Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Blogger’s Quilt Festival–Original Design entry

Here’s my second entry for the Spring 2014 Blogger’s Quit FestivalWandering Geese is a few years old but with the arrival of spring it is hanging over the banister again, reminding me how much I like it, so I’m sharing it again in the Original Design category.

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The bundle of 25 fat quarters for this quilt followed me home even though I told them I had no plan for them.  They sat patiently for several months while I fretted about cutting into the pretty colours.  Eventually the coloured pencils and graph paper conspired to create a design.  I took a deep breath, wielded the rotary cutter, and made a quilt I really really love – though it isn’t mine to keep forever as my daughter laid claim to it before it was even finished.

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I had fun quilting a flying goose silhouette in the blank spaces .  The design is from an old Quiltmaker magazine (sorry, I don’t remember which one) and is probably now available in one of their books of quilting motifs.  I thought it added an appropriate touch of whimsy, considering all the flying geese blocks involved!

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The pattern for Wandering Geese is available in my Craftsy store (update January 12, 2015: now available in my Payhip store), along with the pattern for Jelly Bean Stars, the quilt I made with what was left of those pretty fat quarters.

Thanks for dropping by.  I hope you’ll click over to the Festival blog to see all the other beautiful quilts quilting bloggers are sharing this week.

Blogger’s Quilt Festival–Modern quilt entry

I’m late to the party again, but still in time to enter a couple of quilts in the online Blogger’s Quilt Festival. This time I’m featuring Sparkling Strings in the Modern Quilts categoryIf you follow my blog, you’ve seen this one a few times, but I really like it so here it is again.

Sparkling Strings

I don’t remember ever finishing a quilt as quickly as I did this one. Someone I know suffered a stroke just before Christmas.  Her family was well taken care of and didn’t want any more help for cooking and laundry and such but I really wanted to share something .  I eventually remembered that I’m a quilter and quilter can share quilted hugs and this is what emerged on the design wall.

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This was a quilt of “firsts” for me:
  • First string quilt – I had just been thinking I was a fool to save all those strings because really, how likely was I to actually use them?  Surprise!  I did use them.  This quilt pretty much depleted my collection, but now I know it’s OK to keep saving them because  will find a use for them eventually.
  • First time piecing equilateral triangles – my son gave me a triangle ruler for Christmas just in time to design this quilt.  There will be other triangle designs in my future, I’m sure.
  • First time quilting oodles of negative space – this was bit intimidating at first.  I warmed up by quilting lots of lines with the walking foot in the trickier middle sections then took a deep breath and free motion quilted the rest.  This is the most freemotion I’ve ever done on anything larger than a table runner.
  • Almost, but not quite a first – I remembered to label this one!
I spent several weeks this winter writing a pattern for Sparkling Strings. I made a non-string version of the layout as I worked through it, and a friend is currently testing the pattern for me.  I can’t wait to see how it looks in her fabric choices.
Thanks for visiting.  Please pop over to the festival blog and enjoy the quilty eye-candy being shared this week.

Update:  The Sparkling Strings pattern is now available in my Payhip shop!  Also, check out my post about Sparkling Trails, a version of this quilt without the strings.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sidetracked

Today I made a decision about how to quilt Seeing Stars. Of course inspiration struck as I started a different project!  I did draw out my design on a photo of the quilt so I wouldn’t forget before I get around to actually quilting it.

The new project does have a deadline, so I’m putting it first.  Plus it involves these fabrics, and you know I have trouble resisting brights.

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From the left you see the backing, the borders, the background and the stars.  Back in September 2010 I played with this idea in a doll sized quilt with the intention of making a larger quilt all in blues if it worked. 

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I liked how it turned out but I never got around to doing anything else with the idea.  This weekend I was asked to make a baby quilt and I decided this might be the time to try out the design again.  I have a fun border planned for it too.  We’ll see how it turns out!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Absolutely.No.Idea

Sparkling Strings came out of hiding to be quilted.  I thought I had a glimmer of an idea how I wanted to quilt it but I hadn’t actually looked at the quilt top in a while.  Now that I’ve reminded myself how it actually looks I know that glimmer of an idea won’t work.

So.  I’m stuck.  I have absolutely no clue how to quilt this. Suggestions welcome!

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Why borders?

I really hate sewing borders onto a quilt.  In order from least favourite to favourite steps in making a quilt, adding the borders ranks just above basting in my book, and basting is right at the bottom of the list.  I really need to learn to do it less grudgingly. If I could manage that it might not take me 3 days to attach very simple borders to a relatively small quilt!

If I hate putting them on so much why do I bother adding them?  A lot of  modern quilt skip the borders. Sparkling strings was perfectly happy without any borders.

Some quilts, however, need a little something more.  I just finished the top for the non-string version of Sparkling Strings.  Without the strings there was a lot less going on in this quilt and it seemed a little flat and bland.  Fun quilting in all the white space will help but…

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Same layout as Sparkling Strings, but it needed a frame.

I will be quilting this sometime before I release the pattern, which I hope will happen in June after my pattern tester has made her version, but right now I need a change. I’m going to get Seeing Stars out of its bin and see about machine quilting it.  It’s been waiting a year.  Maybe it’s time!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Maybe not

I finally basted the kaleidoscope quilt, and settled down to start hand quilting it.  I have known what I wanted to quilt in it for a while so I dove right in last Thursday evening.  I went to bed quite pleased with my progress.  Friday morning I walked by the quilt before breakfast and then I wasn’t so pleased anymore.

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I had thought the crisp lines in the black diamonds would make them fade into the background so the eye would focus on the way the colors make rings.  More stitching was planned for the colored parts.  Friday morning they just jumped out at me and reminded me of padding.  Then I stepped to the side and this happened:

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One whole direction of quilting seemed to disappeared.  Since this is the direction we’d see and the way the light will be hitting from the window once the quilt is on the bed, it would look like there are columns of quilted diamonds and nothing in the rest.  So much for knowing how I was going to quilt it! This is not going to work for me!

Last night I tried something else that I like much better.

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This quilting handles light and shadows better, staying visible at different angles. I hope once I have more of them quilted the lines in the colored triangles will draw the eye around the rings and not be overpowered by the quilting in the black.

I’m off to pick out the parallel lines from Thursday evening, then I’ll settled in to more hand quilting.

Linking up with Kathy’s Quilts’ Slow Sunday Stitching