Showing posts with label Kaffe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kaffe. 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, April 17, 2017

Moth in the Window

My grandmother used to say that if the first butterfly you saw in the spring was white, it was good luck. After a couple years of seeing yellow butterflies, I was happy to see a white one this year!

Mine was IRL (in real life), but maybe this block set the right tone. Yes, it's another new Bonnie Hunter project! This is Moth in the Window, from Bonnie's new book, Addicted to Scraps:

I know I've talked a lot about how Orca Bay will be my next new quilt, but I am still tweaking my plan for that. In the meantime, when Robert Kaufman announced that the Kona Color of the Year would be Pink Flamingo, I had a burning need to make a pink-based quilt. But in February, nobody had it in stock. And then I found this pink print from Blend, which is almost the same colour. It was discounted to about half the price of Kona (Kona is expensive in Canada) at a fabric outlet near here. Score!

Bonnie's Moth in the Window is made with plaid shirts and black sashing, and I love it. But, I had a feeling it would also look good with pink sashing. And, the simple two colour block is a great way to show off your fabrics.

I had the day free on my birthday recently, and I thought, what could be better than a new project? An hour with the calculator, a couple of hours moving heavy boxes in the basement, whittling down to about 60 fabrics, rough cutting them all, and by the end of the day, the first block made:

Most of my colour inspiration is coming from collections that Pat Bravo did for Art Gallery a few years ago, especially Indie. The three backgrounds above are all her fabrics. Even though the sashing is pink, I don't want the quilt to be too "bubblegum." I chose all the fabrics to coordinate with the sashing. Of course there is a little Kaffe too:

And I don't know how long that daisy floral has been in my stash. But aren't they awesome together? It is so fun to try out different combinations. Even the wilder blocks blend when they're all together:

This is just the start, there will be a lot more of the blue-greens to come. My original plan was to make 56 blocks, and use leftover squares for the border. Bonnie used HSTs in the border, but I still need at least 800 HSTs for my Cheddar and Indigo quilt, so I thought I'd just use squares. I sewed up some strip sets...

...but I decided yesterday that even in these nice fabrics, they will not do anything for the quilt. So now my plan is to make more blocks, hopefully 90, and just put 3" of the pink around the edge. Maybe there was a reason I never put all the fabric away again! Other than mere laziness...

Anyway, I am having a lot of fun with this, and now I have a project for the Kaleidoscope of Butterflies again! Come back on May 1 to see how much progress I've made.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Still Sewing

I fully expected to log on this evening and see everyone's finishes for Bonnie Hunter's 2016 mystery quilt, En Provence. But the link up's not there! Just as well, because I'm not finished yet anyway. Perhaps Bonnie was distracted by the epicness of this year's Super Bowl! For some reason, I kept watching even when it was clearly over, and I was glad I did! What a game.

Since I'm late with En Provence anyway, today I decided to pull out Allietare and see how it looked. It was still in blocks, which was worse than I thought. But now it looks like this:

This is three large sections laid out together. Mine seems to be more red than many of the others I've seen. Those red Kaffe Collective fabrics really glow! The black stars will be 5 x 5, so you can see I'm almost halfway already. I've realized that I don't need to iron every seam as I sew, and that has sped things up remarkably.

It was also interesting to compare Allietare with En Provence:

About half the whites are the same in each project, and it does give them a similar feel. Plus I put a bluish constant fabric in the background of both, so that ties them together too.

I'm thrilled with them both, so I'm not complaining! But next time (yes, I'm already thinking about the next one), I'll have to try something different.

En Provence is currently in 23 pieces, so it's still coming along. That's the centre block plus sashing in the photo above. Shouldn't be tooo much longer!

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 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!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Summer Projects

My big project this summer has been to get my 91 year old father to stop working, and more importantly, to stop driving before he killed someone. It has required heroic persistence and patience, but I am glad to say that we have succeeded! I think he has finally accepted that retirement is not that bad.

With all that going on, I have not done that much sewing this summer. Brinton Hall has made very good progress, and I'll show you that on Sunday. When I had machine time, I'd put together a block or two of Allietare. The bright Kaffe prints are really invigorating to work with:

I love the red blocks. I am less sure about the black star blocks:

I have been so tempted to sew a few together, just to see how the secondary pattern will come out. But I do want to lay out and balance the blocks properly when they're all done, so I've held off. I only have about 10 left, and then the fun will really start!

I am not sure now if I will do Bonnie Hunter's mystery again this year. I have a colour scheme in mind already, but I also have so many other projects that I really do want to finish, and some to start! So, we'll see.

My box of Kaffe fabrics has been getting a good work out with Brinton Hall. While the fabrics were out I also made one lonely butterfly for Down in the Garden:

This butterfly was going to be gold, and I had the wings fussy cut 18 months ago already. But, I lost one! The one thing that became crystal clear this summer is that I have too many things happening at the same time, and that is hurting my projects. I have made new resolutions --

  • Fewer current projects
  • No more BOMs
  • More original work

-- and we'll see how that pans out!

But in any case, this new pink butterfly matches the purple and pink/orange flowers in the block surprisingly well too:

And I still have all the wings for the second butterfly:

Then I can get back to some stitching and finish the block. I had a lot more stitching planned for this project, but I've changed my mind and decided to fill in with some extra pieced blocks instead. It's time to move on!

I bought a couple of those adult colouring books this summer, as part of my effort to get my Dad refocused on something positive. No luck! "Silly stuff," he said. He used to draw well, but maybe colour was never his strong suit. My Mom did this nice one, though:

It is totally different from how I would have done it, which is very interesting! And better, I think. I was very impressed with her turquoise and green roses. I have to see if I can use this colour scheme for a future project.

I coloured a couple too:


To me it seemed like a low-risk opportunity to try a more radical colour scheme. I've been obsessed with orange and green leaves lately. The one above is ok, but I like the second one better:

It seems like it could be a nice quilt, couldn't it? The round drawing is from Flower Mandalas by Thaneeya McArdle (New Design Originals, 2016), and the two square pages are from Magic of Flowers & Birds (Barron's).

There are two link ups on today. Please check out Ann and Cathy's Kaleidoscope of Butterflies right here. The brave Gwennie Medallion quilters are still at it too, right here. My medallion went to the basement at the end of June, and just came back up a couple of days ago. But, I've dealt with the road blocks on that one, and I hope to catch up over the next month. October 1 will be the final reveal, but I'll have updates before that.

Finally, for two days this summer we had a new lodger:

You can barely see the brown rabbit in the brown grass there. Hottest summer ever! This was right after a heavy rainfall, and the green comes back quickly. I was out checking the eavestroughs and foundations at the back of the house (still dry!). I turned around and he was right there, less than ten feet behind me. So still, he didn't even blink. Was he there the whole time? Hopefully he's moved somewhere safer now.

A week later I was taking the garbage out at dusk, and I noticed the neighbour had a new chimney. I looked again and there was not one, but two raccoons way up on the roof of the second level, with all four ears pointed straight at me! We are just grateful that they like the neighbours roof better than ours!

So, that is me mostly caught up now. As I said, Brinton Hall is well along and I'll post that on Sunday. I may need some advice...

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...
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