Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tackling quarter square triangle units

It only took me two tries, but I figured out how to make quarter square triangle units the size I want them.  I still say that using quilting to teach basic math concepts would be a fantastic way to have students use math in a practical way. I have been putting off learning how to make these beauties because I was unsure how to keep them from getting all out of shape.  After a year and a half of making quilts, I think my skills are really improving.  I am still really looking forward to class with Gwen Marston next weekend to see how these things are really supposed to be done.
But I digress.  As I look at this mini now, I wonder how I can make the pink and blue solid pieces in the second border work better.  I like the brightness of them, and having a nice place to rest your eyes, but I am not sure my love of asymmetry works well here.  I believe I can make it work in the final border.  I just have to figure out how.  Don't you love the fussy cut corners on this border?  They are from the same KF as the center flower.
Tomorrow is going to be another beautiful day in the PNW.  My daughter and son-in-law are taking me out, with Tom, to a wonderful seafood dinner on the water at Salty's in West Seattle.  Until then, I will play in the studio.  I hope you moms out there are doing something equally as fun.  Enjoy your day.  Until next time, joyful quilting.

A couple of minis

Orange is the latest color for the weekly color challenge at 15 Minutes Play.  I had some leftover Sassy charm squares on my cutting table, so decided to make some fabric with them.  I really like the turquoise and olive with the orange.  I grabbed some orange batik for the flange and some Kona solid for the border.  This measures 8" x 12" and will be quilted and sent in to AAQI for my May quilt donation.  This little mini reflected how I felt yesterday in the beautiful sunny Pacific Northwest.

I was going to work on the improvirobin piece, but I was stumped as to what to add next.  So, I pulled some fabrics for a mini medallion quilt.  This is what I have so far.  It will eventually be 20" x 22".  For the next round, I am going to figure out how to make good quarter square triangle units.  So far, my efforts in that realm have been less than successful.  They say practice makes perfect, so I think I am in for a lot of practice.  First, I need to unsew the bottom border and turn it.  It is backwards and I think it will make me crazy if I leave it that way.  Wish I had seen it earlier.  Better late than never, right?
This morning, I have a meeting, then back to the studio.  What a beautiful day!  Joyful quilting, everyone.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Book Review - More Fabric Art Collages by Rebekah Meier

I have joined the Creative Troupe at C & T Publishing, and found a book I wanted to review to share with you. Before I started quilting, I was making art collages with paper. In a way, this prepared me to become a quilter. I found this book very interesting because it combines my love of fabric with my enjoyment of creating collage.

More Fabric Art Collage
Rebekah Meier
C & T Publishing 2012
122 pages
More Fabric Art Collage by Rebekah Meier is a jam packed overview of the art of paper and fabric collage.  From Chapter 1 – Tools and Supplies to the gallery at the end, Meier provides rich photographs of projects that showcase what can be done with cotton fabric, quilt batting, dryer sheets, tea bag paper, paper towels, crinoline, and silk.  She also explains how to incorporate non-woven fabrics like Lutradur, Tyvek fabric, and Spunbound in creating art pieces.  Tools and techniques are described well enough to help the new collage artist begin to explore options they may have overlooked before.  Meier gives good basic directions for small projects with most of these supplies throughout the book.  Her directions for using quilt batting as a basis for creating a tapestry with surface stitching, colored pencils, paint, and three dimensional embellishments caught my eye. While this is not an in-depth look at all the pros and cons of using any of the described tools and supplies, I appreciated finding this beautifully illustrated book with so much basic information on the subject of creating fabric art collages.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A finished top

It started with a larger piece of this.  You can see a bigger piece at the Rebels blog.  I cut it into smaller pieces and surrounded them with red and gold Kona solids. 

There were three birds in my piece of fabric, and I wanted to make sure they stood out.

Then, I found some Kashmir at Jinny Beyer Studio that I thought would be perfect.  I love the colors and design in this fabric.  I fancy cut the four corner posts in the outside border so they would all match, just for fun.

Then I put it all together, added a couple of borders, and I have a finished quilt top I really like.  One more top to add to the quilting rack.  I really need to stop building tops, and start quilting the ones I have. Hmmmm.
For the next two days, I will be with my sister in Bremerton.  I probably won't be posting unless I happen to go to a quilt shop or two.  One never knows.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Making progress

Today, I played around with the units I had pieced for this quilt, added where I needed to, and got it all put together.  I know this would have been more efficient if I had done it all on graph paper first, but I wanted to enjoy the process of putting it all together on the design wall.  I like that it is not all square within a square and that there are surprises here and there.  I also really like the ways the colors are playing nicely and bringing out the design in the focus "ugly" fabric.  I decided, however, that it needed some more purple.  I can almost hear the rapid intakes of breath, "Purple with red?"  It will work.

Once I got the purple up, I spotted a wonderful piece of fabric in a stack for another future project, and pulled it to audition for an outer border.  I think it is just the right thing to pull it all together.  The red and gold really do match those I have already used, but it is hard to see in the photo.  Presently, the center is 38" x 40".  I would like it to be a little bigger, so I will add the 1" purple, and 4" of the plaid.  I hope to get this one put together and off the wall tomorrow.  I stopped work on it today to start another challenge project.

For the April challenge on Modern 8 Create, we were supposed to take a photograph of something around the house, and crop it to an interesting place.  I took this while I was at Willa's and have been making small sketches for a small quilt ever sense.  I didn't want the quilt to be quite so symmetrical, or brown, so . . . . .

I took my small piece of Kaffe Fasset Targets, figured out how to cut the yellow, and machine appliqued it all together.  I was going to try and piece it, but these curves were a bit more of a challenge than I was looking for.  I like the way you get to peek through the "fence" to see something fun and exciting in the distance.  I want to keep that feeling going as I add a bit more color to this piece.  It is going to sit on the wall for a little while longer until I can figure out the next step.

The sun is shining here in the Pacific Northwest.  The peas are very happy.  The strawberries have flowers, as well as the blueberries.  The lettuce is finally growing a little.  Our robin is making hay while the sun shines.  It is a beautiful day to be living here.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Three Bee Blocks

There is nothing like a basic nine patch.  These were made for the Comfort Quilt Bee.  I was trying to grow my blue stash, but I discovered I am still very short on selection.  I need to work on that.

This block is for Stash Bee Hive 1.  I have not used wonky triangles before.  It was harder for me to do than I expected.  Sometimes, I still have trouble letting go of the "rules."  There is also a geometry problem of making sure the triangles are big enough to make sure they cover the corner.  I got lucky for the first few until I figured out how to make it work better for me.  Then, I got to make a wonky star.

I can't believe this is the first one of these I have made.  Fear had stopped me.  Now, I feel very comfortable with the process, and I like the look.  This is for Stash Bee Hive 2.  You would think with a name like Stash Bee, people would be encouraged to use from their stash.  Not so, for me.  This months leader requested "modern" fabrics in bright colors.  I don't usually purchase this genre of fabric, so I had to go in search of.  I found a charm pack of Sassy by Sandy Gervais to purchase.  Now, I have most of it left.  I think I may make a bunch of these stars up using the rest.  First, I have to decide on a background.  The Kona Charcoal is dramatic, but too cool a neutral for me.  I agree with Freddy Moran who says that red is a neutral.  I am going to go more in that direction.
Now that my bee blocks are done, I am going to work on the Improvirobin piece that has arrived, and the International Robin piece.  There are also several other things I want to get started on before the week is over.  It is going to be a smokin' time in the studio this week.
Joyful quilting, everyone.