Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WIP-too many projects

I don't know what your personal tolerance for unfinished projects is.  Mine is pretty low.  I start to get all twitchy like I'm going to turn into my mother, who has a house full of projects she hasn't even started.  Hi Mom, I love you!

My problem with quilting is that I enjoy all phases of the project until the part where it transforms from a pile of raw edges into a useful and finished item.  So I told myself no new projects until I clear up some of the back log.  This April has been so nasty, cold, windy and rainy I haven't been able to get outside to spray baste things that need basting. On top of that I'm working a few projects that I don't consider much fun, so I haven't been doing anything.

1. Lily's Quilt along
 These photos are totally washed out.  The colors are much brighter in person.  I'm completely amazed at how nicely these are coming together. I had to make my own templates because I couldn't get them to print out in the correct size.  Somehow, everything is the exact correct size.  I haven't had a pucker or had to rip a seam yet.  They are super fiddly, though.  I'm pinning every inch or so and only have the patience to do one at a time.  I have 2 more to do.  I haven't decided about a border yet.  I'm thinking maybe a border around all 4 blocks.

2. Disappearing Nine Patch
 This one is pretty much done.  I'm washing it right now and have some threads to clip, but that's it.  Quilting it was a total PITA.  I tried a new cotton thread and it just kept breaking.  There were some places I wouldn't even get to back to the break before the thread would break again.  I got about half of it done before I gave up and switched back to my usual cotton ploy blend.  When I started this quilt, I liked the color combination, but then I felt like some of the yellows were too orangey and some of the blues too dark.  I finished it up anyway and now that it's all done, I'm really liking it again.  There's something about quilting your top that can really take it to the next level.  This is just straight line quilting.  I really need to take a class or something.  I need to get over my dislike of quilting.
Here is the back.  I had used some charm packs plus a bit of yardage for the front, so I didn't have much leftover fabric for the back.  I just used blues and yellows from my stash.  When hubby saw the back he called it my signature backing.  For lap quilts, I cut a piece of yardage the length of the quilt then cut a piece off the side of that yardage, sew a contrasting stripe in lengthwise and sew the piece of yardage to the contrasting stripe.  Here instead of using yardage, I sewed a few quarter yard pieces together until I had the right length.  Sometimes in my contrasting stripe I do some piecing as I did here.
3.  Place mats for Meals on Wheels
 All I need to do is the back on one, baste, quilt and bind.  Easy peasey, so why has it been sitting around for 2 months?

4. Rainbow Boston Commons
 This is a batik jelly roll that my mother bought.  She wants a Boston Commons.  It has to be symmetrical and in rainbow order.  Sigh!  This isn't my thing, but it should be easy enough.  If only I could remember how to put together a Boston Commons.  I just can't visualize how the squares go together.

5. Framed Squares
This one stalled out while I was forcing myself to finish some other projects.  Then I forgot which blocks I needed more of and made the wrong kind.  Then I had to make more.

6. House warming quilt
The house warming party came and went while I was waiting for the weather to settle down.  I finally gave up and sprayed in the unfinished section of the basement.  I'm going to echo the seams and keep the focus on the concentric squares.  I can't even express how much I LOVE this quilt.  I'm not usually an orange fan.  I just love the way this came together.  I think I'll use the same technique for a couple other projects that are in the planning stages.

7. A special project
There's another quilt top that is now sandwiched and awaiting quilting.  I made the top a year ago.  It's special, so it deserves it's own post when I'm ready.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

House warming present

A good friend of mine is moving into a new house this weekend.  Her taste in furnishings is distinctly modern.  She has this awesome painting of a sky scrapper in her living room that is cream, orange, chocolate and just a bit of a dark teal green.  Since I know she likes the painting, I used that as a starting point for a lap quilt for her new house.  In addition, I had asked her what colors she wants.  It never hurts to be forth coming when you want to make a quilt for someone you know.  I've been collecting orange fabrics for the last month or so, as it was definitely a lack in my stash.

I was planning on doing a woven stacks quilt like this one by Elizabeth Hartman.  However, when I went to pull fabrics, I decided that it would end up with too much chocolate, if I did one stack orange and one chocolate.  My friend wanted mostly cream and orange.  Then I thought about what other designs would be modern, easy to put together and would be adaptable to using whatever I had in my stash.  I went back to Emily Cier's Quilt Remix and her redo of a log cabin block.  I really like the idea of the whole quilt being one "block".  It seems more modern than repeating lots of little blocks.

I didn't end up following the pattern in the book, but ya'll knew that already.  I just starting pulling scraps and strips leftover from other projects into concentric squares.  Wherever I needed to piece a strip, I put in a little scrap of something else.  I didn't have any teal, so I used a few pieces of lime green instead.
 The lime doesn't stand out much, but it's a little element that is jarring, which makes you look twice.  I also made sure that I moved the patch areas around the square so they didn't line up.
Of course, I had to do a little improvised piecing for the back as well.  It's a lap quilt, so you'll see the back almost as much as the front.
I really love the way this quilt is turning out.  I think I need to do more improvised piecing.  It makes me really happy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lily's Quilts QAL

A solution!!!  After my depressing post earlier (or yesterday, I've got no idea when this will show up), I packed up the kids and dragged them to my LQS.  I found my favorite clerk and she led me to the PERFECT solution and immediate gratification.
I apologize for the bad picture, but there is my dresden, with the damask in the center and the new fabric on the outside.  It's a lighter green with a densely packed white pokka dot.  The green of the new fabric, picks up the green from the damask better than the brighter green of the other pokka dot, plus I walked out of the store with 2 yards.   I'm spending my preschool time tomorrow, cutting and sewing circles.  Wish me luck!

WIP- Lily's Quilts QAL

Do you ever get paralyzed about a project and find yourself unable to move on to another project?  I feel that way about my Lily's Quilts QAL.  I haven't made any progress from last week,  when I posted about completing my 4 plates.

This is what I have, still.

I forgot that I'd need a huge amount of fabric for the background because of waste from cutting the arcs.  I had this idea that I'd only need half a yard or so.  Ha!!  Apparently I need 2 yards.  So, it's got to be something that I have 2 yards of or can easily get 2 yards of, that means local.  I'm not waiting another week or 2 for something to ship and arrive.

Here are my choices.
 The pale pink print on the left, I have a ton of.  The coordinating green pokka dot, that I had almost settled on, 16 inches.  I think I have settled on the damask in the center, though now that I can't use the green pokka dot for the exterior, I guess I could use it for the centers.
Here are a few more choices of fabrics I don't have much of, but are from Joann so I know I can get more.  Clockwise from left, green print that is sort of close to the green pokka dot at the top, that I don't have nearly enough of.  Next top right is a blue print that is sort of close to the blue print I used in the circle.  Then we have a green and blue paisley, that really doesn't work at all.  I feeling desperate, what can I say.  Finally we have the pink options, the pale print on the bottom is the same one from above and the darker pink geometric, I know I can get more of it, but I don't think it provides enough contrast.

I can get more of the damask too, but it's such a definite directional print that I think it is problematic for the exteriors.

I could be working on MIL's quilt, but I'm just so hung up on this one, that I can't think of anything else.

MIL's quilt- most of top is done, blocks just need sewing together

MIL's 2nd quilt- I've got so much fabric I might as well do another one.  I'm going to make a totally different pattern for the second one.  I think I'll do a bookshelf quilt.  MIL is an English teacher.

Rainbow Boston Commons-  While my mother was here, she picked out a rainbow pack of precut batik strips.  I volunteered to make her something.  She insists that it be a Boston Commons.  There's only enough fabric for a square pattern, not a rectangle.  I think it sounds seriously boring, but that's what she wants.  Oh and it's got to be in rainbow order.  Sigh!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Modern Quilt Guild Challenge- 3

The Modern Quilt Guild announced their 3rd challenge today.  This is what they said:

Make a quilt that is inspired by one word. This word will be your only guidance.

The word is: ORGANIC
What does it mean to you? What emotion, image or thoughts does it invoke? Let’s see that in your quilt!

I automatically thought of organically grown cotton, but the origin of the fabric doesn't make for much of an aesthetic statement.  Then, I thought of the other meanings of organic.  There's a lot of different directions to go.  I think I can find one that appeals to me.



  [awr-gan-ik]  Show IPA
noting or pertaining to a class of chemical compounds thatformerly comprised only those existing in or derived fromplants or animalsbut that now includes all other compoundsof carbon.
characteristic of, pertaining to, or derived from livingorganismsorganic remains found in rocks.
of or pertaining to an organ  or the organs  of an animal,plant, or fungus.
of, pertaining to, or affecting living tissue: organicpathology.
Psychology caused by neurochemical, neuroendocrinologic,structural, or other physical impairment or change: organicdisorder. Compare functional def. 5 .
Philosophy having an organization  similar in its complexityto that of living things.
characterized by the systematic arrangement of parts;organized systematic: elements fitting together into aunified, organic whole.
of or pertaining to the basic constitution or structure of athing; constitutional; structural: The flaws in your writingare too organic to be easily remedied.
developing in a manner analogous to the natural growth andevolution characteristic of living organisms arising as anatural outgrowth.
viewing or explaining something as having a growth anddevelopment analogous to that of living organismsanorganic theory of history.
pertaining to, involving, or grown with fertilizers orpesticides of animal or vegetable origin, as distinguishedfrom manufactured chemicals: organic farming; organicfruits.
Law of or pertaining to the constitutional or essential lawor laws of organizing  the government of a state.
Architecture noting or pertaining to any work ofarchitecture regarded as analogous to plant or animal formsin having a structure and a plan that fulfill perfectly thefunctional requirements for the building and that form inthemselves an intellectually lucid, integrated whole.
Fine Arts of or pertaining to the shapes or forms in a workof art that are of irregular contour and seem to resemble orsuggest forms found in nature.
a substance, as a fertilizer or pesticide, of animal orvegetable origin.
1350–1400; Middle English:  pertaining to an organ of the body <Latin organicus  by or employing a mechanical device,instrumental < Greek organik√≥s  equivalent to √≥rgan(on) organ  +-ikos