Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Binding and Bingeing


I'm sewing the binding on the Fourth of July quilt...

while binge-watching The Great British Baking Show.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Stairway to Heaven Quilted!


I picked up the Stairway to Heaven quilt from Janet-Lee over the weekend. We picked a slightly more complex, tight, quilt pattern for this quilt, and I love it.

My pal Julie loves to take pictures of her quilts crumpled up, so this is a homage to that.

I had a lot of fun using the leftover bits from the pieces on the front and other yellows from my stash and the quilt itself. Julie gave me a quilt years ago with a pieced backing, and that has really influenced me. This quilt will have a yellow binding.

I brought Janet-Lee the PRIZM quit, and she also has Greensleeves to quilt as well. I'll pick them up at the end of next month. I have lots of binding in my future!!

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Fourth of July Quilted!


This is the back of the Fourth of July quilt. You can see the quilting.

Here's the front. I will bind this with red.

This quilt already has a home. I will tell you more about that when the quilt has been gifted.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Forty-Six Squares


Here are my forty-six squares. One of the things that makes a successful Slashed squares quilt is that half of the blocks have to have busy outsides and calm insides, and the other half have to have busy insides and calm outsides. I really didn't follow that rule very much when I paired the fabrics for these blocks. I just paired fabrics I thought looked good together. These are in no real order and I haven't even decided if I will use them all but it's been a fun process and an interesting way to tame the fabric mess I've got.

If you click the photo, you'll enlarge it and you can see all the fabrics up close and in great detail.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Second strip

 I've added the second strip to the mini slashed squares blocks. Here you can see all of them. I will make more, of course, and use the ones that work together the best.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

What's Next?


Now that the PRIZM quilt and its backing are all ready for the longarm quilter, the design wall is empty.


My studio has been a real mess, with fabric strewn about everywhere. I spent some time over the weekend folding up what could be folded and putting it back in the stash, but there's a lot that's just piled up. I wasn't in the mood to make slabs, but I did want to do something, and a dear colleague of mine has just become a grandfather for the first time. A scrappy baby quilt would be just the ticket to clear off my worktables and get me busy.

I decided to make a slashed squares quilt - but in minis. This is practically the simplest quilt anywhere. Surround a square with fabric, cut that apart and rearrange the pieces. You can see pictures of the various slashed squares quilts here. You can get the tutorial for them here. 

Over the last couple of evenings I cut squares and strips and paired them up. I used only what I had lying around. I did not cut into yardage from my stash, nor did I go rummaging in my scrap bins. I just took what was lying around in a mess, and cut from that. 

(True story. A couple of weeks ago as I was FaceTiming with my California family, I showed off a quilt I was working on in my studio. On my way to the design wall, I walked past my stash. "Oh Memere," my DGD exclaimed, "You have a lot of quilts." I paused. "Oh no, honey, those aren't quilts, that's just my fabrics. I use those to MAKE quilts...")

When I got bored with cutting I ran the pairs through my sewing machine, 

then I pressed them. Next up will be adding fabric to the opposite sides. Then I'll trim them down and add fabric strips to the other two sides. This stack has about 35 sets. I haven't calculated how big I want this quilt to be, or how many blocks I'll need just yet. 

BTW, it's my best pal Julie's birthday today. Swing on over to her blog and leave her some birthday cheer. This picture was taken last year when she came to New Hampshire for a visit.


Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Binding for the Black Abacus Quilt


I am adding the binding to the Black Abacus quilt. 

Regular readers know I add my binding to the back of my quilts, then fold it over to the front and do my hand sewing on the front. I'm really good at invisible blind stitching, so doing it this way allows me to show off. (ROFLMAO!!) Actually, that is the way I was taught. I tell you everything about how I do it in my tutorial, available here.

This is a scrap slab triangle quilt. It's a great quilt to use up all your scraps. I've made about nine of them and each one is different. I wrote a tutorial for this, and you can get it here.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

PRIZM Flimsy Complete


If you're paying attention (that's a theoretical you, not you, you) a border fabric is obvious.

But that often means clearing the clutter that was in your head first. Sigh.

Yup, this Tula Pink fabric was really the only choice for a border around the PRIZM quilt. The border could not have been any of the brights in this quilt or they would have "stuck" to the border sunk back and let the big triangular sail shapes take over. Not. Going. To. Happen.

So here it is, in all it's brilliant colorful glory.

This is a Zebra Quilt. You can get the tutorial here, at my Etsy shop.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Whizzing Along


I'm sewing the Prism quilt together. Here the top row is complete.

I really like this quilt. I think I have finally figured out how to make this version consistently successful. I also think this is very "user friendly." 

And I found the perfect backing!

I think the cats are fun! I love their triangular markings. AND it was on sale!

Saturday, September 9, 2023

PRIZM Takes Shape


I wondered if I had something better than polka dots in my stash for the lighter triangles in the PRIZM quilt. I had to really hunt to find these, and before I could make any changes I had to make sure I had SIX light sort of pale fabric, and enough of them. As you can see from the photo above, I did.

Last night, as the Alcatraz / Medvedev match went through the third and fourth sets, I cut my strips and this morning I sewed them together and cut them into triangles. 

(btw, WHAT A MATCH! NOBODY saw that coming.)

Here are the warm tones.

And here are the cool ones. They are separated with various WOWs.

I arranged the lights differently than I have in the past. I decided to make them extend beyond the bright triangles and "continue the wave", sorta. I did a colored drawing so you could see it better.

And if you look at the drawing and think, "that's kinda muddy," you're right. In Design, dark areas tend to pop forward (visually,  unless you do something to push them back) In this case, using the WOWs between the pale strips connects the light areas visually, and because they don't have a lot of contrast, they don't "fight" with the bright blocks, and sink nicely to the background, allowing the bright sashaying shapes to come forward and command your attention, which is what I want them to do.

In the drawing I didn't bother taking the time to make it fussy - I wanted to convey the idea that the lighter areas were connected to the shapes by their color.

The contrast between the two sets of triangles is what is required to make this particular quit a success. You need the primary shapes (in this example, the six primary colors) to have a great degree of contrast to the fabrics that make up the secondary shapes (the paler triangles. In the earlier versions of the pink quilt...

I had fairly strong contrasts between the pairs in the sashaying triangles, but the secondary triangles didn't really have any place to go. Their darks were often equal in value to the lights directly adjacent. So the sashaying triangles did their thing, sorta, but the lighter triangles really distracted from that. And THEIR dark fabrics didn't sink back into the background, so they fought with the sashaying ones.

I believe that if you have to THINK about what a design is trying to do so you can figure it out, then the design is a failure. PERIOD.

What's kinda funny, is that the green version, Greensleeves seems to work in spite of this:
In Greensleeves, the sashaying shapes are LIGHTER, and while the contrasting shapes are not all darker fabrics, (they are generally duller, or less intense) there is a kind of ambiguity that makes it work. The other thing that makes it work is the sashaying shapes have brighter, more patterned fabrics which capture your eye. And this photo is somewhat deceiving. In real life, this quilt is much more successful than in the photograph.

That the green one works better than the pink one is also due to the fact that there is a larger range of values to work with in green than there is in pink. Between light green to dark green there is an ocean of difference. But between light pink and dark pink, not so much (and available fabric makes it less so.)

Now, Gail. You didn't like the reworked pink with whitish because there was, in your estimation, too much blue in the white. To wit:

However, it was the biggest piece of light anything in my stash that was big enough (yardage wise) to do what I needed to do. I didn't mind the blue, because there are several kinds of color contrast: Value, Hue,  and also Temperature. The pink quilt use primarily Value contrast, so introducing a cool bluish white was another way to make the pink show up. Besides, I keep telling everyone that pink is really nothing more than a light red violet. So in color formula it is this: Red = R, Violet = Red + Blue. Thus pink is a light RRB. Blue is an inherent part of pink, so the blue was not out of place.

If you don't LIKE something, that's a SUBJECTIVE opinion. It doesn't mean the design is bad or wrong.

Lastly, some have asked WHY did I take this apart? What did I think was WRONG with it?

The answer: Nothing. Nothing whatsoever was WRONG with that quilt. It was perfectly lovely. It was fine. It was OK. It was predictable. 

THAT was what was wrong with it. It did not SING! It did NOT say "LOOK AT ME!! LOOK AT ME SOME MORE!!!! LOOK AT ME AGAIN!!! Don't look AWAY! ME! ME! ME! LOOK AT MMEEEEE!!!!"

Now, it's OK to laugh. But I am quite serious. With my quilts, I want to grab you by the collar and say LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME SOME MORE! OH YOU JUST FOUND SOMETHING YOU DIDN'T EXPECT? LOOK AT ME AGAIN."

This quilt was an epic wimp. So I took it apart.

Friday, September 8, 2023

The Wrong Road


This is the inspiration wall above my ironing table. On it are favorite photos, thank you cards, birthday and Christmas cards; quotes, postcards of artwork I like and all kinds of other fun stuff.

There is also this. I keep it front and center to remind me that I am human.

The pink and white zebra flimsy is no more. I have taken it apart. Next up is to remove all the white triangles and then pivot and do something else. I think I know what it is, but I am not going to get ahead of myself. I still need some more time on the couch with the seam ripper. Fortunately there's plenty of good tennis to watch while I do that. 

I had been on the fence about it. What prompted me?

I dropped off three quilts to my longer quilter, Janet-Lee Santeusanio, yesterday, and picked up Black Abacus, above. 

I also brought this, and asked JL if it would be a problem for her if I used it on the backing of a quilt. She said it would not give her machines any trouble. Then I showed her the pink and white top. We both agreed it was lovely, but there was nothing special about it, and that if I backed it with THIS (above) who would want to look at the other side? (Not me.)

So I decided to take the mediocre flimsy apart and figure out something else. AND I decided to make another panel like the one above, join the two together, and have a terrific quilt.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Making Lemonade

 There's a saying that goes, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."

I am getting fabrics together for the backing of the pink and white zebra quilt. I figured I'd use what was in my stash, but I knew I'd use all the leftover pink triangles somehow. So I stated to lay them out, and I got an idea. Or rather I remembered one.

Instead of arranging the extra blocks as I usually do, emphasizing the contrast between the triangular blocks, here I arranged adjacent blocks so the darks in each "connected," creating rhombus shapes instead of triangles. I figured once I got to the center, I'd change direction.

I needed more, so I designed a second row, a mirror image (more or less) of the top row. I used only the leftover pieces, but I did cut a couple of triangles from the leftover 8-strip sets from the original quilt.

So this is the result. It's about 36" x 72", and I'm pretty happy with it. I'll add the fabric you can see in the top photo to either side of this, and then fill in the top and bottom and then that will be ready for quilting.

Still needs a name, and yes, I know this could indeed be the "front" of a quilt.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Switching Around


I started cutting the light triangles for filling in the gaps of the Prism quilt. I've got some polka dots coming for the other spaces.

I washed and ironed some fabrics yesterday morning. Then it got warmer, and the last thing I needed was something to generate more heat, so I switched gears.

I sorted through my pinks and chose one for the border of the as-yet-unnamed pink and white zebra quilt.

I cut the strips, joined them at an angle and sewed them to the quilt.

Now I have to work out the backing. This one will likely be a bit scrappy. After that I have to add enough white space around the edges of the pink birds quilt (Yakkety Yak).

I've been watching a lot of tennis from the US Open and it has been absolutely stellar. Having cut the cord with my cable company I was worried I wouldn't see much, but that has not been a problem.

Speaking of which, I took this photo on my way home from California. That big white octagon in the middle is Arthur Ashe Stadium at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center where the US Open is played. The white box to the right is Louis Armstrong Stadium. that crescent shape is Court 17 and the round blue shape below Ashe is the unisphere from the 1964 World's Fair. Just above and to the right is Citi Field, the stadium where the Mets play baseball. This is probably as close as I am going to get to the US Open tennis, so I was delighted to see it.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Learning From Mistakes


I've sewn all the blocks together for the pink and white quilt. It will have a pink border, but I haven't yet decided which pink. 

The quilt reminds me of my granddaughter's pink and white striped dress.

The quilt did not turn out the way I expected it to, but it gave me some ideas. Learning from a mistake is a good thing. The previous ribbons quilts (Yellow Ribbons and Greensleeves) were successful because of the value changes between the "waving ribbon" and the big triangles. I like to play with your head, and make the colors flip flop back and forth, but that can be tricky for the average quiltmaker. Making the quilt essentially a two color quilt makes it more accessible. 

Then again, you know me. I can never leave well enough alone. All you have to do is look at the photo above and you can see where this is going.

OOOoooh!  Yeah! (As Julie would say, "Go Lynne, go!")

So, go Lynne did.