Sunday, August 5, 2012

Ugly Fat Quarter Class

   I dunno. I think all fabric has something to like about it. Some may be more of an acquired taste, while some may just not be your style. Others are just difficult to work with...maybe for a color, design or size problem. While I adore Kaffe Fassett fabric, one of my favorite quilts made from it had my husband comment: While there are many aspects of it that I appreciate, looking at it is not one of them. Talk about a diplomat...but what he was really saying was that the quilt was UGLY!
   When my quilt guild was looking for new programs for next year, we talked about having a class based on using up some ugly fabric. The class evolved to be an ugly fat quarter class. So I got to work designing a pattern that would use but not hide an ugly (or difficult to use) fat quarter. I'll be posting photos and instructions soon...but until then, I'd love to see your ugly fat quarters that you'd like to use up...and ship out! Or, maybe fall in love with all over again and keep for the winter!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Starting a New Quilt

   I've always admired Sunshine and Shadow quilts...especially Amish ones. And I've always wanted to try one. I even have Eleanor Burns' book on how to make one in a day...but I can't find it!
   Plus...the fabric I want to use isn't strip's boxes of berries, and I have to fussy cut. So, in for a dime, in for a dollar...I'm making it from 2 1/2" squares.
   Here's a first look as I'm putting it together...what do you think? I'll post more as it gets put together. One of the joys of doing a quilt this way is that you can rearrange the pieces easily because they don't get sewn together in strips.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Wizard of Oz Quilt

   A friend of mine has a quilt shop, and I loved hanging out in the store and quilting the day away whenever possible! One day, a Jackie came by with a special project. Her husband adored The Wizard of Oz, and she had been secretly buying up Wizard of Oz fabric to make him an anniversary quilt. Trouble was, she wanted to have an original quilt, and showcase all the fabulous fabrics, but she couldn't find a pattern that worked across the board!
   It seemed the only solution was to make a custom quilt, and I jumped at the change to help design the quilt. There really weren't any rules: just to make sure that the best parts of the fabrics came through and that the quilt was instantly recognized as The Wizard of Oz.
  Some of the fabrics had large images, such as the Wicked Witch, Glinda, and the Emerald City. They dictated the size of the blocks. Other small scale fabrics included plain yellow brick road, ruby slippers on the yellow brick road, fields of poppies, Wicked Witches on dark green, circles with characters on red, quotes, smaller portraits, apple tree fabric, wands on deep blue, Glinda floating in her bubble, Dorothy, Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion swirling on the yellow brick road...and film strips with different movie scenes...the list was extensive!
   Every block of this quilt involved Jackie's decision making. My part was to figure out how best to fussy cut the fabric, and what kinds of blocks would show off this amazing fabric!

   Of course, it was easy to turn the yellow brick road into sashing! It just seemed to make sense! We needed some contrast for the cornerstones, and we didn't want to have bits and pieces of the characters cut the magic wand fabric was the choice! To keep the character of the film strips, we bordered two of the blocks with black to make them the right size. Whenever there was a few inches or more, we incorporated as many different fabrics as we could. the block made from diagonal strips is one way wer tried to show some of the different fabrics in the quilt.
   One of the biggest challenges for me was that the fabric had so many colors...I loved the rich reds, greens, yellows and browsn, but the pastels threw me for a loop or two!
   The pinwheel block in the top row was one of the biggest challenges...the fussy cutting was especially important so the 4 main characters were shown in their entireties. You can see what the fabric looked like at the start in the block diagonally down and to the right of the pinwheel block.
   Once finished, Jackie embellished some of the blocks with beads and embroidery, and her husband was THRILLED!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Vintage Silk Tie Quilt

It's been a while since I've posted, mostly because I've been struggling to finish a few projects! Here is one of them: a friend asked me to layer and quilt a quilt top she had purchased at a garage sale. It was one of those quilts made from old ties. It was small, she said. It sounded like I would enjoy the project. It was all triangles, and I thought for a while about the best way to free motion quilt it. Of course there were complications: not enough batting, having to sew the backing together, and all the triangles were hand-sewn! It was a nice experience connecting with someone else's work, but over time the triangles had stretched, and it was difficult to get the quilt top smooth. Plus, the quilt measured 78" x 61"...not small at ALL! Here are the results (the friend has to tack the binding still)!