It’s Goldilocks time

My little rust fabric squares have been done for a while and sitting in a little stack waiting for some more attention. Because of the colors in the variegated floss I used, I was pretty sure of the background colors I wanted to use, but not exactly the size and placement of the pieces.

So………….on point on a piece of red wool. Good color, red is too big.

And then we tried the medium bowl of porridge………..er, a smaller square of red.

Still not quite right, and I tried a smaller piece so that the edges of the cotton hung over the wool a bit more.

Aaaah–just right. The full background layer will be a single piece of deep purple wool, but I don’t have any of that right now. I was able to find a small piece to try out the color scheme and it will work very will.

My camera exposure wasn’t correct, but you can see how deep this purple is. I think this layout will work just fine and I’ll have lots of opportunity for hand stitching embellishment. This Goldilocks will live happily ever after!

Advertisements

Projects select us!

The table was cleaned off and ready to begin the next project. Of course I had no idea what it would be, but I knew that something would jump up and say “Me–me–me!” and it did.

I will be teaching fibers at camp in two weeks and started to gather up my many samples. And one set decided that it needed to be finished.

Actually demanded to be finished! Not even time for pictures of the materials…I had some dyed cotton organza and some navy wool and they were made for each other. I put some pleats in the organza and laid it on the wool and now it’s ready to add some stitches to it…………………….whew!

And it wouldn’t leave me alone until I did some stitching!

And my camera really does not show navy well at all! Anyway, I think the stitching of the background is done. The pieces look like they will be happy here.

And they are demanding that this be finished today! Guess I’d better get busy!

 

Tracking the hockey quilt

And I think I’m on the right track for sure now. I decided to have alternating hockey fabric squares rather than continuing with the b/w and red.

Much better! But it’s an odd shape and size so I need to figure out how to make it more ‘normal’.

The small block on the side seemed to make sense as a border, so I made more of them. I think this will work out just fine.

I’m hoping to have enough of the hockey fabric for a final border of that, but it might be close. Even a narrow strip will work!

It’s still very boring to me to make the same block over and over, but it helps with this one that I am varying the red fabrics and only cutting and sewing a few at a time. Certainly not the most efficient way to do things, but it keeps me from going crazy with repetition boredom.

Tomorrow–hoping to have this top finished. I also found my other hunk of hockey fabric and as I thought, it will not coordinate with what’s on the front. It will definitely go on the back because I am NOT hanging on to any pieces of hockey fabric after this quilt is done!

Get it done!

Hockey quilt layout

A few blocks are finished and on the design wall. I’m not sure I like this.

The hockey print is getting lost in all the b/w and red. I may need to go back to one set of corner triangles and make more of the smaller blocks. I need to look at it for a while before I decide on how I want to proceed.

I also need to remember that this is a drag-around quilt. Maybe a big blue hockey fabric border will make it all be fine!

Figuring out a pattern

Find a pattern or make an improv design………that was the question I asked myself when faced with the hockey fabric. I invest a lot of myself into improv designs and this quilt is to be a drag-around quilt, so I was definitely inclined to look for a pattern. As I said before, the hockey fabric is a big, busy print and will lose it’s impact if it’s cut into small pieces.

After a lot of internet browsing, I think I’m going to use square-in-a-square. It’s also known as the economy block, but usually that’s with two sets of corner triangles. I made a couple of sample blocks and now I need to decide a few things.

Sticking with the red and the black/white. The blues did nothing. This is the simple square-in-a-square, with one set of corner triangles. Easy, looks good, but I’d have to make a lot more blocks this way.

This is the economy block, with two sets of corner triangles. These are twelve inch  blocks and I wouldn’t need nearly as many of them to make the quilt. And it’s a simple pattern, so……….winner! However, in consultation with my personal design expert…seriously, my daughter is an expert…and we think the larger b/w print might be distracting.

Sounds like I have a plan now. The economy block, small print b/w and red fabrics and it should be done quickly. I was going to try and use up scraps, but the bigger blocks use bigger pieces. I think I have enough larger pieces, but if I have to get a little more fabric…that would never break my heart!

Lot’s of stuff happening this week, like dye day on Wednesday, so there may not be any long stretches of quilt making. However, I tend to get a little bit of hand sewing done most evenings. Mainly because I have everything set out on a little table in the living room and I can pick it up to sew a few stitches whenever I have a minute.

I’m working on a series of ‘circle explorations’ now. I’ve finished the basic stitches defining the circles and now I need to figure out what will be next.

You know, some artists run into creative blocks and struggle to move forward. I am so lucky that so far this has not happened to me. My creative blocks only involve making decisions about how to proceed, not how to start a new project. Hope it stays that way!

Goal–met!

My goal for today was to finish sewing the brown quilt. I was so tired of sewing with brown, sewing blocks made the same basic way, no improv………………the thought of any additional days was mind-numbing!

I stuck with it and got it done! Hooray!

The plain brown didn’t get it for me. I decided that I needed a touch of a color to pep it up and found a bit of turquoise that looked pretty good with the brown.

I also figured out a way to add the color that could make the seams NOT line up–much easier to only have to match the ends of the rows!

So hip hip hooray—it’s done and ready to be added to the Use Up the Stash pile of UFO’s…………and that’s a whole different story!

Potato chip quilting

There are some stack and switch techniques that are done with two fabrics at a time, making opposite or reverse blocks. I like many of those, but making them is like eating potato chips. You can’t eat make just one! Using the brown and light neutral needs that type of technique.

Brown is definitely NOT my favorite color–though it does rank higher than purple! My daughter asked why I was making a brown quilt if I don’t like it much. Simple–use up the stash! My thought on this one is that the brown and light/neutral will be high contrast and look just fine.

Simple technique, yet it makes unique blocks. Start with stacked squares–mine are 9″–and make two cuts straight across the stack. Measurements are random!

Take the center strip and make two cross cuts. Again, measurements are random. Switch the center squares and you are ready to start assembling the blocks.

Sew the side strips to each side of the center square. Then the top and bottom strips will be added. Now, remember that there are no added seam allowances here, so the top and bottom strips will be longer than the center strip now. You don’t have to match at either end, or you can start out even at one end.

After sewing, trim those extra bits off the edges and you have two blocks that are the same, but look different when you start arranging them.

Hmmm….these look crooked in the pic, but they are really nice and square!

Anyway, make blocks in the same manner, random cuts on all sides, and keep making and making like eating those potato chips. You can certainly stack more than one light and one dark square together when making those cuts. I don’t like to do more than 4 simply because those random cuts make for more variety.

So here are the first few I made. Some of my light is not as light as I might have wished, but it will work. I’m going to go ahead and make as many blocks as I can from the browns I have. If I decide that I need added color, I believe I have an idea of how to add that easily and effectively later. And I’ll have lots of time to decide what color will work best…potato chip sewing is a touch slower than production chain piecing!