Showing posts with label original design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label original design. Show all posts

Friday, July 7, 2017

Dangerous Roads Quilting

"Dangerous Roads"

First things first, folks. I've been on 'blogcation', meaning I took a break from blogging. Unplanned, but it happened naturally. The rhythm of summer took over with holidays, friends, home projects, and keeping up with acres and acres of mowing. The heat and rain just keep coming here in the Midwest, with no end in sight. My current projects have been full marathons as opposed to when I could say, "Look at the pot holder I whipped up!" 

Monday, August 29, 2016

What I Did Last Summer

Pinned and ready for many glorious 
evenings of hand quilting!

Summer's Accomplishments

I feel like I've spent my summer as a true holiday. Not R&R, but catching up. There are still many things on the long list, but we've powered through some Herculean tasks. Tree removal from the Emerald Ash Bore--6 mature trees, house and property restoration, and so on. Nothing that was neat and tidy, and it all spilled over onto the rest of lives. Piles of things in the house were designated by project, and that was disruptive in itself. I'm happy to report the chaos is about 80% contained now.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

When Difficult Quilts Happen to Determined People

The Best Part So Far 

Just in case you're asking yourself why on Earth I would make this my opening photo, it's because it's the best part of the quilt at this point. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Taste the Colors!

Spontaneous Kisses

For lack of a better name, let me use that today. Hopefully you'll see where it's going as the piece progresses. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Tokyo Train Ride Out to the Borders: Design On the Fly

You might call this busy.
I say it's happy.
I like happy!

Design On the Fly

I like not knowing exactly where a  quilt will wind up. Also, I'm honest to a fault about my work, and believe wholeheartedly in showing you the process. It makes me feel very human when someone else shows their me their struggle to design, and I assume I'm not alone. Unless you're following a well tested pattern, there are lots of little roadblocks to work through. Rarely it works like you planned it, but the whole creative process with changes and all is very liberating. It's not really improvisational quilting, or improv. It's more 'design on the fly'. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Eyes Wide Open: Assessing the Journey

Happy New Year, 2016!

Can you believe we've put 2015 to bed already? Looking back, it was an excellent year despite the bumps in the road. (We all have bumps.) The Winnie-the-Pooh in me says 2016 will be even more spectacular, so let me send a little of my optimism your way.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Improv Work On the Design Wall

Not So Serious Sewing

Sunday was peaceful, and I'd finished up several projects the week before. I was after something relaxing, low-key, and just fun. I pulled out this WIP that I started early last spring while attending an Amy Butler & Hilde Dunn retreat. It was an exercise in improvisational piecing, and on my list of 2015 Q3 Finishes on the Windy Side. The initial slab was built by a partner blindly picking out pieces of fabric from a pile, and handing them to me. I had little control over the color scheme to start.

The center was done yet needed a frame, and I pulled this muddy pink out of my solids stash. It's an odd color, but it played well with the mishmash in the middle. Then I pulled strips from my scrap bins to make into the next pieced border. I pieced my scraps without squaring up, and it got interesting and more exciting. 

TIPS & TRICKS-Mitered Corners

I mitred my corners by creating 4 strip-pieced squares for each corner. The borders were 5 1/2" so I made each square 6". I went 1/2" larger than needed, and cut two diagonally with my stripes vertical, and two with my strips horizontal to create 8 HST's. I sewed these into 4 squares, and THEN I sewed these with to my top and bottom borders. Now I was dealing with 4 typical borders that looked like I spent a ridiculous amount of time making them. Easy peasy!

The narrow dark blue border anchored the multicolored piecing, and I looked around for some serious bling fabric to set it all off.

It's shiny, stripey, and I have lots of yardage. It sets off the center like neon lights, and fits the improv them to a T. Although I don't know the content, it presses well, is a higher grade than acetate, and you'll never believe where I found it!

Would you believe this was an old dress in that wonderful vintage stash I showed you? I asked several people when they would estimate the pattern of the dress, and they guessed late 50's-60's. Tightly fitted bodice and 3/4 sleeves, and close to 5.5 yards of fabric in the fully gathered skirt. The integrity of the fabric is solid with no funky smell--things you need to check for using vintage material, so it's going in today. 

I can't help but feel connected to the quilter/sewist that saved this garment for decades knowing it might have another life. I challenge you to add something repurposed, upcycled, reused, or vintage to a project. Hunt your Goodwill, resale stores, and garage sales for treasures. You may be deeply rewarded by the feeling of creating a unique piece while preserving a saver's vision. 

Also, I must admit there is something deeply satisfying to really understanding how the first quilters used the resources they had, and weren't able to run off to their LQS for the 'perfect' fabric. I can't wait to see how this turns out today, but what are your thoughts of working like this?

Linking up with~
The Quilting Room with Mel at Fiber Tuesday 
and last week I was the most clicked 
link with this post: 

Zipper Bags Simplified Tutorial
The Quilting Room with Mel

Podunk Pickin's--A brand new linky!

Freemotion By the River
Quilt Story
Blossom Heart Quilts
Late Night Quilter

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

2015 MQG Fabric Challenge Progress "Birds in the Garden"

May I venture to say we've all had the experience of planning a project, and then been disappointed by what we made? On the same hand, I've had this one go from an apprehensive start to very exciting for me. Let's call it a roller coaster project. My anxiety is mostly from drawing you into it with me, and the possibility that it flops. This blog runs in 'real time' meaning I don't only show you my triumphs, but also showcase my duds. Honest creative process means not everything works out. It's comforting knowing we all go through it, and grow in our struggle. Sewists don't deliver gorgeous projects without making some dogs! (Sorry Doxies.)

You can find more information about the start of this project in yesterday's post. I showed you the top and bottom pictures here. A close up of the center shows how my curves weren't as even at the points as I would have liked, but the geometric fabric tends to throw the eye off anyway. Unless I'd point that out, not everyone would see it. I'll tell you so you can use that trick, but remember to never point out your own mistakes to people when you show them your work! Most will never see what you see.

I paired the curved piecing light fabric to light fabric. Low contrast means I have some leeway if my seams are the slightest bit off. I expect they will be as I've never sewn a project with curves before. It's hard to perfect a technique the first time out, but this challenge is more about highlighting the fabrics than technique for me.

The next row of the medallion is HSTs. I made sure to make them slightly larger than needed, and trimmed them down. There's high contrast on this fabric change, and it frames in the all light center.

I used a variety of the challenge fabrics at the corners that I was finding hard to fit into another part of the quilt. I echoed the colors here.

The Square-in-a-Square blocks below are a favorite of mine, and when I laid the charcoal with the coral, I had to make them.

The corners were next, and again, I was using new fabrics from the rest of The Quilted Fish line "The Cottage Garden". The charcoal print reminded me of a gilded frame when viewed at a distance.

It was time to add the connecting pieces on the border, and I auditioned several. The white was calming to all the prints, and gave the eye somewhere to land. It also reminded me of clouds. I imagined the hardscaping of a garden in the darker fabrics, and birds surrounding a fountain in the center of a garden. 

I did some collaborative texting with family and friends about the white 'floating' too much, and decided it needed a dark border to lock it all in. Charcoal birds, I think. Don't you?

Click my Instagram button at the top sidebar to follow along through the day as I sew. It's a great help having other quilters to bounce ideas off of in real time. I'd love to see what you're making, too! Just @pinkdoxies to make sure I see your post, and we can sew together. A Virtual Bee Day anyone? I'll Bee there this afternoon.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

Linking up today with~
Sew Fresh Quilts
Freemotion by the River
Blossom Heart Quilts