Saturday, March 19, 2011

National Quilting Day Fun

Happy National Quilting Day!  I hope you are all having a wonderful day celebrating quilts, quilting, and quilters.  I left with my friend at 8:30 to get to Sister's in time for the opening.  There was a great sale with 20% off your entire purchase.  This was my first trip to this store, and I will be going back.  It is a small store, but it is jam packed with wonderful fabrics.  There was a wall of very bright prints, many shelves ordered by color, a section of 30's reproductions, civil war reproductions, and the largest selection of flannels I have ever seen.  As promised, here are the goodies I came home with.

I really needed some reds and blues for the American Hero Quilt I said I would make.  There were lots to select from, but my budget allowed only a few - four reds and three blues.  I got a quarter yard of each.  This should get me moving along on this project.

I love paisleys.  I have no idea what I am going to do with them, but I added these three quarter yards bringing the number of paisleys in my stash up to 17.  I just have to find the perfect pattern to show them all off.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I found the Fandango collection by Moda and just the pattern I want to use for the D9P back that I am working on.  I had given up on finding any, so I was very happy to spot it.  I almost missed it, but it called my name just in time.

Sister's also has a wonderful collection of pre-cut fabrics.  I found this Bali Pops, and I love the colors.  I was looking for something to make another quilt from Kim Barrett's book.  This will be perfect.  I also bought background fabric.  I wonder where that got?  I am going to have to look for that.

Wonder of wonders, I found a bolt of this old Moda fabric that I really like.  I didn't think I would ever see it again, but I grabbed a yard of it.  Unlike so many stores, the folks at Sister's haven't gone around and raised prices on all the older bolts in the store, so I got this at the price it was when it first came out.  What a find for me.  It will become something very wonderful very soon.

I had a great time today.  When I got home, I put together two more blocks of market baskets - figs and limes this time.  This is going to be a very fun quilt.  Now, I need to go put lines on the light squares for the HSTs.  When I get done with the big quilt, I will have 150 small HSTs to do something fun with.  No waste with this quilt, and no scraps for the scrap bin.  This is a good thing.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Starting a new quilt

I showed you the 2.5 inch strips I cut a little while ago for a new quilt.  Today, I cut all the background pieces, and enough fruits to begin two blocks without their sashing rows.  Don't the strawberries and plums look desicious? I put the lime fabric in just so the cutting board didn't show, it is not permanent.  I am pretty excited about this quilt.  I have 25 different food fabrics for 25 different blocks.  I am working from a pattern in Scrap-Basket Surprises by Kim Brackett.  This quilt is Market Baskets on page 40.  I really like Kim's designs.  They all use 2.5 inch strips, and are very user friendly.  There are several more in this book I would like to try one of these days.
When I first started quilting again, I wanted to use my own designs.  When I was painting and doing collage, I didn't want anyone else to work on my pieces, or give me ideas of what I should create.  This attitude came with me when I moved to fabric.  I have finally come to the conclusion that I love some of the great patterns out there, and I really want to try some of them.  I will continue to do the more experimental (for me, anyway) quilts because I get such joy out of that process.  I will also make quilts using other people's patterns.  For playing around with traditional blocks, I can use the preemie quilts.  If I find blocks I love, I can use them in bigger sampler quilts.  In all of it, I just love playing with the fabrics and seeing what I can create from my point of view.
Tomorrow, I am headed to Sister's in Chehalis, WA.  They are having a big sale to celebrate National Quilting Day.  I used to live in Chehalis, many years ago, so this will be a grand adventure.  Sister's has a reputation for having a wonderful flannel collection.  I will let you know what I come home with.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A new Alzheimer's Art Quilt and a pieced border

I decided to make a small Tanzanian Tango for my March Alzheimer's Art Quilt.  This time, I started with 8" squares.  I cut my strips smaller and made sure I used a scant 1/4 inch.  These quilts have a maximum size limit of 9" x 12" including binding.  I didn't have enough room to add the same borders as the original piece, so I decided to add the black and gold pieces to the ends, then use orange for the binding.  This piece is 8" x 11.5".

I worked on the second border for Rumba today, as well.  I made strips of hand dyed fabric in two different shades of turquoise and a sky blue along with the teal from the containment border and the original fabric.  I sewed the strips together in a wonky fashion to match off-kilter lines in the original fabric.  Then I cut the striped sections into 3" sections.  I sewed them end to end to make long enough strips for the piece.  I am really happy with the way this is coming along.  I like the way the blues continue to bring out the bright oranges, reds, and golds.  I don't know what comes next.  Does this stop here, or do I continue to add borders to make this into a lap quilt.  Time will tell.  Presently, the piece is 23" x 24".

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A new harmonic convergence

Today I pulled out another piece of fabric to try a different approach to the harmonic convergence.  I have to admit, I purchased this fabric just for the joy of it.  The colors are all the ones I love, and it is so exciting. I had no idea what I would do with it when I purchased it. I decided I could cut four 10" squares from different places in the fabric, and converge them together to make something even more exciting.  Thus was born Rumba.

One of the really interesting things about taking photos for the blog is seeing how different things look on my screen than on my design wall.  The colors look a little washed out here, but they are really very vibrant. The photos I took of my containment border auditions really show how the camera lies about true color, compounded by the limitations of the computer screen.  I have decided to share the photos with you anyway.

I decided I wanted to push the warm oranges, reds, and golds, so my first choice was an orange border.  I should have known better from my art background.  See how the cools stand out and the warms fade into the border?  It is even more evident on the design wall. Tom suggested I try the teal that I was trying out for the second border.  I really like how that one brings out the warms.  I am going to piece the next border using other blues, plus a little of the orange and some of the original fabric.  The piece, without any borders, is 15 by 16.  I think it will become another table topper.

Why Rumba?  It just reminds me of a lively, exciting dance, and I used to love to Rumba.  It could have been Salsa, but I never really got into that.  Besides, Rumba is a dance that starts on the opposite beat than most, so it seems to suit me better.