Mental and Visual Planning

I have thought on the various options I left off with and finally decided to cut strips to see how the veins would look.  “Make visual decisions visually” is advice I’d gotten somewhere; perhaps in the Masterclass with Elizabeth Barton a couple years ago. In the Masterclass, I’d been faulted for laying out strips including the seam allowance.  Trim or press it; it’s only fabric . . . But pressing seam allowances on narrow strips seemed too much handling. And of course I was always sure I’d end up just that one or two inches short. So on to viewing the plan with strips.

attempt 1

Besides trying strips in the correct size, I auditioned two possible fabrics for the possible varying of the background. I did not like the three colors of veins nearly as well IRL as in my head. And my first thought for the background variation was to add some color to the rather bland winter block. Not thrilled with that either. Moving on

attempt 2

This one seemed too dark.

attempt 3

I tried the varied background in different places.  The bottom fabric drew too much attention to itself for a background. It would maybe have worked had I stayed with Plan A to replicate the leaf segment, more or less.

To view more than one segment of the less bright color I needed to cut fabric. Since I had only a fat quarter, I had to be sure I had enough. So I went ahead and drew the “map” of the plan and the tissue paper templates. (Yes, I decided on templates instead of improv, mostly because I had to end up with a specific size.) There was enough fabric, so I laid it out.

attempt 4

And I switched out a couple leaf veins to a lighter orange and liked it. But wondered if I needed more of the alternate background. So tried one more layout.

attempt 5

You may have noticed that the spring tree doesn’t have as stable a position as the others. I’ll need to decide soon.  I like the idea of a narrow piece of the second background, maybe down the whole right of the main vein. but I don;t like the two background colors together without the vein between, and that is not a place to put a vein. I’ll probably go with the fourth layout.

I realized that I don’t have a clear focus area.  Not sure what, if anything, to do about it.

Come Friday, I’ll link with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays (link in sidebar). You might enjoy a visit, check it out.

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Scrap Attack

I’ll leave it to you to decide whether the scraps are attacking me or I am attacking them. You may have noticed the new button “I may have a scrap problem” in my sidebar. It leads to Confessions of a Fabric Addict’s  scrap posts. Here is the link to the plan behind those posts. Sometimes there are linky parties, sometimes not.

I’m not sure I’ll pull a task and follow through on it for a month as she does, but there is value in listing tasks.

  1. Assemble left over flannel into backing for baby quilts backing flannel
  2. Assemble left over batting pieces into usable sizes. (In a box like that of the flannel pieces, but not colorful enough for a photo)
  3. Sort “crumbs” by color/value crumb jar
  4. Make crumb “fabric”
  5. Make blocks from crumb fabric
  6. Make quilts from blocks in #5.
  7. Spend 15 min a day for a week cutting squares/rectangles from any drawer of scraps (I’ve tried this before as an open ended goal and didn’t stick to it; maybe limited will work better.)
  8. Press and trim bonus triangles that are stitched into HSTs bonus triangles
  9. Design a quilt with trimmed HSTs
  10. Sort strips (That tub is too far down to get a photo of it. )
  11. Make strip-quilt blocks
  12. Assemble blocks from #11 into top
  13. And I will copy Fabric Addict’s final goal: send a box of scraps to someone. (I do know a willing recipient.)

Maybe if I do even a little bit of this, I’ll have something to show on the 15th  of each month when Kate posts the Scrap Happy list.  You might enjoy looking at the progress of other Scrap Happy folks (here).

Linking up with Oh Scrap! Some people are beyond organizing and actually have projects going–go see!

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A New Year and a New Quilt

With a due date the beginning of February, I guess it is time to get beyond mental quilting. The Stretching Art theme this year is “Under Scrutiny.” (The Stretching Art challenge is to make an art quilt 18 x 36 on the assigned theme and to try some new technique. The quilts are hung in three or four Mancuso shows in the East, so I’ll probably never see them hanging.) This theme was daunting for quite a while. Last year’s, Dream Big, was much easier for me (Dreaming of Cool, Clear, Abundant Water here ).

What hindered me was that the theme, asking us to look deeply and drill down, seemed to invite representational art (even though the challenge mentioned abstract ideas) and I prefer abstract design. I didn’t get an idea till Fall came, and gorgeous leaves filled the sidewalks.

So I took a walk, camera in hand. From the photos, I selected this one and cropped and cropped and cropped. Idea one was to replicate the last one, more or less. But before I started sketching, I remembered an ancient start of a tree themed quilt. I’d made four test blocks, one for each season, and gazillions of  one-inch HSTs. The plan had been to make the first four the center of a queen sized medallion quilt, either as four blocks on point or as a square..

I got stumped on the decision of whether to keep the season represented by the center tree for that whole quarter of the quilt or to intermingle the HSTs randomly or to keep seasonal coloration by rows. I set them aside with the fabric the HSTs had been cut from while I thought on the dilemma. And you know all about “out of sight, out of mind.”

Having remembered them, I thought, Why start my scrutiny from the tree when I could start with ecosystem, forest, tree.  Finally I was ready to sketch. Although I did the outline to scale, I’d made the 6-inch tree blocks too small, but the idea seemed a good place to start..

leaf sketch

I’d gotten this far before Thanksgiving, but set it aside again for the holidays.

Today I dug the old tree blocks out from the bottom tub in a four-tub stack and began auditioning fabric.

leaf fabric audition

The leaf “veins” will be much narrower, of course.  And I’m still debating whether to vary the shades of gold in the background or use just one. I’m leaning to the one. I also have to decide whether to make the “veins” straight or slightly curvy as in the sketch. I’m leaning to straight. Curves can come in the quilting. And I’m pondering whether to make templates or do improv piecing. I’ll sleep on it.

Linking with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday.

 

 

 

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Holiday Traditions

It’s time for the annual visit to the lobby of the Benson Hotel to view the gingerbread creation, this year featuring the Lichtenstein Castle in the center and imaginary villages on the sides. The first view with a human for perspective.

Then the detail on the right.

And closer so you can see the chocolate shingles on the roofs.

And closer yet to show the tree with marzipan gifts.

Back to an overview from the right.

And a close up of the tree in the lower right.

Love the pretzel trunk and green frosting.

This is Chef Diffendorfer’s 25th gingerbread creation at the Benson.

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The Next Four

I finished the last four baby quilts just in time to get them to guild for the fire fighters’ pick up for Toy and Joy. The guild has given 2044 this year. (Membership is around 300.) Earlier quilts are two posts back.

The first two are made from larger scrap left overs, but they both needed additions.

a aqua brown

(I’ll trim the empty space when I have my photo program again–and have time. Done!) The blue print is a batik of little baby feet. I try for at least a few kid friendly fabrics.

a pink and fern

 

This quilt gets its kid friendliness on the back with this cute bear-print flannel.

I used all I had mixed with left over green and blue checked pieces. The yellow in the photo is green IRL.

The last two were made from a mix of 6-inch squares. My first consideration was alternating lights and darks.

a multi-bridge in corner

a multi owls

 

 

Some of the darks aren’t very dark–just darker than the squares beside them.

Since I was running out of darks i repeated more than I would have liked. I spread them around as much as possible. I also made sure “stand out” colors–yellow and that bright green–were spread evenly.

I quilted with a light tan 50-weight Aurofil thread; it blended with the lights and will sink into the darks after the quilts are washed.

I used a meander for each; it worked well except on prints with a high proportion of dark background.

I had this square finished before I realized the problem. So I tried for the look of water on the rest.

The 4 squares in these quilts are the very last of my bridge fabric. I hate to see it gone.

ETA: 1603 were picked up at the December meeting; the rest had trickled in over the year. And joining Confessions of a Fabric Addict for a Whoop Whoop

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Experimenting

First time for posting with iPhone app. But my computer decided not to charge so it is at the shop.

I went to Pioneer Courthouse Square for a vigil where the Raging Grannies sang.

Although the topics were anti-Islamophobia and welcoming refugees, there were speeches against the US declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, speeches by Christian ministers and Jewish rabbis.

Hanukkah was represented by the candle posters.

While there I got a photo of the BIG Christmas tree. Some year I’ll get to the lighting ceremony, but I haven’t yet.

Everything appears to be working except I don’t see how to categorize and tag.

ETA WordPress conveniently posted instructions today (12/13/17) for categories and tags on the apps.

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Toy and Joy Time

Toy and Joy month snuck up on me, and I hadn’t prepared ahead even though I always think I will start early. The only start I had was the tops for two doll quilts that were my leaders and enders at a summer retreat. These are now finished.

They are made from mini charm packs that we got in swag.  Bordered they are ~16 x 16. The quilting doesn’t show well in the photos. The brownish one is diagonal lines and the blue one concentric circles.  However, I don’t recommend the circle quilting for a quilt that has been stitched to the back and turned.  Even with a walking foot, the fabric bunched up.  I don’t think the doll or child will mind this time, but I’d not do it again. The backs are minky fabric, and I still haven’t used up the leftovers. So I guess I’ll be making doll quilts next year till it is gone.

However, I’ve shifted my focus to the baby quilts because of the fire fighters running out last year. Seems the need is greater for them.  The baby quilts are used beyond Toy and Joy time when fire fighters have to remove babies from burning homes.

So I have one finished and four more tops ready to sandwich and quilt.

baby 1

Over the year I’d cut scraps into various sized squares.  These are the 6 1/2 inch squares that easily make a 36 x 36 quilt. I use the term “scrap” somewhat loosely to include fairly large left over pieces that could be called yardage. But if I have no further planned use for them, they are scraps to me. That is how I get many matching squares–however almost never the requisite 18. Quilting is a simple meander.

Linking with the Friday finish blogs and Oh Scrap (buttons in sidebar) and Let’s Make Baby Quilts. Now excuse me while I get back to finishing the last 4.

 

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