Action on Urban Chickens Quilt

At last one of the guild retreats that I’ve been saving the squares for Urban Chickens to work on.

Urban Chickens progress

Please forgive the flowered bed spread under the blocks and imagine it away. This is a tentative layout so I can see what colored blocks are needed. I’ll have as many blue and purple blocks as I can: they have been the hardest colors to get good variety of this year.

If you are interested in making theUrban Chicken block, here is a tutorial by the designer, Michelle Friedman. I made them the 3 1/2 inch squares way instead of her tube way. Both work.

I took the 11 blocks that I received as Queen Bee almost a year ago. I’d cut squares over a month ago. May be the earliest I’ve ever prepared my projects for a retreat! I made 11 more blocks at the retreat, and I have another retreat where I’ll be working on them next weekend. I need 40; if those don’t cover the mattress, I’ll need 48. Usually I enlarge by adding borders, but I like this design better without borders.

I plan arranging them light to dark and back to light as much as possible.  I started the project wanting each block to be four different values.  As I worked, I realized I liked four near values better. But there will be a place for the mixed-value blocks between the  light and dark sections.

I want to group the blocks by color, but not quite rainbow, though there are rainbow colors there. I’ll not use rainbow order. And no rainbow has brown and gray that I know of.

I’ll be linking with Design Wall Monday (even though this project is larger than my design wall, so is on the “design bed” and Anything Goes Monday. And since I don’t have anything newer to share, also linking with WIP Wednesday.

3 Comments

Filed under quilting

Forty-one Blocks in Search of a Setting

Ten have become 41 (with enough scraps for 3 or 4 more).
41 improv blocksWednesday I said I needed 63-80 for the queen size I had in mind.  Forty-one doesn’t quite get me there. I’m not sure if I can get queen size out of these. Maybe if I creatively use negative space. Or think of something to add that fits in.

At least now that I see what I have, I can arrange and rearrange and plan concretely.

Stay tuned.

Not quite an art quilt, but I think some modern quilts are close enough cousins to link with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday.

5 Comments

Filed under quilting

Not Just Any Scraps

I have some cut-aways that I have been saving.

kaleidoscope scraps

The left overs

They come from a kaleidoscope quilt that I made after a Ricky Tims workshop, somewhere around 2006. My local quilt guild had a show honoring our tenth year, so the quilt had to be somehow related to “ten.” Hence the title. And there really were ten different blue fabrics.

kaleidoscope

Ten Blues

For his method, one cuts and sews sets of strips, makes a pattern, then cuts wedges from the strips. If I make another one, I’ll not make all the strips the same width so I can reduce left overs.

This time I thought “someday” I would figure out something to do with all of them. I stitched the mirror image pieces together, then I stashed them in a baggie and they waited their turn.

Various ideas “out there” began to dance around in my head and change partners. I pressed the left overs and started to cut and sew. I had hoped to simply cut 6 1/2 by 6 1/2 squares for the most part and assemble just a few. I will be assembling most. Bonnie Hunter calls them “crumbs.”; Victoria Findlay Wolfe calls them “made fabric” and others talk of “improv fabric.” All seems the same to me. From these scraps, I will be making between 63 and 80 squares, setting them irregularly in white. The exact setting will be determined after I see them all. Ten are finished and many more are in progress. Arranging them will be fun.

Beginning squares

It turns out that I don’t want all the mirror image pieces attached, so I am spending a little quality time with my seam ripper. Tune in again next week for progress.

I’ll be linking with Val’s Tuesday Archives since this week’s theme is hand quilting and Ten blues is hand quilted, WIP Wednesday and Needle and Thread Thursday. (If you read before I get the current active links, there are buttons in the sidebar.)

6 Comments

Filed under quilting

A Local Quilt Show

The town my daughter lives near, Viroqua, WI, invited members of the community to submit quilts, so she submitted two I made and one of my baby quilts.
vintage baby quiltThe show was interested in old as well as new. My baby quilt is pink embroidery on white and is almost an antique. I think the figures are nursery rhymes–it has been a long time since I’ve looked at it.

The larger quilt (queen full; king coverlet) is from a Block of the Month (BOM) sampler I started with a local store in 2006 or 2007 and finished around 2010 after I had done a round robin and learned to make pieced borders.

Sampler quilt

I am following Moira’s lead (The Quilted Snail): “multi-fabric” quilt seems a better category than “scrap quilt” for when one buys a variety of reds, of greens, of golds for a quilt, thus reserving “scrap” for quilts made of left overs.

Space was such that it had to be folded in quarters. I have a full photo on FlickR; I’ll try again to insert. (Yay, I figured it out!)

chikkendale sampler finished al last--border
You have seen Logan’s baby quilt before, but here it is again.

Toddler and his quilt

Wasn’t it nice that it was at his level? We’ll let him touch his quilt.

Baby--showing face-- and quilt

And one more shot showing face. He almost looks guilty.

8 Comments

Filed under quilting

Climate Changed: Overview in Graphic Format

Climate Changed: A Personal Journey through the ScienceClimate Changed: A Personal Journey through the Science by Philippe Squarzoni
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I refuse to call the genre “graphic novel” because most of the graphic books I read are nonfiction.

It was the title, the past tense, of the book that drew my attention to it in the display. I checked it out, and only then saw that it was in graphic format. So I read it asking what the graphic structure provided that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. Early on I noted a lot of talking-head frames. My first reaction was negative, but then I noticed that the faces were distinguishable. In fact there is a listing of sources by face as well as name and credential at the end of the book. Saves a lot of he said, she said and allows for an improved flow of information.

It also allows for some dramatic juxtapositions. In the biofuels section, a frame with a person filling a car, the hose comes from a malnourished woman and child instead of a pump. After a discussion of living on the amount of carbon that the earth can sustain per person and comparing it to poverty, the frame shows a homeless man against a wall with a Nike advertisement and the words, “Just do it.” When he talks about climate-change deniers, one frame’s illustration is of an old advertisement: The cigarette most doctors choose. And yes, a few frames later, it turns out that the scientists for each issue were the same.

The book is a survey of the science, the philosophy, and the politics of the climate issue, told as “a personal journey.” What does that decision gain? It keeps the science, etc, from existing as theory only. It invokes personal reaction. It admits ambiguity and conflict as one observes contradictions and limits.

Squarzoni covers natural and human made climate change and illustrates with graphs–graphs that are more integrated in the graphic format than they would be in text with inserted figures. He describes and critiques solutions, showing both their potential and limitations.He addresses personal and structural issues. Climate has already changed, he concludes; we cannot stop it, but can still mitigate its effects if we start soon enough. A paradigm shift is needed from individualism to the common good (of people and the environment). He is not overly optimistic, but neither is he entirely pessimistic.

There are several points where Squarzoni ponders how to begin, then later how to end. Each time the meaning is a bit different.

View all my reviews

1 Comment

Filed under books, environment

Lost Edges, Top Finished

The Masterclass is drawing to a close. We have October’s assignment and then will get November’s. December is a time for comment on work we didn’t have time to post for the monthly finishes. It has been good.

I have the top finished for the September project and have received its comments. While it might not have had lost and found edges as it was blocked, it now is an “interesting solution to the lost edges problem.”

Finished top

13 x 14

I like seeing how much a few simple shapes can accomplish. I guess one thing I forego, then, is the high praise of more detail to see the longer one looks.

I hadn’t quilted it yet because I couldn’t decide between two options. Elizabeth suggested a third. I’d thought of stitch in the ditch around the pieces or short lines in the spaces, horizontal in the aqua and circular echos in the lavender and window like lines in the “buildings.” I’d thought of matching thread.  Elizabeth suggested more stripes in aqua or variegated thread, an all over design instead of three separate ones. That would be easier than all the color changes I was considering. I’m not sure I want light thread on the dark fabric. I’ll think on it.

The circle is inset; the right green “beam” is inserted. The others are needle turn appliqued.  I need more practice on acute angle stitching–this was my first try at that.

I don’t have a title yet; could use Lines and Circles #3. But Elizabeth suggested a series, so it should be a first, not a third. The floor is open for suggestions.

I foresee taking Elizabeth’s class about working in a series. I’ve read her book, but there is so much benefit in doing the lessons and getting the comment that it would not seem redundant. But it won’t be immediately as I am ready for a break from monthly projects.

Linking with Off the Wall Friday and Sew Solid Sunday

8 Comments

Filed under design, quilting

MQG’s Webinar on Modern Quilting and a BOM

Let me remind you of the Around the World Blog Hop. Today, September 29, is Tam’s day; go check her blog out at Quiltcharette. Besides checking on her Around the World post, browse around. You will see some modern quilts.

Then come back to see my block for the Classic Meets Modern BOM. Not my most successful “modernization.” Oversized, yes. It is 25 x 25. Second idea was to embed two smaller. The middle-sized one barely shows up if you strain your eyes.

maple leaf block

25 x 25

It is another example of fabric values looking more different before cut and sewn. I’ll either have to redo the center–luckily I have enough of the orange of the large leaf–or add more small ones. Time will tell.

Every time I do this BOM I rethink features of “modern.” Every time I hear/read a presentation about modern quilting I find a new list of features. And that makes sense because modern quilting is not static. In fact Heather Grant’s list in the MQG webinar of several months ago omitted a couple features that were listed prior to the first Quiltcon exhibit in 2013. Gone was the use of white or gray backgrounds, gone was one person does the whole process from start to finish, and modified was that the quilts were functional.  In the recent listing, quilts could be used as wall hangings, but one needs to be able to throw them in the washer and dryer. She is still making the three prong distinction among traditional, art, and modern quilting.

Here are the common elements of modern that she discussed:

Creative use of negative space

No borders (When a border matched the backgound, she considered it no border.)

Minimalism, seeking the most basic form

A bright and graphic palette (though “low volume” quilts can also exhibit modern design)

Improvisation

Grid work (grids may be alternative, but are present)

Asymmetry

Exaggerated Scale

Pixilation

Quilted textures more line and stippling than feathers.

Of course no modern quilt need exhibit all the elements listed, maybe 1-4.

Heather also talked about modern traditionalism, applying modern elements to traditional blocks in a restrained, impactful way. Thus, the Classic Meets Modern Block of the Month fits right in.

An important point came out in the Q & A when Heather was asked to name current modern quilters.  She answered that quilts can be modern, but quilters can move back and forth between traditional and modern. So, just as the category “Modern” is not static, neither need we plant ourselves into one or the other. That’s good because I’ve been considering myself bilingual. Reinforcing flexibility is a statement from Caitlin Tomkins’ article in the NW quilting Expo program: “[T]h modern and traditional quilt worlds seem to be colliding in Portland, creating a community of ‘contemporary quilters’ whose works incorporate aspects of both styles.” I wonder if that use of “contemporary” will spread and stick.

Many of the elements Heather listed are those I’ve listed in previous months. New are grids and pixilation. I suppose the logical thing for me to do soon would be to try one of the new elements in my next block modification. Maybe next month.

When does it become important to know if a quilt is modern? When considering entering it in Quiltcon or another show devoted to modern quilts. Otherwise all that matters is that it gives you pleasure to make and that the receiver likes it too.

 

5 Comments

Filed under design, quilting