Sunday, November 28, 2021

PCQ Color Challenge

Every month since July I've had "Work on my Color Challenge project" on my list of monthly goals but other than packing some fabrics and taking them along to retreat in July, I haven't done anything. 

And now I'm glad I haven't. 

The challenge is to make something using Split Complementary colors. Split complementary means the colors on each side of the complementary color. In this example, the chosen color is violet, whose complement is yellow. Yellow-green and yellow-orange are the split complementary colors. 

Apparently some of the PCQ members have been struggling with the challenge, so a color class was held recently. They published a recap, and one of the class examples was so similar to what I had planned, same color combo and similar pattern, that I was afraid if I made mine as planned it would look like an un-original copy of the example. 

Back to the drawing board. I still liked my chosen color combo and I had fabrics in my stash that I could use, but I needed a new plan. I found inspiration in a photo by Paul Gill in a recent issue of Arizona Highways magazine. 

I think what's been giving people trouble is the color wheel illustrations that show pure, bright hues, no variation in tint, tone, or shade. In the photo, there is blue in the lichen-covered rocks, but it is very subtle and greyed down, in values ranging from sparkling light to deep dark. The split complements of blue are yellow-orange and red-orange. In the photo these leafy colors range from light to dark, and although they look like bright fall foliage, they're all toned down compared to the pure hues in the color wheel. 

So I revised my palette and I'm using these fabrics:

I've started planning and cutting. You'll have to wait to see what I'm making, but you won't be at all surprised. 

Link ups: Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh Quilt

Friday, November 26, 2021

Sock Monkey Plus Flimsy

Another donation quilt; this one will go to the local family services agency. 

As always, there's a need for quilts for older boys, so here's one that's not babyish. At 44 x 56" it's a good size for a grade school or middle school age kid. 

The sock monkey fabric is ageless, right? DH thinks so - he likes it! I snuck in some reclaimed shirt fabrics to keep it masculine. 

I found flannel in the club's stash to cobble together a backing. I'm scheduled to use the long arm in mid-December and I'm hoping to FMQ a meander all over it from the front of the machine rather than following a panto. We'll see. 

Link ups: Confessions of a Fabric AddictAlycia Quilts

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Not Out of My System Yet

I'm still obsessed with the Kool Kaleidoscope concept. First there was my original in autumn colors, made using strata per Ricky Tims's directions. Then there was my green striped one, using striped fabric instead of pieced strata. The striped fabric worked surprisingly well.

So well, in fact, that I wanted to experiment with another striped KK. While on vacation in September I bought a pink stripe and a couple of companion fabrics to play some more with the concept. 

At the time I didn't realize that a painterly stripe doesn't work as well as a rigid stripe. Because the stripes vary in width, they don't always match up perfectly. But I was so far into it by the time I figured that out that I decided to just live with the variations and imperfections. It's still pretty cool...

The pink tonal print was an oldie from stash, but it works really well here. 

I tried something different with this version. The outer piece of each Wedge, before attaching Wedgies and Butts, is the same fabric as the background. This emphasizes the star or hexagon shape more instead of a round-ish 12-sided shape. 

I like where this is going, stripey imperfections and all. 

Link ups: Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts; Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Better Photos of HOW MANY

 As promised, I was finally able to take some better photos of HOW MANY.  On a - rare - overcast day I borrowed a quilt stand, enlisted DH's help, and took photos. 

Turns out, this quilt is very hard to photograph well. To get any detail in the black, the light portion is blown out, and to see the colors in the light part, the black loses any detail. This is the best photo of the bunch. 

I'm entering HOW MANY into the AQS Paducah show in the Group category. They require a full on shot and a detail shot. My detail shot turned out pretty well. Custom quilting by my friend Sandy. 

For entries into the group category AQS requires a photo of the group of participants as well. Here we are, proudly showing off the finished top, after our group worked on hand piecing it for several years. 

I need to get my AQS Paducah show entry in this week. Wish me luck! 

Link ups: My Quilt Infatuation, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Alycia Quilts, Wendy's Quilts and More

Monday, November 15, 2021

Snake Quilt Update

 Only 10 more blocks needed., 5 double arcs and five singles. 

So I'll just keep plugging away at them. I'm still loving these colors. 

When I get the rest of the blocks made I can play with the block placement to make sure the same fabric isn't too close to itself. And I can decide what kind of loopy effect I want; there are many potential layouts possible. 

Link ups: Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh Quilt

Friday, November 12, 2021

Asian Squares: A Village Quilt

 We all know the phrase "It takes a village," right? This simple donation quilt is truly a village effort. 

A couple months ago, a deceased quilter's stash was being distributed in the PC quilting room. At the end of the event, there was a baggie of 6" squares of Asian prints left that apparently no one wanted. While cleaning up, George said he'd take them and cut them up for dog bed stuffing. Wait! No! They're too pretty to just become dog bed stuffing. I said I'd take them and put them together in a simple checkerboard for a hospice quilt. 

I didn't find a light fabric in the club's stash for the alternate squares, but I did find one in my own stash that was actually left over from 2014 from one of my book quilts. It's a tiny Asian geometric print with metallic gold, perfect for the light alternate squares, and I had enough. I'm so glad to finally find a use for this! I cut the squares and kitted them up for social sewing. 


I was sewing pairs together in the quilting room one day and a PCQ member, Irene, came up to me and asked what I was working on. I showed her and told her the story about the baggie of squares. She replied that she remembered that baggie. She had actually taken that baggie of Asian squares earlier and took out a few that she could use, and returned the rest. She was glad someone was using the rest, and she offered to help me on the long arm when I was ready to quilt.

When I had pairs together I put them on the design wall in the quilting room, and the girls suggested moving them around to get a pleasing layout. Four or five people helped, and we ended up with a layout where the blue prints flowed among the earth tone prints. Thanks to all who helped. 

I was able to find a border fabric in the club's stash; thank you to whoever donated it. The colors, Asian theme, and metallic gold are perfect and there was just enough for a 3" border, bringing the size of the top up to about 54 x 65 inches, a good size for a hospice quilt. 

One of the girls who regularly goes to social sewing offered a backing fabric from her personal collection of Japanese fabrics. It's perfect! Gold metallic geometric print on a deep maroon ground. She generously contributed enough for the backing, with the off-cuts used for the binding. Thanks, Hiromi! 

My scheduled time to use the long arm finally arrived. The day before, I went over to the room to choose a panto, select a thread color, and wind bobbins. The girl who trained me on the long arm was there and she helped me choose the thread color, a light sage that blended well with everything. We looked at several beiges and golds, but the sage was actually much more harmonious. Thanks, Debbie, for your suggestions and help. 

The day of quilting Irene came and helped. She's an expert, and I couldn't have done it without her. There's so much to remember about how to use the machine, and it had been awhile since my initial training. I do feel more confident now and I'm grateful for the extra help. 

So this "nothing special" quilt that will be donated to hospice is truly the product of a community of quilters. As they say, "It takes a village." Thank you to all the helpers and donors who made this quilt happen! 

Link ups: Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Alycia Quilts

Monday, November 8, 2021

Patio Pillows

 Okay, so it's not a Design Wall Monday post but I can't resist celebrating the completion of my patio pillows. Just FYI, the design wall looks the same as it did last time, with snake blocks on the wall. 

The patio pillow project (say that three times fast!) started out as something for practicing free motion quilting, and it certainly was effective in doing that. I feel much more confident in tackling FMQ now. I'm certainly not very skilled, that will take lots of practice, but I'm no longer paralyzed by "I can't" anymore, either. 

I like the pops of color the pillows add to our patio. Our patio is covered and it faces northeast which is excellent in this climate. We get a lot of sun early in the morning but not in the afternoon. The batik fabrics will fade from the bright sun, so we'll have to bring them into the house when we're not using them. I have a basket for them in a corner near the patio door. 

Each of the four panels is different. The first is wavy lines, quilted with the walking foot. No FMQ practice here because I wanted to try out this wavy line concept. 

The second was simple leaves along a meander. I can FMQ a pretty good meander, and a friend loaned me a book about how to add motifs to a meander to expand your repertoire. After some practice on a muslin sandwich I quilted this. 

The third panel was spirals.

And the fourth one is leafy vines. This one is my favorite, but it took a lot more planning of the placement of the leaf clusters.  This would be hard to do allover on a larger quilt and get the placement okay. 

The last step was trimming them to size, adding zippers, and sewing them into pillowcases. Ta-done!

Just in time for temperate weather, and we can use them all winter because it's very pleasant to enjoy the sun in the wintertime here. 

Friday, November 5, 2021

Friday Finish: Latest LCT

 My Log Cabin Triangles quilt with the white-based prints is finished. Spiral quilting, label, binding, and all. 

So hard to get good photos here - the sun is either too bright or the shade is too deep, and the sun is in the wrong place. Here the quilt is in deep shade but the sun was almost on the camera.

The spiral quilting went smoothly. There might be a tiny pucker, but once the quilt is washed it won't be noticeable. 

I'm glad I took time to quilt this right away. I'll share it with the PC Quilters at my trunk show in December and the girls who make veterans quilts can have the pattern if they want. Tutorial here for Quilts of Valor or any charitable purpose. 

This version finished at 54 by 72", too tall to fit on my wall vertically so here it is horizontally. 

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

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Still Time...

 Remember my life sized Christmas Tree wall hanging that can be used to display real ornaments? 

There's still time to make one if you like. Get the tutorial here: 

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Quilting Practice

 Last week it was FMQ practice on my domestic machine; yesterday it was long arm practice. Lots of quilting accomplished in the last few days! 

I've been gaining confidence in my FMQ skills with each of the panels for my patio pillow covers. Here's the last panel, quilted with vines and leaves.

I used the same variegated thread I used on the other panels so they all coordinate, even though the quilting designs are different. 

Now that all four panels are done - and the weather's getting cool enough to sit out on my patio - I need to hurry up and get these pillow covers finished. That's one of my goals for this month. 

I had time booked on PCQ's long arm yesterday and an experienced helper, so I was able to get the Asian Squares charity quilt quilted. 

The panto is called River Run and reminds me of an Asian sand garden with raked lines and swirls. I thought it would enhance this project, and even though there's a lot of bobbles and wobbles in the quilting, I think it came out okay. I used a pale sage thread because all the golds or khakis looked too red against the metallic gold alternate squares, and cream was too light on the  darker prints. The sage blends nicely with the print squares, and even blends into the backing. 

The backing is a Japanese print of gold metallic on maroon that was donated specifically for this quilt by one of the girls from Wednesday social sewing. Thanks, Hiromi! I'll use the off-cuts from the backing for the binding. It's perfect!

I re-learned how to use the long arm, and I think I'll remember more this time. I can sign up to use it again any time after Nov. 23, so I should probably book time after Thanksgiving to use it so I won't forget what I've learned. Just need to finish a top and make a backing...

Quilting is just one step in the process, so I need to continue to work on both of these projects to get them finished. I'd like to have the Asian Squares quilt done by Monday to donate it at the PCQ general meeting Monday night. I think that's do-able. 

Linking up with Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Monday, November 1, 2021

October Stash Report and Goals Update

 A busy month; my "optional" project turned into my primary project. I debated whether to quilt my latest LCT top for my trunk show in December because it's easier to show and store a top than a finished quilt. But I really like how spiral quilting enhances the LCT layout so I ordered backing and quilted it. Some of my other projects had less progress as a result, but I'm satisfied with all that I got done this month. 

As long as I was ordering backing for LCT, I ordered a couple other cuts of wide backing, so my stash report took a hit this month. Moving in the wrong direction here, and I hope I can get to the break even point by the end of the year. 

October Stash Report: 

IN this month: 6 yards (3 cuts wide backings)
OUT this month: 4 yards (LCT back, 1-7/8 yards wide backing. LCT binding, 5/8 yard. Gold metallic print for Asian Squares top, 1-1/2 yards.)

IN YTD: 94-5/8 yards
OUT YTD: 89-1/4 yards
YTD Net change: 5-3/8 yards added to the stash

Since I don't count fabric used in a quilt top until the flimsy is finished, I'm not counting all that I've used in my Snake blocks yet. But the blocks are coming along, with several more made this month. 

I'm also not counting the yardage used in HOW MANY. I started it long before I started tracking my stash usage. I tallied how many different batik fabrics (345 in the top), but not how much used. Some were charm squares, some were FQs, and some were actual yardage. The backing was custom dyed for this quilt and I didn't count it into my stash so I won't count it out. And since I'm not counting anything else used in this quilt, I might as well not count the binding, which is from years ago when I was collecting batiks for this project. 

Goals Update: 

October Recap: 

1. Continue making blocks for the Snake Quilt. Yes, made several this month at social sewing.

2. Start working on the color challenge project. No, and I'm glad I haven't started yet; my concept is too much like a recent class example. 

3. Practice FMQ on the last pillow panel. Yes, quilted vines with clusters of leaves.

4. Finish sewing the sleeve on How Many.  YES!!! Finally finished the very last stitch on this Work In Glacially Slow Progress.

5. Finish piecing the current donation quilt and quilt it on PCQ's long arm. Progress, the Asian squares top is pieced but I can't get scheduled on the long arm until Nov. 2.

6. Find and start a new project for social sewing on Wednesdays, another donation quilt. Yes, started a new Plus quilt with sock monkey fabric. Piecing is underway. 

7. Optional: Make a backing for the latest LCT QOV, layer and baste and start spiral quilting. Yes, not only started but the quilt is finished and bound. 

October's donation quilt goes on the long arm on Tuesday, and will get donated next week. The top was pieced at social sewing, from a combination of donated squares and my fabric. I can't find a photo of the flimsy, so this one of the layout will have to do. 

November Goals:

1. Quilt the Asian squares donation quilt on PCQ's long arm on Nov 2. Bind and finish it.

2. Continue making blocks for the snake quilt.

3. Finish the sock monkey Plus quilt top at social sewing. Make a backing and book time on the long arm in early December to quilt it. 

4. Come up with a new plan for the color challenge, which is due in February. 

5. Assemble the batik pillow covers. 

6. Play with the KK concept using the pink striped print bought in Florida.

Now that the weather is comfortable for sitting out on our patio, I need to finish up the pillows for our chaise lounges. These were intended for FMQ practice, and I quilted leaves on the fourth panel this month, using the same variegated thread as on the other panels. My confidence in my FMQ skills has come a long way because of this project. 

That's plenty to keep me busy in November, considering that I'll have a lot of non-quilty stuff going on this month. 

So while this isn't exactly a Design Wall post, it is what I'm working on, so I'm linking up with Small Quilts and Doll Quilts and Love Laugh Quilt.