REALLY looking: a serendipitous discovery

river004Michael 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?

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Modern mug rug – semi guest post

mug run laura001 mug rug laura001

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.

Laura writes:

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.

mug run laura002What 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!

Quilt Design A Day

QDAD DESIGN001_cropCheck out the inspiration photo and palette at design seeds.

I watched Anne Sullivan’s webinar through the Modern Quilt Guild explaining the concept of Quilt Design a Day and took to heart her reassurance that one can participate without necessarily using a computer program to do it.  Although that is something I also do plan to look into!

This was done in two stages

  1. outline the pieces on quad ruled paper
  2. trace over onto sketchbook paper and colour

Starting a list of ‘missing colours’ to pick up either markers or perhaps watercolour pencils whenever I’m in an art supply store.  This palette also has a light cream that I don’t have anything close to, a very low volume colour.

The colouring was done with oil pastels.  The blues and gray reproduced well in the scan but the lilac around the gray in the centre portal is disappointing.

Is this a new block?

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Believe it or not I had my test block from yesterday out and very carefully (as I thought) followed it.  But something got lost in translation.  Can you spot the non deliberate error?

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Yep, I had the red triangle and square sewn together wrong.

There might be all kinds of secondary patterns with these blocks, although not something I’m about to start exploring at this juncture.  However knowing me I can bet even if I set out to make a gazillion of either block it would probably spawn a number of deviant blocks despite my best efforts.  Could be interesting though if done in three fabrics consistently.  You would end up with a scrap effect without actually using scraps (which is usually what I’m doing!)

anyway this block needs to be above all DONE because tonight’s Modern Quilt Guild Victoria meeting at Satin Moon is the deadline.

If the top block doesn’t already have a name I’m thinking Perverted Pinwheel.  But maybe it already has a name, does anyone know?

Still designing Modern Quilt Guild Banner Block …

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Decided to go with the repeated diamond shapes in the background fabric.

What do you think?

Not wanting to use up all the Kona Cottons I went with the palette I’ve chosen for the next workshop I’m taking, which is Mile-a-Minute, coming up soon, as the supply list says it’s okay to bring orphan blocks.  I’m curious to see how similar the method is to building slabs, which I’m still doing.

Banner Block for Victoria Modern Quilt Guild, work in progress!

Some people would have sat down and done their banner block for the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild in under an hour, using the beautiful Kona Cottons Robert Kaufman so generously provided for our fledgling guild.  Hmm, yeah, not me …

But at least I’m working on it and keeping all the other balls in the air in my life …

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Cardinal, cactus and celestial

Here’s one of the fish blocks for Pirate Girl’s quilt

IMG_0058which I’ll post more about as time goes by.

While making fish blocks, I didn’t actually sew one this way (although I well could have, LOL!)

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but it did get me thinking …

IMG_0055except why stop with a plain “background” in the large area?

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and for that matter, wouldn’t a little more cardinal be a Good Thing?

What do YOU think?  Does this say “modern”?

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Process on Banner Block for Modern Quilt Guild

To mark the inauguration of the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild, Robert Kaufman fabrics has generously donated Kona Cottons to Guild members. We’re getting a total of 3/4 of yard in the colours of our Guild logo designed by Berene Campbell of Happy Sew Lucky.

We are working on our banner and the challenge is for each member to create a six-inch block using the fabrics we’ve been given.

Drool!

IMG_0044These are arranged from light to dark.  I thought had them organized correctly but decided to take a black and white photocopy to double-check.  I was close but had the cactus as the third lightest but in fact it’s really the second lightest.  At first I had the cardinal as darker than the glacier and then changed my mind.

As all we have to produce is one block each, there will be lots of left over fabric.  Hmmm, we may have to have another challenge to do something with those.

So the colours going left to right are:

aqua, cactus, blueberry, cedar, cardinal, glacier, celestial, nightfall

The block I’m thinking about making is a riff on the fish block I’m using for Pirate Girl’s quilt, which is itself a riff on an Ohio Star block.  But this block is twisted and will be made in three colours rather than just two.

Of course as I sit here writing this several other twists and possibilities spring to mind.  I have worked out to make the edges first and audition the centre once the edges are done.  Production would have started this morning but rotary cutters and small kids are not a good combination …