Tag Archives: modern quilt design

Orphan Blocks on National Quilting Day

You knew today was National Quilting Day, didn’t you?  Of course you did. As usual I didn’t get as much finished as I had planned, but oh well, the back will wait.

A couple months ago I picked up a charity kit at guild. I usually avoid that table because I have enough stash to make charity quilts from, but that day the colors appealed to me. I think the kits are made up from blocks left on the freebie table that are not grabbed up. Then someone assembles some that go together into kits. Minimum size is 40 x 40. So I took a kit and laid them out. (I remember when these were blocks of the month, and even made a couple several years ago.)

PMQG orphans layout

Oh good, it looks like they fit. There are a couple more.  One I snatched to go with another kit I’d taken a LONG time ago as it was the same block. One would be a loner and end up in a doll quilt, most likely. One would go on the back; however, it needed corners.  I bought some orange for the corners and purple for the back.

1 block for orphan back

In the first layout, it looked like the top and right rows might be a tiny bit big, but I assumed that would be taken up in the 1/4 inch seams. If anything, I expected to be trimming the checkerboard part (Trip Around the World blocks?) I was quite surprised when the border blocks were about 2 inches bigger than the squares set.

I gave about 2 seconds of thought to making a new row of squares for two sides.  Not being much of a perfectionist, I decided this was the moment for liberated quilting. I think it was Gwen Marsten who said, “If it is too long, cut it off; if it is too short, sew something on.”  Knowing I couldn’t match the colors already there, it seemed better to do a strip than a row of squares that clashed. (Sounds better than saying that I was too lazy to sew up two rows of squares, doesn’t it?) It would have looked more planned if the side strip had been on the right, but not enough better to be worth getting out the seam ripper. The purple is what I’d bought for the back and binding, so it will appear again.

Of course I didn’t go with the original layout. Half the fun is playing with possibilities. I ended up with this.

1 orphan top

It measures 47 x 47 so I won’t need to add a border.

 

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under quilting

Irish Star — Finished

Imagine, a scrap quilt post on Scrap Happy day!  I’ll admit to having been scrap delinquent lately. This top was completed a couple years ago at the guild’s fall retreat. Then it went to the black hole called “to be quilted.”  Thanks to the guild quilt show needing more quilts this year, it is now quilted and bound.

1 Irish chain finished

45 x 45 inches

Deanna of Weddingddressblue started the quilt-along back then. Designed as a relaxed pace, leader/ender project, it is still ongoing, in case you are interested.  She gave directions for 1 1/2-, 2-, 2 1/2-inch squares. I had 3 1/2-inch strips left over from Urban Chickens. (I had cut a 3 1/2-inch strip from each solid I owned and selected from the strips four squares for each Urban Chicken block. That left a lot over for a rainy day.) So I calculated the star pieces to go with the alternating 25-square block. Luckily I had 5 strips long enough to make the stars–seaming two to get the 6 1/2-inch star center. While I know where the solids came from, I have no idea what the original project was for the background pieces, bona fida scraps, they.

Even the back is made mostly from left-overs.  When making the back for Weather Watching, I needed more than one width of fabric of each color. I just sewed two full strips instead of dealing with exact measurement. I’d thought it would make the complete back for this one, but not quite. So I added the beige.

1 Irish chain back

The back has more of the look of using up the left overs than I like. It isn’t as logical a mate for this top as it was for Weather Watching. I realized too late that I could have cut the strips in half and reversed one and gotten more of a designed look.  But I wasn’t distressed enough to rip and resew.

Even the binding is a left over from the group quilt, What If? This is as close to wholly scrap quilt as I have ever gotten.

If you enjoy scrap projects, visit Kate’s Tall Tales from Chiconia blog around the 15th of each month.  I’ll also be linking with Oh Scrap! when the time comes. Till then, button in the side bar.

ETA I have another Irish Star quilt in the works as a leader/ender project. I don’t remembr what size I am aiming for, but I do remember I need 17 star blocks. I entered this one into the “modern” category for the local quilt show. Even though it is a modification of a traditional pattern, the large sized squares and the bright colored solid fabric spoke “modern” to me. And the show committee did not change it.

10 Comments

Filed under quilting

Weather Watching–Finished

It is always a relief to sew the last stitch!

1 Weather finished

52 x 72 inches

I’ve read others writing about quilting with gold to blend a variety of colors, and I had some Aurifil caramel on hand, so tried it. Even though the lighter creams and grays didn’t glare on dark fabrics from a distance, they did  up close. The Caramel doesn’t. Nor is it excessively dark on the light. So I’ll be using it again.

I mostly did a large meander over the whole and a medium meander in the outer border.  I did a hatch between numbers and letters to puff out the figures more. And since the theme was weather, I added a sun, umbrella and snowflake–though the snowflake looks a bit more like a spider web.

It is destined for a camp for people living with AIDS, Strength for the Journey. I hope one of the campers has some interest in weather. If not, they might like the almost rainbow back. I used up the leftovers of the temperature colors, and what I had left determined the width of the stripes on all but the gold–I didn’t want as big of a gold strip as what I had left.

1 weather back

I didn’t start out to do a rainbow quilt, though that was a guild project this year. It just seems difficult to do weather without using hot and cold colors and that ends up the full spectrum.  However, it is possible to be more creative, as you’ll see if you check out the Facebook group, Weather or Not (It is a public group, so you should be able to browse.) You will also see the more traditional approach to making a quilt based on temperature.

I missed finishing by Friday for TGIFF (button in sidbar); if I remember I’ll link next week.

Quilt history:

Finished top

Repairing Error and Starting Numbers

Assembling blocks

Reawakening an old project

Individual blocks (here–way at bottom–and here)

I don’t see another weather quilt in my future, though it might have been fun to do a series and compare several years.  However, I really do not like monthly projects that start and stop each month. Took quite a few projects for me to figure that out. LOL.

 

6 Comments

Filed under quilting

“Water Is Life” top finished

Whew! I got the top finished in time to enter it. It retains some of the ideas in the sketch (here) Given the shortened time frame, I needed to simplify some more, so the “foam” went. I made a mistake,so the deep purple went (I was sad to lose it). And the “foreground greenery” went because no fabric that I had looked right. I didn’t overlap any of the circles because I wimped out.

Water is Life top

You may remember I wanted to draw some attention to the letter bubbles, but not too much.  I thought a little light and shadow might do it. I had already made the circle templates and didn’t want to make a new set (not the best of criteria for design decisions). I thought of free handing some curve to the colors to be added, but wimped out.  I decided a straight line wouldn’t hurt.  But it kinda made the circles look like eyeballs or space ships. And without the “foam” they don’t seem to be splashes from the waterfall, as originally intended. Oh well, maybe they are something else relevant. I do like the aqua against the lavender that I’d not have had if I’d gone with the foam.

This is the first time I’ve inserted circles onto a whole (almost finished) top instead of into blocks. Others have done it, so I knew it was a possibility.  I won’t rush to do it again (until the next design that requires it). Managing the bulk of the top while sewing the circle is so much more awkward than handling a block (in addition to the stress factor of cutting holes in the almost finished top).

I will admit to holding my breath each time I got to the end of the circle seam. The first four fit perfectly. And of course the stress level rises with each finished one–can’t ruin it now please, as I sew the next one. The fifth wanted to make a tuck at the end. I checked and saw that my seam had dipped in on the circle piece about 1/16-1/8 inch for about 6 inches.  I ripped that and tried again. When the two seam lines met exactly, the circle fit the hole. Breathing a sigh of relief there, I was!

The finished product isn’t due till May 31.  I think I’ll continue on with making the back and quilting it so I don’t have any more last minute panic.

Linking with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday and Finished or Not Friday (Links in sidebar).

9 Comments

Filed under design, quilting

Riley Blake Piece Almost Finished

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.

RB back

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.

RB quilting started

When I finally got it quilted, I reversed it.

RB quilted

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

12 Comments

Filed under design, quilting

Belated Sisters Post

Yeah, most of you have seen this quilt before, but this is a better photo. I didn’t get to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show this year, but my quilt did. And posting about it fell through the cracks with my grandson’s visit. But my online friend Tierney visited it and caught a photo for me. It is so nice to see the quilt hanging, flat, and with quilting visible.

At Sisters whole

The hand is because the day was windy.

Portland Modern Quilt Guild had an exhibit area and set a theme: modern traditional.  The traditional was the 9-patch blocks   (after I ripped apart a 36-patch top I didn’t like), the modern, the Layered Curves, my favorite “score” from Sherri Lynn Wood’s Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. (A ‘score’ is not a pattern, but a starting idea that can guide–limiting or changing as one progresses.) While using improv fabric in traditional patterns is fun to do, I enjoyed this reversal of putting the traditional in the made fabric.

For those new to my blog, here is a blog post with links to posts about the history of construction.

10 Comments

Filed under quilting

Piecing Big Curves Without Losing Width

My friend, Tam, and I met for a sew day. She had a patchwork top that she wanted to add curves to, but couldn’t spare any width. She had a plan, but I was a skeptic. So we tested it on stash fabric that can become a charity quilt, and width won’t matter on it. Spoiler: She was right. The method is a bit fiddly, but when a detail is important, fiddly is worth it.

We laid the curved piece (green) on top of the whole fabric (print)–both right sides up–and marked along the curve.

curve-first mark

We used a hera marker because the fine line helped accuracy. Next we marked a second line half an inch UNDER the green.

curve--second mark

Note: we took photos from both sides of the table, so you can’t tell from the above that the second line was under the green. The measuring gadget helped accuracy, but any ruler would do.  We could not make continuous lines because the straight line of the ruler didn’t match the curve. So we made many single marks and joined them. Again with the hera marker, though I had to go back and use chalk on the cutting line. Tam’s eyesight was better than mine–she needed only the hera marked line.

Before cutting, we marked registration marks to aid in matching the two pieces.

curve first dot

We laid the green back matching the line drawn along the edge. The first mark was a short right-angle line across the cut line, marking both fabrics. We started with an erasable marker that was aqua–it showed up fine on the green but minimally on the print, so we supplemented with chalk. So that we wouldn’t confuse the marks, we used one perpendicular line, then two, then three, then back to one, etc.

So that we could see the mark when joining the pieces and when stitching, we needed a second mark on the cutting line under the green.

curve--inner dot

These too were 1,2,3,1 … little perpendicular lines.

Next we cut along the line that was half an inch from the edge under the green (had it been lying there). (If there is any mistake I’d make doing this, it would be to measure the second line the wrong way or to cut on the wrong line. I paid close attention, and Tam helped keep me on the correct line.)

curve-cutting line

We used scissors; it would have been possible, freehand, with a rotary cutter–whichever helps you be most accurate.  You can see how wide the chalk line is, so had I been able to use only the hera line, it would have been more precise.

The green is returned and placed edge to edge–right sides up. One will be turned so that they are right sides together.  Whichever piece has the concave curve (or the most concave curves) goes on top. In this case, the green had two long concave curves and the blue only one small one.

curve--concave on top

I am pointing to the blue convex curve.

Next, because marks were so hard to see on the print, we pinned at the registration marks.

curve--matching dots

The three little lines are clear on the green and the white barely visible on the print.

Notice that the pieces don’t look like they fit.

curve--pinned

However, only about an inch has to fit at a time.

Sew a quarter-inch seam.

curve--stitch

Had the marks shown better, I would have done my preferred no-pin method–it gives more flexibility in aligning the two pieces. When doing no-pin, I keep looking ahead to see how close the registration marks are and tug gently on the piece that looks like it might fall short. The gentler the cut curve, the easier it is to sew.

Press from the top, whichever way the seam wants to lie.

curve--press

Finished, it lies almost flat.

curve--lies flat

The first curve lay perfectly flat–no photo, kinda like the fish that got away. This bit of pooch will quilt out. I think it happened because of the S-curve, the change in convex/concave. Or it could be because my chalk mark wasn’t as precise as Tam’s mark with the hera marker on the first curve.

But what is important is that the edges meet.

curve--edges even

Here is the finished section to show how large the curves.

curve--finished piece

Large curves, though unwieldy, tend to be gentler, so easier to manage.

A few more sections, also with curved piecing, and it will be a child sized top.

 

 

7 Comments

Filed under quilting, tutorial, Uncategorized