Category Archives: quilting

Riley Blake Challenge Fabric

Tonight at the Portland Modern Quilt Guild meeting, the Riley Blake challenge fabrics were handed out. Here are mine.

riley-blake-challenge-fabric-2017

Each piece is a fat eighth; of course I am allowed to buy more from the Creative Rockstar collection. I can also combine the prints with Riley Blake confetti cotton solids. The only other rule is to make something quilted. And finished. I usually aim for a child sized quilt. I have until April 30th. That should be enough time to get an idea, shop for fabric,  and make a project.

The words on the bottom fabric are subtle. So far I’ve seen “eat,” “sleep,” and “creativity.” I’ll look more closely later. Maybe the words will give me a design idea. This “show” is online, with quilt photographs entered and judged. The projects never become a physical show.

Guild has another challenge going as well,  quilts that speak.  Every month someone will present a different technique for making letters.  In preparation, the presentation tonight was about quilts with words.  The first part was history of friendship and charity quilts with embroidered signatures, of alphabet quilts–embroidered, pieced and appliqued,  of signatures and mottoes.  The second part was about tips for legible messages and for design decisions from bold to subtle. The goal is that members finish a bunch of quilts with messages, from serious to funny, to be included in our corner of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in 2018. Although the Sisters show is not a juried show, our guild juries our entries.

My thinking cap is on for both those projects. And for the Threads of Resistance call for entries. That one has to be finished and photographed by May 1. It is a juried show that has several venues planned.

Getting three ideas in that amount of time is not so difficult; finishing the projects may be another story.

4 Comments

Filed under quilting

Last 5 Weather Blocks

I guess it is time to get with the program and finish off this 2016 project. So here are blocks for August-December

weather-aug-dec

These are ready to put with January – July, blocks that have been patiently waiting. (If you click back to the early post you will have to scroll way down to get to the weather update.)

October . . .

weather-oct-2017

. . . I think it is safe to say, was the most boring month! If I had divided temperatures into groups of 5 instead of 10, I’d have been able to switch out only 7 of the grass green squares.

The design definitely works out best in a strip setting instead of monthly setting, as you can see from the others in the Facebook group. But I had to try. The image in my head was of calendar dish towels.

I’m aiming for 50 x 70 for the AIDS camp that I make several quilts for; here’s hoping one of the participants is a weather geek. I’m thinking of 1-inch strips between months and a narrow border on the right. On the left a wider border with the key to the temperatures. In keeping with the dish towel look, the top border will have “2017.” And the bottom “Portland Highs.”  So now to make the letters and numbers.

I didn’t get to use red for 100s or purple for 20s. I’d have been able to use the latter for this January–at least three days, so cold does happen here. Hot not so much.  I’m pondering using them for the letters and numbers and/or binding.

ETA: Linking with Moving it Forward Monday–button in sidebar.

4 Comments

Filed under design, quilting

“Dreaming of Cool, Clear, Abundant Water” is Finished

It isn’t often that two posts in a row document the start and finish of one piece! But deadlines (real ones) can promote that.

water-finished

So here is the piece quilted, trimmed to 18 x 36, and faced.  The balance is back to something closer to that in the sketches. If I do something approximately this size again, I’ll add only one inch all around. It lost very little in quilting.

I had to wait a couple days to photograph the quilting–there was no sun and  my artificial light keeps the quilting from showing. The sun finally appeared yesterday–along with temperatures in the 50s.

I like the background quilting; if I had it to do over, I’d put another layer of batting under the “drops” to fill it out better. It’s okay as is, but I think puffier would be better. Puffier would be nicer for the big “pebbles” too, but that would be impossible to place extra batting since I decided on placement as I went. Maybe the whole thing needed thicker batting.

The ice finally melted so I got it to the post office in plenty of time.

I’ll be joining Friday links (buttons in sidebar). 2/3/17 ETA: Actually linking late because I spaced it the week I finished.

8 Comments

Filed under quilting

Stretching Art Progress

The Stretching Art challenge was posted long ago:  This year’s theme–Dream Big; Requirements–Size 18 x 36 and try some new technique.

So I started to think on dreams. I’ll admit to censoring out options that I couldn’t imagine a design or technique for or ones that I could imagine but didn’t want to do. I prefer abstract to representational, and that seemed hard, given this theme.

About the time I was exploring ideas, I was also reading of drought and forest fires, so dreaming of water seemed a good thing. Out came the graph paper..

water-early-sketch

Grid = 1 square x inch

I doodled more than two, but kept only these. Early thoughts were flowing rivers and drops containing trees, fish, and something else. Oversized drops to convey abundance. The right sketch got me into shapes going off the edge. And the plan moved on.

water-sketch

The new technique would be inserting those drop shapes rather than appliquéing them. And I did.

water-top

The upper left drop was inserted whole, but I have since trimmed it and will trim a bit more. I had added 2-3 inches on each side so that after quilting I could trim to size. My estimates on how much measurement will be lost to quilting are never accurate.The biggest trim will be at the right and bottom.

I tried sewing the first drop by starting at one side of the point, then starting again in the other direction. It was okay but not great. Better was starting at the side of the shape, holding the clipped background on top and stopping, but not removing the piece from under the needle, to turn. Yes, there was stay stitching first. I tried the first one without pinning, just like I do circles, matching registration points. The second one I pinned very closely around the point. If I ever do this again, I will pin. There will never be a tutorial for this, because there is no way I could interrupt sewing to do photos.

So on to the quilting.

water-detail

You may notice lines near the point. Yes, it was for reinforcement as well as design. I’d sketched a possible design (too lightly to photograph), but this is what has emerged as I worked. The unquilted background is waiting for me to decide how many more “pebbles” and where among the lines. Then on to quilting the drops.

The Stretching Art project is an annual event, unjuried.  You can join the Yahoo Group, if you are interested in considering it for next year.

ETA link to Stretching Art website.

10 Comments

Filed under design, quilting

Toy and Joy

Some deadlines work for me–real ones. I’ve tried making fake deadlines to convince myself to work ahead. It is no use because myself knows better. Somewhere in October I had three of those self-made deadlines. Then I convinced myself that the coupon for a small discount on long arm quilting wasn’t enough to make me say, No, to events I wanted to attend. I convinced myself that the project with a real due date of January 31 had plenty of time. And I didn’t finish the Toy and Joy quilts in time to get them to last month’s meeting just in case the weather was bad this month. Luckily the weather is fine.

The meeting is tonight and the last baby quilt is now quilted. Five hours ahead of time.

Back in August, you saw most of the tops here. And earlier, the story of most of the blocks here.  There was a joke in one of my Indiana quilt guilds that a quilt could be shown at show-n-tell seven times. The history of the “rule” was that one member had actually shown seven stages of one quilt–that was before my time, so I didn’t get to see it. Thus, ~3 posts is showing restraint.

The first three are from the guild’s block of the month last year–I won three times. Only two (red-blue-gold, totally scrappy) made it to Toy and Joy quilts. The third (pink) is awaiting quilting.

The pastel block wasn’t bright enough to go with the other ‘totally scrappy’ blocks, so it became a doll quilt all by itself. (The doll quilt is about 20 x 20, the infant quilts 36 x 36.)

The doll quilt back was made from minkie scraps.

tj-doll-back

Yep, that stuff stretches.

And I had to extend one of the three other backs.

tj-infant-back

Silly me, I’d bought 3 yards of flannel for 3 36-inch tops. Then prewashed the flannel. Lesson learned. At least I had that cream strip to finish the third one off.

I did a big meander on all the quilts–the batting required quilting only every 8 inches.

tj-red-blue-gold-detail

Although plan A is to practice FMQ on charity quilts, sometimes quilts just need to be finished. So I don’t really call meandering practice. However, I am getting better at starting and stopping without a zig zag in the line, and my stitch is getting more even, so it isn’t wasted on the practice front.

The other quilt comes from Lotto blocks that I’ve won in the past. I love that heart block; however, it created an interesting design issue.

tj-heart-horizontal

When I planned it, I had it laid out horizontally. However the heart looks better on point.

tj-heart-on-point

Had I been thinking ahead, I’d have made the tans parallel and the blues parallel for this orientation. Lesson learned. Think of the final orientation when designing.

11 pm, ETA: At guild tonight it was announced that our year’s contribution to Toy and Joy is 1889 doll and infant quilts.

I will be linking with Oh Scrap! and Let’s Make Baby Quilts (buttons in sidebar) and Scrap Happy; welcome visitors.

Shall I read a book or get to one of those other two projects?

6 Comments

Filed under quilting

Sketching

No, I’m not stalling on the ocean top. But I have to think interesting thoughts while doing repetitive tasks like trimming HSTs. As often happens, I have an idea for a motif, but not for a whole piece. And I have difficulty expanding.

A while back, Mary of Zippy Quilts sent me some fabric.

fabric

She was decluttering and had decided she had no idea to go with this piece. She thought I might like the challenge. (I had mentioned enjoying making something out of what others thought ‘ugly’ fabric, and while this wasn’t considered ugly, it prompted the thought to send it.)  I found two coordinating pieces.

fabric-plus-coordinate

The motif that had immediately come to mind: a big diamond (to finally use that ruler that I bought so long ago) with a circle cut out the floats somewhere. But what else?

I started sketching.

fabrics-sketches-1

My first idea had been partial Lone Star as in 1,3,and 4. But I wasn’t thrilled. So I thought forget the star and tried #2. (Numbering doesn’t reflect order of drawing.) I also was asking the question: Do I really need odd numbers of items?

I tried some more.

fabrics-sketches-2

Number 5 looks too much like PacMan, #7 looks blah, but I almost like #6. Is it detailed enough?

Those ideas can cook for a while while I get back to trimming. Meanwhile, I’d like to hear what you do when you have a partial idea that doesn’t a whole quilt make.

ETA corrected spelling. Always shows up better the day after.

Linking with Let’s Sew and  Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays.

12 Comments

Filed under quilting, Uncategorized

Fall Quilt Retreat

It was time for quilt retreat, and I wasn’t about to take the ocean quilt.  I need lots of time and space to design as I go. Luckily I had three kits left over from the last retreat, so I didn’t have to think much, just grab.

I finished this child sized charity quilt top.

6-in-squares

40 x 60 inches

A couple years ago I was making kits for a friend’s project. I kept out some to finish myself, the ones that needed more arrangement than alternating matching blocks . This is the last of them, so I’ll have to start cutting again. It took about half a day to assemble at retreat pace. For me that is slow because I stop to talk a lot. Others power along and finish up way more. Still others think more and are slower. We each have our preferred pace.

And I finished the third of my last year’s leader-ender block tops.

l-e-blue-sashing

~42 x 60

The blocks were pieced and arranged and the sashing cut. And I had labeled the rows clearly enough that I could remember my plan even after a year. This one took about a day, retreat pace. This one is the same setting as the inspiration quilt (here). The first two are here and here in case you missed them.

ETA: It is amazing how much difference a sashing color can make. Mishka used black (in the inspiration link above)  and Deanna at Wedding Dress Blue used white (here). I needed a color because the group I donate to prefers less white, but black would not do for a child quilt.

With all the people at the retreat, I should have asked someone to hold it for a flat shot, but I didn’t think of it, so back to the sofa shots.

Remember the Sunny Lanes block? (here, if you forgot) One of the quilters was doing just what I had been thinking would work well with scraps. Here is her top.

sunny-lanes-top-with-red

This is what it can look like in a top.(Yes there are a couple blocks that need repair. It was an exchange and a couple blocks didn’t follow directions.) I really like the red, but I haven’t decided on what color I’ll be using for the stabilizing colors. Meanwhile, the 4-patches will make a good leader-ender project, and I need another.

I also pieced the blocks for a Rail Fence twin size quilt. You’ll see it when it is together. And when that was finished, I knitted on a pair of socks. It was a totally good retreat–I’d packed exactly the right amount of projects, always a challenge.

ETA: Linking up with Oh Scrap!

19 Comments

Filed under Fiber Art, quilting