Tag Archives: applique

Finished and Named: Loop d’ Loop

This quilt from Latifah Saafir’s workshop is the second of three for the upcoming guild show. The quilting continued well; the binding took longer than planned.  I was halfway around the quilt on the first seam when I realized I was sewing binding to the front instead of the back. I pondered ripping it out, but decided that would take as long as hand sewing the second seam.  I’ve made that mistake before, but I usually catch it a couple inches in.

I haven’t sewn the hanging sleeve yet because I’ve not decided which side is top.

At first I thought this way

Loop 1

I thought I wanted those bendy long “stems” on the bottom, reaching up like real plants do..

But now I’m leaning to this one.

Loop 2

It seems more stable and the long stem swoops move the eye around more than the other way. But just for the sake of completeness, here are views 3 and 4.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Or maybe it doesn’t matter at all. After the guild quilt show it will become a lap quilt for someone in a nursing home.

The other design decision was color of binding.  I’d considered green as well as yellow.  Yellow won because some of the loops are so close to the edge that the green crowded them.  The quilt’s history starts here ( reverse order) where other design decisions were discussed.

It’s not Friday but “Finished or Not Friday” is still open, so I’ll link. (Button in sidebar for your convenience. Go look.)

On to quilt number 3. A little over a week is plenty of time.


Filed under design, quilting

Bias Project–Green Added

I left off here, wanting to shop for yellows and to add green.

I bought seven tints of yellow. Even if I don’t do the checkerboard on this piece, I have another yellow start that needs pieced borders. A project for the future. So I added dark green and laid the blocks out on the new fabric.

bias-plain centr

It helped that I trimmed the tails of bias. I’m not going to consider the checkerboard anymore as I am liking this. But one more try.

bias print centr

How about a cornerstone of the yellow print fabric? I think I like it.

One more thing. In the interest of variation, I’d moved the wider red from bottom to middle to top, but I don’t like it in the top position in the upper right block. Easy enough to fix; I had a piece of left over dark green, just the right size.

bias more green added

It was a tight fit, but it did two things. Even though I wanted variety, having the top of each quarter circle green adds a nice symmetry. And nods to difference by being a different shade of green. It also adds some curve where the wide red had ended up too straight.

You can barely tell that the width of the two greens is 1/8 inch different. In the future I don’t think I’ll work with such small differences.  The 1/4-inch bias is easy to sew, but I had a bit of problem pressing. One side wanted to flatten instead of fold. I noticed that there was wiggle room, the bias maker being wider than double the finished width. Luckily I’d not cut but one piece. I cut the next one 3/8 inch instead of  1/2 inch. And it worked like a charm.

Now I’ll set this project aside till I’ve prewashed the new yellow fabrics and get back to the Welcome Blanket project (the one time I am willing to call a “quilt” a “blanket”).


Filed under design, quilting

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).


Filed under design, quilting, Uncategorized

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.


Filed under design, quilting, Uncategorized

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)













Filed under quilting

Color Play

Lately I’ve been seeing posts deriving palettes from photos through various programs, Palette Builder 2.1 being one of them.

I decided to play too.

photo plus palette

While I might have fun playing with this palette, the first thing I notice is what is missing, the reds and yellows. Does that mean Moda doesn’t have a match for these? I’d be surprised if that were true. Is it related to amounts of color, and the tool goes for larger percentages? Maybe.

Let’s try another with more accent colors.

Second paletteWhere are the white and reds? Does the algorithm “assume” that I can see these accent colors for myself and need help only with the more subtle ones? Maybe.

Well, let’s try one where there is no accent color, just for fun.

Landboat palette

This one is to say, yes, these are from my most recent Lan Su Chinese Garden visit. And yes the red rose is blooming again. And here is the ritual landboat shot.  I missed the new ritual bridge shot. Gotta get into that habit. But about color: no accents to lose, so no disappointment. Benefit of the palette builder here is the blue, second from the right. I’d not seen that in the photo.

Just one more. It is a bit addictive, I must admit.

more color

I tried a more colorful photo. Can you believe that that one pink (I’ve already forgotten its Moda Bella name) is the only reddish color from that photo? It is obviously not a selection based on amount of a color in the photo.[ETA: Since looking at the tutorial mentioned in the comments, I see that the program does work from volume of a color. I’ll have to study why that doesn’t appear to be the largest amount of a shade of pink to my eye.] I would also appreciate if the “save” feature produced the names of the Kona Bella solids along with the squares. You get the names when you upload the photo; they just don’t save.

A while back I took a class with Jean Wells Keenan when she was inducted into the Quilters Hall of Fame. She too advises getting a color palette from photos. However, she emphasized maintaining the proportions of colors in the photo. Now wouldn’t a tool be lovely if it did that proportion math? Of course I’m using a free app; maybe one exists out there that does what I want for a fee.

I’ll be linking with Creative Goodness on Friday, link in sidebar.


Filed under design, quilting

Urban Chickens Half Quilted

After finishing the stitching on the white around the “chickens,” I came up with three basic designs for the squares part of the block.  First, spirals.

The red is the first one where I totally misjudged distances and had to fudge and add a round. The second one turned out better. Curves could be smoother and spaces more even. This quilt is for me, and I can live with imperfection. And it is more fun than practicing on squares that won’t have a function. More realistic too, as designs that are easy in small pieces are not always in the middle of a larger piece.

Second, what better than chicken tracks. My first try (blue and orange) looked more like jewelry, but gradually I got there.

The checkerboard arrangement on the first attempt made it easy to use just two colors and quilt continuously. However, when making the blocks, I’d tried to avoid the checkerboard. Since continuous quilting no longer worked, sometimes , as in the lime and teal block, I used spirals in the small squares since they were easier to do individually. So the second design has two variations.  All that starting and stopping was a pain. By the time I got to the three shades of blue, I had decided that thread changes were not necessary. Two boring steps–threading the machine, ending and beginning again–eliminated.

And the third one is based on a design for squares by Angela Walters in her book, Shape by Shape--if she gave it a name, I forgot it. I know she showed it with triangles too, don’t think she showed it with rectangles.  I tried to proportion the indent to the lengths of the sides, but it still was a bit awkward. I’ll have to look at the book again to see if she gave any hints.

This design was harder on the machine than with the pencil practice sketch–not enough room to maneuver the longer lines .(My Featherweight has a 5 1/2-inch harp.) It helped to split the block into two rectangles. It also took a while to keep four sided shapes–I tended to end up with triangles when it was hard to see where I’d been or where I was going. And this was with edge blocks. I decided this design–whole or half–was not for the center.

When I planned out which design to put where I needed a fourth–couldn’t have two of the same designs side by side. So a simple variation on the spiral, making 12 instead of 6.

12  spirals

This one also went into the center where the angular one wouldn’t work.

So I thought four designs would solve the boredom issue of the design I’d started but decided not to pursue. And it did to an extent, but why do you suppose I am blogging instead of quilting?

Here is a link to Michelle’s tutorial for the block in case you’d like to make one.


Filed under design, quilting

A Monkey Charity Quilt and the A word

monkey starter block

One day I received a surprise package in the mail, a box of fabric and notions. Inside was a note to take what I wanted to use for a charity quilt and add what I wanted and move it along.  I took the above monkey fabric and coordinating prints. It was immediately apparent that there wasn’t enough fabric to get to 40 x 60, so I set it aside till I had time to stash dive. I did find some coordinating solids. And at a recent trip to the fabric store for another project, a bolt of striped fabric had “followed me home.” (Pauses to remember kids claiming a kitten had followed them home when she was sure she had heard, “Here Kitty, Kitty.”)

Over the weekend in a rare house cleaning moment, I decided it would be easier to sew it up than to put it away. 🙂 I cut 3  monkey blocks that were 10 1/2 x 10 1/2, 3 that were 5 1/2 and 7 that were 4 1/2; in other words, I cut as many pieces as I could as large as I could. I tried various settings with the coordinating fabrics and decided on the above for starters.

middle stripSo this is the middle strip with the wandering striped fabric.  It sits waiting my inspiration for using the solids.

I might have made more progress if I hadn’t signed up for a workshop with Nancy Lee Chong and spent yesterday learning <gasp> APPLIQUE.   I’ve resisted it for many years, but I do have to admit it often adds a nice finishing touch. Nancy’s approach sounded painless, and indeed it was.

applique start

Mini Blossom by Pacific Rim Quilt Company

  The Mini Blossom was designed to give practice in each of the five basic lines any applique would require. My first goal is to work on the project regularly enough to not forget what I learned. Maybe the second goal is to finish it. Although I never force myself to finish a class project, I don’t go so far as a friend of mine who takes a Sharpie and writes the date on what she has done in class so she never feels it as a UFO (UnFinished Object–for non-quilters). I leave the possibility open, but feel no guilt to leave it sitting. Tune in around next year to see the eventual decision.


Filed under quilting

quilt projects

Great quilts to look at and some good ideas for a guild auction

1 Comment

August 8, 2012 · 12:37 am