about the seamstresses who helped ‘clothe’ the astronauts. Women, the article reports, had the agility and accuracy to make the suits to detailed specifications and with no mistakes.
Lately I have been reading magazines via RBDigital by checking them out of my library. I’d rather read them in print, but I am being a cheapskate. I also want the library to buy more quilting books and magazines. In a recent issue of Quilts and More, I saw an Acrylic Ruler Connector. This seems like a great idea! It is described as: “Extend your cutting ability with our smart design Acrylic Ruler Connector. This device bridges and holds together two acrylic rulers of any size for accurate, longer cuts. A retractable alignment guide helps square up rulers for a smooth, clean cutting edge, and folds up, out of the way, to allow for cutting on all sides. The tension handle can be pressed to not only ensure a tight grip between rulers, but serves as a comfortable place to rest your hand while cutting.” The description appears to say that users can use any ruler. Unlike the Guidelines4Quilting connector which needs their special rulers. Check out product features on the Fiskars product page. If you buy one, tell me what you think.
I also recently saw an ad for the Clover Ultimate Quilt ‘n Stitch Presser foot. It is described as “Clover’s Ultimate Quilt n Stitch presser foot is your go to for creating parallel line straight stitching and straight line machine quilting. Featuring a built in stitch ruler for guiding rows of parallel stitching. Distance can be set between needle and alignment guide from 3/8 inch to 3 inch. Easily stitch multiple rows of stitching without marking each line.” I liked the variety of measurements. Some machines have these types of attachments, so you don’t this Clover version. Check your machine specs before you buy to make sure your machine is compatible.
Duke has a celebration of 20 years of the Durham African American Quilt Circle.
While reading the Summer issue of Quilts and More, I saw their “One Block Three Ways” feature. This is a great example of the power of blocks. It also shows how to achieve a completely different look from one block. I have since read another issue and they seem to have it in every issue. Check it out from the library or on the AllPeopleQuilt site.
Kind reader Colleen passed along a link to a publication discussing running a crafty business. How shopowners got started, pricing and other relevant business topics are discussed. It is a PDF and the PDF is well done and pretty.
I just heard about the Awesome Box, which looks like it could be a great way to get a variety of art from different people.
At Home with Artquiltmaker
After buying a few yards of fabric, I have again achieved the net usage of 50 yards of fabric. I have actually used over 100 yards, but the purchases have offset the total used. 41% of my total usage is for charity. I am pleased with that, though it could be better!
Over the weekend, I worked on Flying Around and on the Orange Improv donation top. I am pleased with how the Orange Improv top is looking.
I am trying not to insert big strips in as I didnt’ like the effect with the Purple Improv Donation top. I am inserting bits of strips in. I don’t think the ones I have added take the focus away from any other part.
I wanted to like this book more than I did. The promise of it is high, but the actual execution didn’t live up to its promise. There is very little text in this book. It is mostly images, which do provide inspiration, but there was a vague dissatisfaction running through my experience reading this book. Part of it had to do with the selection process. Part of it had to do with whether I was looking at the full works vs. details.
The book starts with a table of contents. The table of contents shows how the book is arranged: “traditional designs”, “modern designs”, “pictorial designs”, and “abstract and conceptual art quilt designs”. The images start right away with a whole page of quilts opposite the table of contents.
The text is primarily located in the Introduction (pg.8-9), which gives an overview of quiltmaking history, groups and fads from the mid-19th century to the present. The Introduction is short. I found it to include some gross generalizations. There were also some sections that I did not understand. Either sentences were too vague or the words were put together in a way that did not make sense. For example, Sider writes “Modern quilters, such as members of the Modern Quilt Guild, design mainly with solid colors and often adapt traditional patterns in innovative ways, finding their inspiration in every aspect of today’s quilts” (pg.8). Some of that sentence is true, but it leaves me with a lot of questions. Are members of the Modern Quilt Guild the only modern quilters? I know people making quilts right now. Are all quiltmakers making quilts right modern quilters? Also, I have no idea what “…finding their inspiration in every aspect of today’s quilts” (pg.8) means. Aren’t modern quilters making today’s quilts? Do they get inspiration from themselves? Does this sentence refer to Instagram? These examples might be semantics, but demonstrates the possible lack of editing. I think this introduction, being the only significant text in the book could have been fleshed out a little more. The book would have benefited from a less generalized view of the quiltmaking to introduce the quilts.
200+ quilts in the traditional designs section follow. The format for the rest of the book varies slightly, but is mostly 4 quilts per page. In a lot of respects it is difficult to determine whether the reader is looking at a detail or a full quilt. There is very little information about the quilts next to the image beyond what is listed in the introduction. Each image lists a maker, but no quilt name, size or any other information.
The images are stellar. The quilting is clearly visible as are the fabrics and construction.
Modern Designs begin on page 69 with no additional fanfare or introduction. Most artists have more than one design included (or perhaps details of one quilt?). I recognized very few names from those listed and was surprised to see postcards (pg.73) included in the Modern Designs section. I would have classified a lot of the quilts included in the Modern Designs section as art quilts, especially given the description of what modern quilters are making.
The book ends with an image directory (pg.300-311). Names of quilts, techniques and sizes are included as well as some information on who took the photo. There is also an artist directory (pg.312-319), which provides a list of all the images attributed to an artist as well as their website, if available. The best part of this book was randomly selecting artist websites and looking at their work.
If you are looking for an overview of 100+ years of quiltmaking with inspiration and explanation, this book falls short. However, there is no doubt that the imagery in this book is beautiful. The author and publisher worked hard to make the images high quality. For the variety of images alone, this book is worth buying.