About ten days ago I was arranging pieces (here); now it is quilted.
I was about to quickly sew one seam to make the back. Luckily I had the smarts to lay it out before stitching (I had cut the yardage in half, though). Oops. I’d needed 3 yards, but purchased only 2, operating from memory, not measurements and math. Must have been memory of a smaller quilt. Since the quilt needed to be made of Riley Blake fabrics for the challenge, I got out the print pieces left over and found enough to add. (There went all hope of eking out enough of the background for binding.) So I ended up with this.
Someday I’ll hire a full time quilt holder and take straight photos, meanwhile the sofa will have to do. The mood of the back is quite different from the front. The main fabric was purchased with more red planned for the front and sharper divisions between pieces.
All along I had oriented the top this way.
When I finally got it quilted, I reversed it.
And I like it better this way. Not sure why. Maybe the two aqua rows were too top heavy the first way.
The quilting is fairly simple: lines following the long curve made with the walking foot; the red curves free motion quilted–some zigzags to flatten the lightest red wedges, an X in the triangle print, and nothing on the red with white dots. All the rest a moderate size meander.
I gave brief thought to doing fancier quilting, different in each wedge. However, because I’d preferred the blended look to a graphic look, it seemed unifying the pieces was a better choice this time.
I still have plenty of time to bind it by April 30. (And the Threads of Resistance piece is quilted too, but that is another post.)
ETA: Linked with Freemotion by the River and AHIQ
Filed under design, quilting
I had barely stopped typing the previous post until I started arranging the curves.
Here is the first attempt.
It looked hodge-podgey, especially the larger wedges. And I did give some thought to the placement of the darker red–sewing was too challenging. To sew more wedges or rearrange? Rearranging won, and after some tweaking, a second try–pretty close to the final version.
More continuity here, but still some awkward spots where the larger wedges just end. And finally the top, half sewn
I solved the awkward ends by continuing the wedges with print instead of background, top left and bottom right in this view (which is the quilt on its side).
In the future I think I’d save large wedges for a larger quilt, and I’d make twice as many wedges as I’d think I wanted. It is easier to pull out extras and use them somewhere else than to shift from arranging back to sewing. Even though I’d not attached all of them, the chunks I’d sewn needed some pieces ripped off and other chunks were in need of pieces being added. No way to tell in advance.
I spent some time pondering the order to sew. I located long, doable curves without Y-seams. Then started assembling the smaller pieces into units that made up the curves. SLW suggests appliquéing the larger curves, but I prefer piecing. So far none of the curves has been too hard to piece. I had more trouble with the smaller, sharper curves.
I had planned to bind with the background fabric; however, I don’t think I’ll have enough large pieces–maybe not even enough small pieces to add up to 250 inches. I have a darker teal and a couple reds in the Riley Blake confetti cottons, the required solids. I can think about the choice while finishing the piecing and while quilting. You can make suggestions if you like. Whether I use suggestions or not, I always enjoy exploring options.
Linking with Needle and Thread Thursday and Finished or Not Friday (buttons in sidebar).
Filed under design, quilting
As I said earlier, I plan to use this challenge as a chance to play with Score #9, “Get Your Curve on” from Sherri Lynn Wood’s Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. To that end I have made my three sets of curves.
This is not an arrangement, only an attempt to see how much space I can cover–I need to decide between 40 x60 and 50 x 70. I think the latter is quite doable. The aqua row is made from three 18-inch WOF strips of three fabrics. The aqua + red from three 9-inch WOF, and the red from 4 1/2 strips from half of three of the gifted fat eights. The 18-inch arch would not have occurred to me without the book–good thing I reread the chapter before cutting; I do appreciate how it fills space.
I have a bit of geometry to learn–not by studying but by cutting and sewing. I was surprised at how quickly the short wedges formed a circle. Most of the wedges were an inch different between top and bottom. The aqua and the aqua + red wedges were cut variously, ranging from 1/4-inch difference to 1-inch difference. (Measurements are approximate.) I think adjusting the length alone would have adjusted the sharpness of the curve.
The plan in my head had been to outline curves with red bias. Now that I see it laid out, I am thinking I might want to keep the more pastel look. Time and rearranging will tell.
Eventually I’ll link with Ad Hoc Improv Quilters (button in sidebar–scroll down to fourth Tuesday post); however, I hope it is with a later stage!
Challenge fabrics sent here.
Fabrics I added here.
As with most items, the top took about twice as long as I planned for it. But here it is.
~20 x 24
Not much is changed from the sketch. However, it always amazes me how different a colored design looks than the black and white sketch. I pondered long over using two shades of red for the broken sign, and I’m not sure I made the right decision. There would have been more continuity with all one shade, but I didn’t want bright in the “dirty” bottom. And I wanted bright at the top. So let’s hope the fact of red, if not the shade, is enough continuity.
First I enlarged the design to the size of the quilt, played with the arrangement of the red pieces, then drew lines completing the curves. Next I traced the design onto freezer paper for templates. Before cutting the templates, I carefully labeled each piece with a number and its color, plus I made registration marks so that pieces would end up oriented correctly. (There were a lot of small squarish pieces that would have been easy to mess up.) When doing a design with fewer pieces I don’t make two copies, but this time I knew I’d get confused.
What took the most time was figuring out the order of assembling pieces so I would avoid Y-seams. That done–and written down, I started assembly. Although I am rather comfortable with curves, I worried that the small pieces that made up some of the curves would distort more than large pieces do. So I didn’t cut the large blue pieces till I saw how the narrow curves fit on the master drawing. Besides ironing the shelf paper onto the fabric, I also pinned because I was worried that much handling would dislodge the templates and i needed the labels until units were recognizable and the registration marks till I got them transferred onto the fabric. Keeping the paper on the pieces worked for the slight curves, but the large ones required stay stitching just outside the seamline, stitching that also was a guide for seaming.
Now to ponder quilting design and thread. Red threads? All or part? Match color of thread and fabric? Hand or machine? Big stitch for accent? While that is germinating, I’ll turn to the Riley Blake challenge top. And keep thinking titles: Currently thinking Over 350 or Deregulation.
I’ll be linking with Finished or Not Friday and Off the Wall Friday–buttons in the sidebar.
Filed under design, quilting
Back in January I finished Dreaming of Cool, Clear, Abundant Water and got it mailed off. Today all the Stretching Art and Tradition quilts are online here and next year’s challenge is here.
Enjoy viewing and consider playing.
Meanwhile, I’ve prewashed my Riley Blake challenge fabric, and I’m plodding away at my Threads of Resistance piece. Templates made, pieces cut, and a few stitched. But it isn’t photogenic yet. Soon.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Because this book has been around since 2010, information from it has trickled into my awareness. Still, there was much in it that I did not already know.
Alexander (no relation) explicated in detail how laws that sound neutral can be racist in their effect; the drug war involves such laws. The short version: blacks and whites use and sell drugs at about the same rate; blacks are imprisoned with felony charges, whites are less likely to be so charged. Felony charges affect people for life after prison: no public housing, no food stamps, the box on employment applications–becoming outcasts. Whites are less likely to go to jail. The judicial system has made it impossible to win lawsuits claiming racism unless there is overt hostile intent–impact is ignored.
She shows how nothing can change without a change in public consciousness as she traces similarities in slavery, Jim Crow, and contemporary drug-war imprisonments. Attitudes find new ways to express themselves and maintain what she names a racial caste system.
The book is very detailed, as it must be, to show the systemic nature of the racism she addresses, something that occurs on an almost subconscious level. I did find the similarities section of Chapter 5, “The New Jim Crow” to repeat too much of what had been clearly presented before, but when she got to the differences, new information surfaced.
The concluding chapter, “The Fire This Time,” defends her claim that legislative change alone will only open new variations of oppression unless public consciousness changes as well. She discusses other solutions that have not worked, including “color blindness.” The claimed neutrality of “color blindness” serves to mask systemic racism. Rather than becoming blind to color, we need to stop being blind to injustice. We need to learn to talk about race. (This is beginning to happen more in the years since the book’s publication.) She points to a time when slaves and white impoverished workers were divided even though they had issues in common and urges a return to working together.
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