Four Blocks in the Bias Project

I thought I’d be finished with the blocks at this point.

four bias 1

But now I am thinking the dark green is rather stranded. And some of the spaced between the center lines seem too wide. So maybe some dark green stripes?

i think I’ll try 1/4 inch bias. (Most in the design are 3/8; the wide strip is 3/4.) I’ll try a very small piece so that there isn’t much to rip out if it is too hard to work with.

The 3/8 surprised me by handling much easier than the 3/4-inch. I also bought a 2-inch bias maker, but don’t know what I’ll use it for. When I figure it out, I’ll be ready.

Also, I am rethinking the yellow checkerboard sashing. It sounded good in the abstract, but looking at this, I now think it would be distracting.

Has it ended up “modern” or “primitive”?

Early posts, in case you missed them, are here and here.

Tomorrow I’ll link with Move it Forward Monday (button in sidebar).

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Bias Control, a Sketch, and a Block

The second block is almost completed.

bias block 2

18 x 18

It needs one more row of green, but I still have to make the green bias.

I had planned to finish two blocks, but making the long strips of bias took longer than I expected. (Something always seems to take longer than expected.) But now it is under control.

bias made

While cutting, I thought it seemed like plenty, but I may run out of the narrow and have to cut the wider down. We’ll see. Now my excuse for working on a new project is gone–I no longer have to prevent tangles. Oh well, I’m working on it anyway.

I made a sketch for the next three blocks. The first block was made in class, detail here.

bias sketch

I wanted swirls and loops on each edge and stripes in each center corner. However, I didn’t want any exact duplication. It seemed I should sketch with the whole in mind rather than make four separate blocks and hope they looked good together.

One thing I like about Latifah’s bias quilts is that she didn’t fill every swirl. I think my first instinct would have been to fill them all.  I tried to get that effect by having lines intersect, but also wanted some loops that are empty. They will appear in blocks 3 and 4.

ETA: Ironically, Latifah’s gallery that I linked shows quilts where all loops are filled; however, in class she showed several that were not. Maybe someday they will get to her gallery.

Here are blocks 1 and 2 almost in position.

bias 2 blocks

They will have 3-6 inches between them in the finish. I couldn’t step back any farther to get them both in the photo so moved them closer just for the shot.

Maybe the blocks will be finished by the end of the week. I’ll need to dig in my stash and probably shop (oh darn!) for some yellows for the sashing.

Linking with Moving it Forward Monday.

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Latifah Saafir Workshop

Barely had I recovered from the retreat weekend when it was time for a guild workshop. Latifah Saafir  spoke at the Portland Modern Quilt Guild meeting, and while she was in town, she led three workshops. I chose Designing with Bias.

And here is the result.

bias 1

The narrow bias is 3/8 inch and the wider is 3/4 inch. The middle loop is dark green, not the black that it looks like in the photo. I decided to do an 18-inch square (unfinished) in the class. That left me with two options: If I didn’t like the process I could border it and make a doll quilt; if I liked it, I could make more and have a larger quilt, probably 40 x 40. To make more than four blocks I’d need to buy more yellow.

Looking at the block now that I am home, I see it is more top heavy than it seemed in my sketch. I’ll add narrow green rows, one or two, and I think that will fix it. I’m considering trying the 1/4-inch bias maker; however, 3/8 is already fairly hard to work with. Maybe I’ll try one strip of 1/4-inch and see how it goes.

I like the process enough to make three more, so a lap or baby quilt it will become.

There will be sashing.  Maybe squares of various yellows. The bottom lines will repeat (nor exactly) to form sort of a diamond in the center. Each block will have 3-5 loops. Some may be outlined in green; I haven’t decided that yet.

Latifah showed us a neat way to cut bias without drawing lines, using any size piece of fabric. I had a half-yard piece of red and cut it all (figuring I’d never be able to refold it if I underestimated how much I’d need).

I’ll probably work on it tomorrow before the bias gets too messed up.

Latifah’s tips for working with bias will be useful to me when I want to make lines a part of a design and don’t want to piece them in. I prefer a class like this where a skill is taught instead of one where the class follows a pattern together. “Design” was in the title, but there was minimal discussion of design principles. We did have the first hour to sketch our plan for our projects, though, and all projects will be different.
As is my custom, I took fabric from my stash. I never buy fabric for a class. So the yellow print is very old. It sort of pushed the design toward primitive art instead of modern. Time will tell what the whole will look like.

I’ll link with Move it Forward Monday, this one or the progress I make tomorrow. (Button in sidebar)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunshine Retreat 2017

Two years ago, the Sunshine Online Group (a Yahoo group that makes quilts for children in mostly third world countries having cleft palate surgery by the Rotary Rotoplast project and orphans around the world) had its first retreat. Soon after it was over, a second was planned near Omaha, NE. In the year before the second event, online members made piles and piles of blocks and sent them to the organizers. Some, like me, cut the parts and brought them.

Seventeen members gathered at the Carol Joy Hollings Retreat center and over the weekend finished 184 tops. These were then distributed to members who had offered to quilt and bind them. People at home also sewed tops during the weekend, but I don’t have that tally yet (I know of 6 so far).

OM-152

This photo is from about 3/4 of the way into the weekend when we had just surpassed 150. I didn’t jump up fast enough to get that photo-op moment.

As usual, I designed from a design bed. Other more agile folk designed from the floor.

OM-design bed

I would take 30 or so blocks up to my room so I could switch in and out as necessary to get the final 24, mark the rows and return to the sewing room, return the unused blocks and start sewing up the selected. You can see the main block we used. They measure 10 1/2 inches unfinished. We also had star and pinwheel and crumb blocks to work with. And blender fabric.

Most finished tops measure 40 X 60.

OM-4

This is the only top I made that I got a photo of for myself. The leaders took photos of all 184 tops and they are posted on our Yahoo group page. There are many interesting settings possible with the block; however, by the end I went with the simplest so I had more freedom to move blocks around for color interest.

A couple of us got there before the official opening time. We had breakfast at a local coffee house in Ashland, Cheri O’s, with nice coffee shop atmosphere and great food.

Cheri O's sculpture

I especially liked the wall 3D sculptures.

And being near Lincoln, we visited the International Quilt Study Center and Museum. I found it amusing that I went to Nebraska to see exhibited some of the collection of a local Portland quilt collector, Bill Volckening.

These are from the 70s. Note how modern the first one looks–or does that mean “modern” is really an old concept? And as for the hexagon diamond quilt–if all you have is double knit, double knit is what you will make your quilts from!

There were other exhibits as well: a Studio Art Quilt Association (SAQA) show, Layered Voices, (the link should take you to a description of the exhibit from which you can click on slide show), Elizabeth Ingraham’s Regarding Nebraska (link takes you to description–I didn’t see a link to quilts, though there is one to the website), and Sacred Spaces, quilts from Central Asia, where they have made patchwork for over a millenium (the link leads to the quilts). I could have spent a whole day there, but it was time for lunch and for beginning our sewing marathon.

I’ll be linking to Finished or Not Friday (button in sidebar).

 

 

 

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40 X 40 Welcome Blanket Project

The people who brought us the Pussyhat Project have now brought us the Welcome Blanket Project . They ask, What if we welcome instead of exclude? What if instead of a concrete wall 2000 miles long we offer a yarn line 2000 miles long, a line of welcome blankets?

Blankets can be knitted, crocheted, woven or–drum roll–quilted.

I decided to get out my F2F (FootSquare Freestyle) blocks since 9 of the 12 1/2-inch blocks with a small border would make the required 40 x 40 size. This being the first quilt I’ll have made from the total (well, minus one really as I have one of my own 3 yet to make) I have a full range to choose from.

Arranging sampler blocks, various patterned blocks, requires a balancing act. Will I balance blocks by color? by saturation? by shapes? by value?

I started out with my eye on color. I create balance mostly diagonally in a square construction, but I pay some attention to horizontal and vertical.

40-1

Although it doesn’t show in the photo, the middle-column blocks each have green in them, the brights make a cross, and the browns finish the corners.

Not quite working. The upper right is too light. So I started to work with value, keeping the color arrangement.

40-2

Better. Now one diagonal is brown and the other brown with a touch of bright. Nice. But the white background of the lower-right block draws attention as out of place. And the upper right square piece didn’t complement the lower left checkerboard. So I switched the top and bottom of the right column.

40-3

Somewhat improved, but there was still that white background problem, now in the upper right.

And then it dawns on me. The color arrangement isn’t cut in stone. It too is a variable. And there are lots of star blocks.

40-4

This time, paying more attention to shape created the final arrangement. I’ll sew the top tomorrow, then quilt it as soon as I can.

The final due date for quilted/knitted/crocheted/woven blankets is September 5, 2017.  However, the Installation at the Smart Museum of Art of the University of Chicago will open in July with an empty room and change as they receive blankets. So the sooner the better.  When the Installation closes, the quilts will be distributed to various refugee resettlement groups.

Are you interested in making one?

Essential information (more detail on the  website– https://www.welcomeblanket.org/ )

The blanket itself: 40 inches by 40 inches. (If they find more sizes can be used, this will be updated on the FAQ on the website.) Preferably washable fibers

Include a note of welcome and introduction. There are suggestions on the FAQ. Without the suggestions, I’d not have thought of including my own immigration background.

Mail them to Smart Museum of Art, WELCOME BLANKET, 5550 S Greenwood Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60637, USA

 

 

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Threads of Resistance Links

The Threads of Resistance list of traveling quilts has been posted. (No, Deregulation is not in it.) Here is the link for those who want to “see” the traveling show online.

And a reminder, here is the link for those who want to see all 500+ entries.

And for those lucky enough to live where the show will be and want to see it live, here is a link to the show schedule.

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Quilt Shows, Virtual and Local

One quilt, mine, is in both.

NW2 dereg--NW show

I did decide on “Deregulation” as its name. Since it didn’t seem to limit what others saw in it, it seemed safe to be directive in naming.  I still don’t know if it will travel with Threads of Resistance, but they have posted all 550 entries online (here). The page is subdivided into categories, so viewing is manageable; artists’ statements are on a separate page in each category for those who like to read them.

The guild show divided art quilts into abstract and pictorial, which I think is a good idea. “Jo’s Last Quilt,” from the previous post, was also in this category as was Anton Haas’ Six Times Five.

NW2 Six Times Five Anton Haas

Tony’s statement said he was exploring five-point symmetry. I love the way the long swirls maintain the color pattern in the small swirls.

I got only one photo in the pictorial category:

NW3 Vintage Falls Helene Knott

Vintage Falls, Helene Knott

Those who have been to the Columbia Gorge will recognize Multnomah Falls.

I have a few more photos, but they can wait. I want you to have time to view the Threads of Resistance quilts if you are so inclined.

There will be radio silence while I travel outside of WiFi areas this coming week, so don’t feel neglected if your comments don’t get prompt answers.

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