I finished Fabric of the Year 2014 yesterday. I had the quilt done, but took my sweet time in sewing on the sleeve.
It has some similarities to FOTY 2013, namely the light in the middle. I wanted to try to recreate that glowing aspect again.
The back was one of the easiest I have made. Almost no drama, especially since one piece of fabric made almost the entire back. I added the solid so that large motifs didn’t run against each other when I sewed them. I thought it would look too jangly.
I liked pieced backs, but am very happy when I don’t have to piece too much.
In between other stuff, I spent a lot of time over the weekend sewing the FOTY 2014 patches together. This quilt top has been languishing much too long. I felt like I had a layout that I liked.
There are over 350 patches that have to be removed sewn and put back in order to keep the piece in order. I put a leader/ender in between each set of patches to make it easier to keep the FOTY patches straight in my head.
In the course of sewing the patches together, I also made 19 Octagon 9 Patches and 14 donation blocks. Not shabby for ‘found blocks’.
I thought it was impossible that I would get it done. I got to the point where all the patches were sewn into sets of 8 and I was very happy with that. The other night I sewed those sets together, which took much less time, but required much more fiddling, because of the nesting of seams.
The piece looks together now, but it is in sets of 9 or 12 patches. I am carefully chunking all the sets in order to avoid those long seams and to nest the seams more precisely. My goal is to get the top done before Saturday, so I can show it off at the BAMQG meeting. Wish me luck!
Sometimes a little whining goes a long way. I got down to business after my last FOTY 2014 post and am now sewing the piece together. Yes, the piece is arranged to my satisfaction and I am on to the sewing part.
My driving force: I need all the pieces to be on the design wall. At the moment the very top and very bottom row are hanging off. I also want the whole thing off the design wall and in the hands of Colleen. I need to move on to other projects. I need the design wall for other projects.
Is the piece perfect?
Will I ever make a perfect piece in this series?
Will I keep trying?
Before I started sewing, this photo shows the piece as it was laid out in the configuration in which I decided to piece it.
I worked on the layout for hours yesterday and then after I started making dinner, I deliberately did not look at it.
When I got back to my workroom the following day, I decided to look at it and rearrange the patches.
These quilts will never have a perfect gradation. The nature of the fabric, the color combinations in the fabrics and the motifs as well as contrast make perfect gradation difficult. Still, I have done a good job with the parameters of my challenge and I am pretty happy with the layout.
Some process photos. You have to look carefully to see the differences because they are subtle, but that is part of the process:
I have almost had enough of this piece. Something drastic has to happen.
I had a couple of choices on projects to work on and FOTY 2014 was one of them. I took this picture on Thursday as a baseline for the weekend.
The piece has looked like this for a long time and it isn’t a bad look, but it isn’t finished either.
The red and pink look pretty good. The green area needs a lot of work and the purple is simply missing.
I decided to do one small thing as one small thing often leads to larger things, so I counted up all the patches, then I worked on figuring out how large the piece needed to be. I *think* the piece needs to be 16 rows tall by 26 rows wide. At the moment the piece is 15 rows tall by 24 rows wide. Easy to add two more rows?
I got busy and started moving things around until I got to this point. The whole piece is filled in, which is a good thing. The green area still looks terrible, but it could be worse. The bad part is that there are 40+ patches on the floor. I have crammed some into the bottom rows, which is fine, but also not fine. I had to face reality that 26 x16 rows does not fit on this does wall and I need to do something else.
I really need all the pieces on the design wall in order to arrange the pieces the way I want them. I can’t just put the pieces up on the wall and sew them together and have a piece that I like.
I don’t seem to be able to think of very many options except to trim all the piece. The rectangles are large (5″x3″) and if I trim a 1/4″ off each side that will cut the size down and, perhaps, enable me to get all the pieces on the wall. I cut the rectangles that size to have them be 4.5″ x 2.5″ once sewn together and I kind of want them to be that size. I could cut them down to squares and forget my rectangle idea all together. I did squares for FOTY 2013 and I don’t think I want to do them again another year in a row.
The end of July has come and gone, which means that I didn’t make my original deadline. Still, I got back to the design wall over the weekend and worked on this piece. I decided to move all of the reds down towards the bottom, which meant touching almost every piece as I shifted the rectangles clockwise.
The biggest problem I have now is that I have a stack of blues that don’t fit on the design wall. I need to add them to the 9 o’clock position and there are many more than the 10 or so that look like they will fit. I need all of the pieces on the design wall so I can work with them all at once.
I may do some overlapping, but I definitely have to count the patches I have and figure out the size of quilt I need to make. Then I can figure out what I need to add to my design wall to design this quilt.
I am finally starting on FOTY 2014. After finishing the “triplets”**, Field Day, the Food Quilt #2 and Box Full of Letters, I looked around to try and decide what to do. I cut a few pieces for FOTY 2015, put in a new rotary cutter blade and decided not to dither. I took out the piece of FOTY 2014 and started in.
First off was sorting. I took the two bins out and sorted the colors into general stacks. I had only two bins and was worried that I had lost some patches, but after taking out all the pieces, I realized I had a lot of patches with which to work.
As I have mentioned many times, even sorting is a challenging part of this project. You can’t dilute a fabric’s color or hue. It is what it is. Of course, I could paint that fabric, or color it with markers, but that is not the point of the exercise.
I am often a little disheartened by the sorting, because I think I will never be able to blend the colors. Somehow I do it and get a wonderful finished quilt.
After a general sorting, I started arranging. Like 2013’s piece, I decided to start with white in the middle. I used and bought very little white in 2014, so all of the ‘white’ I have has another color on it. That is fine. Again, it is one of the challenges of this project.
I wanted to get all the colors on the design wall on Sunday night when I started, but that was not to be. I found out a few things:
There are a lot of green patches
There are a LOT of pink and red patches
There are a lot of patches in general and now I am concerned that I won’t be able to fit them all on the design wall
Still, I have started and I am determined to make good progress and get this piece off the design wall and sewn together by the end of the month. We’ll see how that goes! Stay tuned.
**I call the three quilts the triplets because I worked on them simultaneously and finished them all within about a week of each other.
I think I might be ready to start cutting for FOTY 2015. I know. It is nearly March and finally I am getting in gear for 2015. 😉 Sometimes you have to let the process guide you.
I said last time that I wasn’t sure how much more I should cut. I think that I made that comment because I didn’t have a clear view in my mind of how to start FOTY 2015. I hadn’t decided on a shape. I have a better idea now.
As mentioned previously (or, maybe, on Twitter), I have been ironing fabric. when my sewing chair starts to fall over because I have too much washed, but unironed fabric hanging on the back, I have to iron. I ironed a lot while listening to Outlander (long LONG audiobook) and let it stack up on my ironing board, but finally I was ready to cut.
I still have a stack on my ironing board, but Voila! These are the patches I have cut in the past few weeks. I thought there were more, but if there were I lost the photo.
Yes, I cannot help attempting to gradate the patches.
There are a couple of things going on. First, there are certain fabrics I want to include in this entry in the series.
Next, I am doing quite a bit of scrap reduction and when I have a large enough piece that I can use a goodly chunk of it, I cut a piece for the FOTY 2014.
Finally, I am annoyed that I didn’t decide on shapes like I did for 2012, which were rectangles and squares. I’ll probably go with that arrangement for the 2015 version. That is still some time off, so we’ll have to see.
Like a bad penny the pieces for this quilt just keep turning up. I purposefully did a load of fabric laundry on Wednesday, even though I was enjoying my unpressed fabric free space, just so I could add some more pieces to FOTY 2014.
I did a load of turquoise/aqua so I could also cut some patches from that color for another project.
The last time I had enough rectangles to show you was in early November. I feel like I am not cutting enough pieces for this project (within the parameters, of course), which makes me feel like it will be 8″x10″. I know it won’t be that small, but I want it to be a nice sized wall hanging.
Also, I look at the fabrics and think they are not that interesting. Of course, I have to remember that they will be completely rearranged and their individual motifs will be lost in the overall layout.
I think I might be experiencing a bit of a creative block. I need to find some rote sewing to do.
Off to cut those rectangles from the fabric I just washed.
I went back in time to look at the tags for my last FOTY post and was shocked to see that it was August that I last posted. I really couldn’t believe it, but I looked at the various Design Wall Monday posts I have posted recently and those same FOTY patches were there with very few changes. I actually took a picture of this group (above) right before the picture of the design wall for yesterday’s post, so next time I do a DWM post, you will, hopefully, see a new batch of FOTY patches.
The reason it took me so long, aside from being really busy during the week is that the last load of fabric I washed was grey and light neutrals, which I found really depressing to press, so I kind of avoided doing it. TFQ saw the pile and got down to business, so now I have newly pressed fabrics from which to cut patches.
I also have a lot of great fabrics waiting to be washed and I should make time so the patches can go into FOTY 2014. The new year isn’t that far away and pretty soon, I’ll be sorting thesepatches into color groups and picking the shape for FOTY 2015. WOW! Time flies.
I has been nearly a month and a half since I posted new rectangles I have cut for the FOTY 2014 piece. Before the past weekend, I felt like I haven’t been in my sewing room much in the past month. I know I have been in there, at least a little bit, since there have been no shortage of posts to prove it.
I didn’t press and cut very much in that time, though, so the wall where I keep new rectangles has looked the same all this time. Then Friday I started pressing fabric and cutting some new rectangles with a vengeance.
I went to put them away and found my container full, so I have to figure out what to do about that. The work room overfloweth, that is for sure.
Here is another batch of rectangles for my FOTY 2014 piece.
Early July is a bit of a lie because all of these patches were cut in June. I picked the title based on the publish date and next year nobody will remember or care.
In between my travels, I did a load of blacks and greys. The colors you see are from projects I have been working on.
These are not in the same kind of color order that I normally use, but I was out of town for many days in June. You’ll see some of the fabrics I used in recent projects as well as a couple of loads of the Great Unwashed experiencing a bracing cleanliness for the first time. 😉