Archive for the ‘Experiment’ Category

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37.1 Not Exactly as I Expected

March 17, 2015

I am an admitted perfectionist.

So, I have a hard time resetting my mind to “growth mindset” when I do something that doesn’t quite work as well as I would like.

And yes, I realize I should not like this trait. I don’t always.

But it explains why I am slightly disappointed in the results after firing my glazed pots from a couple of weeks ago.

I know now why not many pots start off with the dark colors as the base, it’s hard to tell if the glaze is done “thick enough” to be dark.

Some areas of these pieces I did well, but mostly I am disappointed with the coverage of my coating.

Which the lady at the shop told me would happen.

Anyway, here is my plate after glazing & firing.

dahlia plate after glazing

It’s not so bad, but just not exactly as I expected or pictured in my mind. I did the design great. But I did not do the coverage of the glaze great.

That’s okay, I can use this plate & be reasonably happy with it.

The mug I am less happy with, I should have stopped at one item that day.

Here is the flower side:

glazed mug flower side

And here is the border side:

glazed mug border side

Learning experience, yes I know. And now I can have a flower vase for the next time I ever have flowers.

I think the dark just doesn’t work quite as well because it’s so hard to tell if you have a good coating.

Actually I could tell I was getting tired of sitting there, and wanting to go while I was painting the mug. The wide brush strokes I was doing on the mug and the warning that using a little goes a long way I convinced myself at the time it was fine.

The right thing to do to keep on painting until I also got the mug done.

Actually, the right thing to do would have been to plan the mug better and go back another time.

Luckily, it’s not all that expensive, it’s just a tiny bit challenging to get off work, get all my food stuff done and then drive there to go out & paint.

But I still have the dream of the red & black mug that matches my King’s Puzzle quilt.

So I will plan to go & do that sometime.

My 15 minute a day March-A-Long challenge isn’t going quite as well either, but I have been working on hand applique about 5 minutes every day. And I cleaned up some stray fabric I had out & about in my sewing room that was starting to drive me nuts.

How’s your month? Better?

 

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36.9 Weave On took over March-A-Long

March 10, 2015

I am not certain how or why, but possibly when I was doing the ceramics last week on my day off, I woke up the following day with a solution to a 4 year old problem. Well probably a 2 year old quilting problem.

weave border top completed with weaved borders

Four years ago, I, on a whim, made a quilt with 3 main colors, blue, red & yellow. I improvised a pattern that I saw online, but I couldn’t have told you who or what then, all I know is I made what I called a Weave quilt.

Then I came up with a variation on borders that I have seen several places that involved paper piecing & bias tape. I made lots of these border blocks using 3 fabrics for the borders that I also bought on a whim.

It turned out that I didn’t plan ahead on borders, I was originally when I bought the fabric, thinking I would do inner, middle & outer border in plain sizes.

This often happens, I was starting to run out of red fabric in the borders, but I wasn’t all the way around the whole quilt.

So then I decided to well, stop making the weave borders that I had planned & already started. And then I needed to come up with a clever end to this pattern, this quilt.

That was 2 years ago. I am certain I talked of this quilt before on this blog before at least once or twice.

Any event, the ephiphany happened and now I suddenly gotten taken over by this quilt, a desire to finish it before guild (tonight) pushed aside plans on both Sunday and today (my day off this week instead of Saturday).

It still took a good chunk of time on Sunday, and I did some unsewing of blocks once I figured on size, and measuring, and drawing what to do both on paper & EQ7.

weaved ends close up borders

I had figured out the two corner blocks a while ago, but hadn’t made them.

connected corner on border

The ends are little applique circles of the fabric I had stored with this quilt.

Circular ends

The biggest compromise I had to make with myself is not floating the border in blue fabric. I still wish I could have done it that way, but I completely didn’t have enough of the same blue, and I do like that the red just trounces off the edge of the quilt while the yellow stays connected.

Wow it feels great to get this done. My March-A-Long which I was only going to work for 15 minutes turned out to be another full weekend of mostly quilting. That is both good and bad.

I could feel an urge to get this done before the guild, to finish it off before my mind was tired of working on it. It really only needed the bordered finished and then attached.

More borders, who would have thought? I wonder if any more quilts only need borders on them? I could get a lot of these UFO’s to the next stages.

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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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35.3 Starting to plan Dancing Ribbons Options

June 7, 2014

The quilt that has been finished f or a while – I recorded the end of January of 2013, is playing up in my mind for updating with a medallion setting.

I haven’t got incredibly far with options for this quilt, but I am thinking a couple of things already.

First I have a psuedo-star option which I like – don’t worry about the fabrics being a little busy, I will take care of that later if I chose this option.

dancing ribbons medallion choice1

I may need to go in and edit this block a little bit to make it more intricate. I don’t really like the off-balance I am attempting to do with the light & dark of the magenta, purple, and turquoise in the corners, but I think this may play off well with the alternating blues on the edges.

I do like this next design as well, which sorta mocks the dahlia look of the center ribbons quilt.

dancing ribbons medallion choice2

I like the circular look of the turquoise border, and there is a good color sense for the thin strips against the dark blue background, but maybe the points in the corners are not my favorite either.

The next design to share uses my good old friend applique in addition to piecing. And I haven’t found the right color balance with it either.

dancing ribbons medallion choice3

But it’s kind of cute. A cute way to frame the quilt without going too overboard. And I could always double ring the applique with a lighter or darker frame as a form of a shadow, which could give a different look.

Or I could do this pretty nice balanced block in the corner, but again struggle with how many of each of the 3 colors hit each corner.

dancing ribbons medallion choice4

Something to think about.

What I might do is to do some sort of celtic knot in the corners instead. I have a couple of books on celtic knots, and perhaps that will give me more of the look I am dreaming about for this quilt. Need to research & plan and design & think about it.

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In other somewhat related news, my first round of a round robin was sent off to the next person on our round robin today. I am happy with my portion of the block I received and I hope Daisy will be too. Of course when Daisy sees it, it will look completely different than it does now.  I am curious to see what I am getting next, but I am so far, deciding to avoid my “Round Robin Flickr group-A” because I am uncertain if I want to see my block progress or not. DON’T click the above link if you want to see your block and you are in the same group.

In other news there are two other groups as well. Group B & Group C. The idea of this round robin is fun. I hope the other two groups get more pictures up – currently there are only 3 pictures and 6 pictures. I just put my hand on the screen to be able to post the link to group A, so I don’t know for certain if there are more pictures or not, but I know a few weeks ago we had 6 or 7 and I just posted one more (without looking). Hoping to see the progress in the other two groups I am not part of, but it’s slightly early for this round as of this time.

I really liked the inverse of the block I created, it would have also been a really cool applique center of a round robin quilt. See? (sorta) – small snippet only is available for you.

small snippet of inverse of daisy round robin

Was going to post the entire inverse block here, but that would be too revealing to what I actually made. Or it could be. And of course these don’t actually line up, I wasn’t being incredibly accurate when placing them down on the sides of the block as those sections are in actuality on the opposite corners of the quilt.

It’s a darn good thing I have weekends to sew. Not getting a ton done the rest of the week. Having a happy time sewing & designing today!

Take care!

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35.2 Gimme Quilt Bling aka Make it Shiny

May 31, 2014

I have spent the greater part of today either researching free motion quilting (fmq) or actually practicing/doing free motion quilting.

Once I get onto Pinterest boards, I jump from board to board to board and see many examples of beautiful, exquisite, intricate free motion quilting designs.

Here’s mine. Depending on what date you check it, there will be more things here. Currently at 349 pins, but it’s MY fastest growing Pinterest board, so I expect to be at 500 shortly.

The more I look, the more I see that catches my eye. The more I know what I like on quilting and what I don’t.

And the more I want to quilt and free motion quilt.

A while ago I bought some shiny metallic threads. I think many of them came from Fabric Recycles. I had never metallic threads until this past month of quilting.

My soft Scrapitude started it, being so springy-springlike-pastelly.  I have been looking at my light verigated metallic thread for a while so I had to try it out.

metallicthreadonsoftscrapitude

 

This was a picture from last week, I decided this week to add to the metallic and I decided on the design to be able to do it. I don’t know that I got any other better pictures of the bling, but here is the “hopefully finished” (I will explain this qualifier in a second) Scrapitude wall hanging quilt.

scrapitude with lots of fmq

There are many different areas and quilting threads on this quilt. I had more that I had wanted to do on the outside, but for now I decided to stop.

Here’s the very center that has a storm-at-sea feeling, surrounded by vines, surrounded by orange peel types, surrounded by boxes of pearls.

center of crapitude fmq

And a close up if you centered on the box of pearls.

circularblock with vine and peas surround fmq

I added on the left side, a block that I am calling the Pea Pod block, as that is what it reminds me of – pea pods, and I like eating peas.

And there are two shiny triangles, and a vine on the top and bottom, and I found a really cool circular swirl design that I really liked for the center. The design was modified by a pantograph design that I saw online this morning. The circular swirl is also done in shiny variegated metallic, but it is hard to see the metallic flickers in this light.

I had put this quilt aside for a portion of the day, before making some final decisions about the center blocks.

And noticed a couple of things.

I am not finished with some finished quilts.

I am noticing a really nagging feeling/desire to undo-refinish two quilts.

This does not imply that I am ripping (that I know of) any more than the binding on one quilt, and maybe resewing the sleeve on the other quilt.

I can’t recall if I ever posted this little scrappy quilt before.

This is how it has been hanging on my wall for at least 5.5 months.

scrappy jewel tone quilt

 

And the quilting on it is okay, but I keep staring at it, and thinking – this quilting needs more…. Needs More…. NEEDS MORE….. NEEDS MORE!!!

See …. nagging feeling …. I have been screaming inside my head like that for a while now, but until Scrapitude and the shiny thread, I didn’t know how much this jewel toned quilt wanted bling of its own!

And granted, in the above picture, quilting isn’t easy to see, but it was verigated pinks, and pretty, and a nice pattern (something I decided on a quilting pattern like 2.5-3 years ago, but never finished the quilting until last fall today.

All this searching & quilting lead me to put in some ovals in spots and to do some metallic echo bling (name of a band, right? – here’s Metallic Echo Bling ;))

And this was requilted-overquilted-blinged up-shinier today during quilting sections of Scrapitude.

scrappy jewel bling

Here’s the center echoed out.

center bling echo

And the sides of the ocean waves more echoed. In addition to the ovals inside the arches.

metallic ocean wave echos

Only problem I forgot is that I had already attached the sleeve. So now the quilting I did today has tacked down the sleeve and will now have to be sewn down again or find another way to hang this quilt.

And I also want to take my dancing ribbons and put it on point as a medallion quilt.

Dancing Ribbons Quilt

I could leave the sashing as the light blue, but I keep thinking I need to add corners on this quilt, so I will consider ripping out the binding, repurposing it for sashing or not using it at all, and adding something lively on the corners of this quilt. Then the quilt will be bigger and I will see it more the way I want to see it.

I think the round robin is helping me think about dancing ribbons in a new way, which is VERY YAY.

But also means that now I am “attacking” two finished & bound quilts to work on – the scrappy jewel that I posted that is now blinged out, and the dancing ribbons which is back on the design wall again. Crazy.

I may even try to find some blue metallic thread. Or not. I will have to really watch the Craftsy class again about “Sewing Big Projects on a Small Machine” by Ann Peterson, as there will be the best tips to making this thing go from finished quilt, to on-point quilt center.

So now I am not sure if I am finished even when I am finished. I know “editing down” has always been my weak spot (just ask anyone who used to listen to my podcast) but I will be glad to work on this quilt again, it’s been telling me for months that it didn’t like being finished the way it was, and I am finally in a position to figure out what to do about it – in theory.

But that’s how a good experiment goes. Just when you think you’re done, a new question pops up and throws you right back into the beginning of the scientific method all over again!

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34.2 Kings puzzle borders cometh

February 23, 2014

The very exciting Kings Puzzle quilt was brought out again last week.

The quilt guild was lucky enough to receive a presentation about “something blue” by a local quilter – Barb Eikmeier.

During that presentation Barb showed a blue & white version of the King’s Puzzle quilt by Lois Hattleberg. Lois & Barb are friends.

Lucky me that I was able to show my red and black version of the same quilt top at the meeting Barb attended, so she got to see the version I made.

royal red kings puzzle shown at guild 2

And I opened my mouth & said something about making borders at the retreat the following weekend (last weekend from this time frame).

So I brought the top, and an assortment of deep red fabrics, and my graph paper.

The first evening of the retreat, just doing some drawing & some thinking I think I figured out what I want to do for borders for this top that will compliment & hopefully not detract from the wonderful piecing of this top.

kings puzzle border plan and ispiration fabric

Since the Kings Puzzle quilt in a bargello style quilt, mimics the style of an orange peel design, I looked at the red fabric with orange peel pieces that also reminded me of a cathedral windows quilt setting.

And I have made a cathedral windows style quilt with the 10 minute block method before!

So I came back to this quilt on the last day of retreat (had a few other things on the ‘had to do’ list first), and started thinking & playing with scale & design.

I have cut the center pieces of the cathedral window blocks, I actually am going to make a change to my first cuts so I can border the cathedral windows differently on some blocks, but I am still using the bright red fabric in the centers of the blocks.

I am going to make an outer border & an inner border of red that have some of those cathedral window blocks in between.

I wanted the very outer border to have a darker red border. I have two acceptable options.

Option #1 – the best option right now.

kings puzzle with first option border fabric

A close up of the same fabric (colors slightly off due to flash etc). This is what I like best right now still.

kp border solution 1

But this next fabric would be nice too, I think. I don’t have enough (yet) of this fabric, but I like the darkness of it more. But not so much the chevrons (doesn’t work as much in THIS design. Or the thing seems very purple to me too.

kp border solution 2

I have been thinking about next year’s regional quilt show, and wondering in the back of my mind if I can push through all the way to finishing this quilt to get it done before the deadline for that show. This is one that speaks to people a lot.

If not, I will try to enter my exothermic wonders quilt in the regional show. If they let me. The finish date for “Exothermic Wonders” was Christmas 2012 so by June 2015 it will be 2.5 years old which is .5 years out of the ‘acceptable quilt age’ for this particular show. So maybe not.

Better press on with King’s Puzzle.

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33.9 New Project Limbo

January 21, 2014

I just spent a bunch of time testing something and I am going back to my original methods of posting here.

I am going to see if the pictures from the test work out ok or not. We will see after this posts (a little wary of that right now).

I am in ‘project limbo’. I have a LOT of UFO’s, my new projects aren’t grabbing my attention, but neither are my old projects either.  Here are some samples & some explanations of some things that – yeah, someday I should finish, but currently haven’t ran to get stitching on.

2014-01-21_11-07-07_581

I was cleaning out my basket of UFO’s over the new year, going through & sorting things out. This little quilt-let I found the center with the hearts, birds and flowers all dolled up with my fancy embroidery stitches that I found over on NeedleNThread.  I also saw some of the pre-made pieces that didn’t’ make the original design – the red birds, the center red flower.

Well some weekend in the past 3 I added the green and then outer dark grey border, and elmers glued the extra applique pieces. Last Saturday, I glued & prepared the violet tulip pieces and everything is currently ready to stitch down. But, I have little desire to complete this beyond this. Right now. Perhaps I’ll take this with me & work on it outside of home.

Another thing I worked on during the long week I was sick (finally feeling closer to normal) was the idea of a jeans quilt.

2014-01-18_04-26-21_230

I have a lot of the dark blue, I bought that denim off the bolt, and I have a lot of the medium denim too. I really like the idea of this design, but I don’t think I am as in love with the design for my jeans quilt.

The stained glass feeling from the dark strips are supposed to break up the stiffness of the denim & keep the seams lighter. I have such a narrow stained glass strip that I have decided to paper piece these blocks to get them to look right, and that method is a mistake when it comes to denim – too many seams, too hard to cut down in between the narrow stained glass pieces.

Not that a basic stained glass quilt won’t work with the denim, but not in “this design”. Not now anyway. Or not without modifications.

The last thing I have looked at & found / re-found was a 4 block set I purchased at the local quilt show.

2014-01-21_10-52-42_404

Ok, so I did add the bright orange border on the blocks just today, but I am looking at this, I didn’t make the center block, but I could see this being an interesting base for a round robin quilt.

I’ve never done a round robin quilt. I wonder if I am unstructured enough to be able to enjoy joining a round robin. I think this would be easy for me to “let go” since I didn’t make the center block, but I would love a quilt built around this block.

Coincidentally, there is a round robin that is starting up with our #twilter group on twitter (of which I am a sometimes participant, but sometimes lurk & see all the fun the twitter quilters are having). Maybe that’s a good time to start a project, something I didn’t make myself, I have Judy Laquardia’s book on borders, have created a pinterest board with round robin quilts.

What do you think? Talk me into it? Daisy is hosting and has been chatting w/ me on twitter about joining up.

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