Saturday, March 23, 2019

Spring is in the Air

With Spring in the Air,  I have pulled out an older piece that I started.  After starting it, I was completely stumped as to which way to go. 

Perhaps I have "grown" as a designer, because I put it on a portable design board, took a photo, and started designing. 
The "raw" piece on the design board.
I put the photo into PhotoShop Elements and cropped it into a square.  
This will be much easier to design into a quilt.

Next, I opened EQ8 and imported the photo to my sketchbook.  I used a custom quilt set as my base design.  That is the easy way to use multiple block sizes on one quilt.  I spent some time playing and came up with this:

Of course, I don't have those exact fabrics - so when I start doing this for real, I will have to pull up the file and add the chosen fabrics and look to be sure I love it as much as I love this coloration.
Until then, I can keep this idea safely tucked away.  I do love the purples and yellows in this.  I may have to "acquire" these fabrics to make it just like this.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Daisy Chain QAL - Unit B

After getting the directions for unit B of the Daisy Chain Quilt Along,  I decided to switch gears and use some of my Island Batik fabrics as the "Assorted Scrappy or Coordinating Fabrics."  You all know how much I love using batiks, don't you?

So I chose two batiks and cut the required strips needed.  Then I sewed strip sets as directed.

Next,  I sub-cut the strip sets and sewed the four patch units. 
These thirteen squares would make a great table topper all by themselves.  
I am sure that I will get a very pretty quilt using these fabrics.  
Color me happy!


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Value Makes a Difference

While playing with some more orange and purple fabrics I made two versions of a particular block.  More about the block later, but first let's take a look.
You can clearly tell that  one has higher contrast than the other. But you can see the design.  But suppose you were colorblind...  To simulate that, I changed the photo to grayscale.
The one on the right appears to be all one color. This is the difference that value plays in quilting. In either version of the photo, the block on the left is nicely contrasted and would even show well in dim light.  But, in dim light the block on the right would look "fuzzy" and lack definition.
The old saying is: "Color gets all the credit, but value does all the work."  I hope you can see the truth in that by looking at these blocks.
 If you are uncertain about picking value you can use a value viewer or if you have a smart phone, just take a photo of the fabrics together.  Most phones have an option of converting the photo to black and white.  If not, there are plenty of free apps that will do it.

That said, I will still use the bland block in the final quilt (unless I end up with an extra block.)

This block design is one that I found on Pinterest (I think.)   But there it was made with all half-square triangles.  I quickly saw that I could use the Accuquilt Go! Qube set to make an 8 inch version using the parallelogram  and the half square triangle. That removed eight seams per block. It did take a bit of thinking to figure out how to do the construction.  But it turned out to be easier than I initially thought.

I am considering doing a tutorial for this block using the Accuquilt Qube set.  I just wonder how many people would be interested in seeing it.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Two more Purple and Orange


Way back in January I made three quilt blocks using Orange and Purple as the main colors.  I mostly did it for play.  Then I needed something calm and relaxing to do this weekend after a bad fender bender.  I am fine but the car isn't - but I was pretty well shaken up. 

To relax I cut some pieces to make a couple of friendship star blocks.  I decided that they would add to the stack and slowly become a quilt top one day. I plan to save this as a playtime project when I just want to sew and not be stressed by it.

Here are the two blocks:
I love orange against purple.  I think these are a bit more intense than the other three.  That is good as it will add variety and contrast to the final quilt. 
Here are the other three blocks


What do you sew "just for fun?"
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

A little Bit of Improv

Improv piecing is always fun for me.  I was surprised to learn that improv piecing is one of the elements of modern quilting.  Why? you may be asking.  You see, I have never thought of myself as a modern quilter.
The following comes for the Modern Quilt Guild "What is Modern Quilting" pdf.  There is a lot more information there about modern quilting.

MQ Design Elements 
• Use of negative space 
• No borders 
• Minimal 
• Bright and graphic color palettes       
• Improvisational piecing 
• Grid work 
• Asymmetry 
• Modern traditionalism 
• Exaggerated scale •
 Pixelization 
• Texture 
• Less is more

At least some of these are the usual hallmarks of what I like to do, although I do tend to add borders. I love bright and graphic color palettes AND improv piecing.  Here is what I have been working on.
Two improv "blocks" and an improv strip.
Aren't those bits of "snakeskin" batik a fun addition?
 I hope you are noticing the gray fabric in these pieces.  It is an Island Batik solid made from the same fabric used for the batiks. It is more densely woven which results in less fraying.  It also comes in a black and a white version.  I absolutely love using it.
On this section of the improv strip you can see that some of the pieces are not cut straight.
Here is a close-up showing some of the tiny pieces that I rescued and added to the piecing.
The pennies are there for scale.
And finally, here are the Island Batik Moroccan Bazaar strips that I am using as part of this.


The fabrics used in this were all provided to me as an Island Batik Ambassador to use in projects and challenges.  However, I do buy Island Batik fabrics for other projects because I love working with it.


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Monday, March 04, 2019

Daisy Chain Quilt Along - The Piecing Begins

You may remember that I chose the fabrics  for the Daisy Chain Quilt Along



Then  I  did the cutting and actually organized it quite nicely (for a change.)









Now the first sewing instructions have been posted and I have completed the first step.
In this stack there are 40 four patches for the Mystery Quilt.  The directions call for 39 but I had enough pieces to make 40 - and I didn't count until all 40 were made.  I call it good.  It is nice to have a spare in case one isn't quite the right size - or if I mess it up in a later step.
That is really purple... the colors did not photograph well. 
I must say that I have gotten spoiled with the Island Batik fabrics.  They don't generally fray - but as you can tell, this orange fabric has frayed quite a bit.  This will still make a good quilt  but it will leave more of a mess in the process.

Are you quilting along with us?  It isn't too late to start.  There are four size options from Baby to Queen.  I am making the throw size.  It is bigger than a baby quilt, but smaller than a twin.   It is nice to have throw quilts to snuggle in on a cool night - or to take on a sunny day for a picnic.   But you may want to dip your toes in making a baby quilt. Those are great to have on hand for baby gifts.


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Vintage Reimagined -Cabins in the Stars

The March Challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors is  titled "Vintage Reimagined."   Since that can have so many possible meanings,  I choose to reimagine some blocks and blend them together.

I used a slightly modified log cabin block and placed it inside an Ohio Star block.  Thus, the title I have chosen for this quilt is "Cabins in the Stars." 


The lovely Island Batik fabrics were provided by Island Batik  to the Ambassadors.  I used a variety of greens and purples with a pale yellow center for the Log Cabin blocks.  The lovely cheddar colored blender made perfect star points.  This was rounded out with the Iceberg and Silverado blenders along with a bit more of that dark purple batik as my background colors. The borders are also Island Batik in black and white solids.  I love the dense weave of these fabrics.  They are a delight to work with as they have almost no fraying.

















By having the star points meet, the background creates a nice secondary diamond shape.  I changed the background for the points that meet in the center to create an area to showcase the appliqué piece that I planned for the center.

The center is appliquéd with a machine embroidered circle.  The embroidery is from Patsy Thompson's Feathered Wreath machine embroidery collection.
Rather an embroider the center, I stopped the machine so that I could appliqué a small circle of the Iceberg batik there.  I used a purple Aurifil thread (also provided to me as an Ambassador) for the purple in the embroidery. My embroidery machine loved it.

After applying the center circle, I realized that there was just a bit too much space around it.  So I used the Accuquilt Daisy die that has two sizes of circle for the center and made a few more fusible appliqué circles.  My original idea was to use them to create an arc in each corner.  As I was preparing to fuse them down, something magical happened and this arrangement occurred. I think it makes the design a bit bolder.

We took the quilt, which measures 36 1/2 inches square, to my brother's house on the lake for the photo shoot.  So here are a few more gratuitous shots from the photo outing.
My brother and I, holding the quilt so you can see the lake in the background.

Of course, you probably want to see the back of the quilt also. I had a lot of fun quilting this small quilt. I used several quilting motifs that I have learned in various classes -and I made up a few also.
The Backing is a lovely Island Batik fabric named "Whip Cream."  It has bits of
blue and gray in a subtle design on the almost white fabric. 

And one more of my brother and I holding up the quilt for you. 

He was such a good sport to help with the photo shoot. 

Did you notice the flange on the binding? The binding is black. After trimming the quilt backing and batting, I saved the excess backing and made the flange. It was my first flanged binding, but it will not be my last.

I should also mention that I used the wonderful Hobbs premium cotton batting in this quilt.  It quilted beautifully.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Blocks Made -Possible Layout

As you may know, I have been working on the LHQSQ 2.0 quilt along blocks of my choice.  I opted to change the shape of the quilt from square to a long rectangle as I find that more useful in a smaller quilt. 
Here are my blocks and a possible layout for them.
I will also be changing the sashing strips to 2 1/2" wide (finish at 2".)  I am still unsure about the color or colors I will use for that.  I am thinking of using the 2 1/2" squares of Kaffe fabric that I have left over for the cornerstones.  However, at the moment this has been moved to the back burner to simmer for awhile. 

If the weather permits, we will be going today to photograph my March challenge quilt for Island Batiks.  I am also working on my April challenge quilt.  These will be fun to share with you at the appropriate time.  The March challenge is called Vintage Reimagined.  Mine is a bit of a mashup version with some fun design elements added.  I can hardly wait to show it to you.  I am rather proud of how it came out.


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.