Found some fabulous “layer cakes” of fabric (10 inch squares) at my local quilt shop. Can’t wait to use these beauties!
I had the chance to see some great projects by my friends Anne T. and Olga P., two very talented quilters. I wanted to share pictures of their work–especially the paper piecing they are doing by hand. Both are working on hexagons by the dozen! Olga created her own stars as well using freezer paper pattern pieces. Also pictured here: a gorgeous leaf bowl made by Anne and her “mystery quilt” in Amish colors. Hats off to you both!
Hello again! Hope you’ve all been keeping busy gearing up for spring projects. There’s a new energy in the air around my house–we’ve started our spring cleaning early, and that’s taken most of my free time. But I still try to find a moment or two for something bright and cheerful on the side. Right now, it’s orange “slabs” for my improvisational modern quilt. Here’s a preview:
I like the look overall but have a few second thoughts. I enjoy the very funky repro-style print featuring huge white flowers and berries on an orange background. But I’m not quite sure about that apricot and white fabric (a 1930s reproduction) I mixed in, or that polka dot. With this style of work, you have to get comfortable with things not exactly “matching” and that can be a bit of a leap. Here’s how they look together–apologies for the dim lighting:
Send me a comment if you have any thoughts on how to improve these! I am seriously considering removing the strips of apricot and white, but then, I could go even farther and totally redo the blocks to make them more consistently orange. My previous post showcased the red and yellow versions of these, which I think worked better together.
More soon as I meditate this, if I find a few minutes to sew in this busy life. Happy almost-spring!
I have been busy! Very, very busy, and although most of my busy-ness hasn’t been focused on crafting, I have had a few inspirations and I’d like to share those with you. My theme? Vintage modern patchwork.
I’ve become obsessed with the book Sunday Morning Quilts, which is such a fun, joyful approach to patchwork and quilt-making for those of us who’d like to use modern techniques to make arty, pretty quilts. The authors focus on improvising with scraps, first by dividing them into colors, and then by turning them into “slabs” – blocks of make-your-own patchwork fabric that sort of resemble log cabin block. Really, they could be any sort of rectangle/square creation you could dream up. If you have strips or scraps on hand, and love putting color on top of color, it can be addictive.
I’m now making “slabs” in red and yellow. I am still drawn to 1930s/40s reproduction fabrics and modern fabrics that have a similar feel: tiny prints, polka dots, little florals that are mostly one color, all in very vibrant hues. My local quilt store provides me with both, luckily. For me, it’s a kick to combine old-school fabrics that are just so bright and cheery with modern-style patchwork. This is an example of what I did with strips of bright red.
And then I made more:
Next: I will trim these and stay-stitch them around the edges. Then: Orange slabs, and then slabs that are off-white with tiny little prints. I have a plan, believe me, for what to do with these… More on that soon. And stay tuned: in an upcoming post, I’ll show you my progress on the little holiday quilt featuring the tiny “mini” prints from my previous post.
Posted in books on quilts and fabric art, colors and color theory, fabric, modern quilting, patchwork | Tagged 1930s reproduction fabric, fabric slab, log cabin block, modern quilt blocks, modern quilting, Sunday Morning Quilts | 2 Comments »
It’s December again. I can hardly believe that the holidays are almost upon us. In a Northern California winter, it may rain, but it never snows. This year the rain has been coming straight over the Pacific from Hawaii, so it’s really quite warm. Yesterday it was around 62 degrees and it hardly feels like December to me, but here’s an attempt to get in the spirit of the season.
Last year I bought a little kit with “mini” prints featuring winter themes–ice skates, wreaths, wrapped gifts, kids on sleds, bells, top-hatted snowmen, and so on–from Connecting Threads. I recently found a “mini” amount of time to work on starting this “mini” quilt made of little patches. I used charm squares (five-inch square pieces), which I subcut into one smaller square and two strips. Then I created sort of half-log cabin blocks (one square, two side strips), and put four of those together into scrappy sets to make these square blocks. The idea came from Three Times the Charm by Me and My Sister Designs.
Here are a few of the individual blocks. After this point, I’ll take nine of the them and put them in a sashed grid. I plan to use white fabric sashing. This mini quilt could be a table topper or rest on a chair when it’s done. Kind of makes me smile. Experiencing the fun side of a snowy day without actually digging my way out is also a plus!
Posted in books on quilts and fabric art, fabric, patchwork, quilt patterns, quilting | Tagged charm square quilt, charm squares, Christmas quilt, holiday quilt, mini quilt, patchwork, small print fabric | 1 Comment »
Happy Thanksgiving, belatedly! I hope you enjoyed a time of peace and joy with your family and/or friends, celebrating this most American of holidays. I was lucky enough to have 9 family members around the table. We roasted a 20.5 pound turkey that kept everyone very well-fed (for days). To liven up my holiday table I created this table runner. I wanted to focus on a single traditional block: the churn dash, or monkey wrench block. Another American standby. I loved how it looked in fall colors, on top of my leaf-tapestry tablecloth. The pretty cornucopia of flowers was selected by my father-in-law and matched perfectly.
I had a few moments of indecision about the border, initially choosing a tiny polka dot. Ultimately I used that dot for the binding and backing because I thought it was too dark for a border. I turned to a pale golden olive green instead. For me, it was a “magic color,” tying everything together. On its own, I’d call it ugly, but mingled with the rest of the colors in the quilt and tablecloth it worked really well.
I almost skipped Halloween, but I did want to share a project I did on the fly as my daughters got ready for trick-or-treat. I made a treat bag for my younger child, who just turned five, to carry her loot in.
It is reversible: the “outside” has two sides, one batik black with an orange witches fabric for its pocket and one side with just the witches fabric; the “reverse” is batik orange with a batik black stripe, and the other side is batik black with another orange-and-black witches/jack o’ lanterns/bats pattern fabric pocket. It did the job nicely for a good stretch of trick-or-treating up until a neighbor answered his door in a scary ghoul costume, sending my daughter shrieking into our arms. After trying to reassure her and hearing her own little pep talk–I heard her whispering quietly, “Self, don’t be scared, self, don’t be scared”–she was still shivering. So she went home to distribute candy to other kids, just as much fun in its own way.
Posted in fabric, quilt patterns, quilting, sewing, sewing patterns, stash | Tagged churn dash block, fall sewing, Halloween bag, Halloween sewing, Thanksgiving quilt, Thanksgiving sewing, Thanksgiving table runner | 2 Comments »
I’d like to take one more chance to document the Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) 2012. There were a couple of remarkable special exhibitions, and this one was my favorite:
These quilts were featured in a special exhibition called “Life,” by Yoshiko Katagiri of Japan. Absolutely ethereal in person. She used a handful of bright traditional Japanese fabrics against pale solid lights and rich dark blacks and navies. It really blew me away. This is the quilt I first noticed, an image of the iconic Mount Fuji:
There’s a light touch in these pieces I really admire, and they combine creativity and tradition in a unique way. I’ve always liked Japanese textiles and design style, and these are fine example of the uses of both.
Another exhibition that caught my attention was called “From Marble to Marvelous,” featuring 20 quilts inspired by marble tile floors in European cathedrals. This one was gorgeous:
I took a close look at a few by Christine Porter of the UK. I own a couple of her books, and though I have not had the chance to make one of her patterns yet, I’m hoping to do so one of these days. Her quilts are beautifully pieced.
Here is a photo of an image of the original marble tiling that this quilt is based on:
And finally, I liked this very modern take on a tile-based design:
One more quilt to share with you. I took a look at the international quilt exhibition during my last few minutes at the festival. This quilt from Israel made me stop in my tracks. It’s called “The Dead Sea,” by Gisha Wogier:
The use of the log cabin blocks for the water here was so clever and the artist chose the perfect colors:
On that note, I’ll leave you, I hope feeling inspired and not too intimidated to go create something spectacular… or just plain fun.
Posted in art, art quilting, quilt artists, Quilt Festival, quilt patterns | Tagged art quilts, Christine Porter, Dead Sea quilt, Gisha Wogier, Italian tile quilts, Japanese quilts, log cabin, Mount Fuji quilt, Pacific International Quilt Festival, PIQF, Yoshiko Katagiri | 1 Comment »