Monday, July 27, 2015

Just Eye-Candy

I have been sewing my scraps and strings into 1/4 log cabin blocks. I'm aiming big for this one, since it's not like I'm running out of scraps or anything, maybe a large twin size (I mostly do large lap quilts, since they are easier to manage with my quilting set-up). I think I'm a little past the half-way mark. Unless I decide to change the size again (queen-sized...?). I don't have pictures yet, and I'd rather wait for daylight to get good ones, so today you get finished quilts from the past 2 or 3 months (or older).

This Quilt of Valor has already been donated. My last post was about making another quilt from the leftover stars from this project. This set of stars actually resulted in 3 quilts--this first one dates back to 2011.

And just for fun, here is the one I that is on my design wall right now (you saw it in my last post, but here you can see all 3 together). Pretty interesting the way you can use different settings and alternate blocks to change the look of a quilt. This is why I continue to be fascinated by quilting, after so many years--there are so many possibilities!

Here is the Grayton Beach quilt, all finished in fun brights. I wasn't sure if the blue was going to work with the yellows and greens, but it did. I tried taking the yellows and oranges out of the border when I was putting it together, because I though they were maybe making it too bright, and the result was awful. All the sunshine went out of it. So I added them back in. Some quilters are afraid to use yellow in their quilts, but it is one of my favorite additions. I have a much more difficult time using black or white in my quilts.

This is the only black and white (with red!) quilt I've ever finished. The pattern is a 'snail's trail' variation. The large-scale bordered rectangles are on the back of the quilt.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

More UnFinished Objects

I spent some time basting the purple hourglass quilt and sketching out designs for the quilting. I usually sketch some on paper and then place a clear acetate (like they use for overhead projectors) directly on the quilt and draw the design at the proper scale.

I tried several designs and picked a couple that I like. I started machine-quilting the quilt, but then I got sidetracked (SQUIRREL!). While looking in the cupboard under the ironing board for acetate, I found a couple of unfinished projects that I pulled out. I decided I was more in the mood for piecing than quilting, so I spent the past week working on unfinished piecing projects instead of quilting. The first one is directly related to the Quilt of Valor that I recently finished. I had 11 9-patch star blocks left over, and a couple of experimental blocks that utilized the same grid spacing to mix with the star blocks. After putting them up on my design wall, I decided that it needed to be another quilt, not a wallhanging. So I needed to make 24 more star blocks and 23 more setting blocks to make a whole quilt.

Here it is, up on the design wall. The blocks aren't sewn together yet and I haven't finished cutting the borders, but I made good progress and got all the remaining blocks pieced and pressed.

The other unfinished project that I have brought out and begun to work on again is a set of 1/4-log cabin blocks. It's a string-piecing project made of scraps from other projects. If you sew a lot, you make scraps. My scraps get tossed into a plastic bin under the sewing table like this one:

I have 3 of these bins. I love string quilts, but obviously I haven't been keeping up with my scraps. A lot of my scrap quilts have been traditional patterns like Spiderweb and Rocky Road to Kansas that use strings but also have a background fabric. Using a background fabric gives the eye somewhere to rest and emphasizes the geometry of the pattern, but it means you use quite a bit of background (usually 2-4 yards), and not so many strings. The 1/4-log cabin pattern will have no background, only a border of blue setting triangles to give the quilt a nice edge and draw it all together. All the better to use up more strings.

I thought that maybe I could use up one of my 3 scrap bins, but after pulling out a lot of strings and ironing them and contemplating how much fabric yardage you can cram into a very small space, I now think (ahem, KNOW) that is an unrealistic goal. However, there will be lots of string quilts in my future, with very little background fabric.

I also sewed the last 3 'crap' blocks into a quilt top and pieced a backing for it. No spoilers, though, I'll post a picture of it later.