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36.5 Fall Colors & Happy

October 31, 2014

I have been loving going outside and walking this October! i will be sad to see October go, as already the cold is starting to settle in and the leaves are starting to show up more on the ground than on the trees.

But I do love me some fall colors.

beginningoffallcolors

Lots of green, little bits of orange.

orangetreetop

And then discovering new parks and trails.

wide tree shot

Walking along the trails, getting your feed wet with the grass.

orange trees disc golf

Discovering an easy to travel-to path that is also easy to walk along.

new to me trail

Remembering to cross the water kindly.

bridge along the new trail

So much green & yellow and orange everywhere, you start to see it inside too!

greenhappinessinfabric

Squee! Getting ready to make some marathon sewing days very shortly! Looking forward to it!

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36.4 In Search of Taupe

October 26, 2014

I am so glad we have our 2 month deadline for our round robin quilts now, instead of 1 month like before.

For Laura’s round robin center, I have been working on a neutral quilt that has been challenging & stretching me.

I can’t say I have done too many neutral quilts before – maybe just the card trick quilt. And that quilt is more fall colors, without sticking strictly with neutrals.

I have been happy to think about this quilt, but so far, this quilt has generated more EQ7 designs and colorations than ANY other quilt I have done, round robin or not.

I have many different directions to go with this quilt.

Here is the center of the quilt, the original block.

laurasrrcenter

 

Look at the browns, the golds, but also the greys, and hint of blue/bluegrey.

Someone in the journal said there is a theme of pebbles, someone later said a theme of geese.

It immediately made me think of cranes, and the unique opportunity of my hometown.

I used to live in a section of Nebraska, where in March, scores of Sandhill Cranes would roost on their trip back to Canada. Like they ALL decided to fly up through this 60 mile section of land and so it was / is a really big deal there!

cranepictureinspiration

Being late March, usually seeing the cranes happened on cool grey days, fields of plowed corn, you could see hundreds or thousands of cranes taking a breather. Nearing the Platte River.

Anyway, cranes & pebbles & geese & grey March skies was my inspiration for this round of the quilt.

I had my heart set on an eyelash design, which would have been doable, but curves and paper piecing for that quilt, at the size I wanted to do, would have been too much work & struggle.

first idea didnt work eyelash pickledish rrobin

The first idea is what I bought fabric for. I was trying a couple of the original fabrics, inserting a couple of my own.

I went out on a couple of days trying to purchase good fabrics and I fell in love with the dark/medium-dark grey blue pictured above and below, which sorta guided the rest of my color choices.

greybluefusions

And this being smack dab in the medium color scheme, sorta blended in with my second most favorite fabric choice idea.

So again, going out for fabric purchases, and a second round of online purchases directed me to THIS fabric aquisition for my stash. To build up my neutral quilt colors, yeah.

buildinganuetralstash

I finally kept coming back to a light and dark version of taupe to compliment the blue/grey fabric pictured above. This is what I had in EQ7 that pleased me so well. Just enough of a color shift to be interesting, but not enough of a derivation of the original quilt.

I actually saw a glimpse of what I would consider to be ‘the perfect’ fabric compliment to the rest of the design. A japanese fabric line Serenity, Diawabo fabric.  Searching online did not provide me with the exact shade of serenity that I glimsped a small piece of (in a fabric kit) at the quilt shop.

So I am making due with the main part of the borders using blue grey, and finally, one of the fabrics above has the perfect taupe color that will hopefully not detract too far from the colors of the rest of the quilt, but also frame it in the fun “darker” border I want to go with for this round.

Unfortunately the fabric with the taupe isn’t quite as “natural” of a setting as I would hope, but the colors match well enough.

I only wish I could have found the right color of taupe in the serenity line. The one that looked the closest online, in real life turned into much more of a brown shade instead of a taupe shade.

So we are heading toward the green a little bit with this quilt, but only a very very small amount of green. There is a small small smidge of green tint in the focus fabric – which the store clerk at one of the stores said was also from the same serenity fabric line – what a coincidence. So it should match up ok.

I am finally almost halfway done with the middle section of the blocks I finally decided to use.

The blocks are many, but they are fairly simple. And dramatic! Still a lot of work here. I have put undo pressure on myself to “outdo” myself on this round robin quilt, as I have on the ones past.

Here’s a very very narrow, small snippet of what I am working on. None of the finally found taupe in the picture below, but the two shades of grey that I couldn’t ‘unleach’ myself from once I saw them together next to the quilt.

smallsnippetcloseupgrey

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36.3 You can take quilts outside?

October 21, 2014

I was able to visit a new experience for me last weekend – an outside quilt show at the arboretum.

It was labeled as a Quilt Walk, which was a show without vendors or quilt boutique/garage sale.

There were two sections of the park which quilts were tied to fences by zip ties and binder clips. It was a lovely fall day, with fall splendor colors splaying out for all to see.

small quilts at quilt show 2

The smaller quilts, which seemed more like me than the larger quilts, I found a quilt artist I contacted who is local who has a style of quilting that I admire.

I kept seeing Trisch Price’s quilts (author of Accentuate the Negative) and thinking how much I really liked her quilts.

Fibonacci!

fibonacci

And she did this technique that I am trying to decide if it is double applique or “magic binding” around the applique pieces, where the applique pieces is slightly outlined by another color pop, which I really admire and will show up in one of my quilts one day.

double applique

I like hats, as you may have noticed before if you have seen a picture of me lately. Cool hat quilt. – Mary Strege

hat quilt mary strege

And the larger quilts were also impressive.

large quilts at outside quilt show 2

Sometimes flapping in the wind.

quilts flapping outside quilt show

Or hung over the rocks – these quilts were like the featured quilters’ quilts – very impressive!

quilts on rocks outside quilt show

And I saw 4 bed turnings! The first one was someone I have followed on flickr for a few years, that saw me at the only one meeting of the modern quilt guild meeting I’ve ever attended, and had the courage to talk to me, and I had the courage to talk to her at the show just before she did her own bed turning.

bed turning nikkiblueeyes

Bed turning was a table, layered with several quilts. We got the story of each quilt, an abbreviated story, like a mini trunk show. Which was so fantastic!

It was nice to see each artist and what they chose to display & talk about!

The quilts were even nice from a distance.

quilts in the distance behind fall leafed tree 2

I wonder how many people who were there to visit the Monet garden got to see similar colors in the quilts!

monets garden

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36.2 Thin Black Line – Adding Black to Red Borders

September 14, 2014

I have brought back out this quilt from last fall / this spring since there was finally a break in other quilting projects.

I had this all drawn up & decided in my notes from February retreat.  Took me a while to make certain that the original two red fabrics I purchased were going to work.

And they do. I am so excited about this, even though I have been otherwise distracted from quilting due to shiny new computer program (aka game).

Last weekend I got the cathedral window blocks done, and one of the 4 border middles. Today I got the border middles done to my liking.

border center close up

And here’s a shot of the rest of the quilt done as far as it is at this time.

thin black line on borders

Well there is a bottom border that it not shown due to poor photographing techniques.

Actually there is NOT adequate space in my house to finish working on this quilt, not really.

I think I would like to see how another darker solid border would look at the very outside of this design, but there is no way I have the space to see it correctly. Not in my house at this time.

Well, I haven’t been sewing idle, even though it feels like it.

Last weekend I went to a craft fair and a festival about India.

craft fair at a distance

Unfortunately as you can see the picture is blurry. There was a smudge on the lens that was on it all day which takes away from this totally unique experience.

Here’s something my ex-coworker & friend worked on:

india map and peacocks

And I will post a couple of pictures that aren’t TOO bad of all the traditional Indian dresses. Fashion show was amazing!

india fest organizers

india fest black dress

india fest many traditional dresses

women with tea lights in hand

What variety! And music, and dance, and food, and vibrancy!

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36.1 Asymmetric Inspiration

August 29, 2014

In the last month I really kicked it out working on Tami’s Round Robin quilt.

The colors: Orange, green, black, beige, white (grey), yellow.

Here is what I believe is Tami’s original center block – forgive me if I missed a small border here.

tamis RR quilt original center

As you can see, very asymmetric, several colors going on, and YES textures & tucks.

So much inspiration from this piece – and from Tina & from Daisy who had the quilt before me.

The little green triangle things are sticking out from the fabric center, there are mock cathedral window things on the right hand side, and I don’t know what it’s called with the tucks that are sewn down flat that migrate in and out on the grey-white piece on the bottom.

Well.

The interplay of the fact that – hey – I have never made a quilt in this color pallet before – not really – the green / yellow / orange color pallet together is an interesting and inspiring combination for me.

I have started a whole fabric folding pinterest page in preparation for making my portion of this quilt.

I got really excited because several of my own batiks could be used in the making of this quilt too. This was a few of the initial ideas I had for this quilt.

darlas fabric considerations

The instructions for this round were to use the focus fabric in this round.

Tami had a plethora of fabrics and colors and textures of her own for this quilt.  Her focus fabric I took to be the dark fabric with the large wide red/green/orange flowers on it.

focus fabric trying out the background fabric

There was already a strip of the focus fabric in the quilt in another twilter’s round.  But this focus fabric really took my ideas and directed them.

I think I tweeted Tami about 15 times the first 2 weeks with different ideas and techniques I wanted to do with her quilt. But then trying to figure out how to play out this bigger print was giving me a little more thinking than I planned.

I tried one folded fabric very cool applique technique while sewing at my friend’s house.  It was moderately successful, it could have worked, and if I hadn’t gone another direction.

And then I thought about weaving fabric with even a different technique I saw with a new book.

That idea lasted for a while, but if I wanted to do weaving, it would have to be with a specific side, and I couldn’t get the focus fabric in that idea either. There were several possible techniques and books to draw info from these techniques from.

techniques to use for tami RR

I kept looking back and forth one of these books specifically. Where I finally got my direction from with my section of the quilt.

The book is Machine Stitched Cathedral Windows by by Shelley Swanland.

I was intrigued by several different patterns in the book, I tried to make the design from a general quilt to a border style.

So I read & figured out what Shelley was describing. It took reading & rereading and finally a light-bulb clicked on and it made sense.

a plan of foundation and frames

Unfortunately, there was an error / typo in this printing of her book, and staring at the corner pieces, looking at the required pieces to make this border the way I was considering was a little confusing.

I did get her FB page, and she sent me her email and we had a few lovely chats about the corner pieces.

In the meantime, while waiting for one of the emails in the email tag, I figured out the error in the foundation pieces and tried it, and sure enough, I got the thing to work.

And, this will come as no surprise to you if you know me, but she said that only maybe a handful of people even tried the isometric grid that I was working on. (A grid based off of 60 & 30 degree pieces — ie hexagons and equilateral triangles). So that made me feel swell.

fabrics for left side of tamis quilt

And then I was drawing out color schemes for the pieces, and then as I was coloring the diagrams in preparation for sewing, I decided that the edges didn’t really need to be all the way windowed as they would just be this impossible to see pieces with the dark focus fabric.

So I asked for her help, but didn’t need it anyway. It was sure nice to chat with Shelley anyway.

I did – and still do – plan to get a picture tutorial of how I worked on her pieces however, But since there are elements on this quilt that I am not going to show you yet, I will wait to work that out.

DSC07651

And in the meantime, I started forming a vision.  I did another drawing.

And then slowly the pieces started falling into place. One idea made another, made another and another.

And before I knew it, I had a really really wide border on one side. Of dark focus fabric.

I stretched this over to the top to make it a modified “L” color scheme – which had already been done with the previous two rounds of the quilt.

Oh I wish I could show you all the colors here. A quick too close up view of a corner should be good.

top left corner three darla elements one daisy corner

I tied the oranges back to the left side (already heavy on the right), the black, dark on the left, I wanted the light green from the original block to show back up on the right side.

But the left side was big. So one border is 12 inches, and the other is like 2 or 3.

I pulled yellow on three of my four sides to mellow it all out some.

small snippit tamis quilt bottom left corner

I repeated elements of 3 on 3 of the four sides.

I did put the isometric grid pieces in the quilt, but appliqued them as separate elements.

I also machine appliqued three other pieces down that I was originally just going to keep – throw-offs from mistakes in making the bottom side. I had just set them down on the top of the quilt to get them out of my way,  and they grew on me, and I threw them on the quilt too.

Whoo! There are lots of pieces. One design element was when I had ran out of focus fabric that was precut & I didn’t want to cut any more, so I added extra color And I like that happy mistake too.

Some of my fabrics threw elements of purple and elements of red that are not highly present in the fabrics that Tami sent. But they work.

The work as a whole, remains balanced in color (in my opinion) I also honored the general flow of clockwise that started of in the middle that was carried on by the previous two Round Robin twilters.

Here’s a cool cross section spanning one of the horizontal sections of the quilt from left to right showing here as top to bottom. (rotated)

horizontal cross-section of tamis RR quilt

And yes the previous cross-section shows elements of the other twilters’ pieces of the round robin.

I don’t even want to say how many elements I have in this quilt.  About 20. Ish.

Now for the journal, and then figuring out how to stuff this back into the box.

I will be sad to see it go.

 

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36.0 Tricord Ribbons Dancing around the Corner

August 24, 2014

This quilt I decided to remake. If you are a regular follower of my blog (and previous podcast) you may have heard / seen this quilt before.

I am getting really close to being done with this quilt, now is all the handwork portion of the quilt left. The steps I still have left for this quilt are: one side of binding, hand tacking the sleeve to the back, sewing the label to the back, sewing the beads on at the appropriate parts.

I took the quilt outside today and pretended that all four binding sections were sewn down.

Ribbons Dancing in the Corners

Let me back up a little bit and show you some process. Since I am a process girl.

Last picture you have seen (according to my notes) was just before the completed corners were sewn onto the quilt. Well yes, you saw it sewn down with the batting and all, but there were some skipped steps on that silent sunday.

I took apart this quilt, ripped off the binding, sewed together the paper pieced corners with the gold diamonds in the corners.

Then I sewed the sashing directly onto the corners, I oversewed on the edges, figuring it would all square up at a later time. Probably dangerous to my final project, but in the end it worked.

one corner with sashing

I don’t know that I recommend this method for other people, it very much uses the “fly by the seat of your pants” method of sew it bigger and then chop it down later instead of accurate measuring and calculating.

And I repeated this for all four corners.

I found the center of my corner blocks and the center of my quilt edge – see the pins on the right and left, those are center – centering pins to help me line up.

laying both corners on the quilt

As you can see, I decided to do right/left at the same time, it made sense to me at the time.

The technique is from Ann Peterson’s Craftsy class. I did do it on the diagonal instead of as a border that follows straight. I just attached triangles instead of rectangles to the sides.

And Ann Peterson did not necessarily address sashing, but again, I just attached it to the corners first.

And before these got sewn down, I put the backing and then batting on the back side of the quilt.

after backing batting goes next

This image is of the quilt flipped over, the hibiscus Hawaiian print is the original backing, and the blue swirl fabric is right sides together laying on top, with the batting on the very back of the quilt.

So the sandwich goes from top to bottom:

  1. Front paper pieced corner with attached sashing, good side facing the original quilt sandwich
  2. The first (original) quilt sandwich
  3. The new corner backing, good side facing the original quilt sandwich
  4. The corner-shaped batting

sewing first corners on

And then after sewing the first two corners, I had to take a TV break.

This was the boring part so I don’t have any pictures of it.

I had to take my scissors and trim out all the batting. At this stage, there are two layers of batting on the right side of the seam I sewed above.

  1. The layer between the original quilt sandwich, the very original batting
  2. The very outside batting – the one that we put on the very back

So with large ginger scissors and some new Havel small scissors that are becoming my favorites. They have long handles, a curve, and I feel comfortable cutting close to the fabric with these.

havel 4 inch long handled angled scissors

I can’t remember which pair I ordered and I can’t find the email, but these are really nice scissors. I also bought a shorter curved blade seam ripper which I also like, but not as much as these scissors.

…. Anyway ….

These scissors helped me to remove the batting from in between the two pieces of fabric on the seam allowance side of the seam. Removing the inside batting is such a pain in the tuckus, but getting this out before sewing down the other two corners was helpful. TV was definitely involved somehow as a distraction mechanism.

And then good good pressing! As much as I could press out. Even with the removing of the batting, and the pressing, if you look closely, you can still see sort of a bulge.

Then I repeated the process with the other two corners.

pinning down second set of corners

And, even with as careful as I was to line up the centers, I was a little bit off. For some reason, even with my walking foot, I find the top fabric always shifts lower than the sandwich part on the bottom. If I thought it was the foot and not the user, I would get another walking foot and see where the error is, but geesh walking feet are a little pricy.

And then I showed off my non quilted corners on twitter and the like.

dancing ribbons tricord medallion with corners

And then I found this amazing dahlia line drawing online when I was searching for FMQ designs. This is supposed to be a coloring page for 4th of July, but this is absolutely perfect for my quilt. Link following to my pinterest page on it.

And I did the blowing up the design by like 200% and tape it together, and then sew holes in the punched out pattern, and then use the pounce to transfer the generic grid of the dahlia to the quilt itself.

I forgot pictures of this part during the weekend I did all that.

And then quilted the dahlia, and did echo circles of all three colors on the corner quilting and left some negative unquilted spaces between.

corner quilting showing up on the back of the quilt

And during the week that Robin Williams died, I listened to a podcast and quilted the last rows outside the dahlia. Good way to get out grief and confusion to quilt something.

The best picture of my quilting I took today. (It is still not that great of picture, actually).

quilting corner tricord colors

The inner circle is the pink, the middle circle is the turquoise, and the outer circle is the purple.

And then I had the perfect color binding already picked out, and I mimicked my original piping idea with a very small kicker / flange type of thing. I cut four 1 inch strips, folded them together lengthwise, wrong sides together, and then stuck them directly underneath my binding that I attached from the front (to hand bind).

adding yellow flange binding

I have done flanges under several borders of my quilt, and let me tell you that 1 inch was just perfect in the right amount of color just popping out for this quilt. I love the affect it gives.

I didn’t know I didn’t like piping until I took the piping out of the original quilt. I am glad I put it back together without the cord inside. Maybe that was user-error?? Anyway, I like it now.

What’s left?

  • The one side hand bound,
  • tacking down the sleeve,
  • recreating the label,
  • adding new and old label to the quilt,
  • hand sewing beads to the corners of the new quilting design.

I almost wonder what hot-fix crystals would look like on this quilt? I wonder if this is the quilt where I find out how to do them?

Right now I am VERY glad I spent the time recreating this quilt. It was a good quilt before, and I think I bumped it up a couple of levels with all the new stuff I did to the quilt.

So yes, done is better than perfect, BUT ….

Sometimes “perfect” is more satisfying in the end. I will be glad to be able to hang this quilt up on the wall again!

Maybe I will even enter it into the regional show we’re having next June. But we don’t get much space for guild quilts, so if my guild mates don’t chose it, I will have to try to get it judged.  I really want to enter a different quilt for the regional show however, the red & black kings puzzle quilt.

But first the borders. And the boutique items, and the “ghost bunnies” for the NICU kids, and the round robin projects. And quilting and binding and other things!

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36.0 Sorta Silent Sunday

July 27, 2014

Silent because I am tired. You see why?

dancing ribbons medallion with corners quilted

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DSC07264

DSC07273

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strange gnome mushroom houses

wide shot train at arboretum

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Overland Park Arboretum Visit - Color Inspiration

Overland Park Arboretum Visit - Color Inspiration

 

Overland Park Arboretum Visit - Color Inspiration

Overland Park Arboretum Visit - Color Inspiration

Overland Park Arboretum Visit - Color Inspiration

 

Overland Park Arboretum Visit - Color Inspiration

Overland Park Arboretum Visit - Color Inspiration

 

Overland Park Arboretum Visit - Color Inspiration

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