Totally Turquoise Quilt, Part 3

sigh. not enough turquoise for my totally turquoise quilt.

I sorted out some stacks for the quilt. Along with the turquoise stack, I decided to mix some blue, green, pink and orange into the quilt… so maybe this quilt will be not *totally* turquoise (sheepish grin). And I broke into a jelly roll of Kona pastels, I’ve been dying to use this precut. After some debate, I made my choices… including a fresh and sweet birdie print, which reminds me of candy crush striped candies.

20140330-123305.jpg

20140330-123407.jpg

I’m cutting strips zealously, and piecing quickly with my trusty Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 875… not much time left before the baby’s arrival!

Advertisements

Totally Turquoise Quilt, Part 2

Coming up with an idea for a new quilt is sometimes harder than sewing the quilt. Sometimes I comb through magazines and quilt books for inspiration, browse Pinterest for colour combinations or just doodle in my notebook.

For Christmas, I got an Adonit Jot Script stylus for my iPad. This one is Bluetooth ready, and can be used with a multitude of apps, including PenUltimate. I love it. This app allows me to create idea books, write or draw with the stylus, and import pictures or saved drawings from other apps. No more printing of images, or photocopying, or tearing pages out of catalogues!! And I can take snapshots (with my iPad) of any drawings I make, and import them into my e-book immediately – instant gratification. Finally, a way to merge my paper world with my paperless world, without lugging a binder of materials and my iPad around.

I created my notebook in Penultimate, and started brainstorming. I love mind maps, so I started drawing one around “things my cousin loves”. It’s so cool how quickly this tool helps you visualize your thoughts. I started researching the different branches, adding images, notes and pictures. My sister suggested including birds (no surprise here). My aunt reminded me of my cousin’s addiction to candy crush. I checked out dozens of home decor magazines from the library, and chevrons kept popping out of me… a chevron/candy crush/love bird inspired quilt in turquoise? Yikes. Sounds scary.

I decided to draw for a bit, nesting squares within squares. Maybe a log cabin quilt? I chopped the first batch of squares-in-squares, and rotated the pieces until I had a couple of designs.

20140325-062639.jpg

20140325-062720.jpg

20140325-062740.jpg

I really liked both of these, but I kept thinking of deconstructed chevrons. I pasted both samples into my drawing book for another project…. another time.

I was flipping through a sewing magazine a few days later, and came across a black and white pillow, patch worked from diagonal strips… the diagonal pieces were sewn together to mimic a zig zag motif, but rather haphazardly… a deconstructed chevron of sorts. I liked it!

So I started doodling. I covered a section of paper with long strips of colour. then I cut the whole thing on the diagonal, creating uneven lengths and widths. Within a few minutes I had glued the strips and cut blocks that I could play with….

20140325-062829.jpg

20140325-062844.jpg

20140325-062859.jpg

20140325-062919.jpg

Et voila! A deconstructed chevron quilt is born. Now, where’s that stash of fabric I was collecting for this project?

Totally Turquoise Quilt, part 1

20140320-070606.jpg

20140316-125211.jpg

When my cousin got married, she wore an exquisite sari in turquoise. Unusual, since most brides wear red saris, but it suited her perfectly. She looked radiant. The pictures above show close-ups of her sari (the difference in colour is due to lighting indoors vs outdoors).

Turquoise stones are full of interesting colour – shades ranging from almost green to almost blue.

20140316-121259.jpg
I love the pattern in these stones – makes me think of rippling water, tropical shores, views from glass bottomed boats on Caribbean reefs.

20140316-124822.jpg

I decided to google turquoise – tonnes of inspiring photos. According to Wikipedia, turquoise stones range from white to blue to green, depending on the chemical composition. The most desired stones tend towards robin’s egg blue. Turquoise (the color) is often synonymous with aqua or teal, although teal is greener and darker.

My cousin announced she’s pregnant…. hmm, is there a turquoise quilt idea milling around in my head, waiting to be made? I’ve combed my stash, and settled on 3 gorgeous turquoise shades – a robin’s egg blue, a deeper french blue, a bright aqua. I also pulled out some sunflower prints leftover from the bright and bubbly quilt – blues and greens on sky blue and orange backgrounds… now to find a theme, and figure out some contrasting colours – turquoise works well with orange, deep purple, and pink. Orange, check. Maybe one other colour?

Update: Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

Cannot believe it’s Feb 2014 already. Where does the time go? I’m still slowly working on my inset square blocks. I’m surprised at how much I love the soft palette of pinks, greens, greys, purples, blues… creating new combinations is so much fun.

IMG_2403

On the other hand, cutting all those squares and strips is not so much fun. I cut a huge batch of strips from all the fabrics, and then got started. Because I only have a small table for sewing, I have to clear off everything when I want to cut, so it makes sense to cut the strips, then sew. Unfortunately, I’m at the point where I’m running out of white strips, so I guess I will have to clear the table again. Sigh.

I’m starting to rethink the pattern for this. Originally I was going to do 60 blocks, but maybe…. ? I’m only at 22 completed blocks, and 60 seems daunting at this point. Maybe I could use another setting (alternate large white squares with the blocks)? I’ll have to go back to EQ7 and figure it out…. stay tuned.

Pink (and blue and green and purple) Square Blocks….

yep, it’s been a while. I’ve been so super busy at work that everything has been put on hold. I managed to put together a few more blocks, and last night, did another batch of 2.5″ and 1.5″ strips so I can be ready for more piecing when I have a few minutes here and there.

20131111-094926.jpg

20131111-094943.jpg

20131111-095001.jpg

20131111-095020.jpg

I’m loving this soft and pretty palette. I’m using Kona Snow, as the other whites were either too yellow or too stark white for the fabrics.

Cushion Covers – Lone Starburst with a twist

IMG_1800

I have a project in the works for 2 cushion covers, and one pillow slip. The cushion covers are for 26 inch foam cushions from IKEA, for the kids to use for lounging in their room. Six White Horses has an excellent tutorial for paper pieced stars called the Lone Starburst. I love this star, and have seen it on quite a few other blogs. But it’s designed for about 12.5 inch block, and I needed something to span a 26 inch block. I downloaded the pattern and, using Inkscape, have attempted to enlarge the star. I’ve just finished 2 of 8 points of the star, and so far, it looks like it will come together nicely. Keeping my fingers crossed!

I’m seriously scrap busting on this project, featuring some coveted african print fat quarters which I have been hoarding jealously (shame, shame, shame). I nearly shed tears when I cut into these fat quarters, really. But they are readily available online via Kallisti Quilts, and she does visit Toronto a few times a year (for the Creativ Festival in April and October, and also the york Heritage festival). Given that I can get this fabric, and that I LOVE this fabric, you’d think it would feature prominently in more of my projects.

I’m also delving into my collection of batiks, most of which are half yards that I pick up from Hamel’s Fabrics when they visit at the Creativ Festival. There are also a few batiks from a leftover tonga treats 2.5 inch strip pack. Instead of using white for the background, I’ll be using a Kona medium blue solid.

For the pillow slip – this is for a pillow that my cousin’s late grandma made for her when she was a little girl. I wanted to preserve the pillow with a new quilted pillow slip. I have no ideas for a pattern, although I’d like to do something that is paper-pieced if I can. Any ideas?

Project Phoenix continues – Part 1

IMG_1712

So, life has gotten really busy in the last couple of months. I meant to continue project Phoenix, but quilting time has not materialized. I started a new job in January, following a trip to Carinzia over the holidays. Thought I would share a few pix of the centre panel of the patchwork – the back of it against the light makes me want to do a stained glass quilt 🙂

The interesting thing is that I’ve shown a few people this and they cannot see the bird… this is a bit disappointing. On the other hand, the eventual recipient of this quilt knows this motif (it’s on the wall in his room) 🙂

My dilemma now is how do I finish this – borders, no borders… and I have no idea what I want to do for the quilt back. I have made some star blocks from the same fabrics, that I want to intersperse randomly on the front (this panel needs to grow another 12″ all around before binding).

IMG_1711

Project Wünderkind = Project Phoenix

20121201-113840.jpg
This project has changed so many times, and I keep finding fabric that I want to incorporate – somehow. Editing has taken a back seat to whim and fancy. Reason was thrown out the window weeks ago. I’m just going with the flow, and boy, is it scary!

This quilt started off with the idea to represent a far away galaxy from a video game. I bought lots of Stonehenge from Sew Sisters, sand colours for the terrain, blue-ish green for the planets, deep blues for the night sky. I love Stonehenge, the fabric FEELS scrumptious. But then, I changed gears and wanted to do something “techie”. I bought reds, and greens, more blue (!), lots of batiks with geometric patterns.

Then I read Daniel’s blog (Piece and Press). This guy is incredible. Go check out the dinosaur. I’m inspired. This is the challenge I’ve been looking for. But I have no idea how he does this… so I google around, and discover that this is called raw edge reverse appliqué. A couple of YouTube tutorials later, I’m 150% sure I can do this.

So I dive in. head first. ha! what was I thinking? I should have bought that plane ticket to Oakland, and signed up for one of his classes. Raw edge reverse appliqué is time consuming. But more importantly, raw edge reverse appliqué scaled up is really really hard to pull off. [Daniel needs to have a Surgeon General’s Warning pasted on those gorgeous quilts].

I created a paper template of the figure I wanted to represent. I used free software on the web to scale up a digital image to produce a printable PDF – it prints a portion of each image on 8.5×11 paper. Mine was 7×5 = 35 sheets. I numbered the sheets, and taped them together to create the massive template.

I patchworked a scrappy look quilt top of blue fabric – random rectangles and squares of fabric. Then I did a second quilt top using strips of red, yellow and orange – different lengths and widths.

I sandwiched it all together – paper template on top of blue quilt top, with the red underneath the other two layers, and all layers sandwiched with right sides facing up.

Then I sewed through all the layers, using small stitches with blue top thread. I followed the edges of the template. This was really hard to maneuver under a small sewing machine. I ended up working top to bottom, from the edges inwards, which sewing gurus will chastise me for… but I promise, there was no way I could get the fabric/paper sandwich under the machine throat in the centre! As I sewed, i kept ripping away the paper to reduce the bulk. I also did have to stitch in reverse mode on the sewing machine at certain points to complete this step.

After sewing, I carefully ripped the paper away, using tweezers to get at those pesky small bits that get wedged under the stitches. Despite my best efforts, I did loosen some of the stitching, so had to repair those areas with a second round of machine stitching. sigh.

Now the scary bit Рcutting away the blue quilt top to reveal the underneath quilt top. I used a seam ripper to make the first incision, but some advice Рplease (please, please) switch to an appliqu̩ scissors once the hole is made! The seam ripper was doing a good job, until I realized it was catching and ripping through the bottom layer at points. sigh.

I had to make a side trip to my local quilt store with a “quilting emergency” – Judy helped me find the right interfacing to lay on the underside of those rips to stabilize the fabric so I could repair it.

Here’s the kicker. I realise that I absolutely don’t like the raw edges. So I satin stitched the whole thing to conceal the edges. That took hours. and hours. But it helped hide the repaired bits beautifully 😉

20121201-114050.jpg

So now I’m at the part where I can cut away the parts of the underneath quilt that don’t show (to reduce bulk) and the continue on to finish the quilt top. Hoping to finish the quilt top this weekend.