Friday, April 15, 2022

Knotted sample almost finished

I can say with absolute certainty that I have never sewn as much in so little time as I have so far this year.  Since I had nine new designs accepted for 2022 fabric catalogs late last fall,  I've been scrambling to write the patterns, test them, and make cover quilts for all of them.  I think I'm finally in the home stretch!

Knotted is one of the ones I've been working on.

I designed this one for Banyan Batik's Birds of Paradise collection, featured in the January 2022 look book, but those fabrics are not shipping yet, so I resorted to browsing my local quilt shop.  It wasn't a hardship :)  I came home with this pretty stack in mid February.

In late February or early March (it's all a blur now), I dove into the first, then second drafts of the pattern.

By mid-March, I was finally ready to start cutting.  I really wanted to start cutting earlier using the rough notes I made in the fall, but it's really better, from a pattern editing perspective, for me to actually use the pattern as I've written it. As I make a quilt from a first draft, I always find details I have left out, or things that aren't as clear as I thought.  I like to find those issues before I send the pattern for outside tech editing and/or testing.  So, I waited for that first draft before I started cutting.

Wasn't that a pretty stack of pieces?  Next up was a little bit of chain piecing...

...and trimming. 

FYI, the units from the trimming photo are not the ones in the chain piecing photo. I'm just clarifying that for those of you who might spend some time trying to figure out how flying geese came out of those chain pieced units. :)

All the units tuned into blocks.  It looks more complex than it actually is.  Chain piecing and stitch-and-flip makes these quick and easy, and pressing directions helps the seams nest for nice seam matching.

Adding a little sashing and borders finished up this top.  I'm calling it Knotted, because I think the small pink squares look like knots on a string lattice.

I don't have a photo of the quilted and bound quilt yet, because it's not bound yet.  It's quilted, thanks to wonderful longarmer Liz Meimann, but it's still waiting on me for the binding.  I had a couple of other patterns and quilt tops to work on first, but now the decks are cleared and I can work on binding. 

How are your quilty projects coming along?


Friday, April 8, 2022

Shiny Blossoms Plan C

Back in February I shared two test blocks for my Shiny Blossoms pattern.  You may recall I couldn't choose between the two.  I got a lot of good feedback, evenly split between the two options, but I still couldn't get excited about either one as a pattern cover.  I set the project aside while I quilted Modern Lace, wrote a few patterns and sewed a few more things I haven't gotten around to blogging about yet.

Last week, I headed back to the quilt shop to start Shiny Blossoms from scratch. 

What looks red in the photo is really more of a wine color.  I tried different lighting to try to get a truer colour, but my phone camera just wasn't in the mood for it, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  Also, the white and grey solid fabrics have a beautiful shiny, pearlescent sheen, which the camera also didn't pick up very well.

Late last week I cut a bazillion pieces.  There was a bit of marking on the diagonals of squares for stitch and flip sewing.   That's always tedious.  I know there are no-mark methods, including marking the bed of the machine with tape as a guide, but I get better results with marking so I just grit my teeth and take the time it takes to mark.

By Saturday I had made all the blocks.

There you go.  You can see the sheen on the grey in this picture. It's really very pretty, and doesn't it seem appropriate for "Shiny" blossoms? The background color is truer in this photo as well.  I guess the camera was in a more accommodating mood on Saturday.

I played around with this block design quite a bit last fall before settling on this configuration.  The parts with the grey swirl were originally square-in-a-square units, but that created a lot of bulk where the white, grey and swirl meet.  Changing the size of two of the corner triangles moved some of the bulk, and had the happy result of softening the shape too.  I like the softer look.  It seems more like a petal to me.

I paused sewing early this week to deal with admin stuff and taxes.  Not fun, but necessary.  By Wednesday I was ready for another good stretch of soothing sewing.  Strip piecing for the win!  Sashing and cornerstones were made sashing and block rows were assembled.

Thursday I sewed the rows and sashing together, and today I added borders.

Ta da!  My Shiny Blossoms top is done!   You could add a border of some other fabric, but currently I am enjoying quilts that float on the background, with just a contrasting binding as a frame.  I plan to finish this one with silvery gray binding.

I think this will make a lovely cover quilt.  The pattern is almost ready, just waiting on a cover photo.  I think a late April pattern release is definitely possible if my longarmer can fit this quilt into her schedule.

Now, on to the next one.  I just finished writing a pattern called Crossings, and I need to make it to make sure it all comes together as I think it should.  There is some housekeeping waiting for me, but it's really very patient, so I'll keep it waiting a little longer and go cut some teal fabrics instead. 

Have a great weekend!


PS:  I have been asked about the fabrics I used.  If you're interested, here are the details:

  • Grey and white shiny solids are Kona Sheen (Silver Filigree and Glacier Grey, respectively) from Robert Kaufman Fabrics.
  • Grey swirls is Winter Village: Gray River by Amanda Murphy for Benartex 
  • Background is Shadow Play from Maywood Studio.  I think the color is Fuschia (MAS513-MJS)
  • The pink/fuschia print is Marrakesh Fusion: Seeds of Marrakesh by Katarina Roccella (FUS-M-2008) from Art Gallery Fabrics