The Problem with Grey

Bolts of Grey
Bolts of Grey

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.

Background detail - Flying Around
Background detail – Flying Around

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. πŸ˜‰

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.

Pillowcase-palooza

Nine Pillowcases - August 2019
Nine Pillowcases – August 2019

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.

FOTY 2019

FOTY 2019 Summer Squares
FOTY 2019 Summer Squares

I am moving slowly on gathering fabrics for FOTY 2019. It might be a small quilt! This slowness is because of working with the scraps for the strip and improv donation projects and also because of how long it is taking me to piece Flying Around.

Most of these are light and I know you can tell what I have been working on from what you see. This is sort of the beauty of the Fabric of the Year projects. I can remember the fabrics I bought and used that year. It reminds me of various projects and trips to great shops.

New Project pt.2

The other day I talked about some fabric I bought and the pattern I was considering for the project.

Despite my determination, I wasn’t 100% sold on the pattern I mentioned. I went back to the box of patterns, blocks, etc and looked through the rest of it to make sure I didn’t find a pattern or idea I liked better.

I found a few that I thought were more interesting or had some promise.

Japanese Circle Block
Japanese Circle Block

My top contender for the moment is a block I found in a Japanese magazine. Because I do not read Japanese and I ripped out the page at some point, I don’t know which magazine or issue.

As you can see from above, the block breaks down into Flying Geese and Peaky & Spikes as well as some strange pentagon shape.

The page showed a number of different blocks both in outline format and in black and white, but with fabrics. The example shows four blocks together as well.

Block from Japanese magazine
Block from Japanese magazine

The four blocks together is what caught my attention as I looked through the box. The black and white fabric image makes it look like there is a circle going on.

One of the trends I saw in the box was a lot of blocks with curves or either implied curves.

Elements Quilt Layout
Elements Quilt Layout

I drew up the block in EQ8 and made a quilt from the drawing, so you can get an idea of what my version of the quilt will look like.

I don’t know if I get the full effect from the drawing of the circles, but I see it a little bit.

I used the colors from below to create the quilt example (left). I think I have more colors and fabrics, so the example is not reflective of what the quilt will look like.

Home magazine color inspiration
Home magazine color inspiration

I also found an inspiration page from a home magazine that I ripped out at some point. With a couple of exceptions it mimics the colors in the fat quarter pack I bought and plan to use in this project. I intended to add some turquoise, but may also add a mustard-like color as the inspiration suggests.

 

FOTY 2017 Top Finished!

FOTY 2017 Top - finished
FOTY 2017 Top – finished

Well, I did it. After what seemed like a lot of trauma, I finished the top last Wednesday in a couple of hours of free time after I finished my chores and work.

I thought I would just sew more chunks together, but it turned out that the quiltmaking goddess smiled on me and all my seams were straight and there was no (or minimal) ripping required.

Now we can really see the gradation and I make no bones about how hard I worked at it this time. It is interesting to see some areas that appear lighter IRL appear darker in the photo (check on the blues next to the bird in the middle of the quilt). I do like the way it looks like the columns are fading in and out. It also has that skyline effect, which is great.

FOTY 2017 Back - ready to quilt
FOTY 2017 Back – ready to quilt

I buckled down and made the back, binding and sleeve on Sunday. Yep! Even the sleeve. I feel quite virtuous.

This is a really hard exercise and I challenge you to do something similar.

More Progress on FOTY 2017

There are a lot of pieces to sew for FOTY 2017, but I have, slowly, but surely, been making progress. I thought I could finish the top this past weekend. Even if I hadn’t worked with DH to replace our horrendous jerry-rigged, 20+ year old living room curtain rod, I wouldn’t have had enough time. There are just too many seams.

FOTY 2017 - very early April 2019
FOTY 2017 – very early April 2019

I am not being super precious about placement this time. I would never have started if I held myself to that standard this time around. I do still tweak placement as I go along, for better or for worse.

I am really looking forward to the whole thing being together as I want to see if it looks like a skyline.

The creativity posts will resume at some point.

FOTY 2017 Progressing

FOTYY 2017 - end of March in process
FOTYY 2017 – end of March in process

I have been tired all week, but FOTY 2017 is progressing. I am sewing so I can arrange further. As per usual, the design wall is too small, though I think DH is happy otherwise I might make a quilt as large as the house. πŸ˜‰

The piece shrinks a lot due to some trimming and also the seam allowances.

I hope to finish the top this weekend.

Sewing FOTY 2017

Yes, I started to sew. Yes, I started to sew even though not all of the patches are on the design wall. I don’t have the space and am letting go of a little bit of the control.

FOTY 2017 - Sewing start
FOTY 2017 – Sewing start

I am fairly pleased with the overall layout. I think the colors are pretty much in the right place except for the light blue/blue-green. The gradation seems ok at the bottom, but might not work towards the top. I still have time.

I do end up having to trim blocks. It is fine as I will do it a little at a time. I am still figuring out the math on this one – what size to cut, so I don’t ruin anything.

Mondo Bag Start

You know that I often like to make projects multiple times to get the hang of the process. The other day, avoiding FOTY 2017 and having some time at Craft Night, I started on the Mondo Bag. I bought the pattern at Golden State a few weeks ago when I was in San Jose.

I have been wanting to make the larger size of this bag since I took the Scruffy Quilts Midi Bag class. I like the Midi bag and wanted to cement the process in my head. Recently I was thinking that my, as yet unstarted, new knitting project would fit better in a larger bag. Thus the perfect opportunity presented itself.

Mondo Bag start
Mondo Bag start

The process is that you press 2.5 inch squares on to an interfacing pattern, then fold and sew until you have a panel. Since I was at Craft Night, I pinned the squares to the interfacing. I did this for convenience, but also so I could contemplate the design before I pressed everything down permanently.

I am using Flow and Basic Mixology mini-charms. I had some packs from QuiltCon, I think, and they seem to go together well. Not perfectly, but well. So far, I am pleased with the results. The mini-charm packs have been hanging around for awhile. I was waiting for this project to come along so I could use them.

FOTY 2017 Feeling Better

FOTY 2017-mid March layout
FOTY 2017-mid March layout

I rearranged all of the patches for FOTY 2017 and am feeling much better about the layout. I still have some design problems, but I feel like I am finally making good progress and am not feeling so much design despair.

The white and light patches will fill in the top of the piece to make it square.

Yes, colors need to be rearranged a bit and I need to slip in a column of turquoise, but otherwise I think this is basically the layout I will use. It is much better than my previous idea.

I know Angela loved the subway tile layout, but as a design concept, it wasn’t working. I may try that layout with smaller patches.

Again, my design wall cannot contain this series of quilts. I can’t tell you how frustrating this is. I have to figure out how to add 3 more columns to this piece without design wall support.

Next FOTY?

First FOTY 2019??
First FOTY 2019??

This might be the beginning of FOTY 2019. The pieces are the same size as FOTY 2018 as I have the Ellsworth Kelly idea and I might want to do one with black squares and one with slate squares. I could also combine the two and do a FOTY 2018/19. I am getting behind now that FOTY 2017 is not jelling. I could probably skip FOTY 2017 and get to FOTY 2018, but that seems wrong to me.

FOTY 2017 Back on the Design Wall

FOTY 2017 - second effort on the design wall
FOTY 2017 – second effort on the design wall

I resorted the patches and have started to arrange FOTY 2017 on the design wall. It isn’t going well.

Why? I don’t know. It just isn’t working.

I did some math and am thinking I need to make the piece 18 rows by 18 columns to make it square, though that does not use all of the patches. I could make it a little off square and make it 19 rows by 18 columns, but that would use more patches, which is my goal.

I have another idea to try.

Quilty Birthday

2019 Birthday Gifts
2019 Birthday Gifts

No, my birthday is not in February, but I didn’t have a chance to show off my gifts until now. I am not trying to make anyone jealous.

It was a pretty big quilty birthday, which is not always the case. I got a new cutting mat. I have smaller cutting mats that go with me when I travel or participate in Sew Day. The mat I use in my workroom, however, is the one I got when I started making quilts more than 30 years ago! It was time for an upgrade and I am using and loving the new one. It does make a difference.

I received some new Tula dots. I’ll have to figure out something fabulous to make with them.

Charm square project tote
Charm square project tote

I also got a number of new project totes, which is great! I really like putting my projects in totes and keeping everything together. This little tote (right) fits charm squares. Not sure how I will use it, but will figure something out.

I haven’t tried everything out, but am slowly working my way through all the new stuff. I am so fortunate to have such great friends. It was so nice get things related to my passion.

Green Strips Donation Top

Green Strips donation top
Green Strips donation top

The Green Strips donation top and back is finally finished and ready to take to BAM.

I made it from green scraps and a yard of Kona Cream that Amanda gave me. The scrap bin is right next to my sewing machine, so I can reach in an rummage without even getting up! It would be a bad thing except I have to get up to iron and cut, so I still get steps in.

The block was inspired by Alison, as I think I have mentioned, though she does hers on a foundation. That is probably a good idea, though I didn’t have a lot of problems with bias.

Green Strips donation back
Green Strips donation back

I dragged down the green bin and pulled out some yardage I didn’t think I would use for the back.