More FOTY 2018

FOTY 2018 - mid-May
FOTY 2018 – mid-May

I have a very small update for FOTY 2018.

One of the things about cutting 2.5″ squares is that I can cut and cut and cut and still only have covered a space approximately 12 inches by 15 inches. When I go to put this quilt together, this will come in handy as I can add all of the dark squares I want and realize my dream (finally).

Most of the pieces cut are from new fabrics that have pressed and were waiting on my ironing board for me to cut them up. I was looking for blues so I could make more HRTs. I found I needed more of the right facing rectangles to make the last Spiky 16 Patch block I need for a donation quilt.

FOTY 2018 – April Progress

FOTY 2018 -April
FOTY 2018 -April

The last time I wrote about this project was March. I have actually made a lot of progress on this quilt, though it might not seem like it. The shape and size are small for this year, so I will really need to step up my cutting game.

Time has been short recently due to a lot of family events, but I have had time to press and cut shapes from my new fabrics. This means lots of new squares for FOTY 2018. In this group you will also see lots of familiar fabrics. Fabrics show up from the projects on which I have been working recently.

There is also something a little different this time: the butterfly. After I washed the fabric, I wrote myself a note to fussy cut one of the butterflies. I did, but I am not sure it will end up as is in the final project. I don’t want one fabric to dominate. If I buy (or use some already in the fabric closet) some other fabrics with fussy cuttable designs, then I might keep it. For now, the opportunity is there.

Flapper Apron

Decades of Style Flapper Apron
Decades of Style Flapper Apron

I finally made this Flapper Apron from the Decades of Style pattern company. I purchased it at the Speckled Hen during my shop hop with Amanda in January. Not too shabby, actually. Not that much time has gone by.

Frankly, I am on a mission to use up at least 100 yards net of fabric this year and these aprons take two yards. I have an idea to make a series of them for gifts and this was the first one. It is for me and I used some of my my recent Philip Jacobs fabric purchases.

Flapper Apron
Flapper Apron

On the Church Ladies apron that I made before and use almost every day, I interfaced all the parts, so it has a bit of heft (stiffness??) to it. Some parts are too stiff. On this Flapper apron, I only interfaced the pocket, so my phone wouldn’t fall out. I am now concerned that I should have interfaced more of it, perhaps with a lighter interfacing than the ShapeFlex I normally use? It feels a little lightweight to me and not able to protect my clothes from wet splashes and drips. (Yes, this is pretty, but I intend to use my aprons)

Flapper Apron - inside
Flapper Apron – inside

I am kind of sorry I used this great fabric to make the first one, a sort of test, but I firmly believe I should use my good fabric. I also firmly believe there is more fabric, so I suppose I have more fabric I love and can make another apron if this one isn’t up to par.

This is two sided, so I can turn the inside to the outside if I want. I put one pocket on both sides. I only need a pocket for my phone as I don’t put spoons and other kitchen gear in my apron pockets.

The other thing I need to think about is the neck. I thought I didn’t need to adjust the circle for the neck, but I like my aprons to cover almost up to my neck. In this case, the top of the body of the apron falls below that. I think this is a case in which I should have had SIL#2 help me do the fitting.

This apron was not difficult to make and I like that you use 1 yard of fabric (though I bought 1/25 yards and that gave me some room to maneuver) and is cut on the bias. I was able to finish it in a few hours during one day. I did make some changes to the construction based on my recent experience making the Superheroine apron.

FOTY 2018 Starts

Fabric of the Year 2018 Jan-mid March patches
Fabric of the Year 2018 Jan-mid March patches

I finally had enough cut pieces to write a post on the Fabric of the Year 2018 piece. This year I chose a 2.5″ square so I could have a realistic chance of doing the Ellsworth Kelly style layout. The size of the pieces from Fabric of the Year 2017 makes this layout realistically impossible. First of all, I don’t have a design wall large enough to accommodate such a large piece. Second, I would have to cut all the pieces down to a square and I want to work with the subway tile shape. Third, I don’t want to wrestle such a large quilt. FOTY 2017 will probably be a monster anyway and I don’t want to add to it. It seemed better to start afresh with an idea in mind.

The 2.5″ shape also means I can get pieces out of small leftovers where needed. I am excited, though FOTY 2017 being undone still drags a bit. I am making progress on my list, so I can’t complain too much.

FOTY 2016 Ready to Quilt

Yes, I am reporting on another quilt top/back ready to quilt. The last one was the Triple Star.

Fabric of the Year 2016 Top
Fabric of the Year 2016 Top

Fabric of the Year 2016 is ready to take to Colleen. I spent enough time on gradating the colors together, but quickly realized that there were some prints that weren’t going to gradate and I needed to not beat my head against the wall.

I am pleased with the way it came out, but those blacks and browns are just a PITA and really, really irritating.

This quilt is affectionately called ‘Year of the Duck”, thanks to SIL#2.

FOTY 2016 Back
FOTY 2016 Back

I really wanted to use a certain Philip Jacobs fabric for the back, but I restrained myself, because I want to use it for something I can see or use more often. I compromised and used a lovely peony-old fashioned rose-some other kind of random flower print.

FOTY 2017 is coming up in the queue. Not next, but soon.

MQG Creative Webinar

Periodically, I am actually able to take advantage of some of the benefits of my MQG membership. Last week, I watched a webinar with Malka Dubrawsky on using prints called Creative Webinar: Printed and Patched: Designing with Patterned Fabric with Malka Dubrawsky.

My overall first impression was that there is an assumption that modern quiltmakers don’t use prints. I see a lot of MQG people buy lots of FQ collections. Wasn’t there some crazy hullabaloo over Heather Ross and some castle/princess collection a few years? Blueberry Park is pretty popular as well.

I tried to take this weird impression and set it off to the side so I could gain some knowledge from the webinar.

Malka said that prints have graphic information. There seemed to be another assumption that we are used to using small scale prints because they read as colors. She talked about using larger scale prints as graphic messaging. Dubrawsky said that using a variety, both large and small scale prints, creates interest.

She divided the presentation up into points:

  • spaces
  • movement
  • color/color contrast
  • common print
  • random

I think that I may have missed one or two points, but I got some good information out of these, so the webinar was worth my time.

When Malka talked about spaces she was talking about dividing up the quilt’s surface into different spaces. She, then, talked about using prints in those spaces. You can also organize blocks as spaces or into spaces to use prints.

Movement went right past me.

She used Color / Color Contrast as a different type of organizing tool, which I thought was interesting. One example was dividing up a quilt into warm/cool.  Again the idea was about organizing fabrics on the surface of the quilt so you can use printed fabrics. I don’t find this to be necessary in my work, but I thought the concept was interesting and it might be worth trying.

She encouraged makers to create rules for ourselves to use prints so they make sense across the surface. I do this with my quilts in general.

I had no idea what Dubawsky meant by Common Print. She was referring to using different colorways of the same prints all together. I have always loved this concept. I often like having all the prints in all the colors. Remember my Half Moon Modern drama? Malka says that it allows for easier color and shape focus.

She said that using prints can produce ‘hidden treasures’ that don’t show up when you use solids. Prints create another point of interest, more to look at.

Random: hard to make work, but can work. This was difficult for the presenter to explain and I can understand why. She threw out:

“Simple shapes, colors go together, big spaces. Active background electrify prints rather than toning them down. Focus is on color rather than design.”

Overall message is that makers need to organize your fabrics and design so that they work on the surface. She said that design is really important and I was thrilled.

She encourages people to make their own FQ packs.

Yay! She uses batiks all the time. She calls them modern batiks – modern, bold, graphic designs. Malka also said that she doesn’t really like the older style, watercolor-y batiks. I got the impression that it was the motifs on the surface of the fabric rather than the batik process she didn’t like.

To start: Pick (buy or create) a fabric collection you really love – she buys entire FQ bundle- and then play around with different ways of organizing fabrics. Small/large prints or warm/cool colors. Use a simple geometric design. Challenge yourself. I also got the impression that she was saying to be brave.

Her new designs will be available on Feb 1 on her website as PDFs. Printed patterns will be available Feb 20. She is also doing kits.

A recording of this webinar is on the MQG site for your viewing pleasure, if you are a member.

 

On a Roll

FOTY 2016 stack
FOTY 2016 stack

I made a lot of progress over the weekend and finally pulled out the squares from FOTY 2016.

Yep. 2016.

It has been awhile.

Mom was sitting around chatting while I was sewing, so I asked her to sort them for me. She had never done that before, so it was a challenge. She didn’t realize how much of a challenge it was to put fabric squares together with ‘like’ colors. She is more used to painting and that is a whole different experience. She also uses a color theory system called the Munsell system.

Now I have stacks of squares in semi-color order with which to start. I wasn’t going to gradate them again, but they are too large to add in black or charcoal squares a la Ellsworth Kelly. I don’t want to make another giant quilt.

I don’t think it is next on my list, but it is coming up.

FOTY 2017 Oh Dear

Design Wall with FOTY - December 2017
Design Wall with FOTY – December 2017

After photographing the rectangles for yesterday’s post, I took a photo of my almost empty design wall. In doing so, I realized that FOTY 2017 might be another giant unless I did something about the size.

My design wall is 73×46.5 and not big enough, however the FOTY pieces on the wall are 24×36. The pieces shown is just the most recent, small selection of all of the patches I have cut. I am kind of scared at how big this thing could be if I don’t cut some of the patches down. Now I have to figure that out.

Finally FOTY 2017 Again

Now that the En Provence top is finished, I had some design wall space to show the rectangles I have been cutting.

FOTY 2017 - December 2017
FOTY 2017 – December 2017

There were quite a few: some from PIQF purchases, some from the Sarah Goer Class, some from gifts that are in process, some are from the pillowcases I made for the YM and friends – a whole variety. I really do enjoy seeing the fabrics and thinking about what I made or what I will make.

FOTY 2017 – More Rectangles

FOTY 2017 - mid October 2017
FOTY 2017 – mid October 2017

The FOTY 2017 is not dead, though I haven’t worked on it much beyond cutting a few pieces here and there. As you know from my En Provence and Triple Star posts, I am not cutting a lot, which means no new FOTY pieces to show.

This group shows fabrics from the back of the Terrain donation quilt, the back of the Stars n.3 donation top, a couple of the Little Cell Phone Wallets, a few pieces from the Triple Star.

Four Low Volume Backgrounds

I have always liked to use a variety of fabrics to add interest. This means that I like scrap quilts, but I also like to use a variety of fabrics in the same colors in my quilts.

I learned this technique from Mary Mashuta. Many of you modern quiltmakers probably think she is old time and her techniques are not a useful addition to your modern arsenal. Mary is a really good teacher. She trained as a teacher and taught at SF High Schools for years before she left to become a quilt teacher. Her ideas are easily translatable to different fabrics and styles. I took a class from her about “pushed neutrals,” which had to do with making a background from a variety of neutrals rather than just using one fabric. I extrapolated that idea out to include non-neutrals as well, which evolved into using a variety of fabrics in the same colors for backgrounds. I have since used this technique for foregrounds as well.

Kay V, a longtime reader, made a comment that made me think about my low volume background for En Provence. As you know, the background is a variety of text fabrics. These are, mostly, the same fabrics I used for the Carpenter’s Wheel.

 

Jennifers Quilt
Jennifers Quilt

Jennifer’s Quilt is a quilt I made for my acupuncturist who really helped me get back on the road to health. When she died, I got the quilt back. Bittersweet. I would rather have her and never see the quilt again.

It is the first quilt, I think, I made using a variety of black and white fabrics for the background. Some of the pieces are a little heavy and I probably wouldn’t use them again. I also used the same technique for the foreground – the pinks, blues and limes are all a variety of fabrics in the same tones/shades. The blues have more contrast than the pinks and limes.

Flowering Snowball Finished
Flowering Snowball Finished

Flowering Snowball was primarily supposed to be a handwork project – something to take around with me when I needed a to-go project. At that point, I didn’t think as much about the background. In general this is not as successful an exercise in using different fabrics for the background. Some of the prints read grey rather than white. Others have too heavy a hand in the print department.

Carpenter's Wheel top finished
Carpenter’s Wheel top finished

I got better with the Carpenter’s Wheel. I was focusing on using text prints and, thus, tried hard to make the background work. The scale of the different fabrics all vary, but the overall effect works.

En Provence - October 8, 2017
En Provence – October 8, 2017

From close up, the background of En Provence looks somewhat chaotic. The foreground fabrics can handle the chaos, however, because there is no bleeding of color into the background. I like the little bit of chaos as it seems to move my eye around the quilt.

As an added bonus, this technique does not require one to have a zillion yards of one fabric to use as a background. 😉

FOTY 2017 Progresses

FOTY 2017 - Mid August 2017
FOTY 2017 – Mid August 2017

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.

FOTY 2017 More Progress

FOTY 2017 - early July 2017
FOTY 2017 – early July 2017

I am still cutting for FOTY 2017. It’s only halfway through the year, so why wouldn’t I be?

When I went to crop the photo, I saw that it was sideways from the orientation in which I had photographed it. Since I intend to arrange the rectangles in a horizontal orientation, I thought I would display the latest additions in this orientation, so you could tell me what you think. Lots of greys since I am working ona  grey background right now.

Fabric of the Year 2017 Again

FOTY 2017 - early June 2017
FOTY 2017 – early June 2017

It was the end of April when I last posted an update for FOTY 2017. I am still cutting, but the endless Carpenter’s Wheel and brief detour into designing for FOTY 2016 are just two of the projects that have distracted me.

These fabrics reflect a couple of projects. First, the text prints were cut as I was cutting more squares for the Carpenter’s Wheel. The light blues are for the En Provence Mystery Quilt, clue 3.

I also started cutting for a new project. This is the reimagined Daisy QAL. Yes, my podcast pal, Daisy, is leading a Quilt-A-Long. I wanted to do it, so I bought all of the materials. After looking at the pattern carefully, I decided I didn’t like the alternate block. I looked around to see what I could add that would be interesting, then decided that was stupid. At the same time, I saw the quilt I have been wanting to make at Back Porch Fabrics, Triple Star (n.18/19) by Kim Brackett from Scrap Basket Beauties.

I changed direction. I am using the materials from Daisy’s QAL to make the Triple Star. I know I have a zillion other projects, but I bought the fabric and am cutting it up in between the Carpenter’s Wheel and En Provence.

The fabrics on the bottom row in the FOTY picture above are from Alison Glass’ Sun Prints collection. That brown probably has to go. I cut it up, but find that there is a lot of it and I don’t like it enough to put that much in. I won’t have enough fabrics from the layer cake to make the whole quilt, so I am adding in other fabrics as well, including some Philip Jacobs. I need to make it more cheerful.

Following up on Ugly Fabrics Post

I was so pleased to get so many comments on my Ugly Fabric post! I really enjoy comments, so keep them coming. 😉

The comments you added were full of great ideas. There was also a string of comments on FB when someone posted a link to this post on a secret quiltmaking group in which I participate.

Jackie said “I’m using my “ugly” (no longer my style) fabrics for testing pattern ideas and donation quilts. I know someone will love them.” I thought this was a great idea, if you can do it. I can’t always work with fabrics I don’t like which is one reason the nieces and nephews don’t get a choice in which quilt design they get for their quilt. I do ask them their favorite color, but they don’t get to choose the shade. If they say something like dusty rose or forest green, they are usually out of luck. I haven’t had a quilt returned, so I guess it is ok.

Nonnie commented “I have a ton of fabrics that may or may not be ugly but definitely fall into the WHAT WAS I THINKING category. I have been dividing my stash into two sections. …. LOVE THE FABRIC, use for family quilts and WHAT WAS I THINKING, use in experiments and donation quilts. I often trial a block or technique in a quilt I later donate to various charities or organizations. I work hard to make them beautiful and desirable but I am happy to know … I WILL NEVER HAVE TO LOOK AT THEM AGAIN. ” (Nonnie likes her capitals 😉   ). I guess a ‘what was I thinking category’ could be added to my list of fabric categories as well. I do pick up fabrics from the depths of my fabric closet and really wonder what I was thinking when I bought it. Often these are fabrics with some kind of strange dot or bold pattern choice. I have taken to pinning a note on new fabrics when I have an idea for them. I have so many ideas flitting through my mind that they don’t stick unless I make a note somewhere.

The other thing I noted was that was that fabrics that look great in a shop don’t always look great in my house. I have figured out that this is for a lot of reasons:

  • I like colors that I never use
  • The other fabrics in the line don’t always come home with me.
  • The light in the shop made the colors look different than they do in my workroom
  • etc.

I have really begun to look at fabrics I am considering buying in order to think about how I would use them. I have thought about this with regard to Tula Pink fabrics.

TFQ asked “Now the question is, are you going to get rid of those napkins so you don’t have to risk having an ugly fabric reaction every time you see them?” This is a good question that cycles through my head as I unearth fabric. I have been picking out pieces and giving them to BAM when I don’t think I will use them anymore. The Charity girls cut the fabrics up into 2.5″ squares and my uglies, which may not be someone else’s uglies, get lost in the 16 patch blocks.

Napkins are another story. Despite the poor fabric choice, the napkins are actually really nice. They are thick and do a good job cleaning faces while hiding stains. My SIL volunteered to take them off my hands as the dusty pink goes with her Desert Rose china. We’ll see.

Peg commented “Why should spend my money or my time on something I do not like. But, we may not agree on “ugly.” ” Peg is a new quiltmaker, though an expert knitter so knows her way around textiles. She reiterated what I thought, which is don’t listen to those who say to add some ugly fabric to make your pretties stand out. My Scrapitude Carnivale quilt is all pretties and that is a gorgeous quilt, if I do say so myself.

Of course, we cannot agree on ugly. I like pink, but not dusty pink. I like bright clear colors which may come from living in an environment that has bright, bright sunlight alternated with grey foggy days. Both of these weather phenomenon require colors that can stand up to those kinds of light. I find that bright, clear colors do that. I would be interested to hear what colors you find you use a lot and why you think that is.