Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Seventh new quilt this summer

This is the 7th quilt I've finished  since mid-May, The one of strips that is a few posts down was sewn together in the fall and I only quilted the top--in the simplest wavy horizonal way possible, which took a good part of a morning.

The others were from scratch -- and scraps! This new one finished day before yesterday used up about 90% of my collection of 5x5 inch "charm" squares.There are a total of 320 and not many duplicates. Up close the variety of designs fascinates me.  This one will go on my bed ... when the weather cools down so I actually need a quilt at night ... because I love looking at the various things fabric designers do.

I had the binding fabric for at least five years and thought I might never use it -- it has a diagonal strip in a darker tone of blue. Whether I had enough was, shall we say, an educated guess because I decided that measuring and calculating was just too tedious. As it turned out I had a piece about 4x6 inches left over. That was amazing .... and simply lucky. The back has a a different green fabric on each of the squares (of 16 charms per square) so I made a nice dent in my over-abundant stash of green fabrics.

Even with so many quilts made of scraps and stash, I still have far more than I need and will keep on making scrap quilts although I may pause now and work on something more complex. One quilt I have in mind uses selvages because the one selvage quilt I made merely dented my bag of selvages. And I have another strip quilt in mind that could be a quickie ... there's no end of the possibilities.  Of course! 

Monday, July 22, 2019

A Bried Break From Quilting

July has been a marathon of quilt making-- all from scraps and I'm not done yet, not by any means. I'm working on one right now that has made a good dent in my 5x5" charms collection.

But all fabric and no nature makes June a narrow minded woman. We had a wonderful refreshing shower one morning last week.

 I looked out the window behind my desk and saw these leaves with globules of water (click on the picture to make it bigger). They just hung there catching the light. A little portion of my brain has been trying to find a poem in their tenacity but I haven't found it yet. I took a few photos so I could continue to look at them.

I am often much influenced by what I am reading. Right now I am dipping only a few pages at night into my bedside book, the biography of Leonardo di Vinci by Isaacson. Everything fascinated him, I know he would have sketched such a sight and wouldn't have stopped there. He'd think how to paint  the leaves, he'd think about gravity (before Newton), he'd consider the surface of the leaves that somehow capture the drops ... I can't even go on trying to understand his amazing mind. But knowing about his constant curiosity and search for understanding literally everything, I am reminded to pay attention too. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Selvage Quilt Photo in Header

I have just put the selvage quilt I recently finished in the header behind the blog title. The pattern for this
quilt comes from Karen Griska's book about selvage use. It is the second one I have made from this design which I like very much. It will hang in the place of honor in my living room, alternately with the embroidered quilt that was there until a few days. I previously had as a header this small hexagon paper pieced quilt which I made for the "negative space" challenge of our Uncommon Threads group.  It's the most pieces I ever put into one quilt so small but it was not difficult to do using a paper piecing pattern. It was so much fun I occasionally think of making several of them to go into a mosaic larger quilt. Possible and maybe fun but time consuming and unlikely to happen. There are so many complex paper pieced patterns that appeal to me. But most are small and have no practical use. Since I don't market my stuff they find their way to a closet shelf.

Some people are accumulators and I'm one. I sometimes go through my documents file on the computer -- as I did earlier today and come upon something I remember writing but had forgotten about. It was called "A Peachy Day"and is appropriate to read to my little writing group tomorrow when the prompt is Summer Food. It's about 1000 words describing a trip to purchase a bushel of perfectly ripe peaches and the subsequent hours at home canning them (and eating too). Some of the canned peaches were shown at a county fair's 4-H exhibit. It was about 65 years ago, but when I ate a peach for breakfast yesterday, purchased green from the grocery store and badly ripened on the kitchen shelf, I remembered the perfection of those peaches so long ago. Meanwhile the short essay inhabits its little niche in my file and possibly will some day simply disappear.

Another scrap quilt on drier sheets

This scrap quilt, on drier sheet foundations, was made exactly the same way the previously shown one was, but I've used light blue stripping between each block. It makes all the difference. The internal design of strips making squares and Xes is still there but not so prominent. I think of this as being feminine compared to the masculine drama that the dark purple stripping made.  The back of this is a pretty floral print with lots of blue and some red and pink flowers.

Here is another quilt I finished last weekend --- the strip stripes are almost all from the remnant bags that the local fabric store, called Tumbleweeds, sells -- they are essentially the  last few inches of various fabrics they have sold from bolts. Many of the novelty prints are designs I would never purchase for a project but they add their own oomph to a quilt like this. It's extremely simple to sew. The quilting was wavy cross lines, nothing more. It is a bit too narrow and a bit too long -- so I'm thinking it should be given to a tall man who sleeps alone.  I may make that  part of the title I give this quilt. I really love randomness and I love mixing colors and designs. Now I'm thinking about how to use up some of the many five inch charm squares I've accumulated. That may be a project I begin tomorrow, although I have an idea about something to do with strips also. For me all  quilts are a kind of visual art play that I am unable to do in an other medium.  And I love that it becomes a useful item.  I don't care what the "Quilt Police" (the standard setting judges of invitaional shows) would say the pattern choices that it isn't well conceived and executed.  

Sunday, July 14, 2019

scrap bag quilt

I posted this scrap quilt on my other blog a week or two ago but it wasn't finished. Now it has a 3 inch border/binding in a deep purple which continues to emphasize the brightness of the scrap strips. They are foundation pieced on drier sheets-- I loved making it, quickly without any need to measure; using many of my scraps -- but actually not even half of them.

Since then I have made another using the same method but toning down the drama, I've use light blue stripping  and will use a blue border/binding -- all scraps, of course. And I still have about half my scrap bag of strips and scraps and may eventually make a third (although I've use up quite a lot of the drier sheets I had saved over a couple of years.

I'm contemplating writing an essay (or even a how-to) book about making a quilt using your scraps in a totally sponatenous way, ignoring almost all the rules of the "Quilt Police" -- no measuring, various widths of the strips, no concern for color matching or pattern harmony ... it all works fine, as you can see. Or maybe not everyone agrees -- that depends on one's OCD burden. (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) -- I have almost none. I never never been a perfectsionist. I hate the rules and I know I'm pretty bad at color choices. I love the total freedom of making this quilt. The drier sheets are all the same size (used of course- most had to be lightly ironed, being a bit crumpled) so I simply started with a corner to corner strip and added from there.  I DID have to begin every other one from the opposite corner to get the diamond pattern (and of course, pay attention to that pattter as I laid them out. But that's it. The quilting is simply in the strips -- I don't enjoy quilting so I don't do a lot -- the old rule about needing a lot of quilting is horse manure in these days when batting is in sheets. (I am aware that people with long arm quilting machines do LOTS of quilting -- it's their  pleasure, but not mine.)

Later this week I will put up a picture of the second strip scrap quilt -- it will have a very different feel. I'd be quliting it today but it's a very hot and humid day and I don't feel like sitting at the sewing
machine with my lap full of fabric and batting.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Totally Dotty

This quilt is called 'Totally Dotty" --because it is --it's made entirely front, AND back and even binding. from my stash of different kinds of dotted fabrics.  In fact this is "Totally Dotty #2.) Making the first one was  a lot of fun and so was this one. The squares, of course, is entirely basic. all the pieces are cut 2-1/2 inch-- the square in the middle and the framing pieces, and on a simple light/dark patern, both in each square and then in how it's put together. The backing is  made of three larger pieces of dotted fabric. One doesn't realize how many things can be done with dots until looking at a collection like I had.  I'm sure several aren't actually "polka dots" but all are dotted. I haven't entirely depleted my collection but made quite a dent in it.

I have always loved looking at the inventiveness of fabric designers -- the designs, the color variations. About 30 years ago when quilting suddenly was rediscovered by women and by designers  a burst of ideas appeared in the fabric stores -- so much for all the sweet florals --yes, they still exist, of course -- but much else is now available. There are tons of novelty fabrics, especially for children's quilts, often based on TV characters; these don't appeal to me.

But there are magnificent lines of fabrics from high end fabric manufacturers that are works of art.  Most quilters have at least one of two (or maybe many) fabrics they love so much they just don't want to cut into them. I have some, too.  Meanwhile, I'm digging into stashes and seeing what I can come up with this summer. The "totally dotty" quilts (#1 and #2 -- same idea but each very different in color combinations) is only the beginning.