Friday, February 26, 2016

Searching for Saffron

The theme for this challenge is the Orient Express. This train initially ran from Paris to Constantinople, now called Istanbul. Istanbul is known for it's spice markets. My quilt juxtaposes spice containers with the stepping stones to get to the markets.

I like to give myself a few side challenges when working on these quilts. For this, I wanted to continue a strong graphic look, a layered effect with see-through elements of surprise and hand stitching.

If you are interested in joining this group, let me know. The general size is A4 which is about 8.5 x 11. I have chosen to work at 11 x 14 size for my work. It just feels like more of a presence. These are a good place to experiment with ideas for larger works or new techniques. Think about it.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Aunty Quilt

I love making traditional quilts as much as I like to make fiber art. There are only so many quilts one needs so way back in the day, I started making quilts for some of the women in my life. Sister and Sisters-in law have been recipients. This one was gifted to my niece, Katie Jones. It is so named because this scrap quilt contains many of the fabrics used in quilts made for Katie's aunties.

Making a scrap quilt sounds like a simple project. It often requires more thought and planning than any other. For this quilt, I unified the blocks by making the outer most edge of each block a black print of the same strip width. I did not want any two adjacent blocks to have the same print or same scale print. So a plan was required for this.

All of the spaces in between are made of white and black prints of differing scales. Since these needed to be spread across the quilt, I laid all of these out in the beginning. From there, I made groupings of 5 prints that would work together. The very center of each block looked best if it was a print. As I moved across the quilt, I selected a color family that was not in the nearby blocks. I used a foundation and flip and stitch technique for making the quarter blocks.

I loved working on the quilt. All the colors make me happy. And, with a little planning at the beginning, the flow of work is much quicker with a pleasing end result.

Shout out your take on scrap quilt making or anything else that suits your fancy.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Hello Yellow

When I lived in Missouri, my friends and I would regularly attend the Paducah Quilt show. The Moda vendor would hand out little packets of pure colored Moda marbles. After many years of gathering these little 4.5 inch square gems, it was launch time. 

I combined the marbles with other small printed fabric to make a pile of half square triangles. Placement was the really fun part. I started by making 9 patch groupings by color and then banded them with a small black and white print. From there I segued to this configuration by interrupting the single color nine patches with the black strips and occasionally I included a six patch. I often let an adjacent color play with a nine patch. It was a total joy to work with these colors. I think it's true of most quilts, that adding some layer of complexity causes the viewer to look a lot longer. that is a goal of mine in creating.

Shout out in the comments what you think.

Friday, February 5, 2016

When the Fairies Sing

This is where I started, a quilt from a pattern. I would like to give the designer credit but I am down south at the moment and do not know her name. (If you do, add it in the comments and I will post it here.) Her design was compelling enough for me to give it a go but I thought the value treatments on the pattern cover were not strong enough to see the design. And, I was determined to shape this quilt using blue and orange, my favorite colors but ones I have not worked with for awhile.  I did not think the pattern design ended at the best spot either. This first image shows the pattern as designed.

I carried on, continuing the white portion of the design to the edges and the coral portion is now a half diamond. I think this makes the pieces look more complete. When I added the final rows around the periphery, I had run out of the medium blue fabric. I found a solid blue of the same value and it works just fine. In fact I think it probably adds a bit of interest to the quilt.

My good friend Janet Fogg quilted this for me. Her work is stunning and makes this quilt.

Are you wondering how I named this quilt? When I was a child one of my favorite songs was "White Coral Bells". We would sing it in music class in four part harmony. The last line is "that will only happen when the fairies sing". It still makes me smile.