Wednesday, May 30, 2012

5, 4, 3, 2, 1!

Ah, the count down for the blocks for the wedding quilt I've been working on and posting all winter/spring.  I almost made my self imposed deadline .  I'm currently working on putting the top together.  I raided a friend's stash - thank  you, Ann R. - for some good neutral fabrics to fill the gaps that result from having blocks of many different sizes.  I hope to have it all done in a few days and will show the completed top and  tell its story as soon as I'm done.

For now, here are the last five blocks!

Edited to add a very special thanks to Teresa of Fabric Therapy who helped me by making the sketch of the bride and groom and then helped me put all the applique pieces together so that I could stitch them all as a unit.  She has a wonderful applique tutorial on her blog.  I raided her stash, too. You gotta love those quilting friends who are so giving of their time, talents, and materials!  Couldn't do it without them.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A little coloring helps a lot

As many of you know, I've been playing with the triangle galore block for ages. Sometimes I find that what appears distinctive up close can get lost from the distance,  even something "big" like a 4.5 inch triangle. The problem is that the values of adjacent fabric are too similar and swallow the one that is supposed to stand out.  This time I didn't scrutinize the color combo from a distance, or even squint at it. Consequently, I fell into that trap.

Normally, I would resort to the seam ripper and remove the weak triangle and insert one of a stronger color.  But. sometimes I'm lazy.  I certainly didn't want to deal with the "right way" this time.  The lost triangle was one of the two first to be sewn in the sequence, which meant the whole block would have to be torn apart.

Crayons to the rescue!  Years ago, I took part in an informal lesson where we colored quilt blocks with good ol' Crayola crayons.  (Not the washable kind) .  The crayon color can be set with heat and it works especially well with light fabrics.  So I dug out my box of crayons, found a color I liked and colored.  I placed a piece of sand paper under the triangle to stabilize it and also to help the crayon rub more strongly.

Then I placed paper towel over the triangles and pressed it with a hot iron.  The wax is absorbed by the towel and the color is left on the fabric.

Ahh.  Much better,  This is not my favorite block in the series, but it will work.

Friday, May 4, 2012

P is for...

Progress # 1

The wedding quilt top is coming along.  I've made three more "blocks" since my last post.  Five more to go and I should be able to start cobbling this baby together.  As I begin to see the end of the project, I have to remind myself that no matter what... it will take time.  The last laps seem to take the longest;  I've never run track, but I imagine that it sometimes feels that way.

(Teotihuacan- Pyramid of the Sun)

mosaics - note the diamond

Progress #2

The triangles galore quilt now numbers 21 bocks.  I'm shooting for 35! I'm gonna run out of room on the design wall.


Quilt "parts" are one of the ideas that Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran have advocated in their books, Collaborative Quilting and Freddy and Gwen Collaborate Again.  They found that making basic pieces such as HST's or nine patches, or piano keys, or spikes, in advance of their meetings made the designing process a lot more efficient. Each of them put together a stash of parts using their scraps and with no set quilt pattern in mind.

I've been making parts, too. I have no set plans for them, but I know I'll use them somehow, someday.    I always sew together HST's of the cut off triangles from the corners of flying geese or snowballs (even if they are tiny).  I sew together elongated triangles left over from the Triangle Galore project which will make skinny spikes or divided rectangles. I sew these pieces together in the Leader and Ender style of Bonnie Hunter... I have a stash of pieces by my sewing machine.  As I start a series of sewing, I will begin the process with one set of the parts and then when I come to the end of the project, I'll sew another together.  These leaders and enders take the place of the bit of scrap that is often used at the start of a seam so that fabric and thread don't make an annoying birds nest or jam into the "hole" in the machine.  (Sometimes I forget which project I am really working on and end up sewing several parts in a row before I remember they are supposed to be the leader and ender.  LOL)   Here's just a wee handful of my parts.  Those HST's measure 1.75 inches square.


The Bloggers BOM for this month was designed by Amy of Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts.
These are my four blocks.

The New'Bee made-fabric bee over on 15minutes Beebee asked for this star of made fabric and a bright solid around it.  The solid fabric is really a lot brighter than it appears here.  My made fabric was made from tiny scraps, so there is lots of variety.


Look what arrived in the mail all of 40 minutes ago!  Gwen's newest book!  Published by AQS.

It is FABULOUS.  No matter what your quilting style is -  modern, traditional, scrappy, applique, wonky, liberated, amish solids- there is something of interest in this book.   It holds lots of fun and inspiration and how-to hints!  Gwen shares the spotlight with a number of BIQR students.   I highly recommend this book.  I'm looking forward to taking a really good look at all the quilts.  I'm going to Gwen's retreat in October and Liberated Medallions is the focus.  So excited!