Sunday, August 30, 2015

August Hexie Block

Gyleen Fitzgerald, author of "Polygon Affair" among other books, was a guest at our guild in June. I have been following her ever since, primarily on Facebook. She has begun a BOM for those who have signed up with her. This is my block for August. Done in the nick of time. It was not easy. Somehow I lost her butterfly seam approach and got lost in a welter of X, Y, and yes, even Z seams. It's not my best effort. The middle isn't too good and usually I can nail that. I probably should not have tried to make this on a treadle machine. I am not that proficient with it yet. I have been making oodles of string pieced blocks with the treadle and got cocky. It occasioned a goodly amount of reverse sewing before I could go forward again, using a modern machine. Plus the zig zag fabric could have been positioned better. But I hate doing the "f" word thing. You know - fussy cutting. It shows. September's block looks easier. Onward and upward.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Fall is in the Air!

The days are getting shorter and the nights are noticeably cooler. Can pumpkins be far behind? I have always loved this time of year and the fabric lines are putting out ever more sophisticated Halloween designs - if Halloween can ever be called "sophisticated." This is a smallish collection of fabrics from  Tidings of Great Joy by Timeless Treasures purchased at eQuilter. I am getting ready to submit another order for more fabrics along this line. What to make...what to make....?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Looking Better

I have added in two more blocks made with Kaffe Fassett fabrics. I think this is going to help a lot. Between the added texture and the introduction of the turquoise there is much more interest.

The rest of the afternoon I am going to work on my treadle machine and make some string pieced blocks for the guild's QOV project.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Singin' the Blues

I started Peppermint Pinwheels and decided on a monochromatic, subdued color palette. To my eyes it looks rather dead. I am rethinking this idea. Any suggestions? (The upper right block is not yet sewn together, so it looks "off" anyway.)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Off and Running

 Cultural Fusion quilt #3 started! The background - white and black print - is from the Architextures line. The purple dotted fabric will change with each block but remain in the blue/violet/purple spectrum. I have never made three projects from one book. I think I have hit my stride.

Rail Fence #2 is almost finished. Still needs some tweaking. There is one block for sure that I will replace. Two more blocks and then begins the process of deciding on the final setting. The quilt in Sujata's book has 30 blocks in a 5 x 6 setting. I originally thought I would also make that size, but have changed my mind and will settle with a 4 x 5 size. The blocks finish at 16" square, so it's still a fair sized top.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Rail Fences #1 and #2

Earlier this year, after the book, "Cultural Fusion" by Sujata Shah was published, I made this smaller version of her Rail Fence quilt. Being smack in the middle of finishing things to hang in our guild quilt show, I nonetheless was compelled to break away for long enough to make these twelve blocks.

Fast forward to this month, and our guild hosted Sujata as our August speaker. Wow! She gave us a wonderful evening with a PowerPoint presentation which included many photos of inspiration showing life in her native country of India. Following the slide show, was a trunk show of the quilts that are featured in "Cultural Fusion." It doesn't get much better than that!

But wait! There's more! The next day there was a workshop with Sujata and we all learned how to free form cut blocks for Rail Fence. Here's my progress so far:

I intend to make the full sized quilt this time - 30 blocks! I asked Sujata to pick fabric combos for two blocks, so this quilt will carry a bit of her own "hand". She selected the fabrics for the blocks in the top row, center and second row, right. The layout will also be different, maybe with the blocks radiating out from the center, rather than stair steps as shown here.

These blocks are being cut with a gentler curve than #1.  After hearing Sujata's presentation, I realized that the idea is to show the human hand in the making rather than just to go all wonky and wild. That said, the wonky and wild Rail Fences that have appeared on the web are uber-cool, too. Sujata is a humble person; her warmth and humanity are apparent to all who come into contact with her. If you have the opportunity to hear her speak, or better yet take a workshop with her, do not hesitate. I hope that we see more from this talented designer in the future.

To see more about Sujata, here is a link to her blog, Root Connections , and to the Rail Fence Quilt-Along.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Award Ribbons, Raffle Quilt, and Quilt Love

 One of the guilds that I belong to makes their own ribbons for their biennial quilt show. This is a quilt show year and for the month of October, the show will hang in the local public library. I volunteered to make two this year - one of the first place ribbons and the Viewer's Choice ribbon. Both were paper pieced from silk scraps gleaned from a friend's dress shop.  Blue ribbons are required to have a ruffle and there are prairie points made of folded ribbon inside the ruffle. The green ribbon has a paper-pieced basket filled with embroidered flowers and a little bling in the form of iridescent sequins. These are really fun to do and the sky's the limit; each maker comes up with their own idea for the ribbons.

I have also been plodding away on the background for another guild's 2017 raffle quilt. It consists of hexagons with contrasting edges to give the subtle appearance of a honeycomb. This is beyond tedious even though the directions call for arranging the pieces as half hexies and sewing them together in rows. This is a popular option that is popping up all over the internet. To my way of thinking, it's not easier because when sewing the rows together the places where six pieces come together still have to be precisely lined up. It ain't easy is all I'm saying. It looks particularly hideous right now due to all the blue masking tape pieces which number each individual patch. The tape has been a lifesaver in keeping everything organized.

The background will be overlaid with colorful English paper pieced flowers. The mock up is quite nice looking and no one will ever know of the sweat, tears, and reverse sewing that went into piecing the background.

Last year I was fortunate enough to attend a workshop with Bonnie Hunter in Champagne/Urbana, IL. I blogged about it here and here. Finally I got tired enough of moving those little blocks from here to there and back again to make something out of them. This is the small wall hanging that resulted and which now hangs on the door to my sewing room.

I am looking forward to getting to an endpoint with the beige raffle quilt hexies this weekend. There are several other things calling my name.