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Bits and Pieces in Late November 2020

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November 25, 2020

Bits and Pieces in Late November 2020

Winter is closing in now, and we are in the darkest time of the year.

But there are seasonal gifts to view, witness these beautiful red berries against the grey sky that I saw in my travels the other day. We’ve had some cold days, but I have not yet switched out my cotton socks for my warmer winter ones. That day is coming though.

I’ve spent some time playing with using up the scraps in my solid scrap bin. I had a lot of leftover bias strips sewn together and cut from projects like The Color Collective Lone Star quilt process and the Sugaridoo QAL rows (the pink strips). What if I used them on fun and funky “tree triangles” that so many people are making these days as they rise to quilter Nicholas Ball’s challenge.

I’m working away at the first project from Season 3 of the online class The Color Collective, hosted by Sewtopia, with designer/teacher Tara Faughnan. The first block is called “Marrakesh,” and it allows us to play with and manipulate color choices that can radically change how the block appears. There are also several construction methods that I have never made, and that’s always a fun learning curve.

I have 4 blocks done now—they will finish at 15 1/2 inches each.

I’ll make at least two more and may stop at creating a rectangle wall hanging. Who knows. In any case, I’m sure these blocks will get moved around more. If I make more, I’ll definitely stop at 3 by 3 blocks, which will be a bit larger than 45 inches square. Or a longer 2-block wide rectangle wall hanging. Time will tell…

I keep moving around these four blocks because I see something that just needs to be changed, but then I see something else. I definitely need more blocks.

Mid November Quilty Update

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Turkey Tracks: November 13, 2020

I have FOUR quilts to longarm now—each is all set up with all their parts organized, including their labels and bindings.

And while my quilt room is feeling MUCH less tangled with projects now, the bed in the adjacent bedroom is piled high with these projects.

First up to quilt will be the Wild Goose quilt, seen here on the design wall a while back:

Next will be the funky rail fence quilt designed by Sajata Shah and which can be seen in her book CULTURAL FUSION QUILTS.

The TWO Sugaridoo QAL quilt tops are finished as of yesterday. These two quilts have been a year-long journey. Here’s the rainbow solid one. You can see a piece of the backing fabric on the cutting board. I wanted something quiet, though I was tempted by the very bright choices others are making. I am going to bind in the darker grey accent fabric.

Here’s a close up pic of the LAST row, row 11.

Row 11 is so graphic. It was so fun to make. And in general, I have learned a lot during this project and have now 12 new patterns and several quilty methods new to me.

Here is the Cotton+Steel version:

And a close up of those bottom rows:

I have absolutely no idea how I should quilt these quilts. At 70 by 90, they are just way too big to be done on the domestic machine with a grid. And I don’t do intensive longarm quilting with rulers. I just don’t. And I don’t like intensive quilting on a functional quilt as it makes them too stiff. So I will do something overall—either freehand or with a pantograph.

I have TWO leader/ender projects on the design wall; each is endlessly fun and are using up the solid scraps. The tree block is inspired by a quilt by Crazy Mom Quilts, and the striped quilt is inspired by a quilt by Tara Faughnan.

AND, in the relatively clean quilt room, I will now wade into the first Color Collective project as the white background fabric I ordered arrived this week.

People taking the class are showing their completed blocks now in the online social media groups (FB and Instagram), and their different color choices are so fun and so inspiring to see.

Quilty Update Early November 2020

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Turkey Tracks: November 7, 2020

Quilty Update Early November 2020

I have been having so much fun playing with these two projects on my design wall. They have been wonderful ways to cope with all the political chaos of an election in the middle of a pandemic.

Both of these projects are meant to use up solid scraps acquired with two years of The Color Collective online class on Sewtopia, with Tara Faughnan as the teacher and curator of fabrics.

On the left, the “trees” quilt was inspired by Crazy Mom Quilts. And on the right is a quilt inspired by Tara Faughnan’s quilt made with this kind of method.

I pulled out the bin of solid scraps and sorted it—I have piles where the fabrics need to be cut into useable sizes—like, at the very least, different sizes of square blocks. The strips are going into the developing quilt on the right. Occasionally I dive into the bigger bins of bigger pieces of solid fabrics to get a color I want to go with what is here, or to cut new squares for the trees quilt.

I’ve washed and ironed all the fabrics for the first project of season 3 of The Color Collective. The block is “Marrakesh.” The first set of fabrics is a luscious combination.

The funky rail quilt top from Sajata Shah’s CULTURAL FUSION QUILTS book and all the needed parts for the longarm joins the Flying Geese quilt with all its needed parts. I’ll start to longarm quilt these quilts pretty soon now.

The funky rail fence block is super fun to make. I used a suite of fabrics I’ve never used—and added fabrics from my stash. I pieced the back with the remnants, so that’s a lot of fabrics out of the stash. And does it count as an almost-created Unfinished project since I did have a suite of fabrics kept together? I think so. I do NOT want to be one of those people who dies and leaves a huge amount of fabric for my family to manage.

I LOVE this flying geese quilt and can’t wait to see it finished.

I worked on the last row of the solid Sugaridoo QAL quilt yesterday. Along the way I added sashing that is a bit too wide, and the quilt is way, way too long. Sugaridoo planned it at 70-90, which is not a ratio I like. I spent the evening ripping out some of the sashing, and I have at least gotten the quilt back to 70-90. I’ll likely finish these two quilts in the next few days, and I have enjoyed the learning curves involved and all the new block patterns. I have backings for both quilts, but need to organize bindings. Completing these two tops will make FOUR quilts ready for the longarm and binding.

The third row of the EPP project “36 Ring Circus” is going faster than the first two. I’m making all the center blocks in a row at one time now. And I pretty much have all the parts that surround the center glued and ready to go.

I also have two knit garments cut out and some patterns I really want to make. That’s a bit harder since I’m not really seeing anyone with the pandemic situation and so have no place to wear new garments.

My sewing life is rich and satisfying during the winter season here in Maine, and it feels good to get unfinished projects completed and to take on some new challenges.

Funky Rail Fence Quilt Top

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Turkey Tracks: November 2, 2020

Funky Rail Fence Quilt Top

The blocks are done, but not sewn together. Sajata Shah designed this “funky rail fence” block, and it is in her book CULTURAL FUSION QUILTS.

Yesterday I started piecing a back and pulled out leftover batting strips to sew together. The binding is cut, but not sewn together. It’s one of the reds in this fabric suite. I was able to add some greens from my stash to this mix, so a lot of fabric has gone flying out of my stash.

My pile of longarm projects is growing…

I think I would love this quilt in shades of grey and black. AND in modern bright fabrics with, maybe, some neutrals. But, maybe no neutrals. And of course it would look great with solids as well.

So, someone please tell me how—in spite of my vow to NOT start anything new—that this happened? It comes from playing with a new block, of course. And the excitement of getting a new book with LOTS of fun projects. Can I count having a suite of unused fabrics an “unfinished” project?

Written by louisaenright

November 2, 2020 at 10:06 am

A List of Modern Quilters on Instagram

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Turkey Tracks: October 30, 2020

A List of Modern Quilters on Instagram

When I first got on Instagram, friends helped me with whom to “follow.” Meanwhile, the Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild started a challenge inspired by a group whose work appears on Instagram: #beesewcial.

But who are these wonderful modern quilters?

Here’s a list. I had to do a screen shot to get the list, and the text is light to read, but I think you can see it well enough if you want to follow any of these quilters on Instagram.

Thanks to these quilters for sharing their awesome creativity!

Written by louisaenright

October 30, 2020 at 8:55 am

The Paul Klee “Bee Inspired” Prompt

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Turkey Tracks: October 29, 2020

The Paul Klee “Bee Inspired” Prompt

The challenge “prompt” for this month’s block for the Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild’s ongoing “Bee Inspired” challenge—based on the quilting group of modern quilters called “Bee Sewcial” (see #beesewcial on Instagram for their work)—was Paul Klee.

What a fun challenge—which prompted me and I’m sure other members to take an online research trip to see Klee’s paintings. Klee (1879-1940) was a Swiss-born German modern painter whose work took place in the early 1900s. He was deeply interested in color theory.

I chose Klee’s “Characters in Yellow” for my prompt.

But I didn’t want to make the block in yellow as yellow stands out in a quilt like a flashing neon sign. So I used reds.

Klee loved geometric shapes. And in this painting he used analogous colors. And he kept his shapes intact for the most part. No one knows who the “characters” he depicted were. And it does not matter. That’s the whole point really.

I used the method I learned in The Color Collective for this quilt:

Tara Faughnan created this method, and created the visual impression of the blocks floating over the darker background by slashing the geometric shapes and installing strips of the background color. Here, too, the color palette is analogous.

So the “Modern” experiments with shape and color continue… And now Klee’s painting looks…static, fixed…to my eyes anyway.

I love my quilty journey.

Written by louisaenright

October 29, 2020 at 9:00 am

Design Wall Quilty Projects October 2020

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Turkey Tracks: October 22, 2020

Design Wall Quilty Projects October 2020

The wild goose quilt is OFF the design wall and all is prepped to load it into the longarm. It is GORGEOUS, and it chewed up a lot of stash fabric.

So, here’s what’s on the design wall now:

On the left are “kind of” leader/ender blocks taking shape—and both projects are meant to use up some of the solids I have acquired. I say “kind of” leader/ender projects as I also like to take some time just to play with these two projects.

The tree blocks are inspired by a quilt made by Crazy Mom Quilts, and the stripes below are inspired by a quilt made by Tara Faughnan, and I can already see that I need to include a lot more light fabrics. The light colors are what will make this quilt sparkle. I’m just cutting from the scrap box right now, for the most part. I’ll dig into the solid stash for small pieces next. I am very drawn to both of these projects.

Here’s Tara Faughnan’s quilt that I so like, and I think she teaches this quilt in one of her online classes. I didn’t take it as I’ve signed up for The Color Collective, which starts again in November. Tara is a really good teacher, and her work is so inspiring.

The developing blocks on the right are from Sajata Shah’s book CULTURAL FUSION QUILTS, and I posted info on that book a few days ago. I had a suite of more traditional fabrics that I thought would work to try this block out, and I’ve already had to comb through my stash and buy a few green fabrics to expand the original fabrics—which are the florals and the reds. I seem to run through green fabrics really fast, and the ones I have now are too bright for this quilt.

I did reverse the lower right block and I like it better this way:

Making this block is so much fun!!! I don’t know if this quilt will scratch this itch I have or if I will want to make it again with more modern fabrics—as with all the Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society fabrics I’d like to whittle down now.

And then there is the Sugaridoo QAL project to finish. The last row is out now, so I’ll get to that project again soon. When the last row is made and attached, I’ll be finished with construction on the top. I have backings for the two versions I am making.

In going through my stash again, I reviewed the several fabric suites and the two kits I’ve put aside. Those must be included in the UFO category I think. I am determined to NOT be one of those quilters who dies and leaves this enormous bunch of fabric for someone else to have to manage. And I am determined to NOT start any new projects that require the purchase of a whole bunch of new fabrics. I am having fun and making headway with that goal.

It’s all good.

Written by louisaenright

October 22, 2020 at 9:37 am

A Quilter’s Table Blog and Other Quilty Inspirations

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Turkey Tracks: October 16, 2020

A Quilter’s Table Blog and Other Quilty Inspirations

I am really, really enjoying this blog and highly recommend it to you.

Take a look?

https://aquilterstable.blogspot.com/2020/10/vista-toscana.html

AND, I just bought this book by Sajata Shah, which I am also really enjoying. Sajata is an improv, modern quilter who has been influenced by the Gee’s Bend quilters, fiber work in her native India, and fiber work in Africa. Like many of the modern quilters, she is carving out a place that blends traditional quilts with modern quilting. Much of her work, like the quilt on the cover, uses controlled free-form methods that are exciting and lively.

Apparently Sajata holds a workshop where some of the modern quilters that I like (see on Instagram #beesewcial) gather. Capitola quilter (see her work on Instagram) attended a gathering where participants worked on Sajata’s version of a Kaladiscope quilt called “Organized Chaos” (Instagram hashtag #organizedchaosquilt).

I’ve fallen in love with Capitola’s version—as I do with most, if not all, of her work.

I’ll probably be looking for kaladiscope quilt block patterns down the road. Ummmm….when I finish current projects.

Written by louisaenright

October 16, 2020 at 10:07 am

The Final Sugaridoo QAL Row

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Turkey Tracks: October 9, 2020

The Final Sugaridoo QAL Row

Here’s what this graphic, modern quilt looks like with the release of the final row.

I haven’t made mine yet as I’m finishing up a few other projects first. But this year-long journey has been fun and instructive. Look at all these fun patterns! And I’ve learned some new sewing methods for sure and am using them elsewhere.

The patterns and the videos will apparently stay “up” at the Bernina blog for some time if you want to check out anything in this project.

Written by louisaenright

October 9, 2020 at 9:15 am

“On Point” Quilt Finished

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Turkey Tracks: October 8, 2020

“On Point” Quilt Finished

This quilt is another very different project for me. But I loved making it, especially as decisions about the colors and the setting of the colors were made for me. The block that guest designer Denyse Schmidt created for Season 2 of The Color Cellective is BIG—20 inches.

This quilt is the final project (7), finished just in time for Season 3 to start in November.

I wasn’t quite sure how to quilt it, but opted in the end for this overall design with curves and some sharp points. I like the texture that developed a lot. The pantograph is Checks and Chase by Lorien Quilting. The row is 8 inches and is double, so 16 inches wide.

The thread color is the same kind of jade green that’s in the quilt—and that worked well too. It was dark enough for the darker fabrics and not too dark for the lighter. My fallback for quilt thread is always shades of grey, but they just didn’t work here with the mixtures of bright/dull/dark and light and dark. I use Signature 40-wt. all cotton thread on the longarm, and this thread color is Jade.

I also wasn’t sure what would work well as a backing, but I’m happy with this duller taupe colored fabric that has sprinkles of color that are, for the most part, also in the quilt. It’s Ruby Star Society, Speckles, and there is a very large range of colors in that line. This backing does not draw attention from the front of the quilt.

The luscious dark brown in the quilt provided enough for the binding, which I always cut on the bias. I did order extra dark brown in order to have enough for this 60 x 60 quilt. I could have easily and happily made this quilt much bigger, but wasn’t sure how it would come out in the end, if I would like the block, and so forth. I have tended to copy the Color Collective projects and then play with them—once I’m sure I understand how they work. I never think about using a luscious dark brown instead of black, but I will now.

November is coming up fast!