Thursday, August 14, 2014

DC Modern Quilt Guild Sewing


There are several group projects in the works at the DC Modern Quilt Guild and this past week I made and mailed off some blocks to contribute.

Sending love and wishes for good health to a member undergoing breast cancer treatment.  The request was for all sorts of variations of granny squares in aqua, coral and low volume prints.

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This block has my favorite “low volume” print in it.

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The doves are (hopefully) a subtle message of love and peace.

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A block for a baby quilt.

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And blocks for a group quilt for 100 Quilts for Kids.


This economy block square was paper pieced and the pattern can be found here and the directions here.  It was so easy to do and all the points and seam allowances are spot on. 


I was hoping to make it to the guild meeting this weekend, but school starts next week and I’ve been feeling quite “cat’s in the cradle”-ish so I’ll be staying home with the family this time and enjoying one last summer weekend of beaches, boat rides, and pool days. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

AMB Challenge Quilt Top

Last week I finished up the quilt top for the American Made Brand challenge.

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It’s pretty big, about 70 inches square.  My husband suggested quilting it in concentric circles (like the Nature Baby Quilt I made earlier this year), but I would have to do that on my domestic sewing machine and I think the layers would get shifted around a lot.  I had to cut quite a bit off the edges of the Nature Baby Quilt after quilting because of that.  That wouldn’t work for this quilt since it has a border.  Any suggestions?

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I was able to make the entire bricklayer section from ripped strips just like the Gee’s Bend Quilters.  The final 1” border was precisely measured and cut with a rotary cutter.

I decided to go with wonky friendship stars in the borders.

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While I’m not enamored with this quilt, I think it looks pretty good from a distance.

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I am really looking forward to getting this quilt finished!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Scrap Control

Are your scraps out of control?  This past week I found myself with some time on my hands and I decided to start using them up or cutting them into usable sizes for future projects.  Starting with cream/white, I cut 2.5” and 3.5” squares, and then used the leftovers to piece some improv slabs.

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You can see I also did a few dark gray/black blocks too.  I had no idea how good this was going to look until I started laying out the blocks and took the photo.  I made a serious dent in the lighter scraps, but still have tons of other scraps to work through…

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I’m thinking of focusing on aqua and orange for the other blocks to include in the quilt with the cream and dark gray.  What do you think?  Maybe lime green, too.

I also finished up quilting my nested churn dash wall hanging.  It is not perfect by any means, but I’m really happy with how it turned out.

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I did not follow Angela Walters’s advice to use thread that will blend.  Instead I used what I had, which was light aqua and highly contrasted with the charcoal fabric.  I really need to work on either starting and stopping more unnoticeably or learn how to bury my threads…

My regular sewing machine was having issues again and is in the shop (it went in the day after I finished my Michael Miller challenge quilt), so I’ve been using my daughter’s Janome in the interim.   The binding on this wallhanging will have to wait a while because my daughter’s machine doesn’t have a walking foot, a necessity for machine binding!

Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Gee’s Bend Experiment

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Earlier this year I listened to the MQG webinar about modern quilting.  Heather provided a list of books and resources for further information about the origins and practices of modern art, quilting, and graphic design.

Have you ever heard of Josef Albers?  Please don’t laugh, but I never had.  I didn’t know that those square in a square in a square paintings at museums were actually color studies—how colors interact when different shades are placed next to each other.  I think one of the reasons I was never able to see that is normally there are one or two of those pictures on display.  It takes seeing several together to be able to discern the color play at work (at least for me).

Although I picked the colors for my next quilt from a computer screen, the way the navy and the fuchsia interact is better than I could have ever hoped…the blue starts to look almost purple with the fuchsia next to it.

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So why is this a Gee’s Bend Experiment?  The quilt design is a popular variation of a Gee’s Bend quilt, called the bricklayer.

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And then I decided to approach the quilt construction from a Gee’s Bend perspective too.  The quiltmakers didn’t use rotary cutters or rulers for most of their designs, they ripped strips from whatever fabric they had on hand.  No measuring, just ripping.  The first rip was a little scary, but after a few strips, I wasn’t afraid of ruining the fabric anymore.

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I used a little bigger than normal seam allowance, 3/8”, to make the piecing more stable.  And I just trimmed each strip with scissors, no rulers or rotary cutter.

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I’m not sure exactly how this quilt will develop after I finish the bricklayer section, but I’m using this photo of a Gwen Marston quilt, on the left, as my other piece of inspiration.  The quilt on the right is the Gee’s Bend quilt I studied.

Have a great week!