Monday, July 22, 2019

Quilting the Coral Floral Tops

One down, the other to go.

For this one, I used a new-to-me batting, Warm and Plush, a prize for participating in Hands 2 Help. (Thanks, Sarah and sponsor!) It's about twice as thick as regular 80/20 batting. With my flannel backing, the quilting really shows up nicely. I am a little concerned about shrinkage, though, so I'll measure the quilt before and after washing and see how much it shrinks up. (All of the fabrics were pre-washed.) With plush batting and a flannel backing, this will be a very cozy quilt.

The flannel backing was a gift from a friend who knows I'm making baby quilts for our guild's charity. I learned something about using flannel for backing here: it shrinks a lot! The flimsy measured 40-1/2".  Before washing, the flannel was about 44".  After washing it was just wide enough to avoid the selvages as I pin-basted. I mean just barely wide enough, like a scant half inch on each side. Note to self: make narrower baby quilts to use with flannel backing. 

The sister top is next up, but I'm Frankenbatting together some pieces of my usual batting for it. I hope to get the second coral floral quilt quilted this week. I'll have the same scant backing issue with the second one, but I know I can make it work. 

Monday link ups: 

Friday, July 19, 2019

Black + White Project: Pathways and Crossings

My Black + White project is finished except for the label. I'm calling it Pathways and Crossings. Pathways: follow each fabric as it meanders around the quilt top. Crossings: What happens visually where two paths cross?

I found the best backing for it, a huge paisley. I ordered enough to be able to match the seam to get enough width.

I dare you to find the seam! After quilting I could only find it by touch; it's totally invisible and the pattern matches perfectly. The seam runs straight up the center of the paisley, through the point, from the arrow.

The quilting emphasizes the pathways, with dense stippling in the background. 

Where the pathways cross, a "transparency" effect is created with a print that combines the motifs and values of the crossed fabrics. If this white and this dark linear geometric print had a baby, it might look like the medium value linear print in the center.

This is my favorite crossing. If the delicate white curlicue print and the strong solid black merged, it might look like this bold black + white spiral print.

This was a challenging project in many ways. First of course, to limit the palette to just black and white, and find a sufficient range of values. All the fabrics came from stash except the one where the white solid and white curlicue cross.

For the design and layout, I used a pattern I had created back in about 2000-2001 for a Piecing Group project. Instead of colors crossing and creating transparency, I needed to work only in value, with print character as a secondary consideration.

The block itself is challenging, a flowering snowball variation, 9" finished. Lots of curved piecing, and each block within the layout is different due to value placement.

The layout requires the blocks to be offset by 1/3, so filler squares are needed. Those are the crossings. To assemble the top, partial seams are needed because everything is stepped, no straight rows.

I showed this quilt at guild show + tell earlier this week, and one of my friends teasingly asked if I could make it any more complicated. Actually, yes - I ran out of background fabric due to a cutting error. I had just barely enough to piece it together to make the background big enough to extend 1/2" past the white points. After binding - no points cut off! - this quilt finished at 46" square. And it is square, which took some careful measuring and squaring up.

I'll check the requirements for Curated Quilts submissions for their January issue featuring black + white quilts and see if I can enter this one. I'll need to get some better photos that meet their specifications.

So there's the saga of the black + white project. Will I make another two-color quilt at some point? Probably. Another black + white one? I don't know.

I'm not on FB or IG but I'm participating in the Two Color Challenge over at Color Girl Quilts by Sharon. I'll send her a link.

Also linking up with:
Wendy's Quilts and More
My Quilt Infatuation

Thursday, July 18, 2019

STLMQG Quilt Show This Weekend

The St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild presents THIS IS MODERN Quilt Show

The show will present the beautiful work of STLMQG members, showcasing
 the modern quilting movement with more than 200 quilts in a number of 
categories, such as Improvisation, Modern Traditionalism, Appliqué and 
Handwork, Use of Negative Space, Minimalist Design, and much more.

Saturday, July 20, 2019
10 AM-5 PM

Sunday, July 21, 2019
11 AM-4 PM

Kirkwood Community Center
111 S. Geyer Road
Kirkwood, MO 63122
Admission $5
Ages 5 and under are free

If you're in the St Louis area, I encourage you to check it out!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A Girl!!!

We are a family of boys. I have one grandson. My SIL has eight grandchildren and another on the way. Seven of her grandchildren are boys, including a couple the same age as mine. With eight boys ranging from toddler to 12, when they all get together there's a lot of noise and activity!
The one facing the camera is my grandson.

We just found out that the new baby is a girl!!! After so many boys, everyone is tickled pink.

I need to make a girl baby quilt by November. Mom's favorite color is purple. I'm sure I'll be able to come up with something. Suggestions welcome!

Monday, July 15, 2019

12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop

Once again Sarah is hosting 12 Days of Christmas in July over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

I wasn't sure about participating this year. I don't have a Christmas project in the works, and no need for any decor or gifty Christmas items. I reached out to Sarah and asked if it would be okay to reprise my Life Size Christmas Tree Wall Hanging, and she said yes.

Some of you may remember when I first posted about this in July 2017.

That year, my son, who lives in a small house with two roommates and three cats, and whose son was at the time two years old, asked for something like this. They don't have room for an actual Christmas tree, but they have favorite ornaments they'd like to display.

It was the perfect solution, and they've used it for two Christmases now. The cats can't climb it and it doesn't get in the way, but they can decorate it and even put presents under it.

When I posted about it in 2017, some of the commenters mentioned that it would also be good for someone living in a nursing home or a dorm.

I posted a tutorial for making it. You can find the tutorial here.

Mary Kay, a quilter who reads my blog and found the tutorial, made a version of her own in 2018 and sent me a photo. Her version turned out beautiful, especially with all her lovely ornaments on it.
Mary Kay's Christmas Tree

I'm glad my Christmas Tree has been so popular. The tutorial is my most-visited blog post ever. Thank you, Sarah, for allowing me to share it again during 12 Days of Christmas in July this year.

Check out all the other posts, which started on July 14 and run through the 25th. Plus, at each blog, you can register to win a prize bundle of fat quarters of the new Christmas collection, Wintertide, sponsored by Figo Fabrics.

Sunday, July 14th

Monday, July 15th

Tuesday, July 16th

The Colorful Fabriholic (you are here)

Wednesday, July 17th

Thursday, July 18th

Friday, July 19th

Saturday, July 20th

Sunday, July 21st

Monday, July 22nd

Tuesday, July 23rd

Wednesday, July 24th

Thursday, July 25th

To enter for the prize drawing, sign up here:

Friday, July 12, 2019


My Work in Glacially Slow Progress is actually progressing! I completed another long row seam.

This is a hand piecing project started in 2007. Members of CSQ Piecing Group have been helping me make this. I've handed out parts multiple times for them to work on, and now it's at the point where I have only two main seams and the bottom border left.

When finished it will be 90 x 90". Here it's shown on my design wall, extended around the corner to the closet and hanging almost to the floor.

All of the fabrics are batiks, including the black.

Every piece was individually cut and marked for hand piecing. Every stitch is hand-sewn (not EPP). Even the long row seams are hand sewn, which is very slow going because of matching all those seam intersections. It's a good thing batiks don't ravel much. With a more ravelly fabric, this project would have long since disintegrated!

Pressing is tedious. I've been spinning the seams as much as possible to reduce the bulk, but still there is a lot of bulk at the intersections.

When it's finished this quilt will be named "How Many?" and I'll print the stats on the label. I've kept records of the number of fabrics used, the number of pieces, the number and names of friends who've helped, and how long it's been in the works.

Is this my oldest UFO? You could say so, but I prefer to think of it as a WIP because it's had continual progress over the years. Hence, Work in Glacially Slow Progress.

Special thanks to all the Piecing Group members who have helped me with this project.

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Wendy's Quilts and More

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

I Caved

I debated whether to participate in Kevin the Quilter's Simply Sensational Summer Scrap Quilt mystery. I'm not really a scrap quilter and I don't have a scrap users "system."

I don't need another big quilt. But I emailed Kevin and asked about making a smaller version with fewer blocks (not tinier pieces), and he suggested making half the quantity called for and adjusting later if need be.

So I caved. I'm in. His mystery calls for two colors with good value contrast; he's using browns and light neutrals. He says all shades of the feature color, light, medium, and dark, would work. But brown by definition is already a dark color; "brown" is the name we give to the dark shades of the  orange family. So a light brown is still at least a medium value or darker.

I looked through my scraps and my stash to see what I have that might work. I chose blues, with a few teals thrown in. I'm going with medium and dark shades so there will be good value contrast with low volume neutrals. I considered some light blues but I didn't like them with the rest of the shades - they stood out too much.

First clue: four patches. I need 92 but I cut enough pieces to make 120, so I may end up with a few extras. Here's the pile of twosies to be chain pieced into four patches.

There's a bit of everything in this pile of scraps - batiks, tonals, modern prints, Civil War repro prints, solids, yarn dyed wovens, Grunge, dots, stars, and even some construction trucks.

Mysteries and working with scraps are not my usual thing, but whenever Kevin has pushed me out of my comfort zone in the past, it's been beneficial for me. Whoo-hoo, clue #1 is complete, what's next???