Showing posts with label Fussy cutting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fussy cutting. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Border Disputes

 So apparently in 2017 I was under the impression that the border was ready to sew onto my version of Bonnie Hunter's 2015-6 mystery quilt, Allietare. But obviously that didn't happen. 😅

I had SO much indecision about the border for this quilt. I know I bought 3 or 4 different fabric combinations for it. A couple of them were even in my Allietare project drawer!

When I finally pulled the project out again, it seemed to me that these Kaffe fabrics were ready to go. The fussy cutting was done and I just had to sew them on.

The two side borders with the flowers went on fine, but when I started work on the top and bottom I remembered why I stopped. The grain of that fabric was very slanted and I was determined to fussy cut it aligned with the print. Which was no where near aligned with the grain. So when I was done the top and bottom strips were actually curved.

But you know, I was already halfway so I thought, %&$# it, and sewed it on anyway. And actually, it seems pretty flat now.

Those waves you see in the photo are just where the fabric got caught on the carpet. Hopefully.

Nothing a long arm couldn't quilt out, right?

Anyway, I am so impressed with Bonnie's design on this quilt. It looks so complicated, and I'm rather amazed I pulled it off! I'm pretty sure if I saw the final quilt before I started it I never would have attempted it. But the instructions break it down into very simple steps, and it's kind of magic how it comes together. It's funny that the hold up all these years has been these last strips of fabric around the edge. In any case, I'm very glad to have another top done!

"Keep calm and carry on" would probably work as a title for this post as well. 😂

Monday, May 3, 2021

Cheddar Broken Dishes Top

When I first picked up these cheddar and indigo broken dishes blocks last autumn, my intention was just to organize the project rather than actually finish it. I had things in several stages at once, with many many plastic baggies of HSTs and broken dishes units. And as you can see, my project storage system wasn't 100% foolproof. 😂

So I just wanted to make sure everything was accounted for and get things to a more consistent state of completion. But, the blocks went together so easily that I decided to keep going and get it done.

The original historic quilt that inspired this pattern had a few irregular blocks with some pink, light blue, and cranberry fabrics thrown in. To me that was a big part of the initial appeal of the quilt, so I threw in some non-conforming broken dishes here and there. 

This is a queen-sized quilt, and to keep it manageable I laid it out in quadrants once again. To get an even distribution of fabrics and values, I "deal" out the blocks so there are no duplicate fabrics in each quadrant. I also work from the lightest to the darkest to keep the values balanced.

I did the same thing with my scrappy neutral sashings. This quilt is 7 x 7 blocks, so the quadrants are not equal size. I started with the smallest quadrant and worked up to the largest, reasoning that the largest would also give me the most flexibility to make sure I didn't have the same fabric beside itself anywhere. It worked. 😄

I finished the border very simply with a neutral strip of fabric. I don't think the original has any border, but I have an indigo and white pinstripe fabric for the binding, and I want to float it out beyond the blocks.

The original also has a few cranberry blocks, but in the end I decided one was enough. You can see my fussy cutting compulsion got the upper hand a little there.

And that's another top done! Only four and a half years after the quilt was featured on the cover of the October 2016 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting. Don't ask me when it will be quilted though. 😂 I'm still hoping a long arm will eventually come my way.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Aqua for February

A scrap from Flamingos en Provence!

The RSC17 colour for February was aqua, but I pulled a wide range of blue greens from light sea green and aqua through dark turquoise and teal for my Talkin' Turkey blocks. Recently I have been a lot more mindful of the benefit of using a full range of values in my projects. Well, since my water lily misstep, actually. Katie Pasquini Masopust recommends a 7-step value scale for the projects in her book, and around the same time I saw an episode of Quilting Arts (Series 18) on PBS where one of the teachers had a 7-step scale made from paint chips. That seemed like a good idea, so now I have these:

Technically, the white should probably be pure white. But then I thought, how often do I use pure white fabric? Or pure black. Anyway, it is a work in progress. But, the point is that I used to think in terms of a 3-step value range, light - medium - dark, and I've realized that a project looks much fuller and well rounded if you use more gradations. Even in a scrappy block like Talkin' Turkey!

So, I can't have all 7 steps in each colour, but I'm trying for 4 or 5.

And since RSC17 will include a "light" month and a "dark" month, both still to come, I'll definitely be able to use all 7 values in the complete quilt. I think it will pay off!

And, with all this 7 step practice, I'm hoping my next attempt at the water lily will be more successful!

Of course, I'm still up to my old tricks in this quilt too. It was impossible not to fussy cut this slice of cucumber, left over from Picnic.

Maybe it would have been better off centre? Something to consider next time. I think I still have a piece of cucumber saved for the green blocks, too. I hope so!

Right now, though, I'm going to start work on the colour for July. So, it adios to aqua, and bonjour blue!

To see all the other RSC blue projects this week, click right here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Sashaying en Provence

I think I'm still on schedule to finish the flimsy for Bonnie Hunter's 2016 mystery, En Provence, by the end of the month. As of today, all the sashing is done:

Like several others, I made a couple changes in the sashing. Instead of hourglasses, I made the dark green Tri Recs sections. That will make the circle effect of the blocks more pronounced. Actually, it is also more like Bonnie Hunter's previous mystery, Celtic Solstice. I didn't make that one, and now maybe I won't have to!

I also used an all-white four patch section in the centre of the sashing, instead of the dark green/light green four patch in the pattern. Somehow, the circle works better if that is white.

Here are four more blocks done, one with three sides of sashing sewn on:

And, to zoom in on a few details...

In my stash I found this coral and pink Iza Pearl print from the Garden Party Tango collection. The flamingos are all Iza Pearl too. Obviously, this one needed to be fussy cut!

I also found two large scale Free Spirit prints.

I call them "optimized," rather than strictly fussy cut. :D

And, zooming in even further, you can see some of the light aqua flamingo blender in the "white" four patch in the centre. The pink flamingo blender is also scattered among the whites.

So, fingers crossed, the next post will be the finished flimsy.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Happy Christmas!

To round off the week I've mostly caught up on the 150 Canadian Women quilt along that is being offered by Kathryn Wilson Tucker at Next Step Designs. You can see that I have succumbed to the temptation to start fussy cutting a few of the blocks! The maple leaf batik is by Cantik batiks, a special release for Canada's 150th birthday in 2017.

I was too lazy to dig out any Christmas fabrics this week, but this red plaid is a little festive. And I am fussy cutting it again! (Brinton Hall was the first time, here.)

One of the required blocks is a basic Shoo Fly.

3 by 3...

...switch out the middle and lay down the triangles in the corners...

...sewing lines lightly marked in pencil...

...keep everything pointed the same way...

...and hey, presto! Shoo Fly block.

Editing the photo, I can see the middle row is too wide, but I'm going to leave it. The yellow and tan lines are the main thing, and the rest will vanish into the seams.

And, here's the whole next batch. I may not keep that flower on the bottom left. We'll see how it looks in the final layout!

I'm sure it would be lovely to photograph all the blocks together, this set and the previous one, but I want to avoid handling the blocks too much. It's going to be a long year.

I've realized that this is four new projects in the past month -- this one, Flamingos en Provence, Wild & Goosey, and Cheddar Broken Dishes. All queen-sized quilts, and all 100% machine pieced. Since I wrecked my back in October, I have not been able to hand stitch almost anything. The ergonomics just aren't working for me. But, I have a very good chair for the machine, and it is almost like physical therapy for my back to sit and machine sew for a couple of hours. More fun than a gym!

So all my hand stitching projects are on indefinite hold, which has taken out most of my current projects. And, I've started to think about things I could do by machine instead. Like binding for sure. And maybe applique... I even think a little free motion quilting may be doable soon. Overall, it's different, but not bad. New things to try!

Happy holidays everyone!

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!
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