Well, finally I have some news to report. I've actually finished, well, almost, finished two quilts.
I have been somewhat distracted with knitting projects. But anyway, I my interest in quilting has finally returned. I finished quilting the fractured quilt I started last July at Quilting by the Lake with Kathy Doughty. It's quilted but the binding is not on yet (my least favorite part of the process). And I've finished assembling a quilted started back in December in a class started with Victoria Findlay Wolfe. Both Victoria and Kathy are superb teachers. I loved both of these classes and the process for both. I love trying to play around with colors moving around the piece. Actually the Fractured Quilt is upside down. The purple/pink should be in the upper left corner but I was trying to take the photo before an upcoming storm. In any case I hope you enjoy the quilts. I sure did enjoy the process. The hexagon quilt could have been improved with a different lay out, but at some point I've found I just have to say, finish it and move on...
Although it doesn't seem as if I've accomplished much on my hexagon project there has been lots of behind the scenes work. For one thing I threw all my scraps on the floor and sorted them by color. No small task and my back ached for days afterward. I've found that the best way for storing them is in the large laundry type baskets with oval holes in the sides. The holes enable you to easily spy that certain fabric you're looking for. Not really but you can get a good glimpse of what's in the basket.
In addition I've been auditioning settings for the hexagons. I've kind of decided on orange for the fill-in hexagons and not sure what for the centers yet. Maybe a Kaffe polkadot in various colors. That's yet to be decided. But I have settled on this arrangement, though am still rearranging the "flowers" and I have lots more to make. I enjoy making them actually and am thinking that my newly arranged scrap baskets will help speed up the process.
I've also been working on machine quilting my Ricky Timms Colorful Rhapsody project started last summer. Hope you can see some of the stippling and blanket stitch outlining the appliquéd piece. Ricky instructions have you use Steam a seam for fusing and then a stabilizer for support when doing the blanket stitch. This stabilizer then has to be removed. Very annoying and time consuming. I tried heavily--and I mean heavily--starching one area before blanket stitching and it worked just fine. Will do that in the future. Also the little pad you see in the photo is what I use to guide the quilt for the machine quilting. This is what Philippa Naylor uses in making her award winning quilts and I'm a dedicated follower of using them. It's really just shelf liner. I use one under my left hand and one under my right hand. I never did like the gloves suggested or any other project promoted for quailing. These work just fine and if you loose one you can just cut another piece off the roll. Voila!
Just went for my annual eye exam. And you know that dreaded "which is clearer, this or this?" and basically you can't see a bit of difference? Well, I'm giving you a choice but there more than two options. I've been continuing to make more hexagons, basically six at a time but trying to stick to a color for each set of six. So far I've done four arrangements on my design wall. The circular one is my latest attempt. I like the way the colors flow from lightest in the center to darker on the outside. But I think I'm losing the hexagon effect. Maybe that's not so important but I would like to showcase the idea that they are hexagons. Would I be better off to separate them with little setting triangles? Take a look at the post from a few days ago and compare the photos with this one. I'm giving you something to think about today and hopefully by tomorrow I will have separated them with fabric between each hexagon. That's the plan anyway. By tomorrow you'll be able to consider, which is clearer, number 3 or number 4?
Decisions, decisions. I've been adding more hexagons based on the techniques from 15 Minutes of Play workshop that I took back in December before I broke my hand. At first I was going to arrange them by color, graduation from lights on one side to darks on the other. The photos reflect the latest attempts at the top, with the first attempts in the last photo). In the first photo I've mixed the top half trying to mix the values but the bottom half is still a work in progress. This probably makes no sense to you, the reader. This was the result of an idea that popped into my brain and I thought I'd mix the hexagons up and intersperse lights with the darks trying to work with value. The middle and last photos show the hexagons groups be color. Not sure where I'll be going with this. I have been continuing to make groups of pale yellows, yellow, orange, red, blue, purple, dark purple, brown, etc. Any advice? It is fun to go through my scraps (and al the "flowers" are made using only scraps. Nothing is cut from yardage.)
I'm operating here at a distinct disadvantage the result of a fall recently that resulted in a broken right hand. So moving things around on the screen is a bit difficult. Thus no narrative until after the photos.
Anyway my daughter and I recently took a workshop with Victoria Findlay Wolfe called 15 Minutes of play. What fun and very liberating. Basically you construct "made-fabric" and then cut your shapes from your newly constructed fabric. The method allows you to place your template or cut your shape featuring precisely what area you want for the finished sake. The third photo shows the over-sized shape you start with. I chose to do a hexagon shape. Again I'm going to try to move color areas around the piece. However I'm at a stand still because of my hand. My daughter and I were on our way to her evening lecture and trunk show when I fell. A trip to the ER resulted instead of enjoying Victoria's lecture. A real disappointment!
If you ever get a chance to take her workshop don't hesitate. She's enthusiastic, warm, creative and a great teacher. Very inspiring and encourages you to ask "way if… ?" She is the author of the book 15 Minutes of Play" and has a great blog called Bumblebeans where you can follow her creative endeavors.