I have actually not finished any quilting projects in the recent past. I've been feverishly knitting some gifts for Christmas instead. I have, however, been considering what to do next-finish a UFO or start something new. Yet to be decided.
In the meantime I have been trying to clean up my sewing area. I've come across a BOM project that I purchased from Material Obsession in Australia. I have only opened one of the bags to inspect the contents, except to ooh and ah over the fabric choices through the clear plastic. This was a 10 month program with a once a month shipping. I have come to the conclusion that I will never have time to complete this project. And, despite the fact that I love the fabrics included--Kathy Doughty's ability to combine fabrics is awesome and so unlike what we put together here in the US--I just don't want to dismantle the blocks for the fabrics themselves. So I'm going to offer them for sale. All blocks are complete. Plexi-glass templates are included in the bag if they are required for completion of the block. No additional supplies would be needed (except needle and thread, of course). Original price of each block was $49 and I am going to ask $225 for the complete set of blocks. Anyone interested? The blocks have been stored in a pet free, smoke free area of my home. I will ship internationally. The buyer must pay shipping and insurance, if desired. The entire project will be magnificent!
I finished my Fractured Quilt at last. Well, the top is done but it's not yet quilted. It's very large so I'm going to take it to a longarm quilter and have her quilt it for me. I do have a sit down Handiquilter but this quilt is just too large for me to tackle, I'm afraid. It didn't end up with the color movement that I'd envisioned but I like it anyway.
I also finished a Kim McLean Flower Pots quilt that I'd been working on for at least 3 1/2 years. I had completed the center part and only had the circles on the outside to complete so I put my nose to the grindstone and got the top finished. I had it free motion quilted by Roseann Noll of Phoenix Rose Quilts and we decided to quilt the background in a MacTavishing design. The quilt has two layers of batting so the applique would "pop". I'm very pleased with the work she does. I entered it in the Pennsylvania Invitation Quilt Show sponsored by Endless Mountains Quiltworks in Tunkhannock, Pa. for their annual Airing of the Quilts. Awesome work done by many talented quilters.
I also finished another smaller piece that's been in the works for about four years. I had the center four blocks done (I think it's an Aardvark pattern but am not sure) and for whatever reason lost interest in it. Part of the problem could have been that I'd raided the container with the fabrics I'd selected for this piece and used them in other projects. Rather than discard them I decided to add an outer border using a technique I'd learned in a class with Carol Taylor. I thought the outer blocks framed the center perfectly. I'm going to use it for my Christmas table center piece, even though the reds and greens aren't traditional Christmas red and greens. I like it anyway. I do tend to like "quirky" stuff.
Well, it's Sunday afternoon and it's wall to wall football so I'm going to sit down, do some knitting and watch the NY Giants beat the Philadelphia Eagles--hopefully.
I've always wanted to do a Ricky Tims type quilt and back in late Spring he announced a three month QAL featuring one of his original designs, Colorful Rhapsody. So I decided to participate. Instructions were given in three video lessons, one for each month. I actually enjoy working with fused pieces on projects and thought I could learn some tips from the project. I used all my own fabrics, nothing purchased especially for this. I'm in the process of blanket stitching the edges of the motifs right now. I did learn a lot from his instructions on how to handle points and curves using the double blanket stitch. When all are outlined then the sections have to be put together along with the four corners. The whole project, so far, has been less tedious than I thought. The colors in the first photo represent the truer colors. The one below, with all 8 sections, shows a more lemony color which is definitely NOT the case but I thought you might like to see the entire center section. The background for the center is a dotted batik and the four corners which also be constructed using that center background fabric. Sometimes having purchased 3-5 yards of a fabric you've fallen in love with is a good thing!
Right now I'm quilting the Jane Sassaman version of the Fractured Quilt and that should be ready for final view in a few days. I'm quilting it with circles, free hand, free motion quilting, with nothing marked. Some of my circles are a little oddly shaped but the project is fun.
I've added a few more blocks to the Fractured Quilt started from the class with Kathy Doughty at Quilting by the Lake back in late July. I'm truly trying not to purchase more fabric but I may have to end up doing some fabric purchases. The Pennsylvania Quilt show in Oaks, Pa., is coming up in mid-September so I'm hoping to find some "perfect" fabrics there. Meanwhile I need a taller design wall--isn't happening so I have to resort to packaging tape and a step stool to get the top blocks up so I can see them. As I said I'm trying to do some color arrangement of cooler on the left and warmer on the right. There are some blocks that aren't perfect but as the saying goes "it is what it is".
In the meantime I started another Fractured Quilt. This time only a lap size quilt. Jane Sassaman was the opening speaker at QBL and I have a collection of some of her fabrics so I decided to use those and try a different arrangement with fabrics framing the center blocks. I haven't sewn much of it together yet but I hope you get the idea in the photo. I'm hoping it appears below:
Wow, success in actually getting it to appear in the middle of the blog. I'm hoping you can see that I tried to arrange the fabrics so they surrounded the center. Kind of yard to explain my intent but I'm hoping you get the idea.
Also there is a Fractured QAL that will be beginning in early September. I'm hoping to figure out how to add a button to my blog so those of you doing the blog can post your progress. If you go to Terri's blog you can see information about the upcoming QAL. I'm hoping that perhaps Kathy may even pop in from time to time. No instruction in the block construction will be given. You need to purchase Kathy's book for that but it will be a place for those doing Fractured to share photos of progress. I'm really loving this block and have ideas for future arrangements.
I'm continuing to work on my Fractured quilt from my QBL class. It's going to be queen size because I think that's the best size for featuring the zig/zaggy effect of the block coloration. I attempt to make two blocks per day. Fabric selection take a bit of time. Then the construction, which is not difficult, but you have to pay attention to what goes where. I've had to remove and re-arrange individual blocks despite my best efforts to get it correct the first time. Seems my brain wants me to do otherwise. And, although I look carefully at block configuration before I put the block on the design wall, I've made some errors. And then I have to rip and make corrections. There is one block that has to be corrected today. I discovered it late last night but was too tired to do it then.
I'm trying to work on one section at a time now. My idea is to put the cool colors on the left and the warmer on the right, kind of diagonally. A hint from a class I took with Philippa Naylor last year was to "weight" your quilt with the darker colors at the bottom, so I'm trying to do that as well. You can't see them properly but there are fabric combinations on the floor in front of the design wall with pairs I think I'm going to use for that affect. I need a bigger design wall--but that's not happening. I am thinking of adding another section on the left to make it wider. However, how often do I make a queen size quilt? Not very often.
Right now the search is on through my fabric stash for blues and purples for the left top portion. I'm trying to ignore what's happening on the orange/red side until I get there. I found it too frustration to jump from side to side.
So that's where this quilt is right now. I'm actually enjoying the entire process even though some blocks don't work where I want and I've made some errors. There will probably be no work on it today because I'm taking my grandson sneaker shopping this afternoon and he has his first football scrimmage this evening and that takes precedence over Fractured. But I'll take my knitting along...
I've been attending classes at Quilting by the Lake http://www.quiltingbythelake.com in upstate NY for more than 15 years (not consecutively). My first class was taken when the program was at its first site in Cazenovia, NY. Since then it has moved to Morrisville, NY and finally to its present location near Syracuse (where thankfully the dorms and classrooms are air conditioned). Not so at the previous locations and sometimes it could be brutally hot.
Well, not to blather on...this year I could only attend for two days because of family obligations back home. The class I took was Fractured and the instructor was Kathy Doughty of Material Obsessions in Australia. I've been following her blog and purchasing BOM's from her shop for many years and was overjoyed that she was teaching at QBL this year. Kathy, and her delightful friends/employees had been in the US for about a month during which time she taught at the quilt show in Sisters, Oregon and City Quilter in NYC. QBL was her last stop in her schedule. Lucky us--she had not run out of energy by this time.
This class was great! And Kathy is such a great teacher. Even more than working on the project and enjoying everyone else's projects, I came away with a new found desire to do my own work, listen to my own inner voice. She is an inspirational teacher! And she has a great sense of humor. This class was a joy. Don't ever miss taking a class with her.
Back to my work. In following Kathy's blog and seeing photos of the quilts she makes, I was determined to try to mix contemporary fabrics with more traditional ones. The above photo is my quilt in progress. I chose to work with Kaffe Fassett fabrics for the more prominent pieces. Originally I wanted to use all Kaffe but struggled with finding combinations I found successful. I may have to resort to my stash for non-Kaffe. My idea is to have more predominantly blues diagonally on the left side running to reds and oranges on the right side.
Trying to get a gradual change is tough. I may have to go and buy more fabric (what a shame!). I still don't think I've captured the ability to combine traditional with more contemporary in a more consistent manner, but if I'm following Kathy's advice I am listening to my own voice and doing what pleases me. I will continue to attempt to do that but for this quilt it's a struggle for me. Originally I thought I could finish it more quickly but I see that is not to be the case. So it's going to be on my design wall while I search for better transition fabrics. I live in an area where traditional quilting fabrics are more the norm so I'll be internet searching or hopefully find some that will work at the Pennsylvania Extravaganza near Philly in Sept.
Please be sure to check out Kathy's blog and her website. Her block of the month programs are designed by Kathy and other Australian well-known quilts and are spectacular. And get yourself a copy of her book Making Quilts which has been newly published by C&T and is available now in an all English version.
Sorry this has been such a long post. I hope you get a chance to visit her blog. Her latest entry shows photos of our class and other students' work. You'll see how different--and great--everyone's is.