Showing posts with label Brinton Hall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brinton Hall. Show all posts

Monday, January 1, 2018

Resolution for 2018

Happy New Year! Have you made any resolutions this year? I have not made any New Year's resolutions for a while (because the UFO ones in particular were not at all successful*), but this year I have one:

Four new, small, wall quilts


I have a few bed-sized quilts I've started, where I tried to "push the envelope" with edgy colour and fabric combinations, that are giving me a lot of trouble. In 2017 I've spent a lot of time quilting, unpicking, and requilting Picnic. And I've changed my mind about the binding several times. But the bottom line is that I've realized it's a fun, vibrant quilt that's going to be hard to live with. As a large quilt it is just overpowering. But, don't worry, I'm still finishing it!

Then also in 2017 there was Moth in the Window. Within the blocks, some combinations worked really well,

...and some didn't.

But I realized that my real problem was the pink background I'd planned:

It's warm and pretty, but I can't live with this on a bed, the energy level is just too high. I've noticed that the blocks look quite good on the solid grey background I've used for the photos, so I'm thinking some kind of grey blender (not totally solid) will be much better here.

Remember Brinton Hall? Same problem:

My plan to was to applique this centre section onto some bright blue Kona solid. I couldn't let go of that idea! But, it was going to be too, too much on the bed. (Just right this minute I've realized that a dark neutral, maybe even brown, will be the way to go here. Aha! Once again, the benefit of blogging.)

Anyway, it seems to me that the solution for the future is to try out the more energetic colour combinations in smaller quilts. That's what I did with Daydream Baskets,

...and that worked great. And even though it was a busy time of year with the holidays, it's also already a finished top.

So, I want more of that. At least four more! Some piecing, some fusing, but all are intended to meet that "non-trivial" criterion that I mentioned last spring. This resolution is really a continuation of that train of thought. With Daydream Baskets, even though it is just one block, I am satisfied that the improv piecing and the bold colours give it enough personality to hold its own on the wall. That is what I mean by non-trivial. It captures and holds your attention.

And new bed quilts will have to be somewhat calmer. I've been looking at the 2018 BOM at The Quilt Show, "The Patchwork Barn" designed by Edyta Sitar.

At first I thought that all that blue was not my taste, so I was relieved that it was off the table! But then...Barbara Black, who is going to be blogging the project all year, showed the civil war reproduction fabrics that she planned to use for the quilt. And I didn't love those either. Of course, the natural question became, what would I love? For me, that is The Most Dangerous Question. I had three ideas in quick succession:

  1. Brights on white, in the style of Lori Holt. Can you imagine the cheery red barn and bright multicoloured blocks?
  2. 30s reproductions on solid cream, a softer vintage variation of the first idea. A very very tempting idea...
  3. Then I started to think, most of the old barns around here are a lovely weathered silver grey, and wouldn't that be nice with the coloured blocks? Or...what if the whole quilt was neutrals, similar to Kyle's elegant version of the 2017 BOM, Halo Medallion? Grey and taupe on white, with a small hint of green and gold...a real challenge to get it right, and it could be really beautiful. Ack! Sold.

So, between the four arty wall quilts, my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilts, this new BOM and all my UFOs*, the year is looking pretty full. I have no schedule, and I don't mind if I get behind on the BOM (sometimes that works better). Once I get Picnic out of the way there are several other flimsies that I'm raring to get sandwiched and quilted. But the four small quilts will be the top priority. It's going to be an exciting year!

*Oh, and yes, I've come up with an 18 in 2018 UFO list too! That'll be on Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


It's over two weeks since my last post, so I think I will do a general update today. A little of everything -- embroidery, hand piecing, machine piecing, quilting, and binding!

As many of you know, I badly wrecked my back last fall. Now, it's healed very well, and I would say it is better than it's been in years. But a strange by-product has been that hand stitching is clearly bad for my back -- somehow I sit and tense in very awkward ways when I hand stitch. So I can't do it. An unfortunate casualty of this new situation has been my guild challenge quilt, that I started in September. You can see the challenge fabrics here. It was due yesterday, so I think it is now safe to show you what I was doing before my back went out:

I started by embellishing the large scale print with hand embroidery. Stem stitch around the petals, pistil stitch in shaded tones around the centre, and I have some silver lined, forest green glass beads for the centre.

Here is another one:

My plan was to make six "vignettes" like this from the one fat quarter. Four are mostly done.

Then I also started fussy cutting the smaller white print... make hexagon rosettes:

The small ones on the right are the finished size. Half inch (12 mm) hexagons! I wanted 20 rosettes in total.

What's the plan? A half-scale version of the first two rounds of Brinton Hall:

Last fall I was going flat out with my full scale version of this quilt. I already knew the pattern well, so I thought it would be doable in the allotted time. It will be awesome, I thought, to have both the big and little versions together in the show! Well, as I said in December, "Woman plans, God laughs."

Nevertheless, eventually I AM going to figure out a better ergonomic approach to hand stitching, so this is all packed away until then.

And my machine sewing projects are really coming together. The centre of Allietare is down to four pieces:

This is my "quadrants" strategy for a diagonal-set quilt. No seam is longer than 5 blocks. I plan to fussy cut the borders, so there is still a way to go.

Then those muscles were getting sore, so I decided it was time to finish quilting the border on Hen Party:

You can still see the shadows of the previous straight line quilting that puckered so badly. It took me weeks to unpick it, months of dithering, and one day to quilt it again! I like this fat, free form stipple a lot better. And, I think I've finally got the hand/eye/foot coordination figured out for free motion quilting. No stitch regulator here!

In my stash I had a striped fabric that I knew would be perfect for the binding. It ties together all the main colours of the quilt:

Imagine my dismay when I pulled the piece out of the box, and it fell apart! I thought I had yardage, but in fact I had three fat quarters left over from kits. But nothing else works as well, so I'm piecing it all together. This binding will be machine sewn.

The binding on my Cardinal Stars quilt, however, is still only half done:

This was about one quarter sewn when I wrecked my back, and there is no way to switch to machine stitching it now. Long sessions with it have proven too painful. Now I'm thinking that maybe if I set myself to do no more than two threads a day, I will eventually get it done.

In any case, Allietare is going well, Hen Party is finally going well, other projects to be updated separately are all going well, so it's not like this focus on machine sewing is a big sacrifice. My tentative plan for my summer break is to put new effort into figuring out machine applique, both raw edge and turned. But for now, I have plenty to do.  :D

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Brinton and Butterflies

Turquoise, green and hot pink butterflies!

It's time for the October Kaleidoscope of Butterflies link up, and I've done nothing at all on my "official" butterfly project, Down in the Garden. I can't believe it will soon be two years since Ink Week (really Ink Fortnight), and I still haven't finished embroidering the blocks. Oh, the shame!

Yes, well, maybe I would have more finishes if I actually did feel shame.

This project, however, Brinton Hall, is steamrolling over everything else. Today I made the 60 3" hsts that I'll need for the second border. The fabrics were all chosen and rough cut over the summer. Today I just had to pair them, sew, and trim.

And a few of them even have butterflies! Out in the real world, I'm also seeing the Monarch butterflies steadily heading southwest along the lake shore again.

I was careful to make sure every hst was a unique combination of fabrics. It was a fun day!

They will finish at 3", and I will set them with 1" warm beige sashings. Leigh Latimore's design uses 1/2" sashings, but I feel like these strong prints need more room to breathe. Plus, the math worked out perfectly! That is always my sign to stop tweaking the design. :D

In fact, I have been redesigning, and tweaking, and redesigning again, this project since the beginning of the summer. I've changed it so many times that I lost track of the different counts. So I had more hst fabric cut than I needed. And, apparently my final design will only need 16 of the hexagon rosettes, even though I made 20!

But, the end is in sight, because I have simplified the final border by removing all the handwork. None of the handwork in Latimore's outer border is in the original Anna Brereton quilt, so that was an easy decision to make.

I will make the pieced "square in a square" block, because that was in the original, and I think it is a good looking block! I am keen to get started on that, it should be a good challenge. Lots of quarter square triangles!

So, this has been 54 of the 60 hsts. I made them in sets of 10, but 9 fit so nicely on my rotating mat there.

Now, I really have to crack on with Something Fishy!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

And Some Dots

It's been two weeks, and I just have a little hand sewing to share today for Slow Sunday Stitching. The day after my last post, I was smoothing out my Gwennie Medallion basket block on the bed for this photo...

...and my back cracked and folded. Two days in bed, two days mostly in bed, but the good news is that I heal well, and the x-rays are clear.

I have not been back on the sewing machine since, but it has given me time to re-think that wavy border. I unpicked it a few days ago. Today, with luck, I will straighten out the sides, re-attach it, and move on to the first border. With luck, I will be appliqueing more olives by the end of the day!

While I was recovering, I did manage a little EPP for Leigh Latimore's Brinton Hall. When you really can't think at all, EPP is the perfect activity! I need 20 rosettes for the first border, and I ran out of plaids. Rather than repeating fabrics, I thought some dots would work:

So that will brighten things up!

I have one more suitable dotty fabric, this blue. Then I think I will have to repeat one of the plaids, probably the bright yellow from the last post.

I am still not 100% decided on the background and floater fabrics, or even on the design. The original Anna Brereton quilt, which inspired Latimore's design, has octagons, and I happen to have suitable octagons in my EPP stash. I've sewn up a few, but the way is still not clear.

But, I have to shelve that for now, because if I have any chance at all of meeting the October 1 deadline for the Gwennie medallion, I have to get back on that horse!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fun with Plaid

Now that the centre of my version of Brinton Hall is done (see here), it is time to start work on the first border. Leigh Latimore's design calls for 20 squares of dark beige backgrounds, 8 appliqued with hexagon rosettes, and 12 with eight-pointed stars.

Although the pattern does not say so, I could see in the photos that some of those hexagon rosettes were fussy cut. That seemed like a good plan to me too!

But, the Kaffe Collective fabrics that I used in the centre tend to have a long repeat, and I didn't want to make small holes here and there in otherwise good yardage.

I needed a fabric with a short repeat, and I thought of these printed plaids. They are the Mix It Up collection from Connecting Threads last year, and I bought quite a few! I love plaid.

The centres, though, are Kaffe's Zinnia design, which I had for something else but then didn't like. But, it is perfect for this! I cut 8 hexagon centres for the hexagon rosettes, and 12 circles for the centres of the star blocks.

As I played around with the plaids, I realized that I could cut some of them to make an interior star. It is subtle in this olive green plaid...

...but I hoped it would be clearer in this red. And, I thought I should take some photos to show how I do it.

I have a homemade cutting template that includes a 3/8" seam allowance. It is important to do the exact same thing 6 times in a row, so make sure you have enough time to do it all at once.

Then something felt wrong when I started basting the fabric to the papers.

Oh no! They don't make stars at all! They go in a straight line!

Why? Because I distracted myself by taking photos, that's why. Pride before a fall...

Fortunately, the seam allowance is so large that I can just turn the paper the way it's supposed to be and baste again.

Here it is fixed. You can see that I still baste with the thread entirely on the back of the paper. I leave the thread in, and just pull out the paper once it is stitched all around. The thread is ancient gritty polyester thread, and it holds really well.

This fabric looked so good that I used it twice.

In fact, I'm loving all these plaids. Even the grey!

And these are the stripes from the same collection. This is the rosette I was starting last Sunday.

I know I have more of these plaids somewhere in my stash. So, I've decided to skip the eight-pointed star blocks completely, and make 20 of these hexagon rosettes instead.

I could even re-purpose the circles I cut for the stars, and baste them to hexagons too!

Here are the first nine rosettes:

Cute, eh? Three more are cut and basted, and then I will have to start digging through the boxes in the basement.

It will still take me a while to finish the rosettes and do all the applique. But, this is the end of the handwork for the quilt, because I'm changing the last border too.

In the meantime, though, please check out all the other hand stitching happening for Slow Sunday Stitching right here at Kathy's Quilts. Happy stitching!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Brinton Hall Medallions

I am looking forward to catching up with the Slow Sunday Stitching crowd today! Last time, in June, I had made a start on Brinton Hall, a pattern by Leigh Latimore which was published in Quiltmania 107 & 108. It's been my main project this summer -- easy, lightweight stitching, perfect for the heat. The hexagon centre is all done! I have several photos. :D

The feature fabrics in the medallions are all Kaffe Collective. Well, a couple are so old they are really just Kaffe. Four of the border fabrics, the citron, purple, coral and blue, are blenders from different Tamara Kate collections for Michael Miller. I mention this specifically because they are a perfect match to the Kaffe Collective fabrics! I could not believe it. They must be the same dyes, and the weight of the fabric is perfect too. I bought them for Down in the Garden, but I think a good portion will be going in this quilt.

The dark beige "path" hexagons are leftover backing fabric from Hen Party. The fabric is much heavier, but, with the English paper piecing it went together fine. I hoped that the dark beige would make the bright colours glow, and it does!

The temptation when fussy cutting those large feature fabrics in each medallion was to put one big flower or leaf in the middle. But I found it was more interesting to have both foreground and background visible in each medallion. It seems to give a lot more depth.

The random hexagons that fill in the corners ended up with an overall impression of "red," even though there are not a lot of red fabrics in there. That was pure accident, but I'm very happy with it!

You can see that I was able to fussy cut a few of those corner hexagons, but the rest were make-do. All the Kaffe fabrics in the corners are small pieces from the scrap bin.

In fact, I was so happy with that motley red effect in the corners, that I started to think about a change in direction for the rest of the quilt. I was going to ask you all for some feedback, but yesterday I came to my senses. I will stick with my plan! Even still, I am deviating from Latimore's design, but I'll talk more about that later.

For now, here's the whole hexagon centre:

The next step is to applique it onto a solid medium blue background (Kona Blue Jay). But for today's slow stitching I am making hexagon rosettes for the first border:

Another surprising match from my stash! But much more on that next time.

Now, don't forget to check out the rest of the Slow Sunday Stitchers in the link up right here. Happy stitching!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Oops - Brinton Hall!

About a year ago several quilters in blogland made a start on Brinton Hall by Leigh Latimore, a contemporary adaptation of a historical British quilt. I left comments all over the place that more or less said, "I love this, but I will just admire yours. I have too many EPP projects already!"

A couple of years ago I stopped buying new magazines, just to reduce the temptation of starting new projects. But this spring I felt I could afford to look around a bit. I bought Quiltmania 110, mainly because I was interested to see the finale of Colmar, the mystery quilt by La Fée Pirouette:

I have been following the work of Nathalie Méance and La Fée for a while -- my L'Herbier is stalled but not forgotten -- and I was so impressed with Colmar. It is a very interesting combination of embroidery, applique, trapunto and quilting. I wanted to know how she did it, so I splurged and bought the whole series. You know, as a reference for my own future work.

Part of that series included Quiltmania issues 107 and 108...

...which include the complete set of instructions for Brinton Hall:

Oh nooo! Worse still, the description in the magazine calls it "an extraordinary combination of reproduction fabrics and the lavish prints of Kaffe Fassett." [italics mine]

  • Lavish prints by Kaffe Fassett? Check.
  • Large range of beigey backgrounds? Check.
  • Solid teal background fabric? Well, I have some blue that will be nice there.
  • 1" hexagon papers? Yes, I even have those.
So, I can make the whole 92" quilt from stash. I made this medallion first...

...and that worked pretty well. Now there are three:

The sun washes them out in this photo -- they are really saturated and intense. I am interested to see how the dark beige background will work with them. The background will be leftover strips of backing from my scrap box:

And I also pulled out every scrap of Kaffe Collective fabric that was in there, ironed it, and made hexies:

It's time consuming, but it feels like a worthy project for all these rare and discontinued fabrics.

So, that's been my big distraction for June! My sewing table is loaded down with projects, and I'm hoping I can clear it off long enough to work on the second round of my Gwennie medallion. To be accurate, it will be my second attempt at the second round of the Gwennie medallion. The song and dance continues...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...