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Posts Tagged ‘Katja Marek’s Millefiore Quilt

Turkey Tracks: My Milli is FINISHED: “Butterscotch Fall”

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Turkey Tracks:  November 15, 2017

My Milli is FINISHED:  “Butterscotch Fall”

I love this quilt.

I love everything about it.

I have loved every minute spent making it.

This quilt stretched me.  It let me go off into all sorts of new quilty directions.

Here is “Butterscotch Fall.”

One year ago, in early fall, I got inspired for the milli fabric by a range of fall fabrics I saw in local quilting stores–and that inspiration set me off.  I had been trying to come up with focus fabrics for this quilt project over the summer.  As I worked on the quilt, the butterscotch color kept coming on stronger and stronger–some times lighter, sometimes as dark as honey.  When the top was finished and I was hunting for backing, I knew when I saw this 108-inch wide Carolyn Friedlander cross-hatch fabric , called Butterscotch, that I had both my quilt’s backing and its name.  (This fabric is from Friedlander’s Architextural line.)

I wanted this quilt to have an organic feel of fall:  colorful leaves, trees going bare, bees, hives, the idea of harvesting fall honey, blue water under a vibrant autumn blue sky, vivid green moss, the ghosts of Halloween, the grey and blacks of the darkening days and longer nights, and so on.

I was paralyzed about how to quilt the top when I remembered that Jo Diggs once told Coastal Quilters members that you can’t go wrong with using a Bishop’s Fan pattern to quilt.  I liked the idea of this old-fashioned pattern on this modern quilt, which in turn used ancient millefiori rosettes as its design.  And I have the Bishop’s Fan groovy boards for the long arm.  (If you don’t know Jo Diggs, take a minute and look at her web site gallery.)

You will see a Japanese text fabric used in all its color ways in this quilt.  For instance, it’s in the grey star above and in the star below in gold.  These fabrics were designed by Suzuko Koseki.

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the first rosette, which began to set the tone for the quilt:

 

I am so proud of this quilt.

It is PERFECT!!!

Thanks you so much Katja Marek!

Turkey Tracks: And Then There Were Two: Quilty Update

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Turkey Tracks:  September 19, 2017

And Then There Were Two:  Quilty Update

 

I haven’t been able to work on this project–which came out of an Amy Friend workshop earlier in the year–because I was trying to catch up on other started projects.  I’m kind of driven that way, actually, and I allowed myself to start too many projects–which made me cross.  Amy showed us how to design our own blocks, and this is mine.  I am so happy to have had time to make another block last week.  They are 16 inches and foundation pieced, so each one takes a bit of time.  I am using all Cotton+Steel fabrics on the charcoal solid background.  You can start to see the funky shape a bit now.  I am loving these blocks!

By the way, Amy has her first designed fabrics out now.  You might want to go to her blog (During Quiet Time) to see the fabrics, which she designed to be used in foundation pieced projects as that is her first love AND to see what she is making with these fabrics.

I have Bonnie Hunter’s 2016 Mystery Quilt, En Provence, on the long arm, but have been distracted with–among other projects–picking some clothing patterns, making my “cutting out” patterns, buying some fabric, and–oh my goodness–making the first one, a tunic in linen.  More pictures coming on these projects soon.  Meanwhile, En Provence, has at least two runs done and the binding made.  I’m using a pale lavender thread which is awesome with this quilt and its backing.

I FINISHED MY KATJA MAREK MILLEFIORE QUILT.  It’s been a year long project to paper piece it, and I LOVE how it came out.  More pictures coming when it is quilted and bound.  It will go on the long arm next, and I finally figured out how I want to quilt it.

Now I am doing Willyne Hammerstein’s paper pieced quilt called “Valse Brillante,” from her book MILLEFIORI QUILTS.  And then there were…SEVEN blocks.  These guys are a bit more tedious to make, but aren’t they fun?  I am liking this project.

My rules are text, brights, and some solid fabrics.  We learned about making “rules” to follow from Timna Tarr when she came to Coastal Quilters (Maine) last year for a workshop.  When I glue blocks, I make two of each block with the brights and text fabrics reversed:  one small, one large of each.

 

Friend Becca Babb-Brott lucked into taking a two-day Gee Bend quilters class at Maine’s recent Fiber College.  Of my friends, Becca is the one who loves improv quilting the most I think.  So this class was right up her funway path.  Here’s what she has done so far.  Note the use of solids.  These pieces will be connected, and they are actually wider than they appear here now.  Note the jean pocket on the lower piece.  She plans to add another pocket.  Using old denim is something the Gee Bend quilters do/did a lot.  They used what they had.  The Gee Bend quilters advocate working out the width of your piece and them building more to the top and bottom.  It will be interesting to see where this one goes.

 

Gee Bend comes back every other year, and we are already plotting going when they return.

If you don’t know the Gee Bend history, take a minute to google them.  Their quilts are unique and are both old and modern and not quite describable.  They defy “rules.”

 

Turkey Tracks: Fall Quilty 2017 Update

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Turkey Tracks:  September 6, 2017

Fall Quilty 2017 Update

It’s official.

Summer is over.

I confess I love the rotation of the seasons and am looking forward to fall.  Up here in Maine, the trees are beyond gorgeous when they turn, which they are just beginning to do now.

I always think I’ll get some final porch use in September–sitting in the sun and soaking up the last of the late summer sunshine, but the feel of fall is here.  The angle of the sun has changed and the back porch does not get sunshine like it used to.  Time to move some chairs to the upper front deck for that sunshine.  And time to let go of the flower container pots and to start cleaning up flower beds and to winterize.

This hanging pot has been so pretty all summer.  It hangs on the upper front porch, and I can see it from where I sit at the dining alcove table.  This picture is the one I will see in my mind in the dead of winter this year.

The humming birds are still here but will leave any minute now.  They, too, have loved this feeding location and move from the feeder to the actual flowers.  I have two feeders and LOTS of humming birds.  The other feeder is on the back porch, which means these little fast-flying birds are often just skimming any heads whose bodies are sitting on the porch.

Here is the second to last rosette of the Katja Marek millifiore quilt.  I have almost finished the LAST ROSETTE, which will attach to the right side of the one below.  They make up the lower right hand side of the quilt.  I started this project last fall, and it has been a joy.  Up to the point, that is, until I have to figure out how to quilt it.

I slowed down the other day to make this feed bag for a friend:

This time I got the whole thing right side up!

I have almost finished piecing Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt “En Provence.”  I’ve had the units completed since last Christmas/New Year’s.  And the pieced blocks and sashes have been on my design wall almost all summer.  One more row of the big blocks and then on to the outer borders.

I find myself really drawn to the outer neutral borders with their hint of the pointy stars.  I find myself wondering what a quilt would look like with these stars (the red ones above) made scrappy and floated on neutrals.

OK, so I know I’m in a “neutral” fabric moment.  I worried about whether or not the stronger neutrals I used would be too much, but they are what are making the neutral areas of this quilt sing.  I really like how they are working in the quilt and will not be afraid to go to a mixing in of stronger neutrals next time.

This quilt, as all Bonnie Hunter quilts do, has a great “skeleton.”  The designs she makes are inventive and wonderful.  But I find that lately I am really drawn to less-busy quilts.  I think that is one reason why I have had such a hard time finishing this quilt.  It will be wonderful when it is done, but it has been a bear to sew.  Very labor intensive.  Very busy.  This year I am going to print out her clues and see the finished quilt before I charge in to making it.  Part of my issue is that I have several projects of my own I am so excited to start this fall.  They are trumping my doing another Bonnie mystery quilt I think.  And it is always ok to give yourself a break for a year.

We were challenged in our new Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild to experiment with making a minimalist little quilt–the second “how to” chapter from the MIGHTY LUCKY QUILTING CLUB 2016 WORKBOOK, “Minimalist Improvisation,” by Season Evans.  The plan of action in this chapter was very clear and very helpful.  Here’s what I devised:

I quilted with the walking foot–which was an experiment for me.  And I used a circle cutting tool that works like a protractor–cutting the fabric circle 1/4-inch wider than the freezer paper circle.  I ironed the paper onto the circle and turned in the edges with an iron.  I should have tried to cut the circle free hand of course–as everything else was cut free hand, per instructions.  I wanted to get a handle on sewing curves, so that added to some “play” time with this project.  So, I cut and sewed curves, experimented with the circle cutter, and quilted with the walking foot.  A good exercise, I think.

I spent a fair amount of time working on Vicki Fletcher’s traveling quilt, but those pictures will have to wait until after our next meeting.

 

Turkey Tracks: February Quilty Update

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Turkey Tracks:  February 14, 2017

February Quilty Update

I love winter because I have lots of uninterrupted time to sew.  Plus, I love snow.

I am ticking along with all the various projects and having fun seeing them come together.

Here’s Katja Marek’s EPP millifiore quilt in progress.  I have almost finished a large section at the bottom left  and will be adding it soon.  It’s in shades of blue.  And the addition of the blue will make the left edge complete.

Yes, this quilt is very funky, and I have no idea how it will look when it’s done, but…  I am having fun.

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You can see the piles of completed blocks of the Farmer’s Wife–each a column–above the millifiore.

That top was finished last night.

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I liked the zig-zag setting, but it requires cutting four of the blocks in half on the short rows!!!  I thought the quilt too long and skinny, so added two columns and used the five extra blocks I had on the upper left (2) and lower right (3).

I got a little OCD–ok, a lot OCD–about setting up blocks for one of Willyne Hammerstein’s quilts, “Valse Brilliante.”  Hammerstein is Austrian, and her colors are very European.  I’m doing my version in brights and neutrals, and each block will have some text fabric in it.  I got a bundle of “pearl bracelet” fabrics that are bright and colorful, so I ironed them all, and I can’t bear to put them away again until I’ve finished.  There are also some bright Japanese daisy prints I like–as you can see below.  It actually takes a while to set up one of these blocks, but now that I’ve used up all the red wonderclips, I’ve slowed down.  I try to sew EPP with matching thead as much as is possible.

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I have these fabrics left to cut and glue:

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Some of us here in Camden, Maine have formed the Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild, which is in addition to our venerable Coastal Quilters, which is a chapter in the Pine Tree Quilt Guild.

I am so drawn to the “modern” fabrics and the graphic nature of the modern quilts.  And, there is a strand that is modern/traditional, or some such title.   So, we are going to have even more quilty goodness.

We are going to do a “traveling” quilt and will turn in our initial pieces on March 2nd.  I have made this piece as my offering and look forward to seeing how it comes back to me.  I’m not thinking this piece will be a center medallion that gets developed.  And I will go back in with pearl cotton when the quilt is layered to embellish such as the exclamation point at the end of the “Love.”  The “blue moon” and the back side of the sliver moon were cut with one of those rotary circle cutters–which I learned from our workshop with Timna Tarr.

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My alphabet was modeled on the one I found in Mary Lou Weidman and Melanie Bautista McFarland’s OUT OF THE BOX WITH EASY BLOCKS.

We had a major snowstorm starting Monday night and ending Tuesday night–a blizzard.  There was a near complete “white out” and lots of high wind.  I have about 2 feet of MORE snow on the ground now.  As the storm abated, I made my way down the steep drive to my mailbox and retrieved the first Cotton+Steel fabric club package from Pink Castle fabrics.  Isn’t it pretty?

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I’m already thinking about making the next set of Tula Pink’s 100 City blocks.  Some of us are doing 8 blocks a month.  (You can see an earlier post on that challenge.)

I hope your winter is wonderful!

Enjoy it.  Slow down.  Hibernate.  Spring with all of its energy will be here in due course.

Turkey Tracks: Done! Fun!

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Turkey Tracks:  December 30, 2016

DONE!  FUN!

As many of you know, I started A LOT of projects over the course of last year–like agreeing to make 99 Farmer’s Wife blocks (Laurie Aaron Bird).

And, starting SEVERAL English Paper Piecing projects (Katja Marek).

And, making blocks for a future improv quilt with Coastal Quilters friends.

And, getting the right borders and backing for the big Hexie quilt–which needs a good name (Edyta Sitar)

And, planning and making TWO baby quilts.

And, working on another quilt made from the 1600 four-patches I sewed out of the 2″ square blocks two summers ago.

And, collecting the makings for a BIG travel bag.

And, starting the day after Thanksgiving, working on “clues” for Bonnie Hunter’s 2016 Mystery Quilt “En Provence.”

Trust me, the list is MUCH longer than just these items.

So….  It is fun to see many of these projects coming to fruition.  At last.  DONE!!!

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Here’s what a pile of the 99 Farmer’s Wife blocks looks like:

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Here are the last five blocks:

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I’ve got the blocks up on the design wall–using a method thought up by Lynn Vermeulen, who separated her blocks into different color piles before laying them out.  Great idea, Lynn.

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I am letting the blocks bubble on the design wall before sewing them together, and already I’ve swapped blocks out quite a bit since I took this picture.

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Can we talk about this project?  If you are thinking about doing it and foundation piecing the blocks, be warned that you must be somewhat sadomasochistic to even think about it as this project does bring both pleasure and pain.  I think that whoever did the foundation piecing plans didn’t really know that much about foundation piecing.  Some of the more difficult blocks are needlessly difficult–and if some had been drawn as the hand-piecing instructions showed, they would have been much easier.  Additionally, many times the seams did not but up, which made for a really bulky block.  So, I found myself taking out the papers to flip over a seam if I could and/or cutting into a seam to make the top flip so seams would but up.  I pressed open a lot of seams as well, which is not ideal in terms of quilt wear.  I really hope that if Laurie Aaron Bird produces an updated book that she will have someone new look at the foundation piecing patterns.

Having said that warning, the blocks are lovely, and the quilt is exciting.

I’m up-to-date on the Bonnie Hunter clues and will be starting this week’s tomorrow.  Here’s last week’s:

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The 4-patch red/neutral quilt is finished now and bound.  I’ll take pictures tomorrow and post them here.  This quilt is “So Sweet.”

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The second baby quilt is underway.

The big hexie quilt that I started Thanksgiving 2015 is ON THE LONGARM!  This quilt is on the cover of Edyta Sitar’s HANDFULS OF SCRAPS.

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Next up on the longarm, the Farmer’s Wife quilt.

I have two pieces of the Katja Marek THE NEW HEXAGON millifiore quilt completed–and am hyperventilating about whether it is working or not.  The top block seems very…bold?  But this quilt does have a place for bold, and it is too early to tell.  These are rosettes 1 and 9, and I am working on 11, which will sit next to rosette 9 on the upper border.  I wanted to use neutrals and fall/winter colors/themes.  Time will tell.

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This project will be a challenge for the Coastal Quilters for 2017.

 

Turkey Tracks: Snow Day and Quilty Update

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Turkey Tracks:  December 17, 2016

Snow Day And Quilty Update

I love snow days, and this snow is light and fluffy due to the extreme cold.  Temps have been on the MINUS side of zero for the past few days.

I am hunkered down and have pottered about all day so far, but have paid bills, updated CheckbookPro, read and responded to email, blogged, and will go and sew after a late lunch.

I have finished last week’s “clue” for the Bonnie Hunter 2016 mystery quilt, “En Provence.”  I’ll start this week’s clue after lunch–a unit that uses more purple and neutrals.  It’s a good thing I added a few more fat quarlters to my neutral stash for this quilt.

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I’ve had this quilt on the long-arm all week but have not accomplished much on it.  I’m using the clam shell groovy board and a light thread.

This quilt is suddenly looking quite seasonal to me with its red and greens.  I’m almost wishing I had put a green backing on it.  Megan Bruns picked out the outer border fabric, which is a 1030’s red schoolhouse print.  Very retro.

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I am in the home stretch on the Farmer’s Wife blocks however.  Really like how this block came out.

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I finished the first, the BIG, rosette in the Katja Marek “The New Hexagon” millifiore quilt.  And I REALLY like it.  Thought about going back in and making the cotton boll fabric from Cotton + Steel (one of my all-time favorites) all line up, but that would throw off the outer blocks with the rust-colored diamonds so that they would look strange.  As is, the outer ring has a lot of movement, no top and bottom, and if you rotate it in your mind, you can see that there is an organization to it.  It is hard to visualize how these big rosettes are going to come out I think.  One just has to grab fabric and get along with the whole thing.  It is unlikely that anyone ever sees a big quilt straight on anyway–unless it is going to hang.  And this one is going to be USED.

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So…

Stay warm, take time to enjoy these dark nights of peace, and eat well.

 

Turkey Tracks: Katja Marek’s Millefiore Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  March 21, 2016

Katja Marek’s Millefiore Quilt

I finally found a good picture of Katja Marek’s Millefiori Quilt:

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I have 5 of the “rosette” packages for the English Paper Pieces.  You can get them at the English Paper Piecing Web site.  And there is a “club” of people doing a rosette a month, or something like that.  Once you have a package in hand, you go to Katja Marek’s web site for refined instructions.

The large rosette in the middle left of the quilt (rose/yellow/green) is the starting point.  I have TWO of these packages as I want to do one with baby fabrics and use it as the beginning of a medallion quilt.

These pieces are larger than some of the other millefiori quilt patterns–so I think this quilt will be more accessible to more people, including ME.

My thanks to friend Becca Babb-Brott (Etsy store:  Sew Me A Song) for introducing me to this Katja Marek pattern.

AND to friend Megan Bruns, who has been a trailblazer in this whole millefiori quilt knowledge base.  (You should see her finished rosettes–and I will ask her for some pics when I get back from Charleston.)

 

Written by louisaenright

March 21, 2016 at 3:08 pm