Wednesday, May 15, 2019

A bit of Play

Sometimes it is good to just play and see what happens.  Today I decided to take a hand-dyed gradient and play with it.  You are allowed to be surprised.  I have hoarded the gradients that I get from Vicki Welsh for a long time. 
Here is the label from this one.
It is called Appalachian Sunset.  I have had it so long the label is faded.  Also, it was purchased from her Etsy shop- and she now sells directly from her website. This one is not currently in Vicki's gradient section.  But I am sure she could make one just for you if you requested it.

Yes, I do hoard them, but,  I needed a kickstart so I took one out, ironed it nice and flat and started cutting.   I did fold it in half first.  When I cut it into strips (random widths) there were two of each size layered together. 
I sewed each set of those keeping them in order.  I quickly realized that after trimming the edges of the folded gradient, I should have rotated one layer.  C'est la vie!  At that point I just kept sewing.
Once I had all the layers sewn back into a single piece, I pressed it flat, and cut it into strips the opposite direction.  I then sewed those back together flipping every other one end for end.

Here is the result. 


The colors blended so well in some areas that it is hard to see the piecing. This is actually quite striking in person.  Now I just have to decide what it will become.   My first thought is that it would make a couple of great looking pillow covers.  For now, I will just enjoy looking at it and wait for inspiration to strike me.


Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


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, May 11, 2019

Orange and Purple -Together again

The quilt I am slowly making with the orange and purples got two new blocks this weekend. (there may be more yet!)



 These two blocks will finish at twelve inches instead of eight.  So that means that there will need to be two more of these OR a group of four inch blocks added to make up the difference.  Two nine patches that finish at twelve inches would work just fine.  A friendship star is a simple nine patch, so it would work well.  There are lots and lots of possibilities.  The big trick is that I am cutting these 12 inch blocks with a Go! Qube 8 inch set. It is simply one and a half of the size.  Since the Qube 8" set has pieces that finish at both 4 and 2 inches it will work out. Each section of a 12 inch nine-patch should finish at 4 inches.  I learned this from Beaquilter, her site is also where I found these two blocks. I confess that I simplified the top one just a bit. I replaced corners that were four pieces with a single half square triangle unit.
Remember as you are piecing that it is YOUR quilt and you can change anything that you want to change.

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


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.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Making it Modern - Island Batik May Challenge

The Island Batik Ambassadors were given the theme "Make it Modern" for the month of May.  My idea of a modern quilt was vague at best before learning of this challenge.  Fortunately we were given a list of Modern Quilt characteristics.  These are the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, Minimalism, expansive negative space, alternate grid work.
After reading that and looking at some examples, I suddenly said "Oh, I can do that! I do it already."
Perhaps you remember this photo from a previous post. 

That bit of improv piecing was the beginning of my May Modern Quilt. 

I pieced lots of improv units - and I did not make the sizes consistent at all!  After all,  I was planning to
 "Make it Modern."
After gathering all of my units together I put my chosen gray solid from Island Batik down and played with the units laying on it. When I finally got a layout that seemed artistically balanced to me - and that I liked, I started making the units and background into sections that could be joined into a whole quilt top.  
----Now that was a bit of a challenge, but I learned that it is not only possible, but it isn't as hard as I expected it to be.

Once the top was constructed, I needed a backing and a batting.    
For the backing I used an Island Batik Neutral named Whip Cream but since I had to piece it, I decided to use more improv piecing for a strip to join the two pieces. I used an "oops" block from a previous Island Batik Challenge.  It was sliced and re-sewn with some inserted strips. Then it was cut into sections.  Those sections were joined with some fabric from an Island Batik Stash pack. Be patient, I will show it in the post - but later.

The batting is a delightful surprise for me.   It is a Hobbs BLACK Batting  that is 80/20.  It quilted wonderfully and didn't beard through the top or backing at all. As you can see, it didn't affect the colors on the front of the quilt except to intensify the richness of them. 


The quilt was quilted randomly in what I consider a type of improv quilting - thus adding another layer of improv to this quilt. 

Of course on a lovely still morning, I hung the quilt on a line stretched between two trees.  I got ready to take a picture and........ This Happened! 

On that nice windless day, the wind suddenly began to blow - and the quilt danced on the breeze. 
 A bit of patient waiting and I managed a photo with it hanging relatively straight. 
One of the things I love about spring is that verdant green fields we have here in Alabama.  

You may notice the binding on the quilt mostly blends into the background fabric. But there are three places where colored strips were randomly added  to break it up just a bit. 

Here are a few closeups showing some of the quilting.  I used an Aurifil gray for the quilting on this quilt as well as for piecing.



Oh, wait, did I promise to show the back?  I won't make you wait any longer.
Even the backing has a modern vibe, don't you think?

Let's check on the "Modern" aspects of this quilt
Improv piecing is definitely featured.
Use of Bold Colors?  I do believe you can say that is so.
High contrast and graphic areas of solid color - definitely high contrast.
Expansive negative space- yes indeed there is lots of gray background.
Alternate grid work - again - yes indeed.

The products used for this project were graciously provided by the sponsors of the Island Batik Ambassadors.  They are:  Island Batik fabrics,  Hobbs Batting, and Aurifil Threads.
I am very thankful to be able to use these fine products and I do suggest you try them.

If you are looking for some Island Batik fabrics to use in your own quilt, you can go to the website and use the store locator.


Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


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, May 06, 2019

Nine Patch Stars - Daisy Chain Quilt Along

Today, Alison at Little Bunny Quilts released the instructions for constructing star blocks with the parts we had made and cut in past installments of the quilt along.

 These cut pieces 

were made into four patches
and some quarter square triangle blocks that I apparently failed to blog about. 
They were made with the yellow focal fabric that I chose. 
They became the star points for this bunch of blocks

I have to say that I love these stars.  The only difficulty I had was keeping the purple  lined up for the chain.  I had to rip out a section or more - one from a finished block - and re-sew them. 

Of course I still have these units left 
and these four patches

I am wondering how they will be used in the quilt. 
I guess I will just wait and see. 

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


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, May 04, 2019

Just Sew Something

Sometimes we all need to play.  So I take leftover pieces like the four-patch below and "just sew something."
You can see a bit of a leftover batik strip there at the edge. I was planning to use the resulting block in the purple and orange quilt.  But I may have added too much of other colors.  When I do this "just sew something" play,  I try to use leftover bits on my cutting table. (True Confession:  I don't clean it off that often and certainly not after every sewing session.)  For this block I used ONLY from the scraps on the table.   That means I can't fully control the color palette because sometimes there isn't a big enough piece in the correct color(s.)
The aqua/teal fabric carries over the same color in the first batik scrap.  Then the other batik carries it a bit further and adds some yellow with the orange.

Truthfully I am not sure that I like this block - it may not go in that quilt at all.  But,  I save all my odd blocks and just wait for the time they work with something.  Sometimes that means slicing and dicing them to change them.  When you do this, you can cut across at an angle and add in a strip or strips to change feel and add in new colors.  It is a great way to play with improv piecing.
Cuts can be made across both directions and the pieces re-arranged. 
When you play with this idea, and I hope you do, be wild and free; ask "what if I.....;"  but mostly have fun with it.

Until Next Time, 
Stay Creative


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.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

What's Up

Not much sewing this week, but lots of boring medical stuff.   Yesterday was spent with a liquid diet and "prep" for a colonoscopy.  The good news is that I survived it and nothing suspicious was found.  It was just a standard screening test. And now,  I don't have to do it for another ten years.  (yaaay!)

Over the weekend I did manage to sew a couple of blocks for my Orange and Purple quilt.  That is my casual project that is used as a time filler when I can't be working on another project.
Not a great picture, but here are those two blocks.
I really like the feel of rhythm that is added by the striped fabric in the pinwheel block. 

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 

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.