Sunday, October 16, 2016

Desert Rose Designing

You know how much I hate piecing.  But in a weak moment, I agreed to consider making a quilt for a really, really good friend of mine.  There was some general discussion of color and theme.  Southwest but with green & blue.  This was what I came up with.  The original historic block "Desert Rose" was even busier, with 3 different colored triangles where I have the light blue stripes.  The way I made the prototype block had tons of Y seams that needed to go away for me to ever consider making another.   
When I set it out as a block to block format, I noticed That the corner blocks made their own stars.  And there is a secondary pattern in the background squares that reminded me of an Irish Chain.  
So I redesigned the block to play up on the secondary stars and the tan block diagonal.
While I really like this, I will look for a tan with more contrast.  And The white squares on the corners would look better as light blue.  

And when sending this mock up to the significant other of the intended recipient, the color scheme flipped.  Everything currently blue will become green and vice versa.  Will also aim for a darker tan for that diagonal line of blocks to stand out more. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Finished Churndash

My scrap project was mostly a success.   I used up the majority of the green scraps.  Ended up creating more scraps for the yellow background.  Pieced together some odds and ends of batting.  Used up some muslin on the back that I bought for a batik class,  Also used up 2.5 bits of random green and grey binding.

I am finally getting feathers to look the way they are supposed to.  Though I have best success when they are drawn out first, even if I don't actually follow the lines, it helps with the spacing and overall design.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Feather Quilting

Back in August, I managed to finish making some giant scrappy blocks from my abundance of green scraps, and turned it into this oversized churndash top.  
I even managed to do the quilting on the green part of the design before I left on vacation.   I used some of the Crayola washable markers to draw out the free-hand design.   I found that it really helped to keep the design flowing and pretty even.  You can see even from the back that this quilting is still pretty loose and free-flowing.

The next 3 photos are today's quilting.  I don't actually follow the lines very well, but having them drawn out to start with, improves the odds that the feathers will turn out like my brain imagines them.  I did a slightly different technique in today's section, backtracking only the ends of the feathers rather than the whole thing.  I think it really helps.  And you can really see the difference in the lower right section above where I didn't do that and the fact I can't follow the same line exactly is clear 

For the fill on the new sections, I was inspired by quilting from Ivory Spring Blog.  Go here to see the gorgeous feather variations.  My borrowed inspirations were the circular bits.  I took some plates and cups to mark some circles on the large sections I was planning to fill so I would have intentional, but random circle motifs to work around.  She uses more echoing and feather shape variations.  More things for me to work on.

I need to finish this up so I can start one of the 6 quilts I designed based upon designs from Kyiv's St Sophia Cathedral. Here are some hints of upcoming quilts:

Monday, August 29, 2016


 The elephant quilt has been delivered.

So has the baby for whom it was made.  I found out a couple weeks before the shower that my co-worker's colors were yellow, grey and mint.  And the theme is elephants.  I found the print in my stash and it seemed perfect.  I bought it on sale and it's not in my usual color way to begin with. The elephant design was originally going to have a lot of applique, but the busy fabrics did the trick.

Found out from a co-worker that the expectant mom is a hockey fan.  So I worked some pucks into the background. 

The ear was lots of fun.  I added an extra layer of batting to make it puffy.  
While my FMQ is not going to win any awards, I am finally at a point that the final product actually looks like what I planned.  Progress.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Scraps Again



I finished the Elephant Quilt last week and can't wait to show you the outcome later this week.  Meanwhile, I cleaned the studio and discovered that my pile of green and yellow scraps has grown to the point it needs to be made into something.  I found bits from each of the quilts above in the bin of leftovers-too-big-to-throw-away.   Which is ironic since several of them were scrap quilts to begin with.

I have done several scrappy monochromatic blocks as shown below.



I have addressed these random bits before.  Sometimes I've added some mosaic strips bewteen.  Other times just random sized rectangles.

I'm at it again. But with a bit of a spin. Here is the halfway point of joining the greens.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Temperature Quilt July

I spent last weekend working on my temperature quilt.  Made great progress until I was sewing the last 2 panels together and managed to do so backwards. 

I was challenged as I got to the section when the temperatures started to climb above 80 F as my guide had an orangy-red, clear red and burgundy listed.   I'm making this with all batiks, and red batik is extremely rare to find.  I have quite a collection and at first didn't think I had enough variety to pull it off.  After digging around in the stash, I found some reds that by themselves read as pink, a muddy-looking burgundy, and some red/blacks.  

I didn't realize how much of the year the temps are above 70.  No wonder I love living in Boise!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Temp Quilt

A 100 degree day seems to be the perfect day to work on the temperature quilt that I haven't done anything with since February.
It is based on an idea I borrowed from the knit/crochet world where several posts at the beginning of the year were promoting making an afghan using a color code to represent the temperature of the day. 

 I thought this would make a great quilt with a lot of variety as I live somewhere with widely varying temperatures.    Our record low is -17 and  high is 111 F (-22/44 C)  with average high and low of 25/91 (-4/33 C).  It is also normal for our high and low in one day to be 30-40 degrees apart.  

The "high" strip finishes at 1.5" and "low" at 0.5".  Each day is 12" wide.  Each week starts with Friday since that's what day January 1st fell on.  

The magenta near the top was our low at 5  and the orange was a fluke day March 20th at 70 degrees.
I made it through March today.