Archive for the ‘Quilting Design’ Category

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38.9 Quilt Accomplishments for 2015 – the Year of Scraps

January 15, 2016

I would like to recap my 2015 quilt related accomplishments. Many of them are tops, I really did little to no Free Motion Quilting during the year of 2015. I did have three quilts quilted during the year.

Some of the blog posts I was about a month or two behind. Usually I am finding myself sewing or surfing with my extra time, or board game playing, or football watching, or video game playing, or playing solitaire on my phone, or chatting with ladies from 4 other quilting states at the big quilt show this year.

You get the picture. Distractions abound.

From the beginning of the year, I did spend a lot of my weekends quilting, even if they weren’t documented immediately afterwards.

I will try to recap my quilt life 2015, using some familiar pictures, some new.

I started off with the last round of the Twilter Round Robin quilt I was working on for Diane.

Round Robin Dianes Twilt On quilt with Darla borders

I did the last bargello style border (green to blue waves). I drafted this from graph paper. I made more work for myself than I needed to because of the multilevel greens that I added.

I completed the quilt top for fellow quilter (and also once “quilt” podcaster) who lost her husband suddenly in the fall of 2014.

Darla and Ruthanns quilt top

Looking back through my archives, I can’t believe that I forgot to blog about this quilt. It was meant as a nice surprise for Ruthann. She wanted something “green and sciencey”. I had seen this quilt in a book I got in 2014. I had emailed a bunch of other people in our group, most of which remembered Ruthann, but not all of them had.

I had a list of the strip sizes I needed, and instead of the other people sending me “completed blocks” I asked if they could send strips and/or strip sets. I was amazed at what was sent on this quilt.

And I did lots of extra work, cutting up and only using a portion of what was presewn  for me just so I could have a lot of variation on the quilt.

I completed the top in early January, and completed the finished quilt in May, after our meetup with Jackie from Sew Excited Quilts quilted this quilt (and one other) for me.

ruthann and teddy healing quilts

I had overestimated the size of making 5 full DNA strips, so the last one became a “bed runner” which was quilted separately by me at home.

In Feb, at the annual guild retreat, I finally finished my borders and my backing for my Royal Red King’s Puzzle quilt.

Royal Red Kings Puzzle Quilt Top With Borders

In March, I translated the quilting pattern from my Dancing ribbons quilt to ceramics. I need to mount this.

dahlia plate after glazing

I also finished the borders on my weave quilt after figuring out how to do the ends.

Circular ends

I brought a small quilt I had worked on a few years ago, a disappearing four patch quilt, to the lady who was quilting my Royal Red quilt. Sandy from Artfully Quilted did the honor for me for the red quilt, and also works on donation quilts for the local hospital. I was happy to donate my disappearing four patch, even though I was originally going to practice free motion quilting on it.

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I think sometime I worked on the back for the weave quilt, I didn’t finish it, but I got some pieces together for it. I usually piece my backings so I don’t buy the extra large fabrics that often. But it takes some time.

April I made some things for the quilt show, in addition to another quilt block for another quilty podcaster.

galaxy star pattern via quilters cache

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I also received my fantastic Round Robin quilt back and in the squeak of time, got arrangements for this quilt to be in the regional festival. I think I was on top of the world one minute of the day, and I was crying in disappointment the other part of the day. This quilt, didn’t almost make it into the show, and I am blessed that things either worked out for it to be there, or someone gave up a spot or something else happened to allow me to have the quilt in the show. Anyhow I can only take credit for the center, some of the fabrics, and the tiny outside border.

Darlas round robin quilt finished top

May was the finish for the show, getting all these quilts ready with labels, sleeves, and everything prior to June. It was also time for me to get extra wound up for inviting some friends to Kansas City area.

May I also met with Jackie for our (now annual sorta) sewing day at her studio!

Royal Red styled on porch swing

June was our regional quilt festival, and fantastic meetup with friends and with guildmates, seeing other friends’ quilts and making new friends.

twilter meetup five twilters at barbecue

three of seven twilters entwined

In July I finalized my “watermelon dresden” pattern for myself, and worked on getting my studio organized, and set myself up for the fall of scrappy quilts.

water melon dresden version 2

string quilt small

August, I was getting myself organized and sewing all the 16 patches that eventually became my Arkansas Crossroads quilt. And getting more strings for the hashtag quilt swap.

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And I was starting to make shoo flys for the disappearing shoo fly quilt.

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I also took some time out to make a few small blocks for other small projects. These went to different quilts for different projects, but are both definitely “my” style.

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I made my hashtag blocks to be sent out to the twilter swap.

string hastag blocks to send

And received some different ones in return.

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Then the end of the year I started sewing together all the scrappy pieces I was working on in the fall.

shoo fly top as a table topper scrap quilt

I think I just blogged about unsewing and resewing my Winslow’s Corners quilt, which took up some of my November time.

Winslows Corners Quilt with good corners

I experimented but haven’t yet committed on a low contrast, but high saturation scrap chevron quilt. (still in many smaller pieces)

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One weekend I looked at all the scraps I had left over from Ruthann’s quilt in the spring and put together a different top for picnicking.

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And on Thanksgiving day, got my Watermelon Dresden quilt layout figured out with actual fabric pieces I am working on.

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Currently I am in a “small battle” (with myself) as I ran out of the background fabric needed to make the quilt. The shop that sold it to me in November, I called, and they don’t have the same fabric anymore. I am working out how to do it since I started some of the border pieces already in one fabric.

Actually, the quilt will have lots of background space due to how I set the border pieces. I figure there will be lots of room for background quilting on this quilt.

And since I am writing this in January, I will hold off on my latest quilt block project. That is actually finished – for January anyway.

Oh… and in April, just before all the mess for the quilt show started, I attempted to quilt my Samurai Sudoku quilt. But I was having a bad day, things weren’t lining up right. I haven’t yet told myself to rip out and start over on the quilting, but I almost have. I have been avoiding the longarm rental since I have to make a decision on this quilt that I will not like to make right now.

upclose picture of samurai sudoku quilt on longarm

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38.8 Winslow’s Corners quilt an Arkansas Crossroads pattern

January 12, 2016

The end of 2015 was surrounded by creating quilt tops of the “scrap” genre.

Quilts with lots of different fabrics in them, sometimes color controlled, sometimes completely random.

I readily obtain many 2.5 inch blocks by my “cut out strips” method of using fabric for projects. I know the value in 2.5 inch squares and so tend to cut squares into this shape when I have no set purpose for these squares.

 

I have posted about this top a few times already, but I did finish the top at my recent Arkansas retreat.

winslows corners quilt top backwards corners

I was trugging along, trying to get everything sewn down, I knew how I wanted the borders to match the rest of the quilt.

As you may be able to see the quilt is a simple idea.

  • Alternating 16 patches filled with all the scrappy 2.5 patches I sewn together earlier the past summer
  • Alternating x blocks made of 4 album blocks “pointed” inward together
  • Borders consisting of each piece being a “half album” block with the two corners together

Three pieces of winslows corners quilt

This is how I organize this quilt in my head when making it.

I have noticed it is starting to become “popularized” – aka I have been seeing it on some websites, or mainly the quilting group on FB as a single block, rather than 2 blocks of different styles.

winslows corners alternate quilt block

Either way works, it depends on how the maker would prefer to work on the designs.

I made my album blocks by a simple paper piecing method. Very easy to paper piece.

In fact, I would recommend this quilt to anyone who wanted to learn a little bit about paper piecing. Not too many tiny paper pieces, the quilt seems satisfying in scope when done.

In any event, while at my November retreat, I was in a rush to complete the quilt and I didn’t consider “row placement”.

I ended up with my X blocks (four album blocks) on the outside corners. All of them.

original top winlsows corners double corner

So the very corners are these silly little hour glass type things.

I finished the quilt top, but I didn’t really like the corners of my Winslow’s Corners all that much.

But then later that month, I was thinking. And thinking.

I figured out a relatively easy way to correct the corners on Winslow’s corners.

Since both edges ended up being off, if I would remove the last row on one side, move it to the other side, scooting it down some, remove both small borders.

winslows corners plan for moving last row

I had some “downtime” aka non-internet non-machine sewing time planned for the Thanksgiving holiday, I could unpick all the edges, get the quilt prepared, and then just had to do a few quick seams after black friday.

So that’s what I did, picked off one border, took a whole row including the border, scootched it over to the opposite side of the quilt.

winslows corners border removed block missing

The left over border on my “left” in the picture above is good since I removed the “offending row” and put it on the right.

And scootched it down by one block.

winslows corners close up of last row

You can see from here, I still had to pick out the extra X block, and I had to quick make an extra 16 patch block.

But only minor changes from this point and now the quilt top has much better border corners.

No funny corners on my Winslow’s Corners quilt.

Winslows Corners Quilt with good corners

Did I mention why I am calling the quilt Winslow’s Corners? My annual fall retreat is in Winslow, Arkansas. And the quilt pattern is sometimes named Arkansas Crossroads.

 

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38.7 What happens when you disappear a shoo fly block

November 29, 2015

I have been sewing shoo fly blocks as leaders and enders for several months during other projects.

Growing shoo fly block collection

I started with two 5 inch blocks, right sides together. I did the trick where you sew around the edges of the pieces, then cut diagonally both directions.

A result is 4 half square triangles that are sewn with the bias edges on the outside.

I trimmed these 4 pieces down to a size of 3″ unfinished.

Then I collected groups of 4 squares for the background fabric – white in this case – also cut to 3″ unfinished, and a random assortment of colored middles – also cut to 3″ unfinished.

I had these piles of blocks done for most of the summer, just grabbing and sewing together these shoo fly blocks over and over. As you can see a shoo fly is a 9 patch block with the 4 half square triangles on the outside corners. The outside corners color matching the background squares in the middle of each 9 patch block.

At the retreat I recently attended, I put them up on the “design wall” with a possible plan that I had tried not to talk myself out of over the last few weeks.

I saw a design first on Pintrest, a disappearing shoo fly block from Tuxedo Designs blog.

So that’s what I did, I cut the shoo fly into squares, sewed them all back together to make the disappearing shoo fly quilt.

shoo fly quilt block to disappear to sew to purple lightning dsf quilt

Here’s a picture of the quilt as it was on the wall before it was sewn.

shoo fly test block and unsewn scrappy block

As you can see, I tested it out first using just 4 blocks (leftover blocks), so I have a mini quilt from this too!

And here, as a “tabletopper”.

shoo fly top as a table topper scrap quilt

I honestly don’t know why this design isn’t more popular. It’s pretty easy to do and I love the resulting rows that come from it.

Really once you get the quarter blocks made, they only rotate two ways, up and to the left, and down and to the right, alternating each row/column.

How fun is this top?!

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38.3 Scrap Sewing more of the same

September 13, 2015

Hey all! I have been trying a few things, but today during my day off I have gotten more done of the same quilts I have been working on.

First I am working on adding more corners to the Winslow Corners quilt. I have 5 more blocks of pieces done of the corner pieces, but not trimmed up & sewn together yet.

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Trying to decide on this quilt size. Most likely this will be another throw quilt. Looking forward to trying something cool in the light grey section for the actual quilting of these blocks!

I also have to go back to EQ and print/create the border blocks which finish up the corner pattern.

I am finding it a nice way to use my scraps.

I may look at other patterns that have 16 patch blocks in them. I have been thinking about sashing them in colors or black and setting a different alternating block with them.

I have also been doing more of the same scrap quilting with Shoo Fly blocks.

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I have one more block hanging out on the sewing machine, and i have pieces for many more blocks, maybe another 15 – 20 blocks already done.

It makes it easier to get started sewing when I know the decision has been made and the prepwork has been done on these blocks.

I do want to do a disappearing Shoo Fly block quilt. I am now not certain THIS is the quilt to do that to, considering each of these 9 patch blocks are only 3″. To cut them down and resew them I would lose several inches and it might not be big enough to appreciate the design. Or the time it will take to cut apart and resew these blocks.

I haven’t decided yes or no on that yet. Still making the pre-made shoo fly blocks.

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I did sort all my pieces of scraps by color for 1.5″ blocks in anticipation of a potential swap in the future. I also have sorta swapped with someone some of these 1.5″ blocks.

And I may have signed up for a hashtag swap for the secret Facebook group “Twilters!” Due in October. I have a lot of random strings that may make nice hashtag pieces.

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I am leaning towards taking apart my quilting on the Samurai Sudoku quilt that is so off kilter on the quilting. I currently only have 3 hours of quilting into the top and its about a 1/4 way quilted.

I have to set up an appointment to go back to the long arm quilting place in October and I have been hemming & hawing trying to decide to take out stitches or not. The thing is pretty wonky, which causes me to be uncertain I would like it if I continued quilting as I have been.

Knowing me, I would worry & about it if I didn’t fix it. I have told myself it is practice. But I want it to be better practice than this.

But it is so much work to do and then I have to go redo all the quilting on it already.

upclose picture of samurai sudoku quilt on longarm

So mostly more of the same quilting as the last month. I someday will go back to other UFO’s I think.

Debating on weather or not to do Scrapitude this year. I don’t really like the timing of it (early in the year or maybe it’s late near the holiday season). I haven’t decided. Seems like a few things going on now. And then I have been doing these “new projects” such as Winslow Corners quilt.

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As I was cleaning my sewing room, I found Winding Ways small scrappy quilt blocks that I swapped with the swap group I was in. We used the Accuquilt cutter to cut random batiks, and I don’t mind sewing the blocks together yet.

For yet another donation/extra scrappy quilt.

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Jack’s Chain

I have decided I would like to attempt a Jack’s chain quilt for the next big Regional quilt Festival here, in 2017. Might be more than I can chew in just under 2 years. But these 1.5 inch pieces could be useful for that.

First I need to figure out how to make EQ7 do what I want. I posted on an EQ7 FB group and got some good advice, but still am stuck, since the copy paste instructions I got somehow aren’t pasting correctly doing it the way that it was suggested to me. I don’t think the instructions are wrong, but I do know it’s not doing what I want it to do, so maybe a different route will be necessary. Or maybe I have to click somewhere else first. EQ7 is picky like that.

I have a vision or actually several ideas for the quilt. But need an EQ7 color guide for me to be successful at it!

We will see if I change my mind before the event. I have had a few months of batting the idea around already and so I know it will be one I will like to try to put into that show. Very time consuming quilt, depending on size.

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38.2 Winslow Corners quilt idea

August 9, 2015

I have had the privilege of sewing many days after work this week. Mindless sewing mainly from leaders & enders I was putting into place from a while ago.

After my “turn-it-around” sewing room organization from a week ago, I have been motivated by the fact that I can actually watch my computer screen for entertainment instead of constantly being turned around to see what’s been on the screen.

I have been motivated by taking an old reality series that I have watched most seasons of, rewatching them years later. I forget easily, so this time it’s like watching ‘new-old’ television.

So I have some distraction that is not too distracting and that, in turn, is motivating me to keep working and working. Almost as if it was March-A-Long again.

Anyway, my leaders & enders are resulting in 16 patches of the cool color family.

16 patch blocks

So far, I have mindlessly sewn 30 of them.

I had made a “pattern” for this quilt a while ago and have had this idea for a scrap quilt for a while. I don’t need 30 of the 16 patches for the finished quilt. Here’s the quilt.

arkansas crossing x and o quilt

I have a light grey and want to use some of the extra neutrals from the quilt I made for Laura for the alternate blocks.

I don’t have the pattern centered or bordered or anything, but yes, I have printed out the paper pieced X blocks, aka album blocks.

I have heard several names for this quilt:

  • X’s and O’s
  • 16 patch and album blocks
  • Arkansas Crossroads

I do have a small history with quilting in Arkansas now. I travel there every fall (so far) for a quilting retreat. Northeast Arkansas, not incredibly far away from the KC area.

A tiny town called Winslow, there is a couple who run a B & B cabins (Sky-Vue) that host 16 quilters who come & sew for an extended weekend. If you have followed me any time in the fall, you have heard me talking about it.

Anyway, I want to make a quilt with a name something like Winslow Corners or possibly Sky-Vue crossing.

Using these no-thinking blocks out of my ever growing scrap pile.

That’s been a vague direction I have been quilting in this week.

I haven’t started on the paper piecing portion, but now have 30 of the 16 patch blocks. It’s so easy to make these 16 patch blocks.

Surely more of these blocks will go somewhere else if I run out of  paper piecing blocks (x blocks).

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I have also made some random half square triangles in sets of 4 that I want to match with my pinwheel blocks someday.

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I also have a small sewing mat for my sewing foot pedal.

I have a wandering foot, but I like to elevate the back of my foot and sew more evenly. I frequently have a phone book by and/or under my sewing machine foot pedal.

I just made this late this afternoon, so I haven’t yet tried it out. I have the non stick gripper on the front and back, and to give the pad some “oomph” to simulate raising the foot pedal some, I have a piece of folded over fabric that is folded over two small batting scraps inside.

It’s really batting, fabric, then a binding stitched around that whole block. Then I have a ‘stopper’ of rolled up batting sewn down in a pocket on the top.

I was inspired by this tutorial, but did not follow it directly. I read it a few weeks ago and then when I gotten the “gist of it” I created from vague memory today.

Anyway, it’s been a week of happy sewing, I hope this post finds you well. No matter if you meet in the crossroads of arkansas or elsewhere.

Still marinating about my “next biggest bestest quilt” for the quilt show in 2 years. Glad to not really think about it too hard yet.

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37.6 How Round Robins Work

May 23, 2015

This is a post describing how round robins work, or rather, how our round robin worked, complete with pictures.

If you missed a while on the blog or were redirected here from elsewhere, I was included in a multi-group internet friends (twilter-twitter quilter friend) round robin quilt exchange.

One fantastic lady, Daisy of Lazy Daisy Quilts decided to put together a round robin quilt exchange and asked for signups from interested people back at the beginning of 2014.

There were enough ladies who wanted to participate that we had 3 groups: Twilter Round Robin Group A, Twilter Round Robin Group B, Twilter Round Robin Group C. Our group was Group A

Basic Definition of a Round Robin quilt exchange:

Round Robin quilts are long-term projects in which each person works on other peoples’ projects during the time of the round robin, passing along a quilt idea, fabric, and a rapidly growing partial quilt top to each participant until the quilt ends back in the original quilter’s possession.

For me, it all started off with a pattern from electric quilt, a fabric choice & then a block.

center for round robin quilt darla

Here’s the first question I am asked when talking about the round robin: How does it work?

Generally, a round robin quilt (as our group did it) is an agreement between friends or strangers and friends to work on a quilt of someone else’s with the understanding that they will work on yours in return.

My role in the round robin:

  1. I made the center of the quilt. I decided what colors to be used & original quilt direction.
  2. I selected fabrics for the quilt to use in the quilt.
  3. I provide some kind of guidelines or suggestions to the others in the group for working on the quilt.
  4. I send the quilt onto the next person in the list (in the mail or in person). I am always sending to the same next person.
  5. I receive someone else’s quilt in the mail, with their center (or more), their fabrics, their instructions. I am always receiving a quilt from the same previous person.
  6. I work through an appropriate design to add a border to the outside of the quilt. Using math, graph paper, books or websites for inspiration, sometimes electronic quilt blocks or suggestion from Electric Quilt 7 (EQ7).
  7. I follow general guidelines by the round robin coordinator for each round to help spur imagination or direct the appropriate design. Not to be used religiously with all quilts in all situations, but to help stretch each quilter, and attempt to provide harmony with the finished project.
  8. I finish my section of the new border, sometimes making changes due to size restrictions, or fabric shortages which happens because we’re not always great at figuring out in advance what fabrics others would be appealing to the general design or just underestimation. Sometimes this step also requires purchasing fabric of our own.
  9. I write down something interesting in the process in the quilt journal. (optional) I write my name on a label provided by the original quilter (optional, but fantastically helpful in the end).
  10. I send the quilt top with my new border to the same next person in line.
  11. Receive the new quilt, repeat steps 5-10 until the original quilt comes back. I have a full quilt top and a full label and journal.

Twilter Round Robin Group A final collage

 

The coordinator has a lot of decisions to make before getting the round robin started.

The round robin coordinator’s role:

  1. They decide the groups (if more than 6 want to be part of the round robin) 5-6 people seem to be a good match for this round robin.
  2. They create a deadline for each border swap.
  3. The estimate the approximate amount of each type of fabric needed to make the quilt work, suggest the amount of background fabric, focus fabric, and other fabric to be used in making of a quilt top.
  4. The estimate the sizes of each of the borders to be proportional to the space on the quilt.
  5. They create general guidelines to help direct the future quiltmakers down a path to help create a good quilt and/or to ask people to work out of their own comfort zones.
  6. They coordinate the addresses and order of each person to do the round robin.
  7. They answer general questions, help figure out if deadlines need adjusted.
  8. They type up all the info and get it to the participants. Follow up if needed in some areas. Perhaps some handholding or drama-gathering if needed in some groups.
  9. Remind us it’s all fun.

Round Robin Twilter Group A

As you can see above, we had 6 different quilts with 6 different personalities and styles.

How does the passing of the quilts work?

Because we had a round that we passed quilts on to each other, and each person was in a different order, we were able to affect each quilt at a different stage of its development.

  • The first two quilts each of us received, we were only beginning to shape the look and feel of the quilt to follow.
  • The next round brought the middle into focus, the meat of the quilt,
  • The last two rounds were on the finishing side of the round, these were larger & took up more time & fabric.

Our round went like this:

Daisy passes to me, I pass to Diane, Diane pass to Laura, Laura pass to Tami, Tami pass to Tina, Tina pass to Daisy.

twilter round robin how the quilts got passed in a round

And each of us had our own version of that. The drawing above shows how the quilts were passed around.

My role in the round robin Group A, and the quilts as I saw them in the order I worked on them

Round 1 – Daisy

Since Daisy’s was the first round robin quilt I saw, it was the first one I worked on, and thus the smallest round to do.

This is a collage of the completed quilt of Daisy’s (on the left), the block as I received it, and the block as I finished it.

daisys finished quilt center and my portion

Once completed, I wrote in the journal, and on the label, then sent it in the mail to Diane.

Once Daisy was finished with the next quilt – Tina’s quilt, she sent it in the mail to me. As you will see I was always receiving from Daisy and sending to Diane. So I really only had to have 1 address.

Round 2 – Tina

Tina’s quilt only had her center and Daisy’s first border. The sky was the limit here.

tinas finished quilt center and my portion

The picture above is Tina’s finished quilt on the left. Top right is the original block, middle right is the quilt top as I received it, bottom right is the quilt top I sent out.

Round 3 – Tami

At the “halfway point” everyone was working on the opposite person’s quilt. I was working on Tami’s quilt when she was working on mine.

tamis finished quilt center and my portion

 

The picture above is Tami’s finished quilt on the left. Top right is the original block, middle right is the quilt top as I received it, bottom right is the quilt top I sent out.

Round 4 – Laura

Laura’s quilt was based on neutral fabrics. Greys and browns dominated the landscape of this quilt top with dramatic golds and blue hues thrown in for a smidge of color

lauras finished quilt center and my portion

 

The picture above is Laura’s finished quilt on the left. Top right is the original block, middle right is the quilt top as I received it, bottom right is the quilt top I sent out.

Round 5 – Diane

Diane’s quilt was mostly done. I was trying to figure out an appropriate finish for her quilt.

dianes finished quilt center and my portion

 

The picture above is Diane’s finished quilt on the left. Which is also the portion that I worked on and sent out to her. Top right is the original block, bottom right is the quilt top as I received it.

More notes about Round Robin Quilts & observations

Since it was a center-focused round robin where we added further borders to the outside of an already ‘finished’ project, so the projects usually take on a medallion feeling.

Each quilter has to essentially be a “border designer”, and has to be willing to either ‘do the math’ or make a program (like EQ7) do the math for them.

I used inspiration from either drawing graph paper, or Electric Quilt 7, or a book on borders, or pinterest pictures, or various books on techniques. Sometimes I tried several different versions of the quilt, but once I kept seeing one version in my mind more than 1 day, that is the variation I went with.

There is an option to do rows instead of medallion rounds, which would be the same amount of work on the last one as on the first one. This would work in a similar way, but are usually called “Row Robin” quilts instead.

The first round we received, we had a shortened timeframe, but we had less size to finish before sending it off. This was stressful for me, but I did get the quilt done by or close to the deadline most of the time.

Each swap we had different goals, different color pallets, different visions to try to work into the quilts. It is truly a good way to sew out of the comfort zone.

And since the twilters who were interested in this swap were all over the US, the boxes got some post office traveling time around the country.

Some of the early quilts I worked on, I was completely surprised with at the end.

We got to learn about each person as reading through the journal entries of the original quiltmaker, in addition to things other people said in the journal. I was inspired by things in the journal in addition to other blocks and items I saw elsewhere. Many times the journal dictated the “tone” of the quilt more than anything!

Math was very helpful in the round robin. Having the original dimensions of each quilt, then trying to figure out how to put blocks together with appropriate spacers was challenging, but a heck of a lot of fun.

It helped me to use a program like EQ7 to help with the math and to visually see if the blocks I were doing were too big or not big enough or if I needed to add spacers.

Often times, I used my moleskin graph paper the most as it was the perfect thing to visually count other parts of the quilt.

Another note was to not try to overshadow the other people’s work. Since I try to do “big bold complicated” this was a constant worry for me, and something that at times reigned me in, and other times I probably ignored. Looking back, I ended up adding a darker border many times to the quilts I received. I don’t know if/what that says about me.

The most important part is to leave a part of yourself in the quilt that you’re working on. Being true to who I am is very important to me, even if I don’t always know what that looks like. So even during the “potential overshadows” I may/maynot have done, I still made quilts that were pleasing to me, that were something that I could do as well as I could.

That’s what matters & that is what’s special about these quilts.

In summary (visual)

The quilts as I worked on them, the center block, what I did to them, and their final product.

Round Robin Progress

Yay for round robins with friends!

 

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37.3 Finishing the old inspires the new

April 7, 2015

One major benefit of my annual March-A-Long is that often times to help fulfill my self requirement of 15 minutes of sewing a day, that I dive onto Quilter’s Cache or into EQ7 and start looking at new quilts, new blocks, new ides, new patterns.

Also, working on the long-ago formed Weave Quilt last month, made me think about other quilts that I have been close on. Figuring out what steps need to be done to finally finish those that are close or “oh so close” that sit in the corner unused, unadmired.

I have been wanting to get back to work on the longarm again, but to do that, I needed a quilt that was ready with a finished backing. I end up piecing like “all” of my backs for some reason or another, I don’t like buying backing fabric.

And I have been about 16 inches short on a back for my samurai Sudoku quilt for a few years now. So close. I have the pattern for the quilting picked out, I have the hours prepaid for renting time on the long arm.

But my aversion to phones & appointments, and the not finished back has kept me down, kept me from getting another bed sized quilt done.

Until this past weekend. Whoo! The back of this monster is done!

samurai sudoku top

This does not fit in my living room.

Luckily, I just had to make the backing a little larger. I hope it is square enough.

samurai sudoku backing with zippers

I even sewed the zippers on because I knew I wanted to quilt this one next.

As much fun as it would be to do custom quilting on this quilt, I don’t have the time or energy to do so, I have a large pantograph for this quilt that I bought a few years ago when I finished the border.

And finally I had an open day off with nothing else planned, and so decided to call to rent time on the long-arm.

Thanks to the guild for having a long-arm panel this last month and opening up the conversation to getting quilts done that way.

And I have an appointment for friday. I hope I remember it all! I think I will!

And then since I was on a “finishing up borders kick” I decided to stop where I was on the gemini sky quilt, which in my mind I had been wanting something else on the borders than what I had already done.

gemini sky with one border

And I finished pieces for the backing on this quilt too. since I was thinking about backings.

So I have another quilt ready for the quilting stage. 🙂

And then thought of 2 other things to do to other quilts, other ideas for new quilts. Neither of which are matched up yet, and I misplaced something I need for one thing.  My hand appliqued hot air balloon has the perfect backdrop once I figure out where I stashed it.

I am excited to get these old items done & done. Then I can say I completed more than like 1 quilt in 2015.

I would like to do more of these. Maybe as a series.

turquoise single tumbling block

And since I wanted a “dice bag” for my carcassonne tiles. I made 2. One for me and one to sell at the quilt show. 2nd one is the same, but not pictured here.

dice bag drawstring

Anyway, wish me luck. I am heading friday to quilt the samarai sudoku quilt, and then saturday to play tabletop games for tabletop day. Looking forward to my long weekend of fun!

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37.0 Twilt On My Last Round Robin Quilt

March 13, 2015

Between the month of January & February, I was frantically running around trying to finish the very last Round Robin quilt I did for my #twilter group A.

At the time of this writing, I still have not received my own round robin back, but I hear it’s coming, delayed by fabric selection.

Anyway, I had looked at an idea on Pinterest while searching for something else, and this border idea kept sticking to me as a great way to finish off a quilt.

First, the picture of the end, then we’ll discuss the process.

Round Robin Dianes Twilt On quilt with Darla borders

The idea I had seen was a strip style quilt with white borders, an accent color, and then multicolor strips outside extending to the end.

I had punched this into EQ7 and no matter what I saw there, I just couldn’t decide that they were any better than the strip idea I had seen on pinterest.

This was the quilt as I had received it.

dainesroundrobinsquareoriginal lightened

It was so lovely pinned to my design wall (it was heavy, needed pins to help keep it up there).

The whole quilt was so whimiscal & fun. It needed a whimsical & fun last border on it.

Anyway, I had been doing bargello quilting for a while, my Royal Red King’s Puzzle quilt is a bargello style, and so was another quilt I was working on (not shown yet), and so my mind was doing strips anyway.

Lucky me, the math worked out fantastically and I could make 12 inch blocks.

So I drew it up in my sketchbook, abandoning all these EQ7 variations I had done during Nov-Jan.

sketch of quilt borders smaller

I can divide easy numbers easily, and I first was thinking I would do a plain inner border and maybe inset some applique swirls on it, which would have also have been really nice too.

the original drawing and some math smaller

But then I started laying out fabric for it, and I found I had a really nice light green that looked like a good compliment to Daisy’s white & green disappearing four patch round.

I was thinking the green was like the grass for the birds, Daisy’s round was like a white picket fence, and then I decided to do a pathway & some sky, using the pathway as the contrasting color.

The pathway & the blue sky border are actually pieces I purchased for Laura’s neutral round robin that didn’t exactly “go” with her quilt, but were close. Well the pathway I bought & the light blue/grey that I used that I bought were for her quilt, and then I tacked on the bright blue butterflies to the order for ME, but they looked really good next to the blues in the birdhouse round. So decisions I thought I was making wrong earlier, ended up being good decisions now.

And then I decided to change the green fabric. Why? Because the green fabric I originally picked (not shown) was a lower quality. I could tell. It would have worked well for me, but not for a friend. It was perfect though in shade & lightness. So I had to substitute.

trying out borders in strips

Which lead me to the lightest seafoam green fabric I have in the quilt.

But the fabric was “too plain” by itself. It was a good shade of green, the closest to what I was searching for, but it was too plain by itself.

But then I also saw the next lightest green at the fabric shop that mirrored Daisy’s fabric just exceptionally, even though it was darker than I wanted. I decided to do both in the quilt and then just layer them next to each other.

THEN I had the even darker batik sitting next to my computer. And as the week went on, it kept taunting me, telling me to gradate the greens into 3 levels of dark.

Which I did! And I love it.

redrawing to accomodate fabric changes smaller

And as you can see from the picture above, I had a fairly easy time of making the blocks once they were figured out. Each half was only 7 strips of varying widths.

Strips of green & strips of blue & brown. The blue & brown I made easy and made a base unit, then tacked on the extra blue to the base unit for the different lengths of the strips.

The greens I had less of a defined base unit, but that was ok.

various strips

Bargellos are a lot of work, don’t get me wrong, but there is an ease to them. You sew the strips into sets (base units) and then cut up those sets to the widths you need.

The hard part is going back to the ironing board for all these seams.

And here I could see it was going to work!

trying out the corner blocks

The corners were actually the trickiest part, trying to decide the order I would quilt them in. Part of it is like a log cabin block, and part is strips.

I snuck in the focus fabric into the little part of the border in addition to some of my pretty pink fabric as a nice compliment.

closeup of corner blocks

My only regret is not bringing in some of the cream into the quilt. I love it, but I think cream sitting right next to the pathway fabric would have eased some of the green we see here.

I calculated about 2000 pieces in total for the entire round of the quilt. Not to brag, again, bargello easily lends itself to having lots of pieces with less individual sewing sections in it.

That did lead me a few thoughts about my quilting insecurities. 1) Did I go overboard? 2000 is a lot of pieces. 2) Did my sections of the quilt overshadow the other sections of the quilt. 3) Did I try to show off?

I had the realization that not only did I do my best job for a quilt for a friend, but I did a style of quilt that was pleasing to me in a style that I was comfortable doing, something that I was familiar with, and also shows my style enough for others to know just by looking at it that border was mine. I did my best to match the other’s sections, and perhaps there is a little bit of overboardness, but even though it took a lot of 2 full days of 2 full weekends, it meant a lot to me to make something that I am proud of that can go to my friend Diane, who had to put up with all my insecurities with the Round Robins along the way.

And with that, I am done with my section of the Round Robin quilts. Once I receive mine, I will see what pictures are in the flickr group and put together a roundup for the round robin in its own post. I hear mine is outstanding, I can’t wait to see it.

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36.8 Translating quilting pattern to Ceramic

March 7, 2015

Hey!

I have started to look at EQ7 again with my March-A-Long goals. Later today is the day I meet with the quilter for the Royal Red King’s Puzzle quilt.

So I have been doing some quiet quilting, even a little applique at the car oil change place!

Yesterday I had a unique art experience I had to share at Sunfire Ceramics.

There is this cute little shop in Lawrence KS just downtown off to the side a little bit. And they have all these unglazed pots, bowls, cups, teapots, figurines, etc.

And they have these little tables and whole bunches of glaze that people can come & paint onto their ceramics of their choice.

I have had a coupon (groupon) for like ‘ever’, even bought a 2nd one before using my first.

I have been thinking I was going to paint a teapot. But I like mugs.

And a few months ago, I was planning on going on a monday day off, but they’re closed Mon & Tues. So I decided to take a quilting pattern, one I quilted on the Dancing Ribbons quilt with corners to put on either the teapot/mug.

When I got there, I looked at the shapes of the items, and I decided to make 2 objects, neither of them a teapot.

Finished photo first, after several hours of listening to their music, chilling out at the studio.

Dahlia in ceramics painted

The dahlia is one I quilted in the background on the Dancing Ribbons quilt:

quilting corner tricord colors

Which almost shows up in the picture above, but not exactly.

Anyway, the dahlia had 10 points, so I wasn’t able to divide it into 3 colors to match the tricord colors.

So I put the blue in as a 4th color & alternated rows & colors. Then decided dark teal for the lines & the outside instead of the dark blue.

How did I follow the pattern?

Pencil marks. You take the pattern, trace it over with pencil.

dahlia drawing from pinterest

Then I flipped it over pencil (drawing side) down on top of the plate. I originally tried rubbing with eraser, and that was leaving a little bit of a mark, but not a full mark.

Then I decided to trace the back with pencil, thinking that the pencil on the front would rub off with more pressure on the back. And it worked. The lines on the ceramic were thinly there, but they were there enough to go back & retrace again on the ceramic itself with pencil.

dahlia pencil marks on ceramics

And then after that point I didn’t get any more pictures until the end except for my inspirational art deco pictures I found in a book that was at the shop.

art deco border inspiration

And the setup of the whole table picture.

scene at the ceramics place before painting

The glazes are in the size of the little paints bought at michaels, walmart, etc, and the pallet & paintbrush are there to hold them. It was like going back 20 years to my ceramics class in college.

I also painted a mug as well, with 2 sides. This one also with the same color family to “match”.

painted mug with flower stamp

This side was from a stamp. I had to help enhance the stamp a bit & I  sorta like it, I wonder how it will look when finished.

painted mug with borders

The other side I was using some swoops and dots to make borders. I am a right handed person, so this will be the side I will see the most.

I think I am less happy with the mug because I didn’t have a plan of attack on it, I just wanted to do something nice with borders. I had forgotten to bring my drawing borders book that I own for further inspiration. I never found a book at the library before coming that was perfect inspiration either.

Anyway, next time (I have to come back sometime & do a bargello style mug, I have decided) I will do something different, maybe I will make a red & black one to match my red & black quilt too. I imagine for the bargello mug I will use a stencil or ruler to draw straight lines with.

I wish I would have planned the mug a day ago, I have a picture in my mind to match the red & black quilt, I think that would be nice on a mug!

I used a dark teal as the base of these items, I hope it’s a good enough color combo. We’ll see in a week when the thing gets fired. They put a top coat glaze over the top that is shiny to make the ceramics able to eat off off.

Anyway that’s my non-quilting/quilting adventures for Friday. A lovely day off!

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36.6 I am Planning on Entering Kings Puzzle quilt in a Regional Show!

February 28, 2015

Hey everyone! Long time no see here.

I have been working on projects for others. Until 2 weeks ago, I went to a retreat, and I finally finished up the borders on my Royal Red Kings Puzzle quilt.

And I have a great picture of it. Okay, still slanted, but I may have actually gotten the reds & greys close to accurate — do you know how hard it is to photograph such a graphic quilt?

Ta-Da!

Royal Red Kings Puzzle Quilt Top With Borders

Anyway, there is a regional show here in Kansas City. The Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival.

I was tired of deadlines and not wanting to think about the quilt show, so I bailed for the guild selection of quilts. However, after I brought this beauty out at the guild retreat, I had more than one person come up & tell me this quilt needed to be entered.

The show for judged quilts is first come, first served, it is not juried. There are also guild entries that each guild selects to represent their guilds. I was hesitant when we decided to vote on quilts for the guild, but now I am sticking my neck out there wider & getting this quilt judged! AS long as it makes it in time.

I am heading to fill out the form right now, as soon as I am done with this post. First day for postmark on the quilts is tomorrow, so hopefully the mail here won’t be too slow for my entry to show up late at the headquarters. We do have a slow mail system, but I can’t mail it until Monday afternoon.

Anyway, for those of you keeping reference, the pattern of the center of this quilt is called King’s Puzzle, made by Lois Hatleberg. I contacted her and she is fine with me putting this quilt in the show.

And since I had all the extra dark reds I collected to find the last border, I pieced the backing into also a square. I tried to go from light to dark, inside to out.

Royal Red Kings Puzzle Backing

This quilt will be the first one that I don’t do start to finish. I know I could figure out & work through quilting this quilt on my own, but since I want some form of custom work on this quilt, and I don’t own a long arm, and it takes me enough time loading & unloading when I rent the long arm, that I would get frazzled doing this sort of work in a shop where everyone could see me.

So I am reaching out to Artfully Quilted by Sandy Morgan Cockrum to quilt this quilt. We’re meeting to discuss next week. Here’s hoping that meeting goes as planned on both sides. She does amazing work and may work well for this “modern style” quilt. I do have to figure out what category this is going into. Maybe modern? There aren’t many categories.

In Other Quilt Show news:

The show is also making me extra excited because several #twilter friends are going to come & make a special trip for a meetup! What a great day when I found out they were coming!

If you’re coming, buy tickets through the website rather than in person if you can. Or I assume you can contact me & I can get you the tickets myself once I have them to sell.

The website for the show is http://kcrqf.com

Looking forward to it. Maybe I’ll see YOU there! And if so, maybe you’ll see MY quilt? I hope so!