How procrastination led to a happy accident

I love a good challenge; and I jumped at the chance to join in the Riley Blake Challenge. These fat eighths (approx. 9″ x 22″) were given to us in October (photo courtesy of the Boston MQG website):

Riley Blake Challenge Fabrics

So I had three months to make something quilted using these prints, solid fabrics and additional Riley Blake prints. The deadline even was extended at one point.  But naturally, I started cutting into them about five weeks ago, a full 3 months after these prints were given to me. I had grand ideas to do something to play up the radial design in the orange print, akin to what Linda did. But I changed my mind many, MANY times. An elaborate design, including many small circles, was NOT going to happen in five short weeks.

When I did finally cut into the fabric I was still undecided, so I just cut a bunch of squares and started piecing half-square triangles using Riley Blake stripes, chevrons, ombre dots, a few prints from an Ashbury Heights charm pack I had, a fun red jigsaw puzzle print, and a few different grey/taupe solids from my stash. I focused on using the orange, navy and the greys from the original fabric pack.

Rile Blake Challenge HSTs

As I sewed my squares up into HSTs, an idea popped into my head, so I sat down and drew it out on graph paper. Then I scooped everything up and took it with me to retreat that weekend; where I sewed, pressed, and trimmed for two days straight.  The final design is a throw 64″ x 75″:

RBC_Full

UPDATE 2/19/14: My quilt was selected as one of the Top 10 in the Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake Design Challenge, here! Lots of beautiful entries–I’m honored & humbled to have my quilt chosen.

Once I had the top made and a back pieced together, I passed it off to my business partner, Trina, to quilt on her long-arm. Trina had just gotten a copy of Judi Madsen’s new book that week, and she wanted the opportunity to play with the large areas of negative space I created. She outdid herself…

RBC_Quilting

RBC_QuiltingDetail1

RBC_Detail4

RBC_Detail1

RBC_BlockQuiltingDetail1

RBC_QuiltingDetail3

See how she created shadow HSTs, including quilting the chevron design, the polka dots, and the jigsaw puzzle fabric design? Seriously amazing.

RBC_BlockDetail

I used many of the prints from the front to piece the back, along with two cream solids from my stash:

RBC_Back

RBC_Backdetail

RBC_BackDetail2

The binding is navy solid. These pics were taken before the quilt was washed an blocked. Now it’s washed, soft, crinkly and oh so beautiful! Had I not procrastinated, and started this challenge before the holidays, I would have ended up with a very different design. And Trina probably wouldn’t have asked to quilt my challenge quilt. And I wouldn’t have ended up with this amazing quilt. Serendipitous.

RBC_StyleShot

Happy Sewing,

Doris

Advertisements

After the Rain

This finish has been a long time coming, that’s for certain. I’ve participated in at least five Virtual Quilting Bees; a group of 12 participants, duration one year, each quilter is assigned a month to send out fabric and request a block to be made for them. I even led two years of One Block Over, a Bee I created.  This is the first finished quilt from any of my Bees…

Love in a Mist Block

In July 2011, I requested Love in a Mist blocks (tutorial link from here) and I sent squares pre-cut from my scrap basket. I think I got all but one block back, and I made a few more to have enough for the quilt.  My friend, and business partner, Trina quilted it and returned it to me prior to moving in March, and it got set aside.  Yesterday, I finally got around to binding it:

Love in a Mist Quilt

I’m calling it After the Rain (the rainbow, the spectrum of colors, Love in a Mist is the block name…). The quilting is fabulous, as usual… (hey, look!  PURPLE!  I scrounged like crazy to come up with enough purple scraps for one block!)

Love in a Mist Quilt Block Detail

Quilting Detail

The backing fabric has been in my stash since roughly 2007, it’s Petal Power by Maggie & Sharon for Moda.  I had several colorways of this, but about 4 yards of this magenta pink color.  The full back:

Love in a Mist Back

Love in a Mist

For the inner border I sewed strips of scraps together and made a spectrum strip about 2″ wide around the blocks, and also added a wide strip to the back:

Love in a Mist Back

I added a fun Alexander Henry print called “bobby pins” for the outer border, adds to the rainbow of colors but still “reads as” white from a distance:Love in a Mist Border

12″ finished block, the quilt is roughly twin size…

Love in a Mist

(Don’t let the greenery in that photo fool you, it was covered in snow yesterday morning!)

Love in a Mist

Love in a Mist Quilt

I love several things about this quilt.  Every time I look at it, a different fabric or print catches my eye, and I’m reminded of the project I made out of that fabric, or of my beloved Gramma B (some of her fabric scraps went into this quilt!), or who I gave the quilt to that I made from that collection, or of friendships with long distance quilters.  This one is destined to be favorite…

Love in a Mist Quilt

Makes me want to get moving on putting together my other Bee quilts!

Have you ever been in a Virtual Bee?

Did you get all of the blocks requested?

Have you finished your quilt?

Color quandry

I’ve been preparing to make a purple quilt for a gift, and it’s a bit of a challenge. Purple is the one color I am just not drawn to in fabric (well, that and peach, but I dislike the color peach in all things, not just fabric). So, by preparing, I mean buying fabric in purples because I have very little none in my stockpile of fabric. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this post today on design sponge, with the color of the day:

coloroftheday_colortext

I was reminded of the significance of the color purple in the Church, and in regards to royalty, because of how rare and expensive the dye was in ancient times.  It is a rich, vibrant color… I just don’t know why I’m not drawn to it.  Purple in the garden?  Adore it!  Photos of fields of lavender have always given me a warm, happy feeling (maybe because I’d love to be there seeing the sight firsthand!):

Deep_Purple_Lavendersource

and in a perennial garden?  Almost a necessity for me! I have crocuses and hyacinth blooming in my yard right now.

purple-crocuses-gold_1488_600x450source

650px-Purple_osteospermumsource

Those are some lovely petals, right?! And my favorite Spring buds?  Lilacs:

lilacssource

I had a part in making this gorgeous purple and grey quilt, and I even had a hard time parting with it!

meredithsquilt4

Yet I have no purple clothing and until some recent online shopping, no purple fabric.  I guess I’m just not drawn to it in textiles.  However, this Tyrian Purple yarn could change my mind, especially when I get around to watching my Craftsy knitting and crocheting classes:

tyrian-purple-yarn-nov-09source

So what’s your color?  The one that just doesn’t draw you in?

What color do you buy the most often (in fabric or other products)?  Mine has to be green, hands down I have more greens and blue-greens (aqua, etc) than any other color of fabric.

I’ll share my purple fabric purchases (and hopefully some purple quilt blocks) soon…

a MUST Read:

My little space here has been quiet for some time; for various reasons. I’m overwhelmed with my job, the business, finding time for family, packing to move, not yet closing on the house we are buying; I’m lucky to get anything finished, much less find time to blog about it.

That, and I’ve become very disenchanted with the internet, social media, etc. in general lately… finding very little of value, and little that lifts my spirit or enhances my day. (In fact, if anything it does exactly the opposite). BUT, this morning I read the best thing I’ve seen online in ages:

It involves this Before and After photos:

SEWING ROOM_BEFORE

EM_SEWING ROOM1_9

Impressive, huh?!  That’s only part of the story… Head over here to read the rest.

Vintage View: Applique Beauties

BLOGTOBERFEST, Day 17

There were just a few applique quilts amongst those on display at Living History Farms the weekend before last.  But they were all full-size, detailed hand applique, and worth taking the time to show you… even if you never make a hand applique quilt yourself!

This one was a simple, two-color quilt, roughly Queen size, in ivory and a dull brown (they probably would have called the color “drab” at the time it was made–which is very close to what many of us would describe it as today):

 

I think the label called it a “Rose of Sharon” variation, but if it is, it’s a very simplified variation.  I think it resembles more closely a poinsettia applique pattern I have seen before.  Any thoughts on that?

This is close to the applique butterfly quilt my Mom made just a few years ago, but this is made with 30s solids and feedsacks.  Each butterfly is blanket-stitched by hand in a darker shade of embroidery floss, that coordinates with the fabric of that butterfly:

It looks like it is just a top (or a flimsy), but it was quilted, without batting and therefore referred to as a summer coverlet/quilt.

This one is an older example of applique using chintz fabrics (c. 1850).  The brown spots are from moisture staining over the years, and the fact that they believe this quilt has never been washed.  A quilt collects dry soil (dust, etc.) over time and when exposed to small amounts of moisture (humidity, etc) the dust/soil leaves a rust-like mark.  There were at least nine of these large applique “bouquet” motifs, and this was the least stained example I could find to photograph.

As you can see, some of the fabric petals have disintegrated or been worn away, but it is still a gorgeous example of chintz quilting!

I hope you enjoyed seeing these vintage examples, and that they inspire your modern quilting!  If you have a museum or library, etc., in your “neck of the woods” that displays vintage quilts from time to time, I’d highly recommend making the effort to go see them.  Just admiring the hand work from a century ago is worthwhile, and it always pays to support our cultural institutions by utilizing them.

Do you do applique projects at all?

If so, do you hand-applique, or only by machine?

 

A quilter of many colors

I haven’t spent much time time on Pinterest lately, or Flickr… honestly I haven’t sewn much either (nursing my lower back–which went out two weeks ago, so not much sitting. period.).  But last night, I needed to create a mosaic for our upcoming Des Moines MQG Mug Rug Swap–and I was blown away by what I’ve missed seeing on flickr in the last several months!  I could have easily made this mosaic 10 x 10 squares!  And a spent a lot of time just ogling my contacts photostreams.  Some talented folk out there…

I also realized in creating this that my tastes are VERY diverse–or eclectic.  I really like traditional piecing, I really like detailed paper piecing, and I really like free pieced quilted items as well.  I’ve always had a thing for cutesy representations of houses, clotheslines, fruit, bowls of fruit, sewing tools, spools, leaves, dishes… you name it.  Any household, gardening, or architectural themes always strike my fancy.

My partner will either be very torn & confused, or very happy to have so many possible directions to go in!

So, do you know just what you like, when someone asks you?

Or do you, too, like a little bit of everything when it comes to sewing and crafting?

Ha!  It’s been so long since I posted, I had to do this twice…  😛