A View of My Quilt Life

Monday, September 15, 2014

On the Line and Under the Needle

We've had quite the blast of Fall temps last week that are continuing into the first part of this week.  The cooler temps also brought a few grey, rainy days.  But yesterday was gorgeous!  The sun was out, with a nice breeze.  

A perfect day for hanging out some washed fabric. It's neat to see it all hanging lined up by colorway.

First up: Cherrywood's Hot Medley,

then Cherrywood's Tropicana,

and finally, a few new batiks.

While the fabric was drying on the line,  it was time to get something under the needle!  The nine patch angled section got layered and pinned.

By the end of the afternoon, four patches of the angled section were machine quilted.

Five more patches to figure out the quilt design on this section, then on to the figuring out the other seven sections.  I have an idea four four of them - they may be the same in layout, in related colors but the value placement with vary.  We'll have to see how that plays out.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Quilt Show Quilts

I thought I'd share a few of the beautiful quilts on display last weekend at the Wisconsin Quilt Expo, in no particular order:

The machine quilting on this red & white quilt was amazing!

Love the shades of blue and cream!

Look just like the real thing!

Great use of color gradations!

Beautifully executed applique!

A wonderful whimsical camel!

Love the pink & greens!

Love the colors!

More  gorgeous applique work!

And a sunset at the end!

While these were only a tiny bit of the quilts on exhibit, I hope you enjoyed the show.  Lot and lots of inspiration.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Beginning with the Blue Batiks

It’s time to face the blue batiks!  For this project in particular, value is critical.   Traditional Nine Patch quilts use very specific placement of values or colors.  For me – it’s all about the value and I had a scramble of blue batiks on the table.

NOT going to work!

I needed to sort this mess of fabric by blue family (cool – cobalt; warm – cyan or aquamarine; muted / grayed; closer to green – teals; closer to purple – periwinkle) and then by value (light to dark).  It was imperative that I had good light to judge and group the fabrics.  

And of course, I needed someone to keep me grounded and on task, lest I drift off.

I was dog sitting for friends over the weekend and this is Cash, a 6 year old black horse coat Chinese Shar Pei (who happens to be Drake's nephew) keeping my toes toasty warm.

After some time, this is what I ended up with so I could start on the upper left section or what I am calling the Angled Section.

This is not the exact layout sketch but close enough for figuring out placement of colors. 

I had a full size pattern on newsprint paper that I promptly cut apart into all of its pieces. BIG mistake!  I should have only cut down to the three wedges & just stitched the wedges using the paper as the foundation.  Stupid me – by cutting it apart, I just set myself up for alignment issues. And Alignment issues I had. So what?  

That meant I had to Un-Sew… a lot.  I detest un-sewing with a passion.  A burning, red hot hatred of un-sewing! 

To add fuel to the un-sewing fire, I basted the pattern pieces to the fabric chunks. 

 Unfortunately, some pieces were basted face up & some were basted face down so two bisecting strips were sewn to the patches all wrong. ACK!!!

Don’t ask me where my brain was at!  I have no idea, but clearly I wasn’t firing on all cylinders.

Finally, finally, finally, I have the Angled Section stitched together - this took most all afternoon!

Paper still on 3 patches of the section

 The quilting plan for this section is not yet decided but I’m thinking something with lots of texture to play across the big nine patches.  If you look close, you’ll notice that the big patches are divided my nine strips, so it’s a nine patch divided by a nine patch!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Quilt Show Shopping!

The Wisconsin Quilt Expo was last weekend. 

I attended on Friday and indulged myself with a few fabric goodies.

I started with a few medium value blue batiks to add to the stash for the Nine Patch Project.  The pink jumped out at me, along with the two violets.

Next up was a stop at Cherrywood Fabrics.  So many fabulous colors of hand dyed fabric to choose from.  I decided I needed some bright and hot shades.

Hot Medley and Tropicana Collection
And finally, I discovered a true indulgence.  Hand dyed fabric - 50% cotton & 50% bamboo.  The drape is amazing.  It is a 200 thread count and I couldn't resist the colors - pinks to corals! 

Close up
I doubt I'll be able to bring myself to cut into this piece.  I may just plan to do a whole cloth throw out of it.

This was a really nice show with a ton of inspiring quilts on exhibit.  The range of vendors was varied and deep!  I could have seriously ran amok shopping but managed to control myself.  The venue is large and well lit, easily accessible, with fairly good layout of booths.  The only drawback is it is well attended and gets crowded in the aisles.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Around the World Blog Tour

Last Monday, I was tagged by Carla of Creatin' in the Sticks to join the Around the World Blog Tour.  Here it is the end of my day to post and I'm just going to squeak in under the wire!

So here are my answers to the burning questions you've all be waiting to read:

1. What am I working on?  

The National Quilt Museum’s New Quilts from an Old Favorite 2014 Contest – Nine Patch.  I am creating a nine patch inspired original design in batiks – blue, greens and a pop of contrasting color.  

It's coming along slowly.  I worked on it over the past weekend and I'll show the progress in a separate post.  I've also been thinking about the 2015 Sauder Village Triple Windmill challenge design.  Nothing to show there yet.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

Since I tend to work in more than one genre and don’t classify myself with labels – ie, I am a modern quilter, I only do hand applique, I’m a machine quilter, etc.  I use whatever technique or genre feels right for the designs floating around my brain.  So, maybe that’s how I differ – I’ll try new techniques and push myself to learn new skills.  I may not master them all but I can say I tried it.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?  

If I didn't create, I’d explode! 

All of these thoughts, ideas, feelings have to go somewhere – they can’t stay bottled up inside.  The drive to create is an intrinsic part of who I am and it won’t be denied!

4. How does my writing/creating process work? 

There is no set answer to this question.  It’s different each time. 

I never know where inspiration will strike. It could be out of the blue or the idea may gradually evolve, needing time to percolate on a back burner. 

So that's it.  Unfortunately, I don't have anyone to tag here but I'm glad I got to share with all of you.  

The new 'normal' continues to evolve here in the house.  We will be a 1 dog family for the time being. And that's okay.   Spending some time in the fabric stash helps heal the soul.  So does spending time with my wonderful DH, Drake and the cats!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sad Non-Stitching Post

Yesterday was a long hard day around here.  

It will be awhile before things are 'normal' again.

DH and I made the tough decision that it was time to help our dearest Beagle boy , Hobbes, 15 years and 2 months old cross over the Rainbow Bridge.  

There is a huge hole in our hearts and home.  Drake and the cats are out of sorts. 

Even though we knew this day was coming, I have no words right now - it's too hard & too raw. Please understand that I need to go dark for a few days. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Beginning - New Quilt From an Old Favorite

Let's start the project off with the shortening of the name.  Henceforth, New Quilts from an Old Favorite shall be known on this blog as NQOF. Whew, glad that's out of the way!  
This is an annual competition sponsored by The National Quilt Museum and this year's the theme is Nine Patch.  For more information click on this link - New-quilts-old-favorites

I've been stockpiling the batik stash for approximately 2 years, ever since I found out about the theme.  As far as the design goes - not so planned.   I want this piece to evolve naturally, with each section treated almost as if it's a separate quilt.  This is my sketch.

I decided to start with the contrast inset.  I thought long and hard about how to handle this piece.  I'm not sure if I want it on top of the main body of the quilt or recessed inside it.  I'll leave that decision for later and made this as a mini quilt. 

This part needed to be made a a traditional light/dark nine patch - a layout of 9 nine patches.   

So how long can it take to make a tiny 7 inch square quilt?  Most all afternoon!  Getting the colors and values right took some time.  For a brief moment, I considered having the squares finish at a half inch.  That would have made me crazy!!   These finish at three-quarters of an inch and were tricky enough. And I had some special help.

I'm waaay more important that these silly narrow strips.
By treating each section as a separate stand alone quilt, I'm counting on the color, batiks and quilting to tie it all together.
Pieced and ready for quilting.

Quilted!  It has no back, just batting and the binding is not double folded, just turned to the back and whip-stitched in place.

On to the next section - Stay tuned!