Showing posts with label 2 Kind. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2 Kind. Show all posts

Monday, November 5, 2012

Stripes Win!

And here's why:

Sue Garman just posted this photo (among many other excellent photos) of a French quilt from the exhibit Legendary Quilts at the recent International Quilting Association show. This quilt, Le Nid (The Nest), by Anne-Marie Schmitt, is an original design based on several historic appliqued quilts. When I contacted Sue about using the photo, she very kindly sent me this one as well:

In her post Sue calls the striped background "an interesting and unusual choice." It seems to me that the stripe differentiates this quilt from all the other applique quilts that are out there. Let's face it, there are a lot of similar quilts in the world. It seems to me that something that will make the viewer look twice, and maybe think about the quilt or discuss the quilt a little more, is a good thing.

So as far as my little hexagon quilt goes, the stripes may not be the safe choice, but maybe they will be a more interesting one! Thanks again to Sue for the great photos.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Auditioning Backgrounds for the Hexagons

The new design for my hexagons has wider borders, so it is not going to fit onto a fat quarter any more. Yesterday I was auditioning backgrounds. My original plan was to use this fabric from my stash:

When I was redesigning it, though, I kept thinking of a wood grain fabric that Connecting Threads used to have. I liked the idea of the flower vine "climbing up" a wooden wall. But, it's all sold out now, so I found this striped fabric that I hoped would give a similar effect:

And then, lo and behold, after I ordered the stripe, I found a yard of the wood grain fabric in my washing pile! I forgot that I bought it. Here it is:

It is interesting what a great design tool this blog is. When I started to write, I was sure that the stripe would be the winner. I thought the wood grain was too dark and it didn't really "read" as wood. But now I am not so sure! The first one is definitely out, now I am seeing a greenish undertone in that one that leans too far in the dreaded "baby poop" direction. But I think I'm on the fence between the wood grain and the stripe.

What do you all think?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New Plan for the Hexagons

Remember this?

We all had a debate back in June about the half hexagons along the sides. I finally decided to take out the ones in the corners, but leave the rest. They were not easy to remove, which reassures me that the whole thing will be very sturdy!

My plan at the time was to put this panel in the centre of an appliqued border from Lori Smith's book, Fat Quarter Quilting. This is the quilt I had in mind:

Part of the delay, though, has been that while I really like the idea of the vines and birds, I don't love the flowers themselves. This month I started to play around with something that I might like better, and this is what I came up with:

This is just a little sketch on a 4" x 6" notepad. I have found that it is much easier to make a small sketch, and then enlarge it all later. Also, with these notepads the paper is thin enough that you can put a previous sketch underneath and trace the parts you like and revise the rest. I went through three iterations on this with very little fuss. I did the same thing when I made the template for the flowers.

I thought quite a bit about making the flowers in the borders from hexagons too. I figured that using hexagons that were half the size of the ones in the centre panel would be the right scale. Those hexagons are 3/4", so the flower hexagons would be 3/8". I actually like the challenge of using the small pieces, but when I auditioned some hexagons beside the centre panel, it all felt too stiff. It's just too much, and I like the contrast between the symmetrical hexagon centre and the looser, "fluffier" round-petaled flowers better. I don't have a photo of that, unfortunately. You will have to take my word for it!

Tomorrow I'll show you my debate about the background fabric.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hexagon Hiccup

The centre panel of my little wall quilt is finished:

But it's not going to stay this way!

My original plan was to square up this centre panel by sewing straight borders over the wobbly edges, and then applique the borders.  However, there was a problem with that.

As I described earlier, I have been basting and stitching the hexagons in one step and with one length of thread.  This works great and I still love this method.  The catch, though, is that you cannot remove the basting without unravelling the whole thing.  Why would I want to remove the basting?  Because I want to open out the seam allowances to attach the borders.

I could just sew over the folded seam allowances, but I think that will add a lot of bulk, especially along the top and bottom, which will interfere with the applique.

I was explaining my problem to my parents and showed them the work, and they were amazed that I wanted to cover up the nice shapes of the hexagons at the top and bottom.  I realized they were right!  I have already modified the original pattern, so why not keep the hexagons whole and applique the centre panel on top of the borders?

So the half hexagons in the corners are definitely history, and I am also considering removing all the halves along the sides.  Plus, this will be great practice for my Botanic Roses quilt, because I have already decided to applique the centre to the borders on that quilt.

The funny thing is that as soon as I started to fill in all the half hexagons along the sides, something felt wrong.  Now I feel back on track.  But I don't think I would have understood the problem until I went a ways down the wrong path.  Live and learn!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hexagon Progress

I have made a lot of progress on my English Paper Pieced hexagons:

All that is left is to finish the top and bottom rows, and insert half hexagons along the sides.  This section will measure 10.5" by 14".  You may recall that these are 3/4" hexagons.  It will be the centre panel of a 16" by 20" wall quilt.  There will be appliqued borders added all around.  I love the colours, and I think it is going to be a very happy quilt!

By the way, there has been no problem with running short of paper pieces.  As I described in my first English Paper Piecing post, I am basting the pieces without going through the paper.  So as soon as a piece is sewn in on all sides I can just pop it out and reuse it several times.  I have only had to discard four or five so far.

This first project has gone so well that I have decided to go ahead with a large original design that I've been mulling over for quite some time.  I just ordered the fabric yesterday, and I'll share my plans tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

English Paper Piecing Refinements

I had a busy and very productive day today!  I started with a trip to Sew Sisters Quilt Shop in north Toronto to buy the 100 wt silk thread I mentioned yesterday.  They carry the Kimono line from Superior Threads.  I bought two neutrals to see which would work better:

In fact, it does not matter which one I use, because as you can see from the first photo, you really can't see the thread at all.  It is fantastic, and very strong!  Although it is a little tricky to get used to.  In order to make the knot in the end big enough I make a quilter's knot with six wraps, and keep the wraps together carefully as I pull the thread through.  I also had to get out my best embroidery scissors to cut it cleanly.  And it helps to pull each stitch quite tight as you go.  And keep the tail long.  But it is totally worth the extra trouble!

I wanted to use just stash fabrics for this project, but I did buy fat quarters of the two blue fabrics you see here while I was at Sew Sisters.  You know how it goes.  This time I rotary cut 2" squares in all the fabrics, which went quickly and which sew up neatly.

Yesterday I had the idea of pre-folding the paper pieces before I use them.  I tried it today and it is REALLY helpful.  I fold the piece in half, bringing the straight sides together, in all three directions.  In origami you would say I'm making three valley folds.  Then I turn it over, place it on the wrong side of the fabric so it makes a little "mountain," and start to baste:

The folds are exaggerated here so they show in the photo.  I flatten it out before I start to stitch.  Then later on, when I need to fold the work to sew the Y seam, it folds easily and perfectly straight.

So, I am very happy with how it is going.  I think my biggest problem is going to be giving this little quilt away.  Maybe I will find a place for it around here.  ;)
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