A View of My Quilt Life

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Recap and 2014 NewFO Link Up

September is in the books! 

I am participating in Barbara at Cat Patches 2014 NewFO Challenge. Click here to see everyone's new projects  September NewFO Challenge and Linky Party

My September 2014 quilt stats:
1 new project
This was a NewFO this month - The Nine Patch: New Quilts from an Old Favorite.  This needs to be finished and entered by November 1st, so it was my sole focus for the month.  

I completed 6 of the 9 sections of the Nine Patch project, using the quilt as you go method. Here they are, with the accent piece added to the design wall.

October's focus is the rest of the 9 patch sections and getting a Finish!

Autumn is definitely in the air and pumpkin shopping is right around the corner! 

Friday, September 26, 2014

X Marks the Spot and a Look at the Design Wall

I got to sit at my sewing machine last night - YAY!!

I quilted both of the short teal sections for the Nine Patch project, in a simple 'X'.  Since a lot of the pieces were only an inch wide finished, I knew the outline I did on the longer teal sections wouldn't work so I opted for a simpler approach.

And then, they went up on the design wall.with the other sections.

Seeing the Angled section hanging next to the teal sections, is causing some concern.  I'm not liking the level of value contrast in the Angled Section.  I may be redoing it with different fabrics. Hmm, need to ponder on that.  If that's the case, I'm really glad I haven't put any more time into quilting it,

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cutting Outside the Box

Actually, it was outside the house.

More specifically, it was outside the Michigan House.  Dad had done the pruning of the privets on the south lot and needed me to handle the resulting brush pile, the vine from heck, and the privets on the north lot.  

Okay, I can handle a little cutting - you know, take a little off the top.  What I didn't realize is that it was the year of the Hard Prune.  

See all those stubs about a foot tall?  That's what left after Dad tackled the 6 foot high hedge. CRAP! This is no little trim job!  Here's my hedge after a few hours. 

And the brush pile?  To green to burn, I called the Man with a Truck to haul it all away.  

 Not sure how much he's going to charge but it needed to be dealt with and he's the one to do it, not me!  I going to suggest to Dad that we revert to a 'one third, every year' pruning schedule for the privets.

And the vine from heck.  Here's the before picture...

And the after picture. After I took my big pruners to it!

We weren't the only ones pruning the vegetation. The local deer have had a field day with the hostas this summer.

Now I can get back to cutting inside the studio!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tea(l) Time!!!

The Teal sections are layered.

Okay, okay - here are the fronts, ready to go under the needle.

I started on quilting the Teal sections,  I don't know about anyone else but whenever I start quilting a new project, I get part way into the pattern and begin to have second thoughts - thinking how crappy it looks.  I have to make myself keep going - the urge to un-sew starts to hit...Big Time.  And I DETEST un-sewing! 

On these sections, I quilted part way down the center row - liking it.  I continued on one outside row and started hating it. 

Keep Calm and Quilt On!

The first long section done, next to the second long section with no quilting started.

I won't be using the same quilting design on the shorter sections - just won't work as the pieces are narrower. While I'm figuring that out, I also need to design the three other blue sections piecing layouts.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Dark Side of Teal

Stitching continued on the Nine Patch teal cross sections.  To make sure I didn't get a color out of order or overflow my TV tray table tops with patches, I worked the five lighter shades into the twelve strips before I turn to the dark side of the color run.

Pieces all cut and ready to roll.

As soon as I had three strips of the four dark shades stitched, I attached them to their respective labeled strip of lights. Then, I carefully stitched three strip into rows.

Success - the strips ended up the same length to make the four sections!

Here are the teal sections laid out with the Angled section.

Or, maybe this layout works better for me...

Next up - layer the teal sections and get them quilted.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Teal We Meet at the Sewing Machine

Oh, Sorry - Bad Pun!!

The teal fabrics had been selected for the green cross sections for the Nine Patch. 

Of course, there are 9 different shades to be used in each strip.  No, I wasn't going to just sit down and randomly cut different lengths.  Every piece was carefully charted out, by size, color and placement.  Can't take the planner out of this quilter!

I started working the first five light shades,

arranging the pieces by size. 

Every row was tagged with a letter to keep the order straight as planned.

Here are the light part of the sections completed.

Unpressed and going the wrong direction - but it's a start!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Nine Patch Cross Sections - Time for the Greens

An idea struck for the Nine Patch Quilt.  I (hopefully) figured out a plan for the green cross sections - It will look something like this:

The sections are of various lengths but the widths are all the same - finishing at 7.5 inches.  The sections will be made up of 3 strips, with each strip having - you guessed it - 9 pieces.  All four section will be constructed the same, though color placement will vary.  That was the easy part.

The slightly harder part will be getting the 9 fabrics in just the right color values for the progression so the it appears light is playing across the surface.  I had been thinking green all along for these sections but I'm leaning more toward the seafoam to teal progression.  Most of my green batiks  tend toward the greyed, muted olive-y shades - much to subdued for the clear blues and the bright accent piece.

I'll be sorting fabric & getting these constructed over the weekend.  At least, that's the plan...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bamboo Shoots and Cotton Bolls

What do Bamboo Shoots and Cotton Boils have in common?

My newest investment in hand dyed fabric!

I ran it through the washing machine, using Synthrapol and warm water. It was too nice of a day to not take advantage of nature's drying machines - sun & wind!

It photographed a little 'hot' and no amount of tweaking it will make the picture better.  More importantly, I liked the hand of the fabric after washing.

The piece of fabric was created by Rebecca Kemble - Designs on Ice.  Check out her website.  She uses 54" wide, 50% bamboo/50% cotton, 200 thread count fabric.   I just *had* to have this piece.  It was pure indulgence and I don't feel guilty in the least! 

I bought it at the WI Quilt Expo and also asked permission to photograph the fabric part of her booth just for this blog.  

I did not take any pictures of her quilt design sample or patterns.  To see those, click the above link & check them out.

For now, this fabric is going into the stash, but I did have an idea or two for it.  We'll just have to see what happens.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What’s in Your Wallet, er, Basket?

Back in early August, I won this lovely gift basket for the “Most Unique / Creative” quilt in a LQS show.  Because of a certain little helper’s paws, I had to put it up until I could safely empty the contents and revel in the booty of the basket.  And promptly ‘forgot’ about it.  

Oh, I saw it every morning when I woke up & every night when I went to bed, but not during prime time so I could enjoy it & remember to photograph it to share with all of you. DUH!!

So last night was the night to see what all is in my basket!
There was a pattern and a book:

There was two circle tools!

And a pretty bundle of Andover fabric fat quarters -  

Lucky Me - Can't wait to play with these goodies!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

color, Color, COLOR!!!

 I’m not a ‘quilt book’ person by nature.  I don’t have an extensive library.  

But, I LOVE books about quilt history & theory - these books are my back up inspiration sources when I get ‘stuck’.  It happens to all of us – you just get stuck and need a helping hand to get us back on the right path, out of the rut of indecision, shaking up studio, taking the vision that’s in our heads and putting it into quilt design.

Last week, while catching up on a backlog of blog reading, I ran across a post by Wanda Hanson (Exuberant Color) about a new book.  It turns out that one of her quilts has been published again.  It's an amazing color wash piece!!

Exuberance by Wanda Hanson, 45" x 64"

 Well, that peaked my curiosity.  Wanda uses mostly batiks and COLOR in her quilts.  She was letting us readers know not only about her quilt in the book, but the book itself and then in a later post, reviewed the book

It’s “Color Play” (second edition) by Joen Wolfrom.  While I never explored the first edition of this book, I now own the new one, thanks to Amazon.  Joen has long been a teacher of color and quilting.  “Visual Dance” (2009) is another one of her titles, which I do own. Great inspiration! 

I haven’t had a chance to sit down and devour ‘Color Play’…yet.   It's not just color theory - it has a fabulous gallery of many artists work.  Wonder what I’ll be inspired to create after I read it.  I'm thrilled to add this title to my collection.

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.