Home Sweet Home, Part 2

[Warning – long post, lots of ideas, some quilter’s angst, and a lot of indecision]

I did a tonne of research for this quilt. I thought the Sochi Olympics was so inspiring. Did you take a close look at the graphics throughout the games? Lots of modern and traditional patchwork patterns. And the officials wore rainbow coloured jackets… representing colours of the world. Read more about the quilt design inspiration here

This picture got me thinking of flags. Since Opa loves to travel, I thought I would do flags of the world…

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Pretty cool, but it might look weird in batik. And I did not have enough red. Hmm, maybe a map of the world? Or a flag map of the world?

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from clipartist.net

My mind boggles at the intricacies! Daunting.. and I’m more Amity than Dauntless, with no traces of Divergence (ok, ok, I’ll stop here, but I *just* finished reading the Divergence series by Veronica Roth).

Maybe I could focus on one country, or a region, or…. Opa’s home town! I downloaded a Google maps image, and then uploaded it onto one of those poster converting sites. I used Blockposters.com. You can dissect the image into the number of 8.5 x 11″ pages you want, and the tool will created a PDF image that you can download, print and seam together for a massive poster. A great way to enlarge an image for free. I used this same technique when I created the template for the Phoenix quilt.

One thing to note: if your printer cannot print outside a certain margin size, the you need to cut away the margins and/or overlap the pages to get a margin free poster image. I made the mistake of not noticing the margins. Sigh. So I reprinted, cut and seamed a second template.

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My partner also suggested another map image of his hometown, and we printed a large version of that one too. It was gorgeous, but it was WAY too detailed.

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So I’ve settled on my enlarged google image template.

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Here’s the thing about me. I come up with an idea, start to work on it, and then put it aside… because I get distracted by something else. The *very same day* that I completed the template, I got to browsing on Etsy…

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Oooh, I always wanted to do a pineapple quilt! And I said I would, after reading about  Red Pepper Quilt’s scrappy pineapple block. And it’s a free download. And it would look so good in batik. pooh, I should google batik pineapple quilts to get some colour inspiration… like this one… yummy quilt (drooling like Homer)….

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from the Nifty Stitcher

This train of thought continued throughout the evening. I was going to do the best pineapple quilt in the world. I was going to be a pineapple quilt rock star. I know I can, I know I can 🙂 At breakfast the next morning, my partner commented casually on the abandoned map template in the sunroom, and I felt the guilt pouring in. Right. I spent hours on this already, and enlisted his help to cut and seam that poster, didn’t I? And it’s a great idea, and I am excited about it. And he’s excited about it, which means his dad will like it (they have similar tastes), and I already ignored his colour palette suggestions, and stubbornly chose my own. I should see this through. Yes, I should.

So, after breakfast, I got a lesson in creating gradients in Adobe Photoshop, and layered this gradient on top of the map.

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Then I got out my crayons, and came up with a blueprint. It’s not quite like the adobe photoshop sketch, but I rather like it. I took the large poster sized template and traced out the main roads with a black medium tipped sharpie – there are a lot of little lanes that I decided to omit, in order to save time (I only have  few weeks to get this done).

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One small problem. There’s a lot of curves, and I’ve never done curved piecing. And those roads are really, really small. Hmm, maybe I can appliqué? I grabbed some leftover scraps, drew out a small section of the poster size template, and tried raw edge appliqué – I satin stitched the edges in pale grey. Not bad, but the pieces kept shifting, so the road got really wide, and I want to keep a sense of proportion.

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Decided to mull over this on the drive to and from work next day, and realized that I needed to get 1. a neutral background, and 2. some sort of fusible webbing to stabilize the pieces during appliqué. So I popped into Sew Sisters, and got talking to Judy. She suggested I should number all my patches on the template, and take a picture (or print the image on a page and number that so I would have a reference). Then, if I wanted smooth edges, I’d have to cut up the large template and create my appliqué patches using those smaller segments. To help reference things, I could overlay my fabric onto the template and trace out the patches. Sounded do-able.

And so, armed with all this wonderful advice from Judy, I was confident again. I finally chose a white cotton background, and picked up some grey chalk for my mechanical pencil.

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At home, after pinning the fabric to the template, I traced all the roads. It took forever, and I had to refer back to a smaller version of the image occasionally. It was quite late when I finally finished.

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In the morning, I stared at the background fabric for ages. OMG, I panicked, I cannot do this. Must google appliqué tutorials (nothing like a few good tutorials to calm me down). But then I realized.. what if I reverse appliquéd this? I’ve done reverse appliqué before, and it came out great! I tested a sample piece using some scraps.

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Piece of cake. Sort of. But time consuming. Yikes! I better get started right away!

Home Sweet Home, Part 1

The turquoise quilt has found a new home with my newest niece! She is the sweetest thing, I’m so glad that she is happy and healthy.

My next project is going to be a success or a flop, I’m not certain yet. It’s for my partner’s dad, Opa, who turns 75 in July. I put together a fantastic bundle, and showed it to my partner….

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This was a bundle of precuts, and I combed my stash for some blenders. I thought it was amazing. He thought it was not – too bright, too modern, and what was with the black prints? Sigh.

I tossed it all back into the stash, and tried again. Batik! My partner loves batik (after all, his quilt is made of batiks). I put together another bundle…

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These are a happy palette. I got intel on Opa’s favourite colours from the family – blue and brown. Well, no one really knows for sure, but he wears a lot of blue and brown… and I know he has a favourite orange sweater and yellow shirt… and he loves nature, so I threw in a pile of greens that I’ve been dying to use. Soooooooooo, I asked, wouldn’t this bundle work?

The weird look I got in return was not really helpful. So I decided to ignore everyone else’s opinions on the subject to solve the problem. I did toss the pink back into the stash… but now I needed more fabric.

Lucky for me, Creativ festival was rolling around. I took a trip to Mississauga, and headed straight for Hamel’s. I went through the shelves of batik (hundreds of pieces), picked out my favourites, then sat on the floor in a corner to compare them to a photo of fabrics from my stash. Reluctantly, I discarded a few, got a nod of approval from a fellow quilter who was looking over my shoulder with interest, and headed over to the register.

Back home, I combed through my stash again, and here’s what I’ve come up with…

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Close ups below:

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It seems like a lot of fabric. But I can always edit once I decide on a quilt pattern. Now, what can I make with this?