Skyline (was City Quilt)Finished

With this finish, my three for the local show are completed. Two days before the deadline! The light wasn’t perfect, but good enough for some photos. I’ll take more when it comes back home. Or at the show. A hanging photo instead of a floor photo, what a concept.

Without further ado, the front:

Whole quilt

49 x ~68

And back:

Skyline back

This was my first attempt at quilting large sections of negative space. I’m not totally unhappy with the results, but there are some changes for future quilts. I really like the “cobblestone path” as a divider and wish I’d used it in all three dividing places.  The chain of spirals with echoes ends up looking too much like roses and breaks the feel of the rest of the quilt. However, they are fun to make.  And when I use  spirals again, I’ll have some tight quilting next to them so they puff out more. And I am not sure there is enough contrasting texture between the various sections–circuit board, elongated meander, and waves of checkerboard–someday I’ll learn the real name–and within the “building silhouette” section between the circuit board background and the “silhouette.” I have trouble planning quilting because I can’t quite see it in my head, and even less so in a sketch. I guess all I can do is quilt a lot and get a better sense of what motifs look like by doing.

One thing I find ironic: Modern batting can take unquilted distances up to ten inches, but current trends (and my taste) call for closer quilting! The batting was Warm and Natural, cotton and poly (I think 80/20–I am too lazy to get up and look at the label.)

There were a few tucks and puffs, but nothing like were in the last quilt.  A big part of that was the batting. But here I also did all quilting from the center out, even when it meant wadding 3/4 of the quilt under the sewing machine harp. Even the long dividing line of cobblestone path. I did have to mark it since I’d now be able to see the whole quilt as I stitched.

Some detail shots of the quilting

Quilt history

The fabric purchased soon after Christmas

A start at background–rejected for this quilt but on hold for another (March)

Second beginning (March)

Top finished (April)

One more sideways view–not so dramatic a difference as the last quilt, but oh well . . .I like photos.

skyline sidwaysL

Linking with Free Motion Mavericks and Needle and Thread Thursday. And if I remember, with TGIFF ((buttons in the sidebar but link at celtic thistle) and Finish it Up Friday (link provided 4/29/16)


Filed under quilting

36 Fragmenting–Better Quilting Photos

I had time to take photos while the light was right, finally. Instead of editing the old post, I’ll just put them here. First the whole quilt. By putting it sideways, I got better light on all of it.

36 Sideways large

Now you can see the swooping lines made with the walking foot that continue into the border. What you see on the right is the top, though I am not sure it matters.

And the three filler designs:

And the quilt has yet another name.  After show and tell at guild meeting (Portland Modern Quilt Guild), Chris suggested using a quote from van Gogh, “Without Orange There Would Be No Blue.” I like it, so the name is changed.


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Leader-and-Ender Flowers

People on the Leader/Ender linky  haven’t heard from me for a while. Not because I haven’t been happily stitching squares and triangles together, but because I didn’t have a project for them.

Here’s proof of labor.

L-E squares and triangles

Raw pieces on the left and stitched on the right.  The squares are at a stand still because I am out of light ones and I don’t know whether the pairs I have made will become 4- or 9- patch blocks, so they await a plan. The triangles are mostly bonus triangles from making flying geese. There are more tucked away far under some other boxed projects. One day I’ll dig deep then look them over and see what I can make.

Meanwhile, there is this inspiration from Quilting is More Fun Than Housework. My problem is that my second color is not always the same, so whether I can work that out into a similar top remains to be seen.

Now, about the flowers. I have been quilting on Skyline (top here) and have two more tops planned from the “Utopia” fabric. The current top doesn’t make use of the flowers in the print, but one of the three planned quilts will. Here is a detail of the fabric.

L-E flower print

And here is the block it inspired.

Flower block

9 x 9

I will admit to having seen the block idea somewhere, but I have no clue where. The quilt will be mostly improv, but I will include several of these flowers somehow. The boring triangles are a perfect thing for leaders and enders while working on other projects. And yes, the small cut-aways will become leaders and enders for a someday mini. I might even be able to work some of the improv Floating Squares (Sherri Lynn Wood, Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters) in as leaders and enders. So the relevant pieces are in the drawer above the squares and triangles.

L-E set up

How do you like that set up? Having that four-drawer on my right has really improved my Leader/Ender production line.  A place for raw material, a place for sewn pieces, top drawer. Second drawer is storage for pieces in waiting–and eventually I’ll gather all in one place, which will be another improvement. The bottom two drawers are deeper and also good for other storage. And wheels so the drawers can be handy when sewing and otherwise out of the way.

Linking up with A Quilting Chick’s Leader and Ender Challenge.


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Orange Layered Curves Finished and Named

The quilt’s title is Thirty-Six Fragmenting; that name seems fitting, considering the quilt started out as a 36-patch baby quilt. I was about to type “Untitled” on the local guild show entry when the title occurred to me. Nothing like last minute.

So here is the finish photo. It is too late in the day for good lighting. I may change the photo tomorrow.Or the day after. Or . . . ETA Actually I’ll just put photos in a new post (here).

Finished top

50 x 70

When I pulled it out to quilt, I found the border was waiting to be applied–darn! I was thinking it was ready to go. I hadn’t thought the design needed a border, but I did need the quilt to be larger. Now that it is bordered, yes, it did need it! I really like it better this way. I think part of what makes the border work is that it matches colors in the blocks and “bleeds” into them.

Long lines are quilted with the walking foot and filler is free motion quilted. I pondered long and hard over how to quilt it. I wanted the quilting to further the design, not conflict with it. Plan A had been to echo all the curves, letting lines butt into each other. But that got way too busy. (I didn’t sketch; I auditioned them in my head–the actual stitching and the overlay drawn lines are just too different for sketching quilting to work well for my planning.) I finally got out the walking foot and just started with one big curve. After it was finished, I realized I needed to decide which curves were worth the emphasis of added lines of quilting and then ignore the rest.

The quilting shows a bit better in this half shot.

36 upper

Once the curves were stitched, I switched to the free-motion foot and thought about fillers. Plan A was circuit board, so I did one section. My thought was to contrast straight line and corners in the filler with the curved dividing pattern. But to use the same design  for the whole quilt seemed boring. (Oddly all over patterns don’t seem boring to me, but because of the divisions, this quilt seemed to need variety.) Since nothing from my limited filler repertoire seemed appropriate, I browsed Leah Day’s 400+ ; obviously with that many to choose from, I needed some criteria:  It couldn’t have lines close together because I wanted contrast with the narrow lines echoing the curves. I wanted about the same density as circuit board. It needed angles. I finally found Angles and Circles and Playground Blocks. ( I should note that Leah Day has one called Circuit Board that is different from what I used. I don’t remember where I originally got the one I used. ) I added a few circles to Playground Blocks to make it a transition between the other two; now that it is finished, I wish I’d added a few more.

The border was another design decision–independent or a continuation from the center. I decided to experiment with the latter, and I am glad I did. It makes the border seem less like a traditional quilt border. To maintain that effect, I faced the quilt instead of binding it. (I didn’t have enough of the lighter blue to do a two colored binding, which would have extended the border colors.)

There are a couple small tucks, front and back.  It could be the super puffy batting or it could be operator error: Maybe not smooth enough pinning (usually I quilt from center out, so the quilt can keep moving if necessary), maybe inaccurate long seam stitches , maybe not holding the layers tightly enough while stitching. Maybe I just need more practice.

The backing fabric was a lucky find: half off of $6.99! No fancy piecing on the back, but I did match the print at the seam as shown in Elizabeth Hartman’s free intro to Craftsy classes, Pieced Backs. Up close you can see the seam, but not from the magic four feet.

36 back

Among other things, I need more practice with travel stitching.

History of the quit:

Beginning failure. This disaster has been in time-out since October 2013! Rescued by Sherri Lynn Wood’s Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters, Layered Curves (Score #7).

Testing an Idea (Jan 2016)

Six Blocks (Jan 2016)

Nine blocks (Feb 2016)

Top sans border (March  2016)

I’ll be linking with Moving it Forward Monday, Free Motion By the River, Free Motion Mavericks, AIHQ, and if I don’t finish anything else this week, TGIFF–links in side bar, but link up at Celtic Thistle Stitches 4/29/16. Finish it up Friday (link added 4/29/16 because I forgot last week).

4/22/16 ETA yet another new title. At guild show and tell Chris suggested “Without Orange There Would Be No Blue” (quoting van Gogh) for a title. I like it.


Filed under design, quilting

Butterfly Outtakes Finished

It has been a while. At first I was waiting for more experience in FMQ; then I stalled when I realized I’d have to piece the back. That was ten months ago! But I finally got to the quilting and binding.

Buterfly Outtakes,finished

43 x 43 inches

Paisley in the fabric suggested paisley overall quilting. I briefly pondered doing something fancy in the setting triangle area and dark border, but got on a roll with the overall design and decided to stay with it. (For the history of its making, including source of the name, the back links are in the post in the above link. )

Here is a closer look at the quilting:

Butterfly quilting detail

As usual, I quilted this on my Featherweight. It is my favorite size to quilt–too bad it isn’t the most frequent size I make. This size could be either a baby quilt or a wheelchair lap quilt, depending on the fabric. I could see this fabric going either way, so I’ll link with Let’s Make Baby Quilts.

I had two blocks that were a bit smaller than the others, so I put them on the back (which needed to be made a couple inches wider).

Butterfly back

I’m thinking they would look better had they been placed closer to each other. I’ll try to remember that the next time.

I may do some more linking: Free Motion Mavericks (at Needle and Foot this week), Free Motion By the River, TGIFF (at Faith and Fabric this week) and Finish it up Friday; at any rate check the buttons in the sidebar to go see what others have linked.

ETA links.


Filed under quilting, Uncategorized

City Quilt Renamed “Skyline”

The top is finished. I’m working on use of space and balance. Not sure I’ve captured it in this one.  On the sketch the 3/4 size partial petal looked okay; here is looks like it could have been larger. And I never did comment on the reason for the partial petals. To get the amount of the fabric print that I wanted into one petal would have been too big to add anything else other than dinky little things that didn’t seem to fit the whole. So one night before sleep hit, I got the idea of half petal shapes.

Skylne top

50 x 68

Here’s hoping those bumps quilt out.

I love open spaces, but I never seem to buy enough fabric. This background had to be pieced more than I had intended. While looking at it and pondering how to piece either of the background ideas I had sketched, I came up with another idea and went with it. The idea was to echo the shadowy/misty silhouette in the print. You can see the lower one in the above photo. And here is the upper one.

City background detail

Now my question is how to quilt it.  Do I ignore the piecing to make it even more subtle or do I draw attention to it with different quilting from what is in the green? Let me know your opinion in the comments.

Linking with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall and Em’s Moving it Forward–buttons in sidebar.







Filed under design, quilting

City Quilt Progress

The two half petals are sewn. Here is the first one.

city large segment

35 x 31 inches

You may remember a red bottom line in the original plan. The more I looked at it, the less I liked it. I wanted enough red for interest, but not enough to usurp the red in the fabric. As I auditioned various colors, I realized the dark blue echoed the narrow blue and black lines in the print, liked it and went with it.

Then to decide on the size of the second one I did some rough sketching.

This is with the smaller half petal about 3/4 of the larger one. I like that sizing, but am not sure yet of the placement. That will be easier to decide with the real pieces. I have often found that my mental enlargement with color doesn’t accord with what the pieces look like after they are sewn. Spaces and proportions that work in a small sketch don’t in the real piece.

I plan for the quilting lines to follow the background piecing lines, so I needed to think about options for the pieced background here as well. From many sketches, I chose these two.  Sorry the ray lines on the right one are so faint. I am leaning toward the curving lines on the left, anyway, except I think there may be more space needed between the two shapes than I like.

So out comes the “design” sofa-bed (and there goes my living space till this part of the project is completed). I put tape on the mattress to mark the desired finished size and began to work with the layout.

city layout 1

Now to work on spacing and background. See you later.


Filed under design, quilting, Uncategorized