Monday, October 31, 2011

FFFC #62 Progress Continues

I really had a lot of fun working on this piece all day yesterday.  Spent way more time than I expected, and made a few costly (time-wise) mistakes, like accidentally adhering the two halves of my triangles to each other when ironing on the freezer paper... but I think it's been worth it.  With a little luck, I will have time tonight to finish the fusing.  Here's a photo-journal of the day:

I used AutoCAD to enlarge one of the squares from my last post to a six-inch size, printed it onto freezer paper, and then adhered it to triangles of black fabric that had been backed with fusible webbing.

Here's a look at the first cut-out pieces, making sure I know where they all came from!

Starting to see the pattern emerge....

OMG, what have I done?
After all that cutting, I laid out a piece of white fabric and used a heat-erase marker to rule out 6" x 6" squares.  Turned out my pieces were not precisely 6" (moi, imprecise? ) but the design allowed for some fudge factor, thankfully. The printout of the full design was needed to make sure I was putting things in the right places.
Starting to take shape...

Trying to separate pieces that had been accidentally fused resulted in a severe case of the fuzzies.  Hope I can trim/brush them out when I'm done.  I gave up at about 10 pm last night.
Here's how it looked at bedtime.  I had put up all the cut pieces that were not fused wrong, so tonight I have to re-cut more fused pieces... but it will be worth it, I really love this design.

I will probably post it to the FFFC site after completing the fusing. It was suggested that we could just do paper or cut-outs photographed, but I love this one so much I want it to be a finished piece.  I am hoping I can get some good feedback on how to bind and quilt it.  I'm not sure if it wants a black border or not.  Can't wait to see what the other FFFC members have done, but don't want to look too soon, it's more fun to see a big "reveal" at the end.

Organic Quilt progress

So I got as far as putting together ten rows of blocks, and then sewing together four of the ten into a pieced top.  Only five more seams to get it completed, but I am sidetracked on FFFC for the next day or so....

Sunday, October 30, 2011

FFFC #62 in progress

I've been having fun making repetitive patterns with the Notan process.  I'm not sure if this was exactly the intent of the challenge, but once I saw Ticotsky's piece, I had to try it for myself.  Using AutoCAD software made it easy to try several variations.  Here are three that I tried out:

And here is the one I decided to make up - 
(with some simplifications when I started trying to cut it out!)

Friday, October 28, 2011

FFFC #62

It's Fast Fabric Friday Challenge time again.  I have been a terrible slacker about doing these.  Once I let an excuse get in my way, it was easier and easier to let another one sneak in.  But this month's challenge looks like a LOT of fun...   It is to use the Japanese technique of Notan.  I had never heard of this, but I love it already!  

Here is a beautiful example by Lynn Ticotsky

This example popped up quickly, and I've discovered another interesting Art Quilter in the process.  It will take some work before I figure out how to create such a fantastic image - but I'm ready to start now!  Darn job, anyway.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Somersault Quilt

Here are a few pictures of the progress on the Karla Alexander class quilt.  It is So interesting to step back and see it on the wall.  I am able to get about 13 feet away, which meets Karla's "ten foot rule."  But I discovered taking a photo and looking at the photo is an even better way to get a fresh look at the overall composition.  

It was so exciting to be able to put the squares up on the design wall!

Not sure if you can tell with this photo, but there's a small glitch in the upper right corner.
Last night I just put the pieces up following the book design, not worrying about which particular fabric went where.  (I looked at a couple other possible patterns that could be made, but decided I like this one best.  Especially since I'd already put on all the little squares.)   Tonight I have a shopping outing planned, but tomorrow I will start moving them around so that the different fabrics are more randomly distributed.  And figure out what to do with the glitch.  It's only a minor glitch.  I sewed a few too many little squares on, and don't have enough plain ones.  So I can rip them off or maybe use a couple slightly off-size blocks that I've set aside.  Or make a new block.  There was plenty of fabric left over, but somehow the idea of stepping back to make another block instead of moving forward is sort of unappetizing.

I'm really pleased with the visual quality and excited to see this thing put together an draped over the back of my couch.  While trying to get motivated to wake up this morning I was contemplating quilting designs.  I am still a "stitch in the ditcher" when it comes to skills, but I really admire the look of the more densely quilted "New Modern" quilts I see on line.  So maybe I'll add some diagonal lines?  Maybe in the opposite direction from the pattern...?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Workshop Planning and Organic Quilt

I haven't been blogging much. I've been completely absorbed in and obsessed by Pinterest.  It's a familiar pattern.  I find something new and different, and can't tear myself away.  Then I get bored.  I'm now bored with Facebook, thank god!.  Pinterest is different, I can browse images, mostly of art quilts, for days.

I'm starting to get serious about getting ready for the Nancy Crow workshop in February.  This involves buying lots and lots of fabric.  My estimate is I'll need to take at least 80 yards of solids.  I've never bought many solids, so there's lots of shopping to do.  I don't want to be limited  by my fabric choices, but at $7-8 a yard... well you do the math.  This week I ordered, and received (IN TWO DAYS!) a 16-yard Kona Cotton sampler package from Pink Chalk Fabrics.  It's beautiful!  I love to look at it.  Of course there's also the tuition, meals, and housing.  But I'm totally psyched, thrilled, and a bit scared.  I hope I have some decent work to take with me.

That leads me to wonder why I'm spending time on the Karla Alexander quilt project and not the art quilts I always think about but too rarely work on.  But it's good sewing practice, and I need that! I'm calling it "The Organic Quilt" because that's the term she used.  I didn't really get it because we are all cutting the same curvy blocks.  But everyone else did blue or purple like the example.  I did green.  And mostly earthy greens.  To match the NEW COUCH!.  Anyway, I enjoyed the class.  It was low stress and enjoyable, and the quilt's coming along well - since we cut blocks prior to class we could actually achieve something in the 6-7 hrs. we were there.  It sure goes fast!  I have all 70+ blocks cut out, sliced, shuffled and reassembled.  Now I need to trim to size, add the accents, and figure out the layout.  Karla says to do the layout before adding the accents, but my NEW DESIGN WALL isn't quite big enough for that.  I guess I'll do what I can.

I should have posted about the design wall last week.  Having a DH at home between jobs sure is a blessing! He built a removable styrofoam wall that is about 7 feet wide, and 4 feet tall.  7' because that's the space we have between light switches.  And 4' because that's a standard sheet of insulation.  I LOVE it!

Here's the finished version, with the fabric somewhat  permanently attached.
Yes, that's just blue painters tape.  But I will probably change this white flannel to a piece of batting at some point.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Slow March...

The slogging through the UFO list continues.  Tonight I finished up the Acropolis piece that was started at QSDS.  I also did a really ugly friendship block that I don't think I'll even bother photographing.  The person wanted scrappy, fall, earth tone prints.  and the block was this strange set of 2" x 3 1/2" bars... maybe I will photograph it tomorrow... I really didn't get it, but it involved sewing 18 small pieces together, and when I had completed my first try, it was a full half-inch shorter than it was supposed to be.  So I forced myself to check my 1/4" seams, and my cutting, and go through the WHOLE THING all over again.  I guess I cut too small typically because on this second try I left what I thought was "extra" but it came out just right.  I guess that was a good, but painful and tedious learning experience.

For the Acropolis, I thought it was "basically done." But it still needed batting and backing (a lot of stitching was done on just the front and the stabilizer).  So that needed a bit of quilting to hold it together.  And attempting to cheat and not baste properly resulted in a big bulge and a lot of stitch-ripping.  After that, I decided to try a mitered binding, based on a tutorial by Susan Brubaker Knapp.  Suffice it to say that it's harder than it looks.  Again there was much ripping.  
And when I was finally all done, and stood back to admire it, I realized the original intent was to cut about another inch off the right side.  Which I could still do.  Better to cut too little than too much.  But I doubt I'll ever rip that hard-earned binding off to do it.  So - it's officially "finished." and off the UFO list!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fabrics bought and cut...

This is what I've come up with so far.  I need 9 darks and 9 lights.  There are 7 good light fabrics, and two questionable ones.  I might keep searching for those.  I can always find some other home for the rejects.  In the dark group I've cut up 10 options. I'll probably eliminate the blueish black one on the right side.  It looked more green IRL.  The photo below is after desaturating it - taking the color out to see pure values.  Interesting, I think.  The two questionable "light" ones are even more questionable.  I think if I pair with something even darker they might be okay, but not sure if I want two "bad" ones.  Need to find at least one more light piece.  

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Starting Another Project

What am I thinking?  I tried so hard to resist signing up for another class.  But when I heard at the guild meeting that there were still spots left in Karla Alexander's Class scheduled for October 10 I weakened and put my money down.  We had the opportunity to choose between several projects, and although I liked another one better, I decided to stick with this - as it is less complicated, and thus easier to actually complete - I hope!  

I first tried to select fabrics in a terra cotta tone that would go in the new living room, and contrast with the color of the couch.  But there just was not enough available within the range I wanted to make the design work.  So I shifted my emphasis to green.  The green throw on the green couch with the green wall behind it could be a bit much.  Oh well.  I thought of trying two colors - dark browns and light greens but I think it would loose it's charm that way.  What I like most is that there are some fabrics that are go both ways.  
On the other hand, you don't want to have too many middle values or the design becomes muddy.   My darks were all sort of middle-darks so I have to go looking for some more lighter lights.  Also not sure if they MUST all be batik.  I don't want any obvious prints of course, but maybe some marbled or painted-looking stuff would be good.
Stay tuned!

Little Red Riding Hood

Another project completed, although I never put it on the U.F.O. list so I don't get the satisfaction of taking it off.   I didn't make the dress - just the apron, it is for my friend's daughter's Holloween costume.  She has a great hooded red cape to wear with it.  I hope it's not too warm in Virginia that day!   
Overall I'm happy with the way it turned out.
I didn't use a pattern and didn't have the real live kid to try it on
but I'm pretty sure it will fit okay.

The embroidered hearts, I'm not thrilled with.
In practice, they came out fine,
on the real thing they came out varying a lot
in width.  But I think I'll leave them- no one
is putting it under a microscope, I hope!

I do like the wave pattern on the hem.  This is my favorite pattern.
The thread tension is off for some reason, but I think it's cute.

I'll be able to pack it up and take it to the post office tomorrow.  I'm sure her mom will be relieved that it's done in time.  Knowing me as well as she does, she was probably wondering if it was going to show up FedEx on midnight the 30th!!