Monday, November 18, 2019

Deadlines and Commitments

It seems like I have a lot of pressing deadlines, including:

  • Prep WIGSP kits to hand out at December Piecing Group. Deadline 12/2
  • Bind and photograph Checkerboards and Dresdens quilt, enter into spring Paducah AQS show. Deadline 12/5
  • Plan and work on Secret Sister gift for Sew Bee It. Deadline 12/13
The biggest one is getting the checkerboard quilt entered into the AQS show. However, it needs to be trimmed and bound, and for that I have to clear off the table in the sewing room so I can trim it. 

In order to clear off the table, I have to move the parts for WIGSP to somewhere else. Okay, deep breath, there's plenty of time if I just plan and organize this and focus on one step at a time. 

Here's the progress with the WISGP parts. I need 396 of them, actually more so I can distribute the colors and values. 

Just to make sure I've got enough of the right values, here they are in greyscale.

Since these are being added to the top of the already-pieced portion, I need to make sure the prints and values flow so the new row doesn't look like an add-on. To do that I'll need the design wall. 

The unpieced parts, tiny as they are, take up a lot more room than the sewn hexies. What's on the wall here will actually be one row of hexies, but I had to stack them to fit on the wall as I laid out the colors. 

After a few tweaks, here's a final check of the values:

Okay, I think this will do. Now to start packaging up kits. Every kit will get half a hexie plus one black triangle. 22 kits in all. I need 19 for my group so there will be a couple extra for me to piece. At least I don't have to have them all pieced by 12/2. 

PS - I mis-calculated. I didn't need 396 of those small kite pieces. I only needed 192. I cut and marked way more than I need. Anyone want them? The short side measures 1" finished and the triangles measure about 3" high finished.

With the parts I actually need on the wall, I can clean off the cutting table, rearrange the room, and trim the big quilt. 

The binding is prepped and ready to go. My plan is to get the quilt trimmed and the binding sewn on today so I can start stitching it down by hand on the back. Yes, I'm hand stitching this one, I'm hoping it gets accepted into the AQS show so the binding needs to be hand stitched. 

Meanwhile, the pieces I need for WIGSP can stay on the wall, or I can start packaging them up into kits as time permits. A busy week ahead!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Checkerboards and Dresdens Back from the Quilter

I picked up my Checkerboards and Dresdens quilt from the long armer yesterday. I'm so pleased with the quilting! She listened and did exactly what I wanted, and it looks great.

I asked for a variation on continuous curves in the checkerboards that makes kind of a diamond star with a deep curve. I showed her a drawing of it, and she nailed it. She uses a Stattler Stitcher (computer guided) and it came out perfect.

I couldn't be happier with the way the quilting turned out!

Now to get it trimmed, bound, labeled, sleeve added and photographed by the Dec. 6 deadline to enter it in the spring Paducah AQS show.

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

Monday, November 11, 2019

WIGSP: Tiny Little Kite Shapes

Remember my WIGSP? Work In Glacially Slow Progress. It's been hand pieced by members of my Piecing Group.  Seven go-rounds so far, starting in February 2008.

It's too short for the bed. I'll take off the top border and add another row of hexies. Because of the light to dark gradient, it will be better to add the new row to the top. I'll have the girls in Piecing Group help once again to piece the additional sections I need. This will be hand out #8 for them for this project.

The hexies are made of tiny kite shapes that form triangles.

Each hexie must be cut from a template, then marked for hand piecing with another template. My deadline to get kits together for Piecing Group is Dec. 4. I need 396 hexies. Probably more, so I can balance out the colors. Thank goodness I still have the templates from this project.

Cutting, cutting, cutting...
Marking, marking, marking...
I just have to keep going.

In other news, STLMQG met Saturday and all the Paint Chip Challenge projects were due. The entries were all pinned on the wall in three categories, Monochromatic, Complimentary, and Analogous color schemes. Members voted for their favorite in each group. My entry won the prize for the analogous category! (Scroll down to Friday's post for the story of it.)
Paint Chip Challenge, Analogous Color Palettes

Linking up with
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, November 8, 2019

Paint Chip Challenge

STLMQG has had several programs about working with color and color schemes this year. Back in the summer we had a presentation about monochromatic, complementary, analogous, split complementary, etc. color schemes. Along with that, a challenge:

  • Select several paint chips from the many provided.
  • Create a complementary or analogous color scheme.
  • Use the colors you chose to make a mini quilt, not larger than 10" square. 
  • Must be quilted.
  • Can add a neutral if needed.
  • Due at the November meeting.
I pulled paint chips, trying to choose something I could find in fabric, and keeping in mind value contrast and levels of intensity so I'd have something to work with. 
Very pale green, bright coral, bright turquoise, indigo blue
(Sorry for poor photo, the paint chips were very hard to photograph and get true color)

First I pulled the turquoise and coral, which are complementary colors. I knew there'd be plenty of fabric options out there in these colors to do something with. The challenge with complementary colors is to balance the proportion so they enhance rather than compete with each other. 

Then I added the pale green and the dark blue. Together with the turquoise, they're analogous colors. Many of the quilts I've made over the years have been analogous palettes; if I had to say, I'd choose it as my favorite color scheme. 

Having two possible color palettes to work with gave me a lot of flexibility in planning my project. 

Then I dithered. I pulled fabrics from my stash that would work and took them to retreat, but didn't touch them there. I was thinking I wanted to do something improvisational, which is so not me. After the retreat, I decided I wasn't going to participate, and left the baggie with the fabrics and the paint chips laying around in my sewing room. 

It taunted me. 

Okay, I can try to do something. I tried sketching a few ideas, log cabin-ish and wonky strips, etc., and I didn't like anything. Well, I don't have to participate....

Then my husband and I went out to dinner at a restaurant that has artwork on the walls of Santa Fe style doorways, turquoise doors and door frames against adobe walls. 

What if I use my colors to create a doorway?  I did. I cobbled it together improv style, with just a little planning. It took a surprising amount of seam ripping and reconfiguring, but it's done. 

I combined the analogous palette with the complementary color. I don't know if it'll be acceptable for the challenge; it's sort of a split complementary palette. 

Oh well, doesn't matter, I did it and it's finished. 9-5/8" by 9-3/4". Whoo-hoo!

The quilting doesn't show up, but it's there around the door, door frame, and steps, in the ditch with monofilament thread.  

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday

Update, Nov. 10: At the STLMQG meeting yesterday, all the Paint Chip Challenge entries were pinned to the wall in categories, Monochromatic, Complimentary, and Analogous, and members voted for their favorite in each category. Mine won in the Analogous category!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Prepping for Sew Bee It Blocks

My turn to hand out to my bee, Sew Bee It, is this Saturday. I have a plan!

The girls in the bee do really well at creating a cohesive palette when I give them a print to reference. That concept worked really well when they made green blocks for me several years ago, and again last year when they made Have Faith blocks to coordinate with a navy focus print, shown in last Monday's Design Wall post. 

This year the blocks will be easy but will require attention to accurate seam allowances. Simple strips, each strip finishes 1" wide.  9" finished block plus seam allowances.

I'm giving the girls the outer olive strips, the newsprint strips, and the center strip. These will be constant in all the blocks.

Everyone will get a kit with these pieces, and directions. I'm asking each person to add four strips of their own fabrics, using the center strip as a guide to the palette.

Here are my test blocks showing how they'll go together in a basket weave pattern, and you can see the plan in the photo above.

The olive and newsprint edges will define the overall pattern, and those fabrics plus the center print strip will give continuity to the whole. Each person's unique additions will add variety and interest.
With a couple of borders, the overall result will be a throw size quilt. This project is destined to be a donation.

Linking up with
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Love Laugh Quilt

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

October Stash Report and Goals Update

Due to three days of sewing at Sew Me St. Louis, October was hugely productive in both stash usage and projects finished or moved along. Whoo-hoo!

October Stash Report:
IN this month: 2-1/4 yards (FQ from Sew Me STL.  2 yards wide backing.)
OUT this month: 21-7/8 yards (Backing for Laurie's baby quilt, 1-3/4 yards.  Binding for same, 1/2 yard. Backing for SSSSM, 2 yards. Binding, 1/2 yard.  Triangle flimsy, 4-7/8 yards. Orphan blocks, etc. donated, 12.25 yards)

IN YTD: 98-7/8 yards
OUT YTD: 119-7/8 yards
YTD Net Change: 21 yards out

Another reason the stash report looks good is due to a donation of orphan blocks and parts that I sent to someone who can use them. It's a relief to have that stuff out of my sewing room. 4 pounds, 6.2 ounces according to the post office. This package looks as big as a small turkey! No wonder it feels like a weight lifted.

A few projects moved along or made it to the finish line, including the all-important special baby girl quilt. That said, I didn't quite meet all my goals for the month.

October Goals Recap: 
1. Quilt Kevin's SSSSM top. DONE
2. Prep for binding demo at Sew Me STL using the SSSSM quilt as the sample. DONE; successful demo and binding is finished. 
3. Finish baby quilt for Laurie's girl baby. DONE
4. Look at kitted projects and decide what to work on at Sew Me; prep and pack. DONE - prepped and packed too much!
5. Have fun at three day retreat at Sew Me STL. Oh, yeah, definitely accomplished this!
6. Quilt the purple CCD quilt. Not done. On hold due to other pressing priorities. 
7. Keep up with bee blocks. Done, even got ahead at Sew Me STL.
8. Think about new stretch project. Showed concepts for Dresden Medallion to friends at AFS and made test blocks.
Baby quilt for a special girl coming soon

My version of Kevin the Quilter's SSSSM. 
Will be donated to Project Linus.

Triangle UFO flimsy

Dresden Medallion test block

Due to a schedule change, I need to switch gears and shift priorities in November. I have a lot of deadline projects that have to be worked on right away, including a group collaboration project and block kits to hand out for two bees.

November Goals: 
1. Prep Sew Bee It block kits to hand out at STLMQG. Deadline 11/8.
2. Prep collaboration project for group sew day. Deadline 11/11.
3. Prep WIGSP kits to hand out at December Piecing group. Deadline 12/2
4. Plan and work on Secret Sister gift for Sew Bee It. Deadline 12/13
5. Keep up with other bee blocks

Other: Remember to take everything to STLMQG on 11/9:
  - Projet Linus quilts
  - Bee block kits to hand out
  - Items to donate for ticket raffle

The biggest project for November will be getting kits put together for Piecing Group to work on. Remember, my WIGSP is currently a row of hexies too short for the bed. I need to remove the top border and add a row. It's all hand pieced, and there are 36 little kite-shaped pieces in each hexie. I need to cut pieces - with a template - and mark them for hand piecing. Then put the top on the wall, and lay out the new pieces so they look like they blend in with the rest of the top, not look like add-ons. I need 396 little kite pieces and 32 black triangles. That's a lot of cutting and marking! Thank goodness I still have the templates and enough of the black batik left.

So if I don't get back to the purple CCD from October's list, or the new stretch project, the Dresden Medallion, it's because I have a lot of pressing deadlines for November. Wish me luck that I can get everything done!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Design Wall Monday: Have Faith

Last year when it was my turn to hand out in my bee, I gave the girls instructions and some of the parts for Jaime's Have Faith block. Thank you, Jaime, for the use of your block.

I gave them low volume backgrounds and a focus print for the small plus, the only constant element in this quilt. This fabric came from the freebie table at guild a couple years ago. The word Botanical is on the part of the selvage that I have, but there's no info about it other than that. Thank you to whoever donated it.

The girls in the bee made blocks for me last year; each person added their own fabric for the large plus taking their cue for color from the print. There are big pluses in navy, aqua, and mustard, and because they were inspired by the print, they go well together.

The plan was to get the blocks back from the girls - they made 12 - and work on this project at this year's retreat. I was able to finish the rest of the blocks for a total of 20. After some cutting ahead of time, I also constructed sashing units. Jamie's design doesn't call for sashing, but I'm adding to her design to create additional plus motifs. Here are all the parts - blocks, sashing and border components - on my design wall today.

I love it! Jaime's design already has a lot of movement, but the additional plus motifs in the sashing and cornerstones create strong but broken diagonals that add even more movement.

The colors in the fabric above are more true; for some reason the aqua blocks all look too blue in this photo.

Ideally I'd be able to leave this up on the all, take down sashing parts as needed and add them to the blocks and rows, and get this assembled into a flimsy over the next few weeks. Due to a surprise schedule change, that isn't going to happen, so all these parts are going back into the box until I can get back to them. This project is destined to become a donation, so there's no deadline.

More about the schedule change in another post.

Monday Link Ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Love Laugh Quilt