I finally finished the Spiky 16 patch stars into a quilt top! This is the 3rd one of these quilts I have made. I have an idea for another one, but since I am working on scrappy strip quilts right now, they may have to wait.
It isn’t exactly 100% stellar but only because I could have arranged the blocks differently. It looks great and I have already handed it in to be quilted.
I am pleased that it went together so quickly. I was rearranging the Tutorials page and there were the directions for setting blocks on point. I took the bull by the horns and made the top. It really went together very quickly. I also found the perfect piece of Stonehenge that only needed a little piecing. Since I couldn’t finish the purple strip quilt, I was glad to have a donation top to hand in.
I finished all the blocks and began to think about the color of the plain blocks. Tim doesn’t like white backgrounds and since he will most likely quilt this top, I decided to look for something else.
Across from purple on my Studio Color Wheel is chartreuse. I admit this is a bold choice and I was thinking about it quite a bit before I went hunting for fabric. Finally, I decided that I needed to make visual decisions visually and cut up some fabric.
I like the boldness of the color combination, but something wasn’t quite right.
I was just about to sew it together when Tim saw the photo and suggested grey. Purple is hard for me to work with, because it really darkens my workroom to a depressing state. Adding grey made me think it would just get worse. I knew the yellow-green was the right color for the purple, so I found a couple of greys and tried it.
I chose the greys based on fabrics I didn’t think I would use for something else. These were both in that category because they have a taupe cast too them, which is not my preference for grey. I prefer the cooler white-greys.
Immediately, I knew that the grey solid (#1) was a much better choice. It will be suitable for a boy and isn’t too depressing.
I have begun sewing the plain blocks to the strip blocks.
As I said the other day, I still have a lot of purple scraps. I also found some large purple shards in my purple scrap bin. I immediately pulled these out and have decided to use them for another improv donation top like the Green Thing. I can’t say I’ll make a companion quilt to each strip quilt I make, but I have a lot of scraps and this seems like a good way to use them up.
I know these shards probably started out as potential journal covers. I don’t know why I didn’t finish them, but now they can go to a good home.
The triangular shard is really strange. I wonder what I was thinking when I made it. Of course, I have to make it into a square or rectangle, so I can use it. I do like it. If I can use lighter purples and lavenders around the triangle, I can preserve the triangle quality of the piece.
I have already added to the smaller piece shown above the triangular shard, using it as a leader as I was getting towards the end of the strip blockmaking.
The last shard is good sized as well. The three pieces make a nice start to a donation top. They are all purple and that is good, but I hope the shards go together well enough to make something cohesive.
I do know that I am finding all this purple on my design wall to be oppressive and dark. Perhaps that is my issue with the darker purples? I know I felt like this when I was working on the purple bullseye. I do know that I have a good start to the purple donation improv top and that pleases me.
I worked the other night while DH was out on clearing out my purple scrap bin. This resulted in a new set of blocks for BAM’s community quilting project.
There are a couple of duplicates as I had some long strips that resulted in two blocks.
There are also a lot of light scraps – lavender and very light purple. I was surprised at the variation in color. I don’t think I am a strictly dark purple lover.
I also made 6 more blocks than I did for the Green Strip quilt. I was on a roll and had the blocks in process before I realized how far along I was. It will be a slightly larger quilt. I haven’t decided what color to put with it for the plain blocks (I am using the same design as the Green Strip quilt). Chartreuse is across from purple on the color wheel I use.
I don’t feel like I used up enough of the purple scraps. The bin is definitely more empty, but still not empty enough. I even sorted out some super small pieces that would be much better as pet bed filling. Still I need to make more headway on purple scraps. Another similar quilt? Should I make this one larger?
I really like what he did and am planning another one in purples as soon as I finish a couple of the regular postage stamp donation blocks I have started.
Tim was nice enough to send me some details of the quilting, which looks great! He was excited about quilting this piece because I didn’t use white. I’ll think about grey or yellow when I make the purple one.
He changed the back, because he didn’t like it, to an ombre fabric (see that blue at the bottom?). It’s fine with me as long as he doesn’t give me the back back. I already counted it in my fabric used tally and it is hard enough to get those yards used as it is. He is also thinking of a scrappy binding. Photo is of his thoughts on binding.
It is a little early to post a complete list of donation blocks for February. I am dong it anyway. I have been doing quilt a bit of gift sewing, which I can’t show for a few weeks, so here we are.
It was easier while I was working on my secret project to make donation blocks rather than work on the back of the City Sampler, thus I used the 2.5 inch squares as my leaders and enders. I’ll finish up the city Sampler back today.
Not a ton, but some progress. I have more ends to use up, so I may work on that next.
A couple of things came up at the guild meeting which I wanted to share.
First, Another of the tops I made and donated was finished and shown. Cheryl finished the Stripes donation top that I made at QuiltCon last year. She gave me some nice compliments on it, which made me feel better about it. I may try that stripes technique without actually making the stripes. I know I can’t vary the stripes when I do’t make them myself, but making the stripes is super tedious.
Peggy, as usual, was prolific in her quiltmaking. She made the above donation quilt from scraps she had saved generated by a previous pattern. Each of the non-white triangles consist of made fabric. I think the randomness of the layout could be done with HSTs and would make a fun donation quilt. Once I am done with the Bias Rectangles, perhaps I will play around with this concept.
Finally, we have a guild baby. His name is Sam and he is about a month old now. His mom, Velvet Pincushion, brought him and his grandma with her to the guild. The new little family will be moving soon, so we were thrilled to get a chance to meet him. I am excited to see that VP is still stitching even with a new baby.
She brought the Color My Quilt quilt she worked on before Sam was born. Progress has halted, but she made good progress before Sam was born. I don’t know if we’ll see the quilt before they move. It is more block based than some of the others. My shard is on the bottom left in between the Friendship Star and the very bottom left hand star.
I made a back for the fun and cheerful quilt I took from him. I started with pink fabrics, but then realized I should use orange. The quilt top has other colors, but came across as mostly orange to me, so orange it was.
The color will be great for a boy, but not the flowers unless the boy is open minded and doesn’t mind a few flowers.
I also added a small border to the top. Somehow it didn’t look finished to me, so I added a border. A slightly larger quilt is always better IMO.
The blocks remind me of the Tina Michalik class BAM had at Always Quilting a few years ago. It is a fun quilt and the texture of the piecing is really nice. I think the border frames it. I do wonder if I just made it un-modern by adding the border. C’est la vie.
The Friday color and creativity posts will return soon!
I finished the Green Thing Top and Back in time to take it to BAM today.
I am worried about someone quilting it as there are a lot of small pieces. I tried to press seams open. There was less matching of points, so it made sense.
I don’t know that I’ll do this type of thing again. There are some benefits: I can see part of the bottom of my green scraps drawer and there is no matching of seams. Still, though, the end of the process wasn’t as leaders and enders friendly as I would have liked. I am going to try to make a few 8.5 inch improv blocks and see what someone else will do with them. That should get rid of scraps, too.
The back went together pretty easily. I used some fabrics that had been hanging around awhile. I always liked that green bubble dot print, but I never found a project in which to use it, so off it goes to make way for newer fabrics.
I took Ends n.7 and the Green Strips Donation quilts over to Tim’s house the other day so he could quilt them. He has a bunch of quilts to quilt and said that a number of them need backs and batting.
This irritates me because I know that Tim does a lot of quilting for the guild. The least that people can do is get the quilt ready for quilting. Still, the top is done and who knows what happened? Someone could have just managed to get the top done before s/he had to deal with some tragedy. Also, it gives me the opportunity to participate in a group project.
This is a fun and cheerful quilt. I brought it home in order to make a back so that Tim can quilt it. I kind of think it needs a border. The texture of the blocks, however, makes me want to do some piecing rather than just sew a plain border on to it. I have a number of other donation projects in process, so I have to decide if I want to add to the list with more piecing or just get this one done.
I thought I would just make a block, hand it over to Peggy and see what she could do with it. Somehow, it is has grown into this. It is about 22 x 22 inches now and I might as well just keep on using those green scraps to make it into a top. Another 10 inches on each side will not be difficult. I might even have enough scraps.
I am almost done with another row of small strips for the right side, which will add about 4 inches to it. I grab strips or pieces out of the green bin, sew them together into some kind of strip and attach it when it is long enough. I had some plainer strips leftover from the back of the Green Strip donation quilt and have been adding those as well.
There are a lot of small pieces so I am worried about the quilting (which I won’t be doing!) I am trying to reduce bulk by pressing all the seams open, which is a big pain.
If nothing else, this is a great way to get rid of scraps. It isn’t doing anything for my collection of donation blocks, however. Tim saw the photo I posted and said that it was much more interesting than the regular postage stamp blocks the guild normally makes. Perhaps I am just branching out and using some different inspiration to create beauty for others in need? I haven’t examined my inspiration much beyond wanting to use up scraps.
I don’t know what this piece will be. I think I will make it into a block and hand it over to Peggy to see what she can do with it. It would be a good center medallion to a baby quilt. Others could make similar blocks and it could become a larger quilt. I still have a lot of green, so we will have to see.
The Green Strips donation top and back is finally finished and ready to take to BAM.
I made it from green scraps and a yard of Kona Cream that Amanda gave me. The scrap bin is right next to my sewing machine, so I can reach in an rummage without even getting up! It would be a bad thing except I have to get up to iron and cut, so I still get steps in.
The block was inspired by Alison, as I think I have mentioned, though she does hers on a foundation. That is probably a good idea, though I didn’t have a lot of problems with bias.
I dragged down the green bin and pulled out some yardage I didn’t think I would use for the back.
I am a little sick of the Half Hexie Star project, so I switched to Big Stitching the BAMQG IRR. It never ceases to amaze me how much progress I make when I actually work on a project. It has been awhile since I worked on it and it is a nice break from EPP.
I had to get back in the Big Stitch groove, which was difficult. I finally figured out that I couldn’t do it when I was stitching in a seam allowance, because of all the layers. That means I am doing some stab stitching in addition to the Big Stitch.
One of the challenges I have is what quilting designs to use. Right now I am just echo quilting. I don’t know if I want to do more, if curves will work with Big Stitch or if there are other designs I should use. I haven’t handquilted a lot. When I have done it I have mostly used echo quilting to highlight the block designs. Occasionally, I have used stencils. I’ll have to look at some books and see if I can get inspired.
I spent the day last Saturday in a BAM class with Jen Carlton Bailly. I don’t really need to learn about curves. I have done them in the Sampler class and I have just finished the MetroScape top, which had about a million curves. Still, I wanted to be in a class with JCB and I love the vibe of BAM, so the more time I can spend with those ladies the better.
Jen is friendly and energetic as well as a good and patient teacher. She seemed to be everywhere in the class. She was also cheerful and smiling the whole time. I found her to be approachable and not standoff-ish.
The crux of JCB’s class was the template set she sells. She uses these to create a variety of different looks with curves. Of course, I bought the whole set and I am glad I did. The variety of different things one can accomplish with this set is fantastic. By looking at the patterns JCB sells and the quilts she has made, you can see the definition of a series.
At the time I bought the template set (when I signed up for the class), she was giving a discount to class participants, so I also bought the Turbine quilt pattern. In the class, I started in on this pattern, which is not difficult, once you have mastered JCB’s method for creating circles.
She tries to alleviate fears with her patterns and techniques while making interesting designs. I am not afraid of curves, though they can be frustrating at times. I am also not afraid of cutting into a block I have already made.
I made two of the turbine blocks with my own twist. I decided, after making the two, that I will make one more and create a tablerunner instead of making a quilt. I like the pattern and like the technique, but don’t want to spend the time on something like that. I am more interested in the designs that look like more of a ring.
This sort of design has been on my mind since I saw Sue Arnold’s version done in Pointillist Palette fabrics about 1,000 years ago. This is really interesting to me and if I do a quilt, it will be using more of the templates to cut out more of the blocks.
Gerre decided to work on the Lantern pattern, which uses the same technique, but different placement of the fabrics and different orientation of the blocks.
I can see making something small using this pattern as well. The opportunity for scrapiness is fantastic. A pillow cover, perhaps.
All in all it was a good day. I was pleased to meet JCB, pleased to be sewing and be with my BAM pals.