Finished: FOTY 2011

Finished: FOTY 2011
Finished: FOTY 2011

Fabric of the Year 2011 is finally finished!

It took a little more time than the quilts in this series normally would take, but I am thrilled that it is done, not only from a finished point of view, but also from the point of view that I really like this quilt.

I have to say that I wasn’t really thrilled with the result when I finished the top. Colleen did a great job quilting it and really made the whole piece.

I am trying to decide whether or not to hang it in my office or in my hallway.

Finished: FOTY 2011 back
Finished: FOTY 2011 back

One thing that I have been trying to do with the pieces I have been finishing lately is making beautiful backs. I am pretty pleased with the back of this one. It feels light and airy to me.

As you know, I have been using larger prints or prints that don’t look good cut up into small pieces to make the backs. This one uses some prints I bought with lettering on them.

In my heart of hearts I would love to have a show with all of these quilts.

FOTY 2011 Returns

FOTY 2011 ready for binding
FOTY 2011 ready for binding

I had a nice surprise yesterday: FOTY 2011 returned to me ready for binding! I didn’t know Colleen was working on it, but here it is. It was perfect timing, too, since I just finished the binding on the Stepping Stones on Thursday.

I also didn’t think I like this quilt that much, but the quilt really made the quilt. This photo isn’t that great, but the boys weren’t home to hold it and I wanted a photo RIGHT NOW!!, so I just took this one. Do click on the image to make it larger, so you can see the quilting.

I already started working on the binding and I am sure I will be done with it this week. As mentioned, I have a cold, so there is a lot of laying on the couch happening.

The last time I wrote about this project was almost a year ago: 2/21/2012.

Fabric of the Year 2011 – Update

FOTY 2011 top
FOTY 2011 top

The Fabric of the Year 2011 top, back and binding are finished and ready to be sent to the quilter.

As you may know from my previous post, I ripped out the first inner border (which meant ripping out all of the outer borders as well) and replaced it with a different fabric. The ‘different’ fabric, is a 2002 star fabric from kp kids. I used it a few years ago on Women’s Work #1. The stars suggest the same form as the triangles and the color is the right amount of black to frame the piece.

I also trimmed a bit of the grey Ta Dot from the top and bottom borders. The top and bottom borders didn’t need that much space.

FOTY 2011 before removing diamond border
FOTY 2011 before removing diamond border

You might think I am crazy for doing all that ripping. I really think I need to make visual decisions visually, but sometimes I can’t see the piece as a whole until I get pretty far along the sewing path. I really want to do my best work and in order to do my best work I needed to get rid of that diamond border. I couldn’t get the joins in the strips I was using for the border to match up to my satisfaction. TFQ pointed out that the diamond fabric was printed off grain so the parts of the pattern printed on the fabric was not the same each section of the strip I used. She is right and I didn’t notice it until she articulated it. All I could tell is that I didn’t like the border and I needed to rip it out. So, I ripped it out.

FOTY 2011 back
FOTY 2011 back

I used large pieces to make the back, for once. The two fabrics on the left are Basic Grey and I thought using the large pieces would show off the labels and the portions of letters, which are part of the pattern of the fabric. I was also pleased that I was able to use the last bit of the Belle Fleur fabric. I like that fabric and I am glad I have a piece that I can keep for awhile.

Backs are arduous and I am really glad I was able to focus on using large pieces and getting the back finished.

FOTY 2011 Update

FOTY 2011 before ripping
FOTY 2011 before ripping

I was going to say “HOORAY!!! I finished the FOTY 2011 top!”, jump up and down and encourage us all to dance together.

But.

No dice. I starting ripping out the border on Monday, because it screamed at me. The diamond black and white didn’t work. Two people that I asked didn’t even notice, but I can’t even look at the top without my eyes going straight to that black and white border. And that means I have to rip.

Still, I spent all day Sunday sewing and that is a bonus. It was such a pleasure to spend time with my sewing machine listening to audiobooks (yes, I finished one book and started another). Still, the pleasure did not create a great border.

If fabric were wider than 42"
If fabric were wider than 42"

If fabric were wider than 42″the quilt top would have looked like the photo right. In this photo, you can’t see the way the fabric was printed off grain or the way my joins did not line up properly when I tried to make the borders longer. The border didn’t work for *me* and the sooner I faced that reality the sooner I could really get to finishing the top.

I got to this place, because I couldn’t find the fabric I originally wanted to use and I was too lazy to shift stacks of fabric around to find it.

 

New Border Option
New Border Option
New Border #2
New Border #2
New Border Option #3
New Border Option #3

Laziness is my downfall and I deserve what I get. In fairness, I did move some fabric AND I may have used all of the fabric I was considering, but I did not look all of the blacks to make sure.

I retrieved some other fabrics and found the stars. Right now it is my favorite. I’ll see how I feel and how the joins look later in the week. I am so glad to have some time this week to  work on this project in little bits.

FOTY 2011 Update

FOTY 2011 in progress 2/5/2012
FOTY 2011 in progress 2/5/2012

I made really good headway on FOTY 2011 over the weekend. If I had not gone to  BAMQG, I would have finished the top, but socialization is a good thing. 😉

The photo on the left shows where I left it on Sunday night when my family finally managed to drag me away from the sewing machine. I start the piece by laying out the patches in the bottom left hand corner. I, first, concentrate on arranging the pieces in that area and move towards the upper right hand corner. The patches, before sewing, take up enough space to cover the entire design wall. As I sew, I move the sections (chunks) away from that beginning corner towards the upper right. It helps me know how much I have left to sew.

It turns out that I had a fair amount of unsewing to do. When I started, I just sewed one triangle to another without really thinking of how I was going to put the chunks together. As you can see in the light blue section, I now have all of the chunks angling to the left. To get them to line up, I had to rip some pairs out and sew those patches to other pieces.

I also needed to rip out and recut the smaller triangles. I am not sure what happened, but when I sewed the three prints and one background triangles together, they were at least a 1/2″ too big. I tried to work with them that way, but, in the end, I ripped them out and recut them, then sewed them back together. I have a few more to do in the last couple of rows, but am almost done. I am much happier with them now.

I may finish the top this weekend, but we will see. DH and I have to try and fix our printer and I have an event on Saturday to attend. I hope to have a bit of time to sew.

CQFA Retreat: My Work

As usual, I started my Fabric of the Year 2011. I made good progress, but I did not finish.

Before I left for the Retreat, I spent time organizing the patches into color families and then from light to dark. Normally, I figure out the size of the finished piece and do more organizational stuff. No time this year and it was fine.

Once at the Retreat, I spent a lot of time – all day Friday – arranging the color gradations. I got opinions from others about the placement of certain patches. I used my camera to look at the patches in a different way and it was a useful tool in my arsenal of work. Above you can see the progression. The top left is pretty soon after I put all the patches on the wall. The last photo, bottom left, is, basically, what I took home.

I had to pin and wrap the pieces in the portable design wall. I set it up in my workroom and am working on it.

I am glad of the progress I made it on it at the Retreat, but I prefer to work in my workroom. As I started work on Monday, I felt an ease come over me and the work began to go very well. I hope to be done sooner rather than later. Stay tuned.

 

 

FOTY 2011 – Mid December

Mid-December Triangles
Mid-December Triangles

I am trying different arrangements of triangles for show. The previous arrangements have left so much design wall space in the photos. It took me awhile to cut enough triangles for this photo as I concentrated on the Stepping Stones top.

Many of the fabrics are from Camille Roskelley’s Ruby line. I have stacked them up as I search for suitable project for them. I have almost decided I will do another Stepping Stones quilt, though perhaps I will scale it down a bit as how many 100×80 quilts does a person need?

This may be the last batch of triangles as I have to start organizing them in preparation for sewing them at the CQFA retreat.

FOTY 2011 Mid-November

FOTY 2011 - Mid November
FOTY 2011 - Mid November

I can’t believe I haven’t posted triangles since mid September! But it’s true. I haven’t posted triangles since mid-September. I guess if I had actually pressed fabric in the past 2 months, then I wouldn’t be so behind.

It turns out that I have to press fabric, because the chair I lay the fabric over while it waits to be press keeps falling over. I spent a few hours on Sunday, after finishing a big project pressing and cutting the bits and snippets I need for various projects. I got quite a little pile going after not too long. I think the chair is a bit more stable now, but I just need to get the fabric pressed. AND stop buying new fabric.

FOTY 2011 Triangles – Mid September

Mid Sept Triangles
Mid Sept Triangles

Mid September already! The CQFA Retreat has been set, so now I have a working deadline. I am pretty good in the fabric washing department. The cutting of triangles for fabrics I have used this year (already in my fabric closet) has been spotty. I am not going back to make that up and will try and do better. No promises. It will be what will be.

FOTY Triangles Beg. September 2011

Early Sept. FOTY Triangles
Early Sept. FOTY Triangles

Despite my misgivings, I am plowing ahead with my plan to cut triangles until such time as I have a new plan.

Mom and Lil  Sissy were over when I took this picture. Lil Sissy almost had a heart attack when I started to take the pieces off the wall. She didn’t realize that it was part of the process!

The process for making the FOTY quilts really lasts all year long. I don’t get to the sewing until the following year, usually, but I cut and arrange all year long. My process for working on the FOTY quilts is:

  • Buy fabric
  • Wash fabric
  • Press fabric
  • Cut pieces, including triangles from fabric
  • Put triangles on the wall
  • Photograph triangles
  • Remove triangles
  • Repeat.

 

FOTY Triangles – Late August 2011

FOTY Triangles - Late 8/2011
FOTY Triangles - Late 8/2011

Bad news. I don’t think I like this triangle shape. What I really want to do is kind of row quilt like the Fons & Porter Kalamkari Strippy. I like the space between the rows, though you can’t see it very well in the size information they provide. Still, I want to be true to the idea of the Fabric of the Year quilts and continue with that series. The bottom line is that I have too many triangles to make that quilt unless I want to make one to cover half of San San Francisco – the City not the people in it!

I considered, briefly, cutting squares out of the all the fabric already cut into triangles. I like the idea of simple shapes and may have just gone too far this year in the shape department. That would cause a problem for the smaller triangles. I know myself and would not pull the fabrics out again to cut squares.

The other idea I had was to intersperse light colored or neutral triangles in between the colored ones so that I can give the fabrics some space.

I think I have decided to lay all the triangles out and see what I am really dealing with and go from there. I may lay them all out on the Pat Bravo Pure Elements white linen solid color fabric and see if I get the space effect I want.

I can’t leave you all fretting and worrying. There is good news. I am almost at the end of the giant pile of fabric needing to be pressed. My machine is back, though, so that effort will be slowed a bit. I do have a pile of fabric to be washed that will also need to be pressed, but for the zillion loads of fabric I did at the beginning of the month, I am almost through it. More good news is that the fabrics on the bottom of the pile had sort of pressed themselves!

FOTY 2011 8/2011 Triangles

Early August 2011 Triangles
Early August 2011 Triangles

I am making progress on the pressing and cutting and you can see the quilt that is next in line from the fabrics I have cut. The design wall is getting to be too small these days iwth so many large blocks taking up space.

FOTY 2011 Triangles – End of July 2011

FOTY 2011 Triangles
FOTY 2011 Triangles

The triangle collection is growing, but not fast enough. The halfway mark for the year is long past and I have piles of fabric to wash and cut. Sigh.

I pressed a bunch while I was on the phone over the weekend. Being on the phone is an excellent time to press fabric. Get yourself a headset and try it out.

Still I have to cut the bits I need for various projects, too and I am behind on that. I realized that part of what was holding me up was the difficult to read list of patches I need to cut, so I have to redo that. Hopefully, that little project will speed up my process.

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FOTY Triangles, also late July 2011
FOTY Triangles, also late July 2011

After writing the above, I got busy pressing and cutting. I have a much larger collection of triangles now and a slightly smaller pile of fabric to press and cut. I got into a routine and ended up getting a lot of prep work done for the Food Quilt.

All the fabric I bought is now washed and just waiting to be pressed.