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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.

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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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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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35.9 Better Corner options for the Dancing Ribbon Quilt

July 6, 2014

This seems to work better than what I had last time.

Don’t you think? Just sitting next to the original quilt. I had more undo-ing and re-doing with these corners, but now they are done except the sashing. All I can say is thank goodness for batiks being the same on the back and the front so I didn’t have to recut the pieces I had glued & pinned wrong earlier this weekend.

dancing ribbons on point medallion with corners

I think this is better than the very light, very bright corners.

Not a super fan of the turtles, as they don’t really fit with the ribbons, but the color is just about right. So they’re staying.

Still light blue planned for the sashing between the corners and the center.

I am using Ann Peterson’s technique for adding borders to a previously quilted center. Here’s hoping it works.

I did find the wonder clips a very easy for keeping my paper pieces together while I was sewing them. I got on the lines really really well with these.

using clips to hold pieces in place

 

I don’t know if you can see, but I put pins in each intersection to make sure things line up okay. There is a pin sticking out at the very end of this piece. I find the wonder clips an easy to use and easy to remove and I trust that things are lined up well, as they don’t really shift much.

Been consistent in getting some sewing almost every weekend. My weekend is about to end soon for me. Hope everyone else had a good weekend! I still have to send my round robin box to the next recipient even though it’s been done at my house for a whole week.

Have a great week ahead. I have a guild meeting on Tuesday, so I know I will have a good quilty week.

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35.8 Tina’s Colors and Round Robin unexpectedly finished

June 29, 2014

Let me preface this post first and foremost in saying this is not meant to complain about my round robin experience. Just in case you get the wrong idea later.

One of the BEST things about quilting is the differences you meet in styles.

I have yet to ‘really ever use’ a focus fabric, much less several, in determining a quilting color relationship.

Perhaps this makes my quilting color choices less successful than others.

Tina has 2 different but very similar focus fabrics.  She included wonderful fabrics in her round robin box in addition to the focus fabrics. A light yellow, a light pink, an olive green/brown tinted fabric, and the focus fabrics.

tinas fabrics

Daisy, being the first recipient of the round robin included a fabric that has a hint of grey.

The original block was a cute little paper piecing/applique (in portions) of a sewing machine, and a project being quilted.

tinas original center block

Daisy added a border (no spoilers except for the fabric had a hint of grey).

And my task is to add about a 4 inch pieced border that matches & frames the quilt so far.

These fabrics are so much fun, but they are just slightly different than the fabrics that I have in my stash.  I have been picking & pulling fabric off of my shelf, putting them next to Tina’s box, her start of her quilt, and her chosen fabrics.

Tina’s fabrics are great, but I am finding it a challenge and a blast to see if I can add to the quilt with fabrics of my own.

And yes, I know it did turn out well in the end. I trusted myself enough for that, and I did make a finish on my portion and I am so in love with it so far.

What I love about this project is that even if my fabrics are more saturated than Tina’s, that I can either find fabrics I own that match her style, or I can purchase a few other pieces to match the fabrics in this quilt project as well.

I did purchase 3 different fabrics of the same color scheme/design, one yellow, one grey, and one turquoise. It was a WONDERFUL excuse to get some more modern style fabric from a quilting friend Caitlyn at her very new shop “I Don’t Do Dishes“.  3 fabrics from that shop are in this quilt. :)

Here is the first small snippet.

darlas fabrics used in tinas quilt

It’s been very fun trying to match & compare the colors of what I have, seeing what concessions could be made, seeing how subtle the differences in olive green can be.

I have been playing around a version of borders from Judy Laquidara’s border book. It’s larger than the specified pieced border, but it is very Darla-like. And very symmetrical. So I am using it.

I am dreaming of windows when thinking of this border. Like what you would look through when sewing. I had another idea, but this one kept coming back to me. Windows. Is a generic hint about the border.

Here is some of my sketch made this morning trying to fit everything together. VERY small snippet here, too much farther away gives the border away.

sketch tinas small snippets

I decided to make the darker color grey to tie in with Daisy’s border instead of going with the dark brown suggested by the focus fabrics. But it’s the right shade of grey.

It’s very dark, but the darkness is pretty narrow. I used all 3 values in this border, and I had to repeat a motif in the middle of the top & bottom borders to get it to fit exactly.

Here’s an in-progress shot from this afternoon. Also a very small snippet.

small snippet of tinas fabrics in process

I started off this AM thinking of putting animals through the windows, not knowing when I would work on it. But today I decided to move on against the idea of animals, I got the whole border is completed today, not wanting to make any more decisions on this portion of the quilt.

Progress helped along with a great audiobook in the background.

Now I just have to finish writing in the journal. And send it off when ready. I can’t believe I am ready early. I am SO ready to be done with the 1 month due-dates and to slip back to the 2 month due-dates. Now that we are caught up with the 5 person group, that will happen. But then it will be put off until 2 weeks to go as well, because that’s how it is with me.

I mistakenly thought this was going to be a short, quick, easy round, and I do like what I did, and it was basically done in one day, but there are a lot of pieces here and so now back to my other projects. The lots of pieces are a main reason I decided to skip the animals, there is already SO much to look at on my round.

Sorry I can’t show much more here. I do hope Tina will like it and that it doesn’t detract the eyes too far away from the other parts. I may send along the dark grey fabric to help complete the quilt, but first I need to make absolutely sure I don’t need it in another project or that I can get my hands on more of it easily in case I do.

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35.7 Dancing Ribbons corner quilting not turning out

June 24, 2014

Okay I have been living with some darker fabrics next to my dancing ribbons quilt, trying to make the fabric decisions on what will work best for the corner blocks.

dancing ribbon fabric choices 2

And then on a whim this past weekend, I decided to start cutting up and using an even lighter fabric for the corner fabric, making my lightest color fabric on the left in my picture above now become the darker of the 2 blue fabrics.

Then I have everything cut out, and all my sets of pieces cut out, sewn together & trimmed.

dancing ribbons corner blocks trimmed up ready to piece.

This means all the paper pieces are trimmed and all the fabric is sewn together in groups of 2 trimmed.

But you know the old saying “Measure twice, cut once”? Yeah, I don’t think I did that.

dancing ribbons first too small corner

See how much smaller my completed corner is from the size of the quilt? I forgot to double check my measurement of my quilt block before printing out the EQ7 paper piecing.

I had put in the center block to being 20 inches instead of the 23 inch finished size. I was hoping to go large and then cut back, not the other way around. :(

Sad trombone.

Also, seeing exactly how bright I went with the brighter fabric now this “way lighter” corner thing looks really out of place.

If I manipulate the one corner I have done in photoshop to see the quilt as it may appear (with the too small corners) it will look kinda like this.

dancing ribbons first too small corner copy

I don’t mind lighter corners, but this seems too light. I think I may rethink this redesign. I may go with the original darker fabric to tie it better to the original colors. I was “this close” to using the darker fabrics Saturday, but then “on a whim” (which sometimes works) I said that I liked this lighter fabric too much and I wanted to use it.

Since I have to redo the corners anyway for being too small, I will switch back to the darker fabric & purchase more of the ‘medium’ I have in this piece.

The dark from the corners of this piece will become the light in the next part of the fabric. The time I spent working on this quilt, there were limited hours for in-person fabric shopping. So this quilt will sit another week during the thinking stage.

The yellow bright corners may be too bright for this quilt, I have a duller version of the yellow. Possibly, I am going to rethink the actual corner colors.

I did have a thought about adding borders to the corners to make them fit better, but I don’t really want to try to mess with that.

I don’t mind too much about this setback. I DO really like the four corner colors that I have created.

So much that I decided to complete the four corners as a small quilt of its own. With a minor change with the inner star which I will highlight with the quilting stage.

blue faded star four corners

This is a cute little happy blue quilt. I will have a quilt plus the reverse of the same thing in the corners of the Dancing Ribbons quilt. With different colors.

Just not destined for this quilt at this time. Very pretty!

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35.6 Golden Card Trick Quilt

June 22, 2014

In my “year of FMQ” I have sat down and finally quilted this card trick quilt that I have had in the works since April of 2009. Making it my oldest UFO.

I do realize that there still needs to be one small line I missed on the card trick block itself and the corners aren’t tacked down – said I would get to them later & forgot that I never finished them until after I put my FMQ foot away for the day.

card trick showing the quilting full

The card trick & square in square blocks are quilted on the top with a golden/orange contrasting thread.

card trick straight quilting in orange brown thread

But the threads on the straight lines in the ditch around the blocks are much lighter – a light taupe for some of the straight lines.  For the swirly details I decided to pick a color in between the lighter taupe and the golden/orange, and use a golden yellow color thread for quilting.

card trick quilting ring around diamond in square fmq

Quilting is swirls and long feathers in a box around this section.

And circles and a pinched block for the middle of the blocks.

card trick quilting in between the tricks quilting

This quilting went rather well, and is the largest thing I have pushed through my Janome Magnolia machine. Not too hard to do, but too much bigger would be harder than this.

A small amount of success for finishing the quilting. I have been weary of “overquilting” this quilt, but I think this one plays nicely with some curves and some straight line free motion quilting. I have basic straight lines in the borders.

straight line border quilting

I could alternate with fills, but currently they are left plain, which is fine with me at this time.

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