Posted in Art, quilting, Rant, stash

Improvised design wall for lastest baby slab quilt

Okay, okay, it’s my bad, I should have hung up my design wall as soon as I moved in to my new home BUT instead I procrastinated although I was convinced I had all the necessary hardware.

This morning since my design study group is meeting tomorrow I decided I really must do something about the design wall.  Out comes the industrial gray felt with the hanging tabs, out comes my box of hardware, out comes the rubbing alcohol to clean the wall.

The wall is cleaned, the felt is smoothed out all ready to hang.

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OBSTACLE!  what I thought was removable strips for the plastic hooks turns out to be a pack of Velcro removable strips to go directly on the back of a picture frame.  I need the kind with adhesive on both sides to stick to the back of the hooks.

Pause to kick myself (because I did a mega-shop yesterday and could certainly have bought the right product had I realized) and to wonder also why they package three of these Velcro doohickeys when the illustration on the back shows putting two on the back of the picture frame?  Why do I wonder, it’s so they can make everyone buy two packs in order to hang two pictures, and then have two left over.

Don’t let me rant about this way of packaging that forces you to buy more than you need or can use.  Our dustbin lid went missing recently.  New dustbin but will anyone sell you a lid?

Anyway back to the drawing board, er, I mean design wall, and back to a supply I can’t do without, i.e. masking tape!  It’s not pretty but for now it will do.

The two columns on the left are sewn together and the other three columns are still under design.  I’ll let it percolate for a bit and probably move things around.

The colour palette is analagous, which was the design exercise we had set for ourselves at our first meeting.  It was interesting to see what others made of this, because I was the only person to use a neutral in my design.

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It’s good to have feedback from supportive friends who ‘get it’ because originally the bottom corner looked like this (more or less, excuse the masking tape!)  I had focused on the fact that the structure of that block makes it a good corner block, but five fresh sets of eyes noted that the weight/volume is much too light.

After some reverse sewing I was ready to replace the offending block.  Set-in seam strikes fear into my heart, but I found a terrific YouTube tutorial by Kaye Wood which I watched several times and followed, and I’m quite pleased with the result:

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Here’s a close up of the set in corner.  Kaye’s method is very simple.

My only regret is that I got confused and the part which I planned to have on the outside corner isn’t.  However I think with a new to me technique and all the seams it’s better to quit while I’m ahead.  Am I being a wuss, what do you think?  You can tell me, I can take it!

All the tutorials online show how to do y-seams as part of a block like Bright Hopes, Tumbling Blocks or Grandmother’s Flower Garden.  No one has posted a tutorial on “sewing round corners when you need to fix a design flub.”  Hmm, an unmet need.

Posted in quilting, stash, Uncategorized

Baby Quilt for Bloggers Quilt Festival

Yes, it’s That Time Again!

AmysCreativeSide

How awesome that Amy puts in the effort to bring this to the blogging/quilting community twice every year!

Here is my entry to the Baby Quilt category, where I see many, many wonderful creations already.  Although I have entered the festival before, this is my first time to have two entries.  My other quilt is an art quilt and you can see it here.photo(80)

Although I have made a couple of other baby slab quilts, this was my first attempt to go low volume and “air out” the block by alternating them with white on white blocks.

Slab blocks are such fun and a great way to use up scraps in a colour controlled way that results in a cohesive piece.  I’ve posted numerous times about slab blocks and Cheryl Arkison’s work which was what got me started on this tack.

Comments are welcome and please visit the other sites that are participating in the various categories.  You’ll be glad you did.

Posted in quilting, stash

Pink butterfly finito!

with batting, backing, free motion quilting, label (finally filled in at the baby’s house to be sure her name was correctly spelled)

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Lessons learned:

  • I like the airy lower volume look on this quilt and the diagonal lines created with the corners and how the slab blocks were turned to emphasize diagonals in the design.  Can see pursuing this idea further.
  • Glad I thought to bring a Pigma pen along so I could finish writing the label
  • Because of the deadline of the baby party I got this finished quickly, the same as the green one I completed on Labour Day.  Hopefully I can hold onto this energy and apply it to other projects, even though the next baby in our community is not due till December.

The perimeter measures 127 inches (36 by 27-1/2 inches)

Posted in quilting, stash

Pink Butterfly layout

Up on the design wall, here’s a photo from my iPhone

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Same layout, photo from my iPad (which doesn’t have a flash)

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The baby for whom this is intended has arrived and is a girl!  Not knowing the gender ahead of time, I had hoped to have 12 pink slabs and 12 blue slabs completed.  I debated mixing pink and blue but then thought that more negative space might be a good thing.

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OVER TO YOU NOW, DEAR READER:

  • What’s your opinion?
  • What’s weird with this layout?
  • Which photo is better of the two pink layouts, iPhone or iPad?

There are no right or wrong answers, just your own thoughts, please!

Interested in exploring the modern quilt esthetic.  Satin Moon has a modern mini-quilt challenge and I plan to pick up my kit today.  It was ALMOST ready to roll on Wednesday but they insisted on keeping it a surprise until the kits were prepared.  And the first meeting of the Victoria branch of the Modern Quilt Guild is meeting at Satin Moon next Thursday, so It’ll be interesting to see everyone’s show and share.  I may have to organize my slab quilt pix into an album on my iPad since the baby is waiting for her gift!

Posted in quilting, stash

Slab Baby Quilt finished

Actually not just finished, but labeled, loose ends neatly darned, pressed, wrapped and delivered!

Sometimes I amaze myself, which counterbalances the many, many times when I fall short of accomplishing the projects I set out to complete.

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This measures 30 by 39 inches so its perimeter is 138 inches towards the CQA Walk to Brock Challenge.

Lessons Learned:

  • I’m starting to appreciate the wisdom/beauty of low volume in baby quilt design — although that is not obvious from this one.  I did make some of the slabs quieter and less busy
  • Next time I’ll go with a much lighter variegated thread for the free motion quilting.  This is Valdani Green Pastures on the top and Ebony Almond in the bobbin.
Posted in quilting, stash

Slab Baby Quilts

I had so much fun making slabs to help recover Southern Alberta that after I had mailed off the last package (the organizers had a deadline of July 30) I tweaked the concept and have started making baby quilts.

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Unfortunately this is the only photo I have of the first one because I was rushing to finish the top before our Guild meeting.  Anyhoo, the blocks are made just 9-1/2 inches to finish at 9 inches and I am putting 12 blocks in three rows of four and then adding a contrasting border to frame it.  The blue quilt has a rust red tonal border.

Thanks to Laine who contributed one large green block.  I trimmed into four baby size blocks, adding white and other green fabric as necessary.

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Lessons learned:

  • Pale pastels and airy scattered prints, a.k.a. low volume, are good
  • Easier to sew together if there are not too many seams on the outside of the top, especially on the corners!
  • Trimming to size is easier if smaller scraps are inside the block and wider ones on the edges

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  • I cut a 9-1/2 inch square out of heavy sketching paper as a template so it’s easy to tell how much more needs to be added to the block while you’re assembling it

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  • finished blocks have their own home.  This is supposed to be for scrapbooking paper, don’t tell the scrapbooking police!  although you could use a pizza box.  We often make our own and rarely phone for pizza so we don’t have a source for clean pizza boxes. The template lives in the box and often has a sticky note on it with notes like “need 3 more blue blocks”
Posted in baraka, Environment, quilting

More slab blocks

Many other Guild members made haste to make slab blocks to Recover Southern Alberta.  These blocks are 15-1/2 inches.  Arlene, Margaret and I put our efforts together and the package I express mailed on Sunday was delivered on Tuesday, which is really pretty awesome considering.

photo(60)We made blocks in various colours, but all of us had made blue blocks.  This photo shows why this design of Cheryl Arkison’s is such a brilliant choice for group projects, because each block was made by a different person.

Top left is Margaret’s, mine is on the right and Arlene’s is below.

I’ve been well and truly bitten by the slab bug and am working on what may hopefully become a group project, using 9 1/2 inch slabs to make baby quilts.  The photo below shows a few of the blocks I’ve made so far.  I’m figuring 20 blocks to a quilt in four rows of five and hope to have a top assembled for show and share in early August.

It’s such fun to see the projects people come up with to bust stash, so what are YOU doing?  I’d love to know!

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Posted in baraka, creativity, quilting

Baby Quilt 2014 Challenge

This is going to be fun!

Please scroll down below Paddington.  It’s a scan and I should’ve cropped it.  Lesson learned!

river011Our Guild’s Baby Quilts Committee have come up with a brilliant challenge for the quilt show next year.

Everyone who accepts the challenge receives – free – a packet.  All the packets are different but they all contain nine 6-inch squares (Paddington is one of them) plus a fat quarter in solid or tone-on-tone green or yellow.

Fabric from the nine squares and the fat quarter have to be included in the quilt top.

Additionally each packet contains some extra scraps that could be used along with whatever we have in our stash.

What I appreciate about this challenge:

  • Not too many sadistic rules so hopefully lots of members will feel moved to participate
  • Free is always good — they are even providing the batting once the top is completed.  Free is good because no one has to think about the money before joining in AND once people have signed up almost everyone will actually finish and turn in a baby quilt for the local neonatal intensive care unit.
  • The fabrics in the packet are pretty eclectic so even more scraps from the stash can come in
  • Having all different fat quarters is great
  • The use of yellow or green for the fat quarter is gender neutral

Of course it’s a challenge so the design has to be kept secret until next March.

But I’ll write process notes as I go along and then publish them after the deadline.

Put a marmalade sandwich in your hat (like Paddington) and Stay Tuned!

Posted in quilting

Avant garde baby quilt

IMG_0647Rustled this up over a couple of days when I needed a baby quilt quickly for an artistic mom.  Okay, it took more than a couple of days to piece together all the little bits of fabric, but I do that anyway, to preserve small scraps, to play with colour and value, to test the stitching on the machine, you get the picture.

The original plan, which still exists, is to make a bed quilt for myself.  But I keep getting sidetracked and making cushion covers, tote bags, and quilty gifts for artistic people who I think will appreciate this style (which is not everyone!)

The blocks are about 25 inches square and I make a point of putting similar fabric on the outside of different blocks so they can pieced into larger works without the edges of each block being glaringly obvious.  This one is about 40 inches square I think.  Of course it wasn’t actually measured, but most baby quilts are about that size, so that the backing can be done without piecing.  The back of this isn’t pieced so that makes me feel my guesstimate is more or less accurate.

Posted in productivity, quilting

Baby quilt FINALLY FINISHED!

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Here’s a close up showing the quilting on this one, which is technically the best quilting I feel I’ve done, just meandering lines in a grid, using Valdani Withered Blue on top and their Brick (I think it is) in the bobbin.

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And to the right, the whole quilt.

What was fun with this was that I didn’t buy any fabric, just found stuff in my existing stash that played together nicely.

Following Joan Ford’s advice in Cut the Scraps! was a big help as all the squares were cut to five inches.  The paisley and the pale blue feathers were yardage which I cut, the others were from scraps I’d already cut down.  It was fast and fun to pore through the clamshell I keep them in and pull out the dark blue, red, peacock feathers and the deep red paisley and then just sit and sew.

The Missouri Star Quilt Company YouTube tutorial on disappearing nine-patch 

was a terrific quick  primer that saved me from making any design mistakes.  You put the focus fabrics in the four corners of the nine-patch, the middle fabric will be sliced into four little squares, and the fabrics in the middle of each outside appear like sashing, which is why I stuck to the blue feathers so there would be some consistency to the design.

When the quilt was started, no one knew whether the baby would be a boy or a girl.  Here in British Columbia you can only find out by paying extra for a special test.  Anyway the not knowing meant I needed to choose colours that were not gender specific, which I think I achieved.  In the end it was a boy, but this would also be suitable for a girl too.