Update on Serendipity Puzzle

Here is my last try at figuring out which fabrics to use for the sashing. I decided against the larger print background fabric. The background of that particular fabrics is not as bright as the background on the others. Also, the motifs are so big that they mostly got cut off.

Once again, I am trying to sew it together in chunks (rather than rows) to keep the piece straighter and more manageable.

Essentially, I have two more seams to sew to get this baby done. I can’t avoid them being long seams. Of course, there is the border. I, also, already started the back.

Not Enough Dots?

The Pineapple class, about which I have been talking on and off for the past week, is today. I began packing my supplies and materials and got into a panic that I don’t have enough dots in enough different scales and colors. I want to have a wide variety to provide interest. I rummaged through everything to find more and came up with two that I had washed last week, but needed to be ironed. I ironed them, but the stack still looks pathetic. One of them is a Michael Miller fabric similar to the one below, but with more of a sky blue background than the soldier blue depicted below.

I hope I am just having the last minute jitters and really do have enough fabric.

Pineapple Homework cont’d

I worked, yesterday, on selecting fabrics for the Pineapple class, which takes place next Friday. These are the fabrics that I have selected so far. As I looked through my dot fabrics, I felt like some were missing, but couldn’t find any others, so I guess I just have the impression in my mind that there are never enough dots! I am pretty happy with the selection, but am still contemplating whether or not the dot sizes are too similar and whether the colors are too similar in value.

In this selection, I didn’t include any of the Fusions fabrics by Robert Kaufman, but am considering adding some to add a little motif size interest. Some of the colorways are very light, however, so if I do add them I need to take care. I don’t want the background to bleed into the foreground creating visual confusion. I can certainly bring them with me, so if I need them I will have them, but if not, no harm done. Opinions are welcome.

Ignore the checkerboard, as that is my ironing board cover!

The two pictures above are the same group, so you will see some overlap (e.g. the red).

Value too similar? I might have get rid of the red one in from the right as it seems to read as a solid.

Additional Progress on Thoughts on Dots

Here it is right before I sewed the bottom right hand side together:

Here is the bottom right hand side sewed together:

Here is the top of the left hand side (the side I have completed) with the joining rows laid out next to it:

Below are the rectangles that I cut for my aunt’s quilt:

After taking this photo, I sewed them together by putting two rectangles together relatively randomly and sewing them. I did try to put a warm color with a cool color most of the time to try and get some contrast going. I didn’t, however, put them up on the design and arrange them. I thought it would be a different kind of challenge to sew two together and then put them up on the design wall and try to arrange them. I also did this in the interests of speed. She is very ill and I want to get the quilt done.

Also, Thoughts on Dots is still hogging up the design wall space. The portable design wall we saw at PIQF is looking pretty good right now!

Real Progress on Thoughts on Dots

After the CQFA meeting today, I came home, eschewed the work nagging in the back of my mind and worked on Thoughts on Dots. Earlier this week, I started to sew the squares into pairs. Today I kept on sewing – four patches, groups of two four patches until I was finished with the main part.

Above: The main part nearly sewn. The big problem I had was that the squares were not the same size. Part of it could be the ruler that I used at St. JCN’s. However, St. JCN said that the fabric was stretching as it went through the feed dogs. It was getting really bad as sewed the four patches together. Finally, I decided to take a page out of St. JCN’s book and trim the squares. Nobody will sue me for changing the size of the blocks. I changed my rotary blade and very carefully measured and trimmed the 4 patches. The larger pieces went together better after that, but I noticed as the same pieces went through the sewing machine a third or fourth time that they started to stretch again. While it is possible that my feeding of the pieces through the machine or my pressing had something to do with the stretching, I doubt it as I was trying hard to be very careful.

This is the second time that I am doubting my machine. I guess I need to take it in for a service. I can use the Gem while the 9K is on vacation, but I think it is time for me to really consider a new machine. 10 years is long enough for one machine and it has seen some hard use.

Above: Detail of the main part nearly sewn together.

Above: Finally, I got the entire main section done. I call it the main section, because I need to piece the entire top in sections. Since I plan for this piece to be a cuddle quilt, I think it will be relatively large. My design wall isn’t big enough to do the whole piece at once. Pay attention to the bottom two rows, which are still unsewn in this picture.

The above photo shows the former bottom two rows at the top of the quilt. They will still be on the bottom of the top section (far above photos), but on top of this new section, which is shown directly above. These are new squares that I threw up on the design so I could arrange the bottom part. The rule is that I am not allowed to move the top two rows as they have to coordinate with both the section above and the section below. I know they coordinate with the section above as they are, but since I can no longer see that section, I have to leave them as is to ensure I don’t make any egregious color errors.

I didn’t think I would make changes right away, but even before I got all the squares up on the wall, I began moving squares away from their fellows of the same color and removing squares that were too dull or didn’t look right. The immediate problem is that the colors in this section seem darker to me. I think I will have to remove some of the darker colors and put in more pink, add some more of the fabrics with the white backgrounds in order to make it more sherbet-y.

There are colors/fabrics that I like, but may not make it into the final piece. One example is the blue 60s dot (left hand side 3rd from the bottom, two from the left.)

I like the weird spiral dot smack in the middle, but it may be too different to include on the front of this piece.

On the back, I may make columns of the leftover squares and alternate them with plain rows – like a row quilt. It would be good not to let those already cut squares go to waste.

I was thinking about binding today and may add a thin rectangular border of various fabrics and pull it to the back rather than making a regular binding. We will see.

The Return of Thoughts on Dots…Again

7/29/2006: I have had Thoughts on Dots on the wall for a few weeks again, but haven’t moved any of the squares around nor have I sewed anything.

I moved some squares around this morning when it was very quiet in the house and, as a result, today was the first day in a long while that I have felt like being creative. I really need a table to which I can walk up and glue and paint and cut, because I had a massive desire to experiment with the Tsukineko inks.


I did move a number of squares around after I took the above photo, but think I may have the final layout now. It is an interesting exercise to get the colors/fabrics in the right place in order to give the right feel.

One wrench in the mechanism are the new dot fabrics that I cut last weekend while in Seattle. I had planned to add them to this piece, but am wondering if I don’t like the light, fresh, airy feeling of Thoughts on Dots as it is now? Or am I being a chicken and need to, as Lorraine Torrence says, make visual decisions visually? This quilt is destined to be a cuddle quilt, as I may have mentioned, with the express purpose of making me feel better when the life or the monkey chatter gets overwelming. I think, as a result, that the layout has to give the right feeling more than be designed as a great work of art.

I have more sets of squares waiting for my attention in this same exercise and am looking forward to working with them.

Kissy Fish Brings Me Back

I am shocked that it has been a month since I have posted anything. No sewing has taken place except some beading that I did on Kissy Fish. I worked on it in the car as we drove, but the beading doesn’t show up very well in this photo. Here is a detail, but it is also difficult to see the beading and embroidery. I am off to a quilt show in Seattle this weekend and will hopefully have a cleaner (more sewing machine friendly!) house and lots of inspiration when I return.

Thoughts on Dots

I had a lot of driving to do today and had a thought on dots as I headed out. I have been collecting a lot of dot fabrics lately with the thought of doing another Interlocking Triangles quilt. I definitely want to work on that project, but I have enough dots to choke a herd of horses, so I could do a number of projects with them. The ones I bought recently, especially the pink (3rd from the left), made me think of cutting 6.5″ squares (6″ + seam allowance) out of a bunch of different dot fabrics and sewing them together. It would be another quick project, but it might be really nice to see those dots out in the open.

Feelin’ Blue, Too – Top Complete

Feelin' Blue, Too Top
Feelin’ Blue, Too Top

I finished the top of Feelin’ Blue, Too last weekend. I finally finished the back yesterday. I haven’t applied the label yet. I did something different with the label this time. Mom bought me some printable fabric, so I created a label in Word and then printed it on fabric. I included a headshot of myself! Not sure why, but I did. It looks nice, but feels somewhat odd.

The color of the top nags at the back of my mind again. The oranges really stick out and I hope not too much to take away from the blue.

I haven’t found someone to quilt either of the quilts yet. I have a space reserved with CG, but she won’t be back until the end of the month and I won’t receive them back until August 15. I am amazed that she left right at the time that people would want to have their quilts quilted for the show. Of course, all of those people, myself included, should have been more organized.

The last post about Feelin’ Blue, Too was on July 2, 2005.

Feelin’ Blue coming together

I realized today that the deadline for the Marin show is fast approaching and I had better get the form filled out for this quilt, call the quilter, etc. I have sewn some of it, but not much. I planned to do little bits this week while W was gone, but haven’t made it so far.

I also need to make the templates and cut pieces for the 8 pointed star. My quilt class will be doing the 8 pointed star this week and I want to be able to show them how to do the joins. I need to take a look at Judy Martin’s Ultimate Rotary Cutting Reference Book to see how to use the Point Trimmer to make the diamonds easier to put together. I had a little trouble using the tool on my blocks for the Teacher Pillows, but perhaps I was in a rush?

Feelin’ Blue

I am working on the third in a series of bullseye quilts. All of them have been group projects and this is no exception. The most recent two, Seeing Red and Feelin’ Blue, have been made with two friends, JZS and Aja. Feelin’ Blue is quite monochromatic in feel and may work well in our bedroom.

Feelin' Blue on the Design Wall
Feelin’ Blue on the Design Wall

This is a photo of how it looks on the design wall without Aja’s quarter blocks.