This is a scrappy 9-patch inspired by Joan Ford’s Cut the Scraps! book made with many, many two-inch squares.
A couple of firsts on this one
The border is mitred, following Kimberly of the Fat Quarter Shop‘s YouTube video (although of course you can’t see any of the border on this shot)
What you can see is the masking tape I used to mark the quilting lines.
Planning a two-colour binding. Matching the border on top, and matching the backing on the back, since it’s a subtle, elegant print that is completely unlike the cosy, energetic, scrappy top.
so what’s the non deliberate error, you ask?
Pulling the masking tape off after only having quilted along one side of it (middle row with the ripped piece of tape)
Fortunately I saw my error in time, and reused a strip of tape to replace the wadded up sticky ball I just removed prematurely.
More quilting has been done since this pic was taken and the quilting does look straight and the stitches are fairly even. Of course with machine stitching you might think that would be a given, but not necessarily!
front I started this quilt an embarrassingly long time ago at a Guild mystery quilt workshop led by Arlene MacKenzie and Kelly English. We were to bring a bunch of coordinating fat quarters plus one metre of another fabric. I had enough batiks on hand that all I had to do was buy a metre of the dark green inner border and set aside a pile of other batik (mostly yardage).
Biggest challenge before the workshop? Not cutting into the dark green for other projects.
The great thing about an Arlene and Kelly workshop is that they really give individual attention. Even before we made the disappearing 9-patch in the centre medallion, Kelly was going round the tables, asking each of us which of our fabrics we really wanted to show off and advising which ones to set aside for later blocks where larger pieces would be needed.
So everyone got to make a unique quilt, (except one enthusiastic over-achiever who went home and started a second mystery quilt using different fabrics in the week between the two classes) and I don’t think anyone was left with the feeling they would have made vastly different design decisions than they did.
So, what do you think? Have you done a mystery quilt and were you happy with it? Would you do it again?
We are so blessed that Bib N’Tucker has the biggest batik selection in western Canada — and is poised to open in more spacious premises very soon.
The back is home to fabric that’s just too gorgeous to ever think of cutting, with a few batik leftovers making up the difference. This is a hand-dyed print from Africa which I bought from Pippa Moore of Kitambaa
detail of the back
shows the African design with Zentangle-esque pattern elements, which has been overdyed with a low-immersion technique. and showing Arlene’s beautiful long-arm quilting too. This was too gorgeous to attempt to do on my home sewing machine.
The moment three-quarters of the way through quilting the improv dragonfly started in Katie Pedersen’s workshop when I realized that the white on white fabric I was “using up” as backing was sandwiched printed side in …
Here you can see how the back of this piece will look (the flipped over triangle at the bottom of the photo).
Well, at least it’s not an alphabet print, so let’s not tell anyone, shall we?
I have extensive stash of white on white, cream on cream, off white on off white prints. Great for overdyeing either on their own or as part of a finished quilt, as Ana Buzzalino does, not so great when trying to make more modern-looking quilts. But also good for backing.
Does anyone else have this problem of old-fashi? What do you do?
Leading up to the big reveal of the quilt that goes inside this …
I put this together with leftovers from the quilt itself plus some other batiks and hand dyes. It’s a little smaller than a pillowcase and plenty big enough to take a large nap quilt with room for a book or other small items that might be needed.
Now I realize I should have taken a photo of the other side too, oh well. I constructed this by sewing the slab into a long rectangle, folding it in half and sewing up the two side seams. The lizard tote was folded the other way and I had to sew across the bottom and up one side seam. Because this will be a functioning tote as the quilt will be carried around, I took care to keep the lighter colours at the top of the bag as the darker colours can withstand being set down better.
The whole tote and the handles are stuffed with batting and quilted with trilobal variegated thread which has a beautiful sheen.
Hmm, I could see getting into more totes and the like, there’s something very satisfying about functional objects that you make yourself! I’m still going to do art pieces but sometimes the gap between the inner vision and the ultimate object is so vast.
Before making a tote bag for a quilt, I thought practicing would be a good idea.
We all have particular mental blocks and challenges and I can easily get myself confused when it comes to sewing things properly. I know I could easily sew something inside out with twisted handles, or somehow have the handles stuck inside the body of the bag. And once confused it can be hard to get back on track.
Since this was to be for the use of younger people, I searched my stash for something with kid appeal that wasn’t too girly or babyish and that would not show every mark. This fabric seemed to fit the bill and also the critters aren’t directional.
This bag has just one side seam, which means a directional fabric would actually have been okay. The side seam in fact makes this a nice bag for books, it’s that bit easier to slide them in and out. And the striped lining is cool.
All in all I’m quite pleased with this, even the handles are lined with batting and quilted.
It’s functional so in my book although the fabric is traditional, it’s modern because of the emphasis on “get ‘er done!” and “make something useful!”
Jane Dunnewold is the creative force behind this first ever exploration of how quilters are using digitally printed fabrics from print on demand companies such as Spoonflower. Of course Spoonflower is the leading company in this groundbreaking field, and they are co-sponsoring the exhibition. It will premiere at the 2015 International Quilt Market and Festival in Houston this fall.
Details of size, etc. are all on the pdf. Worth calling out:
Quilts must be made from at least 50% digitally printed fabric. It is not a requirement that fabric be designed by the quiltmaker, but the designer must be credited.
The other pertinent rule is no online/social media sharing of work in progress until acceptance and rejection notices have been delivered.
Submissions open March 1 to April 5.
Spoonflower turns orders around fast so even if there’s nothing lurking in your stash of too beautiful to cut, you’ve got time to design and order your own fabric — trust me on this, it’s not hard — or just go shopping for other designers’ fabrics.
Since this is for a quilt show (as opposed to bed quilts) you don’t have to confine yourself to cotton. Spoonflower can print designs onto silk, jersey and now even Minky (think pushing the envelope with soft fuzzy baby blankets in non traditional colours and designs). Of course quilts have to be quilted and quilting on Minky might be a bit challenging, but interesting.
The other pen is a regular ballpoint I enjoy writing with because the ink is the same luscious turquoise as the pen barrel, and the same colour as the Frixion ink.
Marks on fabric or paper made by the Frixion can be erased with heat, either by pressing or using the eraser on the end of the pen (which apparently works because of the heat it generates when you rub it on paper).
As you can see, I was making binding and thought I was using the Frixion pen to draw the stitching lines.
Sewing the wrong side to the right side instead of right sides together
Not having locked my beloved turquoise ballpoint away before starting to sew
Oh well, at least it’s binding so I can make sure the ballpoint goes on the inside. I have pinned a scrap of bright fabric by the line so I can be certain of doing that.
By the way, although Frixion pens are handy things to have around, the lines can reappear if the fabric is exposed to freezing temperatures, although they fade once the fabric is at normal temperature.
Michael James could be described as the first extreme quilter. This book, which was published in 1998, is in many quilters’ libraries.
It just so happened that when I bought it at a Guild retreat, I also bought a basket of goodies which I discovered included a magnifier. Anxious to see how well it worked I held it over the book cover (not something I would usually do) and was gobsmacked to see that Michael James did not use only solids in his work. In the older pieces especially there are some pretty tame calicoes that today would likely be relegated to baby quilts or quilt backs, as they’re just not that dynamic. For example follow the fourth orange stripe from the bottom left and see what it’s joined to when the colour change happens!
CHALLENGE – what do you think? Is it harder to use colours you don’t like or prints you don’t like?
For the holiday meeting in December the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild had a mug rug swap.
This is the rug I received fro “Dragon Lady” Laura (it’s the subject of her art not a reference to personality!). Laura doesn’t blog but had enclosed a handwritten note which I thought I’d memorialize here, as a way of easing myself back into blogging without going crazy right off the bat.
Dear fellow Modern Quilt Guild Member
I’ve noticed that the blogs of modern quilters include information about fabric choice and construction considerations. So here goes (in my low tech way 🙂 )
Spool fabric was found on a field trip to the Sunshine Coast. I’m thinking this one was from Carola’s. Right away I knew I wanted to piece improvisationally and add some white to complement the mug. So that I did. Top is quilted with Wonderfil cotton Tutti TU 03, bottom is Aurifil 50 wt 3320.
Hope you enjoy the mug rug with its spools and the heart fabric showing quilting love.
Have an amazing, creative 2015.
Ironically it was Laura who saved my bacon as we were putting our efforts out, because I had completely missed the point that the mugs and rugs were supposed to be wrapped, and Laura came to my rescue with a spare plastic bag.
What was my mug rug like, you ask? Well, erm, I had the best of intentions of taking pix, but with one thing and the other that didn’t happen. However, I took two somewhat stripey fabrics and a triangle ruler which I’ve had for years but never actually used, and put together a hexagon. The mug I chose was white with a real knitted cable knit sweater to keep the contents warm for longer so hopefully the recipient enjoys it!
Finally figured out how to save my masterpieces made in Threadbias and be able to post them!
Here goes nothing!
This has been a huge learning experience and for that I’m grateful. One thing is that on the Quilt Design A Day Facebook page all the images post as squares in the albums so it’s preferable to design them that shape for the best impression. In the stream they show in their full glory though.
Quite pleased with this one, I was aiming for using one shape with variations and to have a sense of weight at the bottom and airiness at the top.