Amy’s Color My Quilt Finished

Amy's Inspiration
Amy’s Inspiration

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.

Amy's Color My Quilt piece in process
Amy’s Color My Quilt piece in process

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.

Amy's Color My Quilt piece
Amy’s Color My Quilt piece

I wanted to make it about a foot longer, but ran out of time. I am pleased and hope Amy will be, too.

Amy’s Color My Quilt

Yes, this appears to the be the week of Color My Quilt.

Amy's Color My Quilt piece in process
Amy’s Color My Quilt piece in process

I decided that I would start work on Amy’s Color My Quilt piece right away. I used it as leaders and enders while I sewed fabric pieces that didn’t require a 1/4″ foot. It was a good plan as I have made enough progress to hand it in today even if I do nothing else.

Don’t get the idea that I was doing a shoddy job. I was eyeballing a seam allowance rather than using the 1/4″ foot guide so I could make progress, but not being shoddy. If anything most of the seam allowances are larger than 1/4″.

Of course, I want to do more. I think it needs more blue. If I don’t do anymore, I’ll be happy and not embarrassed to give what I have to Amy.

Color My Quilt WOW

The BAMQG meeting was….sometime in the recent past. I have a lot going on and can’t quite remember.

Karen M. Color My Quilt
Karen M. Color My Quilt

Anyway, one fabulous thing that happened was that Karen M brought her finished ‘Color My Quilt’ piece. I thought it looked fabulous. She talked quite a bit about how she put it together and where she added strips and bits and pieces.

Keeping the colors in the same family with a bit of spark really made this quilt come together.

Karen was asked to do a workshop on teaching people to put their own pieces together. She may do a hands on tutorial at the next meeting.

Kelly’s Color My Quilt

The guild meeting was Saturday. It was a good time, but I wasn’t really in the mood for some reason. Last week was busy and I had a lot of people to deal with in stressful situations, so I might have just been overloaded with external stimulus. Still, I was glad I went.

I always feel like I am offloading a truck when I go to a BAM meeting. I hand off donation quilts, pet beds, donation blocks, free table items. At the meeting last weekend I also had a Color My Quilt piece to show and give.

Kelly's group of Color My World chunks
Kelly’s group of Color My World chunks

It was Kelly‘s month and she she had an interesting idea. The responses were very cohesive, I thought, which was great. Some others seem to think we weren’t doing the challenge right, but I like cohesion in a quilt, so I thought this group was very successful.

My Color My Quilt Piece for Kelly
My Color My Quilt Piece for Kelly

My piece is at the top and I was pretty happy with it. It was one of the largest, as you can see. As someone pointed out, I don’t make small quilts. 😉

I learned this technique when I took my second quiltmaking class at Fort Mason from Sonya Lee Barrington back in the Dark Ages. I really had fun using it this time. It was nice to make swooping curves. I didn’t want to use black and didn’t have the Pepper that Kelly suggested on her sheet, so I stayed with brights.

There was some discussion about ‘chunks’ at the meeting.I have used free form piecing on two of the pieces. I thought I used that technique on all of them, but I made a checkerboard for Cheryl’s. This has led me to think about what could be a chunk besides free form piecing. I know a strip of Flying Geese could be a chunk, but blocks seem to be out of favor in terms of chunks. If I get a month, it probably won’t be until next year, so I have a long time to think about it.

Kelly seemed pretty happy with her chunks. I talked with her about her thoughts regarding putting them together. Obviously, it is too soon to really know what she will do. In the course of the discussion, it occurred to me that I could make chunks to intersperse among those from friends and that could help to bring the different pieces together.

So far, I have participated in:

This month is Gerre’s month and I have to get busy on her piece as I have a lot going on between now and the next meeting.

BAMQG Design Wall

SIL's Design Wall
SIL’s Design Wall

We had Craft Night at SIL’s the other night. Her design wall was awash with BAMQG projects.

One thing that is cool about this is that SIL never belonged to any guilds (that I remember her talking about) when she lived back East. The other thing is that she does more of the various challenges than I do.

  1. SIL's Design Wall n.2
    SIL’s Design Wall n.2

    The first project is the text project. SIL is smart and makes small projects for the challenges. The blue fabric is a text print and her piecing of the striped fabric is truly genius.

  2. The green and pink piece is actually a quillow. That fabric was truly a challenge for SIL as she normally works in a different palette.
  3. The blue and white square and rectangle piece is the latest challenge from BAMQG. This year’s theme is scraps and the first challenge has to do with using scraps to make a piece from squares and rectangles. I like the white as I think it adds a lot the the piece.
  4. You might recognize the postage stamp blocks from the various posts I have written about donation blocks and quilts. SIL is using sashing on hers as I often do.

There is a certain cohesiveness on her design wall that appealed to me.

Color My Quilt – Cheryl

Cheryl was fortunate enough to grab the February spot and her piece was the second on which I worked. As I said Saturday, I had two pieces on which to work right off the bat. I missed the February meeting, but got my hands on the color sheet and made a piece.

Cheryl's Color My World
Cheryl’s Color My World

For some reason I wanted to do something a bit more straight-laced and block-like. It couldn’t be too straight-laced, so decided on a checkerboard.

Kelly is next and I am curious to see what she comes up with as her colors.

I have making my own color sheet on my list. I have an idea in mind, but need to find a photo. I’ll wait a few months so I can see what other people bring to the meeting. I doubt my slot will come up before next year.

Color My Quilt – Karen

Karen, last year’s guild challenge coordinator is leading a new challenge. This challenge is in addition to whatever challenges the new challenge coordinator comes up with. I have decided to join the Color My World challenge.

As is her right, Karen was the first person to provide a color sheet for the challenge. As I join somewhat behind the rest of the group I had two to complete at once. I did Karen’s first and will talk about the other one tomorrow.

Karen's Color My World
Karen’s Color My World

Karen used a landscape photo as the inspiration. I followed that idea and used curve strip piecing techniques to mimic the landscape idea. I am pleased with the way my piece came out.

Cheryl’s IRR

I don’t actually have any IRRs right now and I wasn’t at the BAMQG meeting, so I couldn’t take another. I had three in quick succession, with Cheryl’s being the last before my brief hiatus. Ruth‘s and Claire‘s pieces were the other two in the trio.

Michelle and I met at Trader Joe’s again and exchanged IRRs. I took Claire’s to pass along as she wouldn’t be at the meeting either. I headed up to the North Coast again with DH for NSGW/#politicalwifery events and Michelle was headed to Spain. Rhonda was kind enough to take both bags to the meeting for us and I gave them to her at the CQFA meeting.

All of this meant that I had to get Cheryl’s done in time to get it to Rhonda. I had about a day once I figured out all of the timing, so I got down to business.

Cheryl's IRR - before
Cheryl’s IRR – before

Cheryl’s piece looked great when I got it and I was loathe to wreck it, but Michelle had added half a row, so that missing section was perfect for me to complete.

Cheryl’s piece is turning out really well. I love it, thus the feelings of avoiding wreckage. I really wanted to use the Paris map fabric, but couldn’t really fit it in once all was said and done.

I walked around with it on my design wall for a few days and decided to add some Flying Geese. Yes, I am still in love with Flying Geese.

I also needed to add my signature fabric, but I didn’t want to add a large patch or strip as I have on other pieces, because I wanted to preserve the mainly white and turquoise color story.

There were a few small strips left over from other piecing, so I pieced a few of those together to make another strip large enough to handle my signature fabric. I wanted something that would look like it fit in.

Cheryl's IRR - my part
Cheryl’s IRR – my part

I made some Flying Geese. Since those were the main parts, I started working getting Michelle’s strip completed. I added some white and a strip of the black and white stripe, which came to me after looking at the piece.

After making my piece, I think the white on the edge needs to be corralled, but someone else, or Cheryl, will have to worry about that. I am pleased with how my part came out and I think my signature fabric piece fits in well without overwhelming the whole design.

 

Cheryl's IRR - finished with my part
Cheryl’s IRR – finished with my part

I also think the piece needs some space at the top. The bottom is getting to be quite breezy while the top is looking a little cramped. Not fatally so, but a little. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Good things about this IRR

  • no rules about how much you have to do
  • don’t have to add much fabric

Mighty Lucky February Challenge (Fibershots)

Mighty Lucky Member
Mighty Lucky Member

I saw the Mighty Lucky February Challenge and groaned. the basic theme was minimalism and I was not interested.

Then I had an idea. Then I saw the notice for the CQFA meeting and that the activity would be working on quilts for the Fibershots fundraiser at SJMQT. I decided that I could get the challenge done and do some good.

Two quilt birds one stone.

I had the materials I needed at hand and got down to business.

As I wanted the pieces were quickly pieced. I was pretty happy, though I can see where a whole series of these would make the designs better. I felt like there was something, but didn’t know what.

I kept the pieces on my design wall for a day or two and then took them to the CQFA meeting to quilt during the work party. I took my thread with me and quilted the pieces in a simple straight line design. I had a brain flash as I progressed across the piece where I decided to add a few lines of colored thread to the quilting.

When I got home I added some triangles as a hanging mechanism as I zigzagged around the edge of the piece. Maureen suggested using some Perl cotton to stabilize the edge as I quilted so I tried that and the edges don’t seem to curl as much.

Minimalist Fiber 1 & 2
Minimalist Fiber 1 & 2

As I mentioned, my Mighty Lucky Challenge will be heading off to be displayed with other Fibershots quilts and sold (hopefully) for $100. You, too, can make one. Talk to the Museum if you want to buy one. Like mine. Buy mine. All the money goes to support the museum.

Mighty Lucky January Challenge

I already wrote a little bit about the February challenge, but look for a full fledged post about it soon. I am just catching up with the January challenge. I am happy with my first effort with bias tape. It was interesting and a good learning experience, but I want to try this picture again. I like the image, but my rendition didn’t come out as I had hoped.

Mighty Lucky January Challenge
Mighty Lucky January Challenge

I really like the thin beak of the original picture. I didn’t get the beak as thin as I would have liked. I used a lot of pins, but it was hard to keep the bias in place as I sewed and I am not sure why. The wobble also resulted in all of the straight lines ending up wobbly. This is because I didn’t have the Wonder tape called for in the directions (I have it now). I didn’t add fusible to my bias tape, which was an option I didn’t think about.

Still, I made something for the challenge. I was also expecting progress not perfection. WooHoo!

I was excited about this challenge, because I had been wanting to learn to make bias tape using bias tape makers. It might useful for embellishing or design purposes in the future. This was the perfect opportunity.

After cutting and sewing the bias, I fed the piece through using a pin and the device started making bias tape! I couldn’t believe it that the process worked. Once I got going, I found it incredibly useful to poke a pin into my pressing surface to hold the bias in place. As I reached the end of my pressing mat with the iron, I had to move the pin.

Bias tape maker seam allowance problem
Bias tape maker seam allowance problem

I was disappointed that the directions did not talk about type of fabric or any challenges that might occur. I found a couple of things that were challenging.

First, I used a Kona Solid for the red bias tape. As I have mentioned in the past there is a lot to like about Kona, but its loose weave is not a bonus. I cut my strips about 1/2″ wide and as I fed them through the bias tape maker to make 1/4″ bias, the seams got hung up on the device. The bias tape maker had a real problem going over them as I pulled the tape through. I ended up helping them with a stiletto, but the seams looked terrible once the tape was made, as you can see in the photo with the blue arrow. The photo is of completed bias tape. You can see that the line is not smooth and there is a marked bump in the tape. Yes, I pressed the seams flat and they are still not attractive. The seams are also already starting to fray.

I am thinking that the problem could have been the fabric, as mentioned, combined with the size of the bias tape I chose to make. I’ll have to experiment some more to see what works. Looser weave fabric might work just fine with a larger sized bias tape maker. I do think I might try this technique with Art Gallery Pure Elements Solids as they are thin and tightly woven. I am not sure if that line has a bright scarlet.

Look How Many Bias Strips!!
Look How Many Bias Strips!!

Second, there was no way of knowing how much bias tape could be made. There was no chart like a bias binding chart included with the directions. Would a bias binding chart used for binding a quilt work? I tried looking at one, but it don’t go down to a small enough width of tape. I now have about 500 yards of bias tape still to use, which is why I am not concerned about a do over.

Yes, I had to sew all of those tiny strips together, which was another ordeal in itself. I should have used the tube bias method.

Next, I used the 1/4″ bias tape maker. It worked like a charm, but is very small. I would recommend using a 1/2″ or 3/8″ bias tape maker on your first time out.

Fourth, the directions did not talk about using a Point Trimmer. A Point Trimmer helps you line up the edges of the bias tape to sew it together in a long string. You can use it for your binding strips as well if you don’t use the tube binding method. As an aside, if you don’t have Point Trimmer ruler, you really need to get one. I like the Judy Martin version because it helps you trim two types of triangles in one tool BUT there are other manufacturers who make them and almost any are good.

Bias tape makers
Bias tape makers

Fifth, these bias tape makers are not readily available. I went to three stores, checked Amazon, Fabric.com and some other places before I found a full selection at Beverly’s. The quilt stores didn’t have them. Amazon, etc had a few, but not all the sizes and not sold in sets. None of the online places could get them to me in a timely manner. I now have a set of them and won’t need to buy them again, but I was surprised. If I were Lucky Spools, I would have made a deal with some shop to sell kits of the bias tape makers and the Wonder Tape.

Pressing Matters
Pressing Matters

Sixth, there were very few instructions about pressing. The author of this ‘lesson’ did say to keep your fingers away from the hot iron, but not much else. I used a type of stiletto, which prevented me from burned fingers. It is two pronged, which gives me more ‘holding’ surface. I think I bought it at a booth at the county fair or PIQF where they sell every kind of scissor and small metal tool known to mankind.

There is more come on this technique as I will post about my next effort.

Mighty Lucky Member
Mighty Lucky Member

Learning is not a smooth process. I am not complaining about any of the above; I am just telling you my story. One lesson for me is to try different brands of solids. Kona is just so easy to find! I am glad I tried this technique and learned how to make bias tape with these devices.

Lobster Placemat

There was, at some point, a placemat challenge issued at CQFA. I don’t normally do challenges, but an idea popped into my head. It stayed in my head until the May 2014 meeting where Jen did a workshop on “from drawing to art quilt” That workshop was also about line. I took a minute to get my idea down on paper.

Sketchbook book lobster placemat
Sketchbook book lobster placemat

This past week, since we were having a CQFA art show, I started in on the piece. It is mostly applique’ — well, it is all fusible applique’ at the moment, but I am not finished and I may add some piecing around the edges.

Lobster Placemat in progress
Lobster Placemat in progress

I showed it off at CQFA yesterday during the art walk and people seemed to like it. There was some discussion about next steps. Caroline suggested googly eyes for the eyes, but I am not sure that is the direction I want to go with this piece.
 

CQFA Workshop Challenge

CQFA Challenge: Spring in Humboldt
CQFA Challenge: Spring in Humboldt

There will be a workshop on Saturday at the CQFA meeting based around this photo, Spring Comes to Humboldt. The name of the workshop is the “Same Design, Make it Mine” challenge.

The guidelines of this workshop are:
1. Look at the photo and recreate the sense of it in your medium of choice.
2. Use your own style
3. Use your own favorite techniques
4. No whining

CQFA Members: bring materials and supplies to the meeting as we will work on our own projects during the meeting.

While this workshop is primarily set up for CQFA and will be held at the meeting, everyone who reads is welcome to play. You can post your efforts to the AQ Flickr Group, or the CQFA Flickr Group, if you are a member. <Nota bene: you can easily be a member for a small payment of dues!> CQFA members should bring their finished or in process works to an upcoming meeting.

Will you play along?

BAMQG Gift

Iron Caddy
Iron Caddy

Yesterday was the BAMQG Holiday Party and Meeting. The meeting part was relatively short, then we had the gift exchange and Show & Tell.

I mentioned that I had made a gift for my Secret Santa and showed it a week early, which led to the realization that I was able to make the meeting. The recipient, Laura was really pleased with the tote bag and needle case I made. I really should have put pins and needles in it as I think she was a little confused about what should go where. I showed her and I think it ended up okay.

Jen was my Secret Santa and she made me this Iron Caddy. Didn’t she do a great job?

Iron Caddy - half open
Iron Caddy – half open

Jen said used a free pattern she found somewhere on Ning. She said she made two of them alongside each other so she could test the pattern. I thought that was really sweet; it made me feel like she really cared about the gift to me

The pattern she used didn’t sound like the same one Julie told me about that so frustrated her.

Jen did say that there was one measurement off — the 7″ measurement in the middle should be 6-1/2″. I haven’t tried it so, pay attention if you make this pattern.

I still have not yet made the Iron Caddy pattern I bought at Quiltin’ Cousins, so perhaps I am off the hook?

Iron Caddy as ironing surface
Iron Caddy as ironing surface

Thanks to Jen!

Whole Cloth Quilt

Flowers in Progress
Flowers in Progress

I blame this project on Ruth over at Pippin Sequim.

I didn’t want to do it.

I resisted. Really I did, but the creative urge took over. It caught me at weak point and I gave in.

I also was inspired by the art exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago and a design popped into my head. It was a good time to give in a engage in the entire process of quiltmaking- from design to binding.

Whole Cloth Quilt Design
Whole Cloth Quilt Design

Everything with this project has gone very smoothly. Knock wood! The fabric arrived, I had enough tracing paper and the right tools to draw the design. I found Saral Transfer paper and was able to transfer the design with little to no drama.

I am using Aurifil 28wt thread and it is working well and playing nicely with my machine.

Now I am quilting. I can only quilt for about 6 hours at a time and even that is pushing the friendship. I would do better to quilt a couple of hours a day, but the set up and clean up is daunting. I did a whole flower and finished the vase last weekend. I am making progress.

Stay tuned.

 

A-B-C Challenge

A-B-C Challenge Blocks, August 2012
A-B-C Challenge Blocks, August 2012

You might be wondering why I am writing about my A-B-C Challenge blocks when the BAMQG meeting was definitely not yesterday.

First, I am sewing pretty slowly lately and I am short on things to write about. Yes, you will see some more book reviews. 😉

More importantly, Rhonda finished all of her blocks. Yes, all of them, through Z. She sent a message to us saying she was done and I thought that I had better get busy. I had been thinking about finishing them all anyway. Finishing all of the blocks will buy me time later. Who knows how long figuring out the &^%$ sashing will take?

Yes, all of my blocks are done.

Yes, there are more than 26, because I made some bonus blocks. What the heck?

A-B-C Challenge: X Quartet
A-B-C Challenge: X Quartet

The first block I sewed over the weekend was the Ninja Throwing Star, according to Sandy of Quilting for the Rest of Us, Darla of Scientific Quilter, and Gretchen (@mafiretones) of 120 Blocks. It is actually my X block and the official name, according to Around the Block is X Quartet. It does look like a Ninja Throwing Star and once I caught up with their Twitter hijinks, I thought their jokes about wrapping myself in black Jelly Rolls and wandering around throwing the X Quartet were pretty funny.

X Quartet was a pretty straightforward block to put together and I like the way the color combination came out. And, I have to admit, it does kind of look like a Ninja Throwing Star.

A-B-C Challenge: Japanese X
A-B-C Challenge: Japanese X

I really wanted to make the Japanese X block that Kathleen combined to make into a pillow for the Pillow Swap challenge at BAMQG for X. I was nervous that the other participants would call me out since the block doesn’t technically start with X, so I decided to make it as a bonus block. I really like the design and want to explore it a little more in the future.

I have been trying to use more of the Zoe Pearns dots to create some continuity in the blocks. I don’t know if it is working, but the blocks, in general, are looking quite cheerful.

Zipper by Judy Martin
Zipper by Judy Martin

I skipped Y at first and went straight to Z. Y and Z are difficult blocks, mostly because not a lot blocks have names that start with Y or Z. I didn’t see any that I liked that started with Z. I thought about Zanzibar, the block from Weeks Ringle and Bill  Kerr that I resized and used for the FOTY 2009 quilt.

Been there done that, so I looked around to see if there were any other options. I found a printout from the Judy Martin site of a quilt made from a block called Zipper. It has a little different look than the other blocks I have made, namely because of the lack of HSTs, but I made it anyway. I like the way it came out.

Then I got to Y.

Y was a problem.

The first problem was finding a block I wanted to do. The next problem was making it. There are a lot of Yankee something or other quilt blocks. None of them really spoke to me. I had books opened to sections on Y blocks all over my workroom. Finally, I decided on Young Man’s Fancy. It has a nice propeller look in the center and I am not scared by long, thin, pointy triangles.

Young Man's Fancy: Fail
Young Man’s Fancy: Fail

I should have been, because I had no idea what I was doing with this block. No matter what I did, this block would not go together. Remember: I am making 6″ blocks, so I am sure the size had something to do with my problems.

Finally, I gave up.

The thing I did like about this block is the outside row of squares. The colors are grouped so that two pinks are in two corners and two greens are in the two other corners. I like the way that looks and will keep it in mind for future blocks. The suggested coloration had the border squares of this block colored in that way.

Yankee Puzzle
Yankee Puzzle

So, I was back to the Yankees. I just picked one, which turned out to be Yankee Puzzle, made it and moved on.

I have to say that my favorite color combination in all of the blocks is the color combination in Yankee Puzzle. That fun pink (may be called Lipstick) coupled with the dark, but cheerful greenish blue are awesome. You can see, from the photo at the top, that I have used this color combination a lot.

After Yankee Puzzle I had one open spot left in a 5 block x 6 block layout. As an aside, I am not sure why I picked that layout. I put all the blocks up on the design wall and I thought it looked good, so I went with that layout.

A-B-C Challenge: Rambler
A-B-C Challenge: Rambler

The last block I decided to do was the Rambler. The X of Flying Geese stuck in my mind as I looked through block dictionaries. I also liked the way the Flying Geese were sort of backwards.

The layout of the patches reminds me of something (a gift?), but I can’t think what. I especially like the way the first Flying Goose highlights the square-in-a-square in the middle.

This block has a lot of scope for imagination, as Anne Shirley would say, I think. I may make more of the for another project, but larger next time.

I have a vague recollection of a car called Rambler, but I don’t think my parents ever owned one.

A-B-C Challenge: Frosted Star Sashed
A-B-C Challenge: Frosted Star Sashed

I thought I would get a lot farther, but the Young Man’s Fancy and the Rambler took me a long time. I wanted to make some progress on the sashing, but only was able to sash one block.

The grey looks dark in the photos, but it doesn’t look dark in real life. It looks perfect. I am considering buying a whole bolt of that fabric.

You might think the sashing is wide, but I purposefully made it wider than the ratio calls for so I could trim all the blocks to the same size. Most are about 6 1/4″, but there are a couple that are nearing 7″. I think it has to do with me trying to figure out the math for quick piecing HSTs. I am thinking I will trim them all to 8″ and then put one of the red dots from the sashing post in between the grey of the sashed blocks.

I like all the blocks, but some of the fabric choices could be better. There are a couple of blocks that I may remake. I’ll think about it and see.