Hockey quilt

Since AJ made the travel hockey team for the fall, I have an excuse to make a hockey quilt! There is definitely a reason that I have held onto this hockey fabric for so long without using it. I can’t come up with a pattern idea that I like to use it with!

I originally had three different hockey prints and used one to make that bag, which has never been finished! All it needs is a button or piece of velcro for a fastener. It may get that now. I had the second print, a lighter blue, just recently because I was going to give it away. AJ saw it and said he’d like a hockey quilt and now I can’t find that particular piece anywhere! Doesn’t matter that much because I have almost 2.5 yards of this one. Plenty enough!

It’s a big busy print and I certainly don’t want to cut it into small pieces. That would defeat the purpose of using a themed print! I pulled tons of fabrics that coordinated, and got it down to this pile.

Not a huge amount of contrast, and I may stick with only the black and white prints. Plain white looked good, but…white is not my thing and it’s a quilt that I intend to drag around to hockey rinks. So, white….not. It’s really figuring out some kind of pattern that will feature the fabric and that I’d LIKE to make that has me stumped.

I keep telling myself to simplify, simplify, simplify, but the right idea has not crept into my brain’s idea box yet. I’m confident that it will, but I may have to surf through a lot of images before the right spark hits.

Guess Google and I will spend some quality time together today!

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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!

 

 

What are you doing?

My sewing life is kind of moving in slow motion right now. Since I finished that charity quilt, I’ve been indecisive about starting a new project. I have my little hand sewing projects to work on, but that’s slow by nature.

There is a stack and cut technique that I’ve been wanting to play with, but all the examples I’ve seen use a single background fabric with prints. I never have enough of any one thing to use it as a background for a whole quilt. I decided that I wanted to use up some brown fabric…………because I don’t like brown that much.

It was quite surprising then, when I started pulling fabric to find LOTS of brown.

It was a bit harder to find neutrals that went with the brown. I have even fewer neutrals than I have brown!

I collected what I could find on my shelves and started cutting squares. This idea is based on stacking, cutting and switching parts of the squares…and I am going to try very hard to do this in all even, straight pieces! No wonky angles! Though it would be very easy to make it wonky…

Cutting squares was as far as I got. I’m going to sew up some of them to see if I can continue with just the dark and light or if I’m going to have to add in some color, for my own sanity!

If you like brown, you will love this quilt. I hope I can love these browns long enough to finish!

USE UP THE STASH!!!

Sooooo easily distracted…

There was a quilt backing that I wanted to dye today, so I went down to stick it in a tub. I was going to use fuschia, but somehow green jumped into the mixing cup…and since I was overdyeing a fabric that I thought was ugly, I don’t think I can hurt it no matter what color I use!

I started to put something away–I don’t even remember what–and saw something on the shelf that I couldn’t immediately identify. When I pulled it out, I found this ancient piece that I made when I first started exploring new techniques.

Weeellllll….since I was looking at backing fabric anyway, that’s all it took for me to decide that this piece needed to be finished! I thought I’d have to use the wide piece of plain muslin that I found, but then I remembered the pile of fabric that was going to be given away. Found the perfect piece…

and there is just enough extra to use for binding…I hope! It’s only a small piece so I think I might be able to finish it tomorrow. If I stand back and it still looks decent, it is destined for the silent auction at our guild quilt show.

Sometimes those distractions work out just fine!

Exploring a thought

As I’ve said in the last couple of posts, there has not been much time for sewing lately. However, things are evening out and I finished a charity quilt….hooray!

It’s a lovely top and I have no more guilt at having it sit on my shelf waiting to be finished.

I’m continuing my small pieces, trying to make them be daily stitching. I have quite a bit of rust dyed fabric and thought it would be good to play with. My samples for camp have been 4 piece series and this was going to be another one. Then I realized that I already have enough samples and so now this is for me. And I immediately expanded the idea to at least 12 little squares that may–or may not–end up assembled into a single larger piece. I’m going to explore simple circles, with each piece having at least one large circle that is the same. I may have to think about this same type of exploration with other shapes. We’ll see how this goes.

So now I have to narrow down my technique choices.

I really liked how this rusty piece turned out, but do I want another one in this same color scheme? And the squares are only 7″…

Simple embroidery stitches– single color or each piece in a different color? Try more complex embroidery and FILL each piece of fabric? Single row of black beads defining each circle? Lush, overabundant piles of beads? Oh, goodness–more and more decisions! The hardest part of every project, but on this one, once I DO make a decision, it will be the same all through the work on each piece.

I’m ready to have a needle in my hand right now, but I simply do not make decisions that quickly! I need to go stare at my fabric for a while!

Putzing and deciding…

Since I am teaching a basic dyeing class on June 2, I thought I should get some fabric ready for examples.  At least that’s the reason I’m using to play with fabric and dye! I always, always, always wash any fabric I’m going to dye, even fabric that says PFD. That way I’m sure that there is no sizing or dirt or oil or anything but fabric in my fabric. And I have a huge bolt that I got last summer that I did not use up, so that’s my task. Nothing to show you; just wash, dry, iron some, pre-soak some that I plan to print with dye on, maybe fold some for special effects. Plain white cotton, doing nothing but getting ready for COLOR!

However, I absolutely cannot decide how to display my Four Seasons series. My original intention was my normal mounting of each piece on an individual canvas.

And it’s nice and I like it. But then I wondered if it might not be better to leave all four pieces together, mounted on a larger canvas. Disregard the color of the canvas…it would be painted that same gray as the smaller examples.

If I’m thinking in terms of possible sales, smaller pieces sell better. If I think the series looks better kept together, even if the price would be higher, well…

And I’m so indecisive, it’s pathetic!

Maybe that’s why dyeing is so  much fun. I can have things in single colorways, gradations, blends, folds……..no final decisions!

 

Love to say finished!

This was a busy weekend, but an unexpected cancellation gave me some sewing time…after I recovered from the first lawn mowing of the year!

I finished the Drunkard’s Path quilt top. Hooray, hooray, hooray!

Left the patches all un-matchy-matchy. It’s wild and crazy but the fabrics are great and I love it! I don’t think it needs a border, but I’ll leave it hanging on the design wall for a few days before I decide.

Vacation days coming up–connecting with some cousins and helping out with genealogy research. That will be a first for me, since I’m not into the ancestry stuff. I’m just a girl looking for a good time, and hanging with family is always good!

Life is soooo good!