In the process of cutting for the Triple Star, I also cut some pieces for FOTY 2017. Some of the other (non-Triple Star) have been on the wall for awhile. I seem to go in waves: cutting a lot and then not cutting anything.
I really like the plaids in the Chroma line. They are more fun than regular plaids.
After hearing Karen talk about her quilt, I decided that I would do more of a strip piece for Amy, so she would have some pieces she could use to connect other pieces. I tried to keep the pieces long and thin-ish.
Partway through the process, as I mentioned, I took out the piece and took a look at it.
I was trying very hard to adhere to the spirit of the words, but color balance kept creeping in to my work. In the case of color balance, left, of the in process piece, I thought it needed more blue towards the top.
After working through all of my thoughts and feelings, I am pleased with the way this came out. I worked on it over the course of several weeks in between other things until I ran out of time. I also focused on the placement of the color rather than the width of the strips, etc. I did try to keep the strips from getting to wide, though I really wanted it to be long, so some are quite wide.
I wanted to make it about a foot longer, but ran out of time. I am pleased and hope Amy will be, too.
I decided to use this photo again and try to make palettes with Kona colors and see the differences. Obviously, I am going to try to put the dots in the same place.
You can see my first effort, from last week. I used Bella Solids on last week’s post. It was an accident. I meant to use Kona, but Bella was turned on so I went with it.
The default palette is very similar to last week’s default. I guess if there are no neutral colored areas in the uploaded image, it goes with similar colors or as close to neutral as possible.
I do like that very dark, Kona Espresso as an addition to the pinks. I think I would swap out the Crimson, though it looks more purple than crimson to me, to allow the Espresso to shine more.
The obvious differences in my first palette are the first red is darker and pink is more blush than grape. The first three colors (from left) are the stars as they were in the first Bella palette.
Kona Pool is such a great color and the yellow, Kona Wasabi, though looking much brighter on the bottom is a nice addition. I am not fond of the sand, but I am sure it would be a good unobtrusive hue to help the others shine.
I gave up doing a scientific experiment and just had some fun. The next palette had a circus feel.
The colors are not pure primaries, so I don’t think it looks kid-like. I think it looks very cheerful. The Baby Pink as well as the Tomato keep the whole palette from being too much like a young child’s playroom.
I tried for another cheerful palette and got one similar to the circus palette above, but with greyer hues. Not completely, because Pool and the Citrus are VERY cheerful. I am not sure I have seen citrus show up in a palette before (it must have and I didn’t notice). The Ultramarine and Grass Green make this palette into one that the parents of the children above could use.
The blues stood out to me. Since I can resist them I made a palette with blues and greens – towards the darker, tending towards neutral.
The plum was an unexpected addition. I can’t pretend it just happened, because I put the circles in place. I was surprised at how well it went with the greens, especially the Celadon.
I guess the neutrals have gotten to me, because I couldn’t finish the exercise without a neutral palette.
One thing I noticed is that I have to really notice all the colors when I made so many palettes. I didn’t notice the dark brown, actually Cocoa, when I started on this exercise last week. The Kona Pepper looks more dark blue to me than black, but it adds a tinge of optimism to the palette.
The Pepper with its blue tinges sent me off to make one more blue palette.
The Ivy, which isn’t a favorite allows the Oasis and the Holly colors to shine. This might be might favorite palette, but I am also partial to n.2 above.
It is really a lot more fun to use a photo with many colors. I’ll have to find some others to use and do it again.
I had a few minutes to sew on Friday night after work and I blew through about 30 pieces for the Triple Star quilt. Not tons, but some progress, which felt good.
I have to admit I was avoiding quilting on the art quilt. I had taken off the walking foot in order to finish the star donation quilt and just drifted over to piecing rather than be disciplined about quilting. I have to give myself a break. This is supposed to be fun and I have been driving myself.
I was pleased to do some piecing. I received the Chroma finally, so I could cut the rest of the large rectangles. Now I am in the process of sewing (using the flippy corners method) 2.5″ squares onto two sides of the rectangles to make a parallelogram. I need a lot of them so it is taking forever. I might sew a sample block just to ease the mindlessness. I have no excuse to be bored 1) because I can switch to other projects and 2) I just started!
On a whim, I pre-ordered some Chroma FQs from Hawthorne Threads. I wanted to use some of the pieces for the Triple Star and I had some time to cut at the end of June.
They were expected at the end of June, which was perfect timing. Sadly, the fabric didn’t arrive until nearly the end of July.
Poor Hawthorne Threads. They were beside themselves and incredibly apologetic. Good thing I had plenty to do.
Some of the colors are great, but I don’t like that mustard yellow or the super icky green. I am an icky green girl, but that is a little too icky for me. the blues are the nicest followed by some of the pinks and lavenders. I already started cutting and the fabric is batik-esque and VERY thin.
I also started machine quilting with the 28 weight Aurifil thread. I liked it and decided to use it for the art quilt. I bought a few spools in colors I needed from Red Rock Threads*. What a great place! I ordered the thread in the evening one day and two days later it was on my dining room table. I didn’t even pay for expedited shipping. Their site isn’t super fancy, but it works well, is easy to understand and they ship fast. I can’t ask for more than that.
You saw the other day that I had finished the first layer, or perhaps it was the second layer?
I really kind of liked this look despite the slightly depressing look, but I was on a mission.
I used a satin stitch, but not a dense one stitch down the River. In some cases I will straight stitch first, but I didn’t in this case. I try to keep track of the settings so I can use the same density again. I often start with the density I used to sew on Merit Badges and then adjust from there. Despite the siren call of temptation, I always test the density before I sew on the actual piece. Have you every tried to rip out a satin stitch. It is doable, but I don’t find it to be fun.
After applique’ing down the River shape, I moved on to the broken hearts.
After making some hearts some time ago I have a trick, so I used it to make the heart shape then cut into them with very sharp scissors (should have used my Karen Kay Buckley scissors) and made the broken part. I put fusible on the back of the hearts and pressed them down. I use Soft Fuse. I have used other products, but that is my current favorite.
I had to play around with the placement of the hearts. I wanted them on the background, not on the borders or covering the River. Once they were placed where I wanted them I satin stitched them down and added the tears. I think tears coming off of a heart is powerful imagery.
The signs took a lot longer. I needed to add sticks and get the placement right, trim the shapes and write the messages.
I don’t know why I wanted these Easter Egg colors, but they seemed right. I didn’t even have to hunt for them as they magically appeared in a convenient stack of fabric.
I fused the sticks, then found they didn’t show up very well, so I stitch around them to highlight them. I still don’t think they show up as much as I wanted, but I am okay with the look.
This is very much a quilt where you get one view from afar and need to come closer to get a more detailed view.
A friend sent me this link and it made me sad. A group is selling off Eli Leon’s collection of quilts and aprons to help pay for his care. There wasn’t much detail about whether he is ill or just old and unable to live alone or what. The sale was last weekend, but there are photos at the link of interesting quilts.
Tools, Notions & Supplies
I saw an interesting sewing table on MassDrop. They don’t have a drop on currently. One can always be requested or you can buy it directly. The sewing table is by Merrow and it is small and compact and comes in a lot of delicious colors. if you have one, I’d love to know what you think.
Fabric, Thread, and Batting
I have recently received two unexpected magazines in the mail. The most recent one was from Craftsy. While there is a lot of scope for inspiration, I guess it is basically a catalog. They are touting their holiday patterns, kits, classes and fabrics. The fabrics all seem to be from the ‘Boundless’ line, which I think is a Craftsy brand? A lot of the items are marked down (is that a real sale or just standard marketing?), which is attractive, but makes me wonder if they ever were really sold for the MSRP. My favorite pattern in this catalog is the Puzzle Mixer Quilt Kit. I am not a fan of the fabric, but I like the dimensionality of the design.
Keeping on with the theme of catalogs, I also received a Keepsake Quilting catalog lately. I haven’t bought a lot from them lately, but always like to look at their tools and notions. I meant to write about it a couple of months ago when I received the last one, but didn’t get to it. Keepsake Quilting has changed the look of their catalog slightly. They still have the traditional fabrics, 1930s prints and ‘Call of the Wild’ panels and projects. The catalog, however, looks brighter and more cheerful. They also have a new section called Keepsake Modern. This section has the new Elizabeth Hartman Ocean quilt. Chroma from Alison Glass, along with the patterns, Cobblestone Quilt and Luminary, is featured as well. Sara Lawson has some patterns listed, Heather Givans has some fabrics on sale. The list goes on and on. This is not just a nod to modern. The company has done some investing and seem to be committed to the fabrics and patterns that modern quiltmakers want. Additionally, modern patterns show up in other sections, showing how modern patterns aren’t just for modern fabrics. There was one ‘…of the month’ subscription I considered. If you read Sandy’s blog, you know how popular these boxes and subscriptions have become. KQ has an Aurifil Modern Quilter Thread of the Month Club. the customer receives 4 spools a month and the cost is $49.99+ shipping. Including shipping, that is $13.49 per spool. Red Rock Threads is slightly less at $12.75 for four spools. Their shipping is slightly higher at $5. I found their shipping to be super quick. I ordered some thread and had it two days later even though I didn’t pay for expedited shipping. Still, getting fun mail is, well, fun and I wouldn’t have to do anything except pay. If I could be guaranteed not to receive any brown or beige I would join.
Did you make a hand? No? Me neither, but it is on my list. Make a hand! I need to make a hand!
Exhibits & Exhibitions
Threads of Resistance will be at PIQF October 12-15, 2017 in Santa Clara. You can sign up for workshops and lectures on their site. Online entry for quilts and wearables is also available now. Deadline is August 29, 2017.
Charlotte of the Slightly Mad Quilt Lady talks about stippling and gives a nice list of why it is a good quilt pattern.
After sewing the background together, I thought there might be a small chance I was done and could move on. No dice. I would like to say that my Muse gently stroked my hand encouragingly. No such luck. The VIMH #2 was impatient and insistent. “keep going,” she said (loudly). She has no patience because she knows I know what I am supposed to do. When I don’t do it she has no patience for my prevaricating.
I thought the piece needed an inner border to keep the center motifs contained. I thought a dark border would work. Not being done with those 1.5″ squares yet, I cut about a gazillion more out of black and white fabrics. The fabrics were mostly dark, but the white provides a little space.
I cut enough for two rows, then put them up on the wall.
The effect seemed kind of heavy to me, so I put one row up and compared the two. One row seemed best to me, so I sewed those together and put them on to the quilt.
I really wanted the ‘River‘ to go underneath the border. I fiddled with that concept a lot, then finally gave up.
Part of the problem was that I was going to have to applique some of the squares and I really didn’t want to do that. I also didn’t think it added anything to the quilt overall. It was hard to tell, though, and it made me sad not to be able to work out the technical details.
I got busy trimming the River as I didn’t want a 20 inch third border.
I needed to make the water filtering into the drain end up in the corner but not on the edge, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to applique the drain.
I was still trying to figure out how to get the inner border over the River shape. This point in the process decided me, because I was already thinking about quilting and how I would manage that with this border on top.
Trimming the bottom of the water going down the drain was also a problem because of the angle of the viewer. I looked at water sluicing into a drain, which didn’t help me, because I was looking at it from on top. Even if I stood on my head **in** the sink, I wouldn’t have been able to get the same angle. Finally, I decided that my viewers weren’t stupid and would figure out what I was trying to say. I am not 100% happy with the outcome, but sometimes one has to make compromises.
After trimming, sewing, ripping and sewing again, I finished the second layer.
The weather has been very gray lately, so the quilt, being predominantly grey at this point, looks depressing. It isn’t really. The grey made into the second border is a bright clear grey. Even thought I don’t get the interwoven feel I was trying for, I am pleased with how this came out.
Rhonda brought my BAMQG Round Robin back to me when we met at the CQFA meeting. I had to hunt around the blog for which challenge it came as I couldn’t remember. I also wanted to see the changes. I remembered that Kathleen worked on it and Kelly had it, but I couldn’t remember anything else about it. 🙁 Kelly had it for a long time and since she is much more into quilting than piecing, I wasn’t surprised to see no changes.
The piecing is really good. I have asked for some other volunteers to work on the piece. We’ll see if anyone volunteers. If not, I will finish it and give it to a kid I know, I think. I don’t think I am really interested in working on it anymore.
Today, I decided to try a photo that was super colorful. This is a leaded glass window I saw in a house on Guerrero Street. It is an AirBnB and my friend stayed there. I saw it when I dropped her off. the female shape in front of it is a statue. I am going to focus on the glass.
Apparently, I chose Bella Solids this time.
The first palette, always the default, is very grape heavy. It isn’t unpleasant at all. I am struck at the similarities in the colors chosen by the program. Although, the hues provided tend to be somewhat dusky, the Bella Off-White seems have a pink tone when put next to the grapes and pink fabrics.
My first palette looks very circus-y. The Bella Sunflower next to the Little Boy Blue looks very cheerful. I got the red – actually Mango – by moving the dot very slightly up on the same piece of glass.
The Bella Sprout really makes the second of my palettes. I wanted something different than the yellow, but was concerned about that Longhorn (gold-yellow). with the other colors, I think it works. This palette is probably my favorite.
My immediate reaction to the third of my palettes was that I didn’t like it. However, I looked again and while I have concerns about the Bella Avocado, I think, overall, it works.
The colors come from one flower and I know the light affected the colors appeared.
I might do this exercise again with Konas just to see the difference.
Saturday was the CQFA meeting and I actually made it! It was held in Maureen’s backyard. We sat around on outdoor chairs wearing hats and sunscreen had had our meeting. The meeting was followed by a workshop with Zoe Umholtz.
There is no news on the show, but I haven’t made my piece or my book yet, so I still have time.
My favorite part was the ATC exchange. I had mine made from early in the year when only Bron brought ATCs. We exchanged, I made another and didn’t have to scramble to make some before the meeting. Like Amy’s Color My Quilt piece, I need to get busy making ATCs for the October meeting. I have some schnibbles that I was eyeing the other day that might make great pieces.
In order from left to right, top row: Bron, Maureen and Diane.
Bottom row: Julie, Jaye, Angela, Nancy
I received some very nice pieces. There were two that I really wanted. I got one of them and am happy about that. Maureen (left, top) used some indigo pieces she made in a Zoe Umholtz workshop she took earlier. I think it was in honor of the workshop.
Nancy did some nice threadwork (right, top).
Diane (left, bottom) hasn’t been at a meeting in a long time, so it was great to see her. I saw her ATC and it made me want to pull out the others I have traded with her. She works in a similar style, so I think there would be some continuity.
I like the details on Julie’s piece (bottom, right) as well. The button and the little xes are wonderful and I like the texture.
I acted as workshop assistant for a few tasks, but mostly sat and knitted. I didn’t do any dyeing. Been there, done that and am happy to buy from people who enjoy it. I listened to Zoe’s introduction and watched as others folded and banded and dyed. I am also excited to see what comes out of the workshop.
As I said yesterday, I saw Sarah Ann Smith’s quilt, Speak Up, Speak Out and a whole bunch of stuff coalesced in my mind. Mind you, I didn’t even really know that all that stuff was rolling around. I have been feeling stressed out since the Inauguration and all of the stuff stressing me out suddenly came together.
As I said, I started working on my project from a couple of drawings in my journal. I had no measurements beyond “not big” when I started working on the background.
I, again, used Mary Mashuta’s Pushed Neutral technique. I have done this in the past with other neutrals and now I use the same techniques with colors. This time, I worked with grey. Some of the greys are a little dark, but I keep telling myself the darks create disharmony, which is one thing I was trying to do. This quilt should unsettle you. I think, ultimately, the whole idea worked.
I did move some of the squares around to get the right mix of locations with darks and lights of grey.
I needed a break from quilting to do some piecing.
I had the Star blocks on the wall and had figured out how I wanted to put them together. I also wanted to get them done since the guild meeting is coming up and I’d like to having something to turn in. Since my design wall is overrun those blocks seemed to be the most logical project.
I put the blocks together in, basically, the arrangement I showed in the previous post.
I didn’t put the blocks together completely. I omitted some of the corner blocks in order to make the arrangement a little off balance. Some of the blocks share corner blocks. I think this adds movement to the quilt.
I think this quilt really shows what can happen if you keep the blocks on the design wall for awhile and look at them.
I have four more of these blocks and will make another quilt in a similar, but slightly different arrangement. I am not quite done playing with the arrangement.
I made a back for Stars #2 as well and will give both to the guild at the next meeting.
I needed to work on this project, but I did not want comments or to provoke the storm I know will come with this post. I wasn’t quite ready. I still am not ready. As long as I still have freedom of speech I will post this quilt. I knew about the Threads of Resistance project and I would love to be a part of that, but I don’t do well with challenges. I wish I did because I’d love to be a part of that show.
The stress started on my birthday, which was January 20, not just because it was inauguration day, but also because I was at an event where people were happy to see President Obama leave office. They didn’t like him because he was black. For them it was No-Bama Day. For me, even though I didn’t know it at the time, it was the beginning of a stressful, distressing time.
I walked around waiting for my ATM card not to work, to be made subhuman, like in the Handmaid’s Tale. I started really to fear that the better country we were making would be dismantled. You might think we don’t need the EPA or the ACA and that is your right. I do not want to create a Sh*tstorm and this is not a political blog. I feel we do need clean air and health care for everyone. My feelings coalesced when I saw Sarah Ann Smith’s quilt, Speak Up, Speak Out.
When I saw her quilt, I realized that another in my political art quilt series had been brewing in my head without me really knowing. I thought “this is the quilt I wanted to make.” I said so to Sarah and she said to make my version.
I thought about it for a long time, then I drew a picture in my journal. I thought that would be the end of it, but I couldn’t get the image out of my mind. I drew it again, a little more refined and more to scale.
I drew it over an over, continually refining, adding detail. The whole process went so smoothly that I kept going into piecing and cutting and sewing and quilting.
As I write this, the piece isn’t quite finished, but it will be soon (YAY! Another finish!). What happens to it after that, I don’t know.