Finished: Fabric of the Year 2016

Finished: Fabric of the Year 2016
Finished: Fabric of the Year 2016

Fabric of the Year 2016 is finished. I actually finished it a few weeks ago, but getting photos without the help of the YM is a challenge.

I didn’t spend as long on it this year, but the fabrics were also quite a challenge: many fewer solids and tone-on-tones, which are easy to gradate.

2016’s shape was a 3 inch square and that was pretty easy to put together. I’m not sure about the border, but I am not taking it off.

Finished: Fabric of the Year 2016-back
Finished: Fabric of the Year 2016-back

The back was super easy to make! It came together so well. I was shocked, because I often struggle and fight with backs.

Two Quilts Back

Fabric of the Year 2016 - quilted, not bound
Fabric of the Year 2016 – quilted, not bound

I was just beginning to wonder where the Triple Star and  Fabric of the Year 2016 were when Colleen contacted me and said they were done. Thus, the two quilts came back from my longarmer on Friday. I knew they were coming but was surprised when they actually showed up. Not sure why since they were expected. I think life is busy and I am not keeping track of the details very well.

Fortunately, it was a pleasant surprise and it will be even more pleasant when I sew down the bindings and sleeve (on the FOTY 2016) and cross these babies off my list.

Triple Star quilted, not bound
Triple Star quilted, not bound

The Triple Star quilting came out really well. I like the variation that Colleen did. She quilted one motif into the stars and a different one into the background, accentuating the stars.

She did a simple design on Fabric of the Year 2016, which is also fine. I know she was thinking about using her computer. All over designs work very well for this type of design, but I am not a big fan of computerized quilting. Perhaps I am stuck in the Dark Ages of Quilting, but there you have it. Nobody can complain if I am willing to pay.

Hooray! I am so excited!

FOTY 2016 Ready to Quilt

Yes, I am reporting on another quilt top/back ready to quilt. The last one was the Triple Star.

Fabric of the Year 2016 Top
Fabric of the Year 2016 Top

Fabric of the Year 2016 is ready to take to Colleen. I spent enough time on gradating the colors together, but quickly realized that there were some prints that weren’t going to gradate and I needed to not beat my head against the wall.

I am pleased with the way it came out, but those blacks and browns are just a PITA and really, really irritating.

This quilt is affectionately called ‘Year of the Duck”, thanks to SIL#2.

FOTY 2016 Back
FOTY 2016 Back

I really wanted to use a certain Philip Jacobs fabric for the back, but I restrained myself, because I want to use it for something I can see or use more often. I compromised and used a lovely peony-old fashioned rose-some other kind of random flower print.

FOTY 2017 is coming up in the queue. Not next, but soon.

On a Roll

FOTY 2016 stack
FOTY 2016 stack

I made a lot of progress over the weekend and finally pulled out the squares from FOTY 2016.

Yep. 2016.

It has been awhile.

Mom was sitting around chatting while I was sewing, so I asked her to sort them for me. She had never done that before, so it was a challenge. She didn’t realize how much of a challenge it was to put fabric squares together with ‘like’ colors. She is more used to painting and that is a whole different experience. She also uses a color theory system called the Munsell system.

Now I have stacks of squares in semi-color order with which to start. I wasn’t going to gradate them again, but they are too large to add in black or charcoal squares a la Ellsworth Kelly. I don’t want to make another giant quilt.

I don’t think it is next on my list, but it is coming up.

Ellsworth Kelly at the SFMOMA

Monday was a day of outings. Friend Julie came up on Sunday night to stay. She, DH and I headed off to the SFMOMA at the crack of dawn (ok, 9:30, but it was a holiday) for our appointment to see the Diebenkorn/Matisse exhibit that was closing that day.

We had a 10:30 appointment to get into the exhibit and arrived at the museum before the galleries opened. We had about 20 minutes to look at the other galleries on the 4th floor before our entrance time. One of the artists at which I looked was Ellsworth Kelly.

Kelly has a long history with the SFMOMA. The Fishers (founders of the Gap) bought many of his works and donated (or loaned) them to the museum. The SFMOMA has also bought pieces of his.

I have a checkered history with Kelly. A number of his works I have seen in the past were “color fields,” a canvas of one color. I am sure critics and art historians have a lot of positive things to say about such work, but I have never liked them. No matter how famous the artist I see these types of work as works they made phoning it in. This view comes from a very limited knowledge.

Spectrum I, 1953 by Ellsworth Kelly
Spectrum I, 1953 by Ellsworth Kelly

There were different works on the walls by Kelly this time. There were two that I particularly liked. One was Spectrum I from 1953.

As you can see, Kelly gradates the color from yellow to yellow. The information said that the yellow is the same on both sides. It doesn’t look like it because of hte influence of the green on one side and the light orange on the other. I also like the series of violets in the middles -an indigo with a touch of violet, a violet and a red violet. The canvas looks like it bows in the middle, which is an added bonus.

Spectrum Colors Arranged by Chance, 1951-53 by Ellsworth Kelly
Spectrum Colors Arranged by Chance, 1951-53 by Ellsworth Kelly

Second, was a piece called Spectrum Colors Arranged by Chance, 1951-53. He did not phone this one in and I don’t think that blue tape was available at the time (though I really have no idea) to help keep the lines straight. DH found it hard to look at, but I found it inspiring.

You might have noticed that June is nearly upon us and I have not sewn FOTY 2016 together yet. I wasn’t feeling the love. After seeing “Spectrum Colors” I feel a renewed sense of purpose. I am seriously thinking of putting charcoal (not black) in between the colors, but doing it like he has done so there is some interaction between the colors. He uses solids and not all of my fabrics are solids. Still, I think using a solid charcoal or even the cool grey of which I bought about 1000 yards might make an interesting piece.

There are some issues:

  1. Another quilt with a gazillion pieces. Sigh. What has gotten into me.
  2. The squares I cut are 3″. Doubling the number I have might lead to a quilt sized large enough to cover my house. I could cut the squares and might do that. I’ll have to try out a bit and see.
  3. I don’t want to completely depart from the color gradation idea, so I might gradate the colors within the design field even though a solid might be in between some of the colors.

This is why it is good to go to art museums or see exhibits outside of your field. You never know when you will get inspired by an artist or piece of art.

FOTY 2016 – Early December

FOTY 2016 - early December
FOTY 2016 – early December

I have another group of squares for the project. For awhile they came fast and furious as I pressed and cut like a possessed thing. Now I am back to sewing up a storm. I have a bunch of fabric pressed, but not yet cut. It is such a frustration to have only two hands. This is one of the few times in my life where I’d like to be an octopus.

FOTY 2016 Squares Progress

FOTY 2016 Nov 2016 Squares
FOTY 2016 Nov 2016 Squares

This group looks like it would be a wonderfully cheerful baby/toddler quilt. Turquoise and pinky-red! What could be better?

It makes me want to just toss all the FOTY 2016 squares up on the wall and sew them together in a way that creates a larger cheerful quilt with this look. This tells me that I am getting tired of the project.

Don’t worry; it is a stage int he process and I will get through it. It is a good sign and perhaps I will start arranging right after New Year’s Day. We’ll see.

I looked in the box of squares yesterday and found it stuffed to the gills. I hope I don’t have to cut the squares down. I don’t want to.

FOTY 2016 Overflow

FOTY 2016 - Late June
FOTY 2016 – Late June

I mentioned the other day that I haven’t had a lot of time to sew lately. I have had a few minutes here and there, which I have used to press and cut fabric. This means more FOTY squares. There are a few from various projects as well, but the bulk of them thrown together look a little depressing. I’ll have to do a load of oranges or yellows to ensure that FOTY 2016 isn’t heavy on the dark side. 😉

FOTY 2016 – More mid-June Squares

FOTY 2016- mid-June #2
FOTY 2016- mid-June #2

These are a combination of project fabrics and new fabrics. I just keep cutting!

My Mom said that my fabrics look darker this year. I think tht may be the case because I have washed a few loads of blues and the fabrics are in the approximate order in which they were washed.

I have a lot of blues, but also a few whites and lighter colors.

FOTY 2016 – Mid June

FOTY 2016 squares - mid-June
FOTY 2016 squares – mid-June

I spent several evenings cutting fabric while DH worked on his NSGW stuff. It was nice to cut up fabric and move some of it off my ironing board, but it was different than our routine and a little upsetting.

You can see that I am working through a load of blues nad other cool colors. Sometimes I got tired of the same colors and dug around for some others to entertain me. Pressing and cutting she stripes makes me want to bind something with those stripes.

FOTY 2016 squares - mid-June
FOTY 2016 squares – mid-June

I had to keep moving the squares off the design wall as I was cutting so much fabric. It was nice knowing I was making some progress. Why wasn’t I sewing? I don’t know.

FOTY 2016: early mid June

FOTY 2016 - early mid June
FOTY 2016 – early mid June

With all of the cutting I have been doing lately, patches for FOTY 2016 are already piling up. I have a lot of black from the Food Quilt #3, though who knows how much it will look like relative to all the other colors I accumulate.

A number of the food fabrics have crept in due to cutting new bits for the last few food 9 patches.

In the photo above are the recent pillowcase fabrics and few I have cut that have been recently washed.

FOTY 2016 Starts

FOTY 2016 Starter Patches
FOTY 2016 Starter Patches

I am going to make you crazy for a little while until I finish piecing FOTY 2015, because I have started cutting for FOTY 2016.

A few weeks ago, I started a new donation quilt with Gerre. We cut some neutrals and I had to decide ASAP what the shape and size for 2016 would be. I hadn’t finalize on a shape or size, but had been thinking about it so I just took the opportunity to make a decision. The size of the cut FOTY squares (yes, only squares this year) will be 4×4″. Finished size will be 3.5×3.5″.


FOTY 2016 Patches - mid May
FOTY 2016 Patches – mid May

I had the few neutrals and one or two blues on the wall and then over the weekend the squares exploded as I cut the centers for the Food quilt and then even more when I cut the blacks.

All of these are old fabrics – well, fabrics that have been in my stash awhile. A few of them had nothing cut out of them so I know they were pre-2008 fabrics. I am not going to differentiate new vs existing fabrics this year even though I really like that look.

I made a good dent with all of this cutting and was able to move some yardage off shelves and into bins after all of this cutting.