Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Needs simmering

I finished all 36 blue drunkard’s path blocks.  I started getting the hang of them again near the end of the stack. Now I need to figure out what to do with them.

My original intention was to remake Autumn moons as Winter Moons.  This plan is what got me started on the whole snowflake adventure last fall, though the snowflake adventure took on a life of its own totally separate from this.  I thought I could change the color scheme and replace the leaf blocks with different blocks for different seasons.  Here’s a look at that on the wall.


Hmm.  This isn’t soaring. The snowflakes definitely would need to be larger.  Maybe Snowflake 3, version 2 would have more “oomph” .  Also, I think the color values aren’t quite right.  I think my lights are all too similar, or I need more medium/lights mixed in.  Yes, the colors values will definitely need tweaking if I pursue this any further.  Of course borders would help, but I don’t like this enough at this point to spend too much time piecing border units.  Maybe I’ll come back to it.

After that ho-hum reaction to what I threw on the wall, I scrambled up the units and came up with a few different layouts unrelated to snowflakes.


Of the three, I think the first has the most potential, though the others might work if I made a few more units to be able to fine tune value placement a bit more.  Still, It’s missing something though I’m not sure what, so I am going to put all these units in a box for now.  Maybe I need to let go of symmetry.  Maybe I’ll end up tossing in another color.  We’ll see what happens after everything simmers for a little while.

As an antidote to all this indecision, I am going to go sew with some yellow, grey and black fabrics, putting together a very straightforward quilt that I have all planned out.  I sure hope this one cooperates and works out as well in fabric as in my head!  At least the first block did (unless you’re not a fan of yellow). The block is 20” square so it will work up to a nice sized quilt very quickly.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Meet Rosie

Look who came home from the animal shelter with us today.


Meet Rosie.  She is a 3 year old maltese/papillon mix.  She is a little bundle of energy and despite her small size will be a good running buddy for the kids.  It remains to be seen whether she will be a good quilting buddy, as she only came home today and hasn’t had time to settle in yet.  Right now she’s a bit restless and whines to go out, then in, them out, then in…

We’ll get the hang of each other, then we’ll see if she’s a quilter dog or not!  One thing is certain.  Quilts will get washed rather more frequently now, as Rosie sheds a lot!  We had firm intentions to get a non-shedding or at least low-shedding dog, but just look at her!  And she has a very sweet, trusting disposition too. The only thing that would have made us leave her behind was allergies, but hubby played with her and was fine so she came home!

On to quilty things…

When I washed my Geese Across the Table placemats they shrank all wonky. I probably should have quilted them more evenly or prewashed the fabrics, or both.  In any case, after the shrinkage I needed a new set to use as a sample.  I hadn’t had a good dose of working with blues in a while so that’s what I pulled for the new samples.

Geese Across the Table set in blue batiks

Because of the previous shrinking fiasco, I made a point of washing these fabrics first.  In hindsight, since they are all batiks, they probably had no shrinking left to do.  I’m still glad they had a spin in the washer though.  I tossed in TWO Color Catcher sheets and this is how they looked afterwards:


For anyone that doesn’t know, Color Catcher sheets start out white.  I’m keeping these on my bulletin board as a reminder of why I should prewash!  I didn’t prewash for years, but I’m becoming a convert. 

Now I’m off to sew a bit, if I can decide what project to work on.  I have some blue drunkard’s path blocks in progress, but as much as I loved the fabrics together before I cut them, I’m not so sure I like them in this block.


This is just a random layout, not what they are intended for.  I’m not sure my initial plan is going to work, so it may morph after I have all 36 blocks made and I can play around a bit more.

I also have a few projects in the works that I can’t share quite yet.  One is in yellows/blacks/greys.  Another is in summer colors, and possibly repeated in fall or Christmas ones as well. 

The drunkard’s paths’ curves are a bit more fiddly than I remembered from the last time I made some. One of the un-shared projects is very straightforward while another has lots of points to match, so I have plenty of choice.  There’s also still some hand quilting to do on the kaleidoscope quilt. I just have to decide what colors and/or challenge level I want to play with today.

Or I could go play with the dog!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Owl finish

When I tried all-over freemotion designs on a practice quilt sandwich, I always had trouble keeping the scale consistent, and I would paint myself into a corner, or my design would morph into something else by the time I finished.  This made me a little wary of trying it out on an actual quilt.  What if I messed up?

This little baby quilt, however, was very vocal about how it wanted to be quilted. It wanted all-over swirls.  I thought up all sorts of straight line walking-foot options, but nothing stuck.  The quilt was very clear:  SWIRLS if you don’t mind.  Well, I do mind, but OK already.


I googled free-motion swirl tutorials, watched a few and finally got my a-ha! moment when I stumbled on this one from APQ, with Angela Walters explaining.  The reminder that it is OK to stop (with the needle down of course!) and think about where to go next and how to get there was just what I needed.  The swirl design she demonstrated isn’t all curves.  There are points where you finish one swirl and start on the next, so stopping doesn’t involve the risk of spoiling a smooth curve, which always happens to me when I stop mid-curve.

Deep breath. Feed dogs down.  Another deep breath.


This very first bit I quilted, in the pink, is the best on the whole quilt.  I never quite got it that pretty again, but overall it looks pretty good.  I stopped a lot.  And ranted about breaking thread.  And quilted myself into corners a few times despite my planning.  But it’s done and I’m really happy with how it turned out.


Ms. Owl was stitched in the ditch around all her parts with a triple frame in the background.
I used Invisafil thread. I really like the way it blends with all the fabrics so that what you notice is the quilted texture, not the thread.  When the thread kept breaking (well, shredding, actually) I switched to Aurifil but didn’t like the way the thread stood out on the colors, so I picked it out and went back to the Invisafil.

Here’s the back, in fun alphabet prints:


I even remembered to put the labels on when I put on the binding.  One label has the quilt info, and the other has signatures from all the folks pitching in to give this gift.  The quilt will be delivered tonight.  I hope baby Isabel enjoys it!

And now to go try and get better pictures of it before I don’t have access to it anymore!

Linking up with Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River