And, oh my goodness, what a visual impact this one has.
To remind, this is Tara Faughnan’s wedding ring quilt pattern, and Tara Faughnan is also the designer for 7-month The Color Collective online class hosted by Amy Newbold at Sewtopia. Indeed, season 4 starts TODAY, and, LOL, my fabrics are washed and ironed for the first project, but the design wall is FULL of the log cabin quilt at the moment.
I quilted with a light grey thread by using the 40-inch Innova ruler equipment on the new Innova longarm. There is a basting line crease in this photo that is gone now as I express washed and dried Joyful to remove the basting lines.
Here are some close-ups. The quilting is not 100% perfect all over the quilt as this ruler was a learning curve. Now that the quilt is bound, washed, and dried, one would not notice the kinds of things I note about the quilting. It’s all good, and I’m happy with the results.
After Joyful was dried and while she was all warm from the dryer, I brought her up to my bedroom where she is going to live for this winter at least. I almost took a little nap to bask in the warmth, but thought better of it.
Joyful is a treasure. For sure.
When I checked the rain gauge yesterday, it showed FIVE INCHES of rain from the wild storm.
I finished “Fractures” last night and hung it outside my quilt room this morning—after retiring one quilt and moving another.
I am really happy with this quilt.
Latifah Saafir was the guest designer for this year’s 7th month in season 3 of The Color Collective. She called her block “Tenderoni.”
Latifah spread out her block by using blank pieces of her fabric palette (which I really love), but I wanted to play with how the block worked when all were together without interruption. Latifah’s version, though, is a very handsome quilt and a better choice I think if one wants a bigger quilt.
I hand quilted with 12-wt cotton Sulky thread in various colors—using a Tulip Saskido needle.
I took this photo Friday when I took AC doggie to chase his ball at the Snow Bowl athletic field.
I love what I think of as “soft days” here when rain or fog is around and the clouds sit lie down on the mountain tops.
I’ve been thinking off and on all day that John and I made our first trip to Camden in July 2003 and were here for the 4th and that it was this some sort of cool weekend that we have this year.
It has rained yesterday and today, and much to AC’s distress, we have not gone anywhere. And it has been “get a sweater” cool, which I so love about June in Maine. And it is a joy to see the garden and grass so happy.
I’ve sewn a lot these past two days, and the design wall is, once again, changing.
The small circle top is done, and I sewed it together and stay-stitched the edges this morning. I think I’ve found really good color placement and movement in this little top, which will be a wall hanging. I’ve organized a backing and the batting, so will put it on the longarm tomorrow to baste it. And it is now off the design wall. I’ll probably hand quilt it.
You may remember that it came from the “off-cuts” from the last project in this year’s The Color Collective—the “Tenderoni” block Latifah Saafir designed. My version is layered and basted, and I’ll start hand quilting it tonight with 12-weight cotton thread.
The triangle top I’m exploring has been inspired by Debbie Jeske of A Quilter’s Table blog—after she took a class with Maria Shell at this year’s Quilt Con—The Modern Quilt Guild’s annual show. I’ve had Maria Shell’s book IMPROV PATCHWORK for a few years now and have wanted to try my hand at one of her amazing projects. Debbie Jeske’s version pushed me further along that road, so here I am.
I’m using one of the monthly color palette’s designed for a project that didn’t draw me in enough to make it. Out of 20 projects over three years, that’s a great record for The Color Collective’s design work. There are 12 colors in one of the monthly fabric palettes, and I’ve added a pastel orange to go with the pale green and pale pink. Given what develop’s in the next rows, I may add other colors, but it is a creative challenge to stick mostly to the original palette.
And likely you know the “Funky Wedding Ring” block by now from this blog. It’s coming along as a leader/ender. This project is also inspired by Debbie Jeske’s “redo” of an older “funky” block designed by Freddie Moran and Gwen Marston.
I spent a fair amount of time ironing and cutting strips for all the dark grey fabrics I’ve collected for the new 12-inch log cabin I planned months ago. I had lots of light greys from the blue/grey log cabin made this winter—but I did augment and reorder some of the greys, so I ironed and cut those as well. I’ve begun making those blocks as leader/ender blocks too as I’m near the end of the Funky Wedding Ring project—which would make a really nice baby quilt I think—but I may make it a bit bigger. I never know how inspiration will strike.
I forget now how this information about this exhibit and history of Nancy Crow’s “Riff” quilts came into my social media, but I was immediately drawn to these quilts for several reasons. One is that while I knew Nancy Crow was an early creator of the turn quilting took toward art quilts and innovative “riffs” on traditional quilting back in the day, I had not connected her work to either what we now see often in “modern” quilting or to more recent quilters like Maria Shell, the Alaskan quilter who won a major prize at this year’s Modern Quilt Guild show, Quilt Con. Or, to Tara Faughnan, who is the featured designer in Sewtopia’s online class The Color Collective. Or, to Timna Tarr. And I’m sure there are many more current quilters Nancy Crow has influenced—including all the students working with these clever teachers.
Crow’s “Riff” quilts were on display at the International Quilt Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska, until the end of March 2021.
Crow’s originating idea was started with remembering some railroad tracks from her childhood. Then she went deep with her explorations of those images, and her progression is seen in the way these “Riff” quilts were hung.
Maria Shell has been a student with Nancy Crow. Here is the quilt that made her a top winner at the 2021 Modern Quilt Guild’s Quilt-Con show this year: “Mosh Pit @the Golden” quilt. So you can see where Nancy Crow’s work has influenced and inspired other quilters.
And here’s a link to Maria Shell’s blog where she talks about creating “Mosh Pit”:
As usual, I have multiple quilty and garment sewing projects going on. I move from one to the other as my momentary interest prompts. Joy and engagement prompts me, not stress to finish anything.
The as yet unnamed flying geese quilt is getting its binding sewn down at night. I’ve got a few more nights on this one. But I have to say, I’m really pleased with this quilt, and it was a huge stash buster. The striped binding was a risk, but I think that it is working really well. It is just fun.
Marrakesh, designed by Tara Faughnan for The Color Collective online class I’m taking, is ready to quilt. I started the first line of matchstick quilting and realized there was a HUGE fold in the batting, starting about 1/4 of the way down. How on earth…??? I put smaller quilts I’m going to quilt on my domestic on the longarm to layer and pin. I can’t imagine how I missed a fold in the batting along the way. The quilt WAS pinned more intensely, but I had to put it back on the longarm and take most of the pins out and then repin it. And, yes, the fold was bad and thick, so there was no choice. Anyway, I’ll probably spend some time with Marrakesh later today. I can watch tv from this spot I’ve set up. I really enjoyed Selena The Series on Netflix, by the way. I had no idea about this story.
I’ve got the rows sewn together for this very interesting quilt inspired by one Tara Faughnan made. She has classes on color in which she uses her quilt like this one as an example. I need one more row at the bottom—which should be lighter. It will finish at 50 wide by 60. Easy Peasy. I’ve taken a ton of pictures along the way while trying to check and recheck how the colors are working together. This quilt is made mostly from my solid scraps, not my larger pieces of solid fabrics. I think it will need a dark binding to hold it all together…
”Trees” is now the only leader/ender quilt, and it is growing slowly, which is ok. It is based on a block designed by Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts. I think it will finish at 8 by 9 rows. And it, too, is meant to knock back my solid scraps, which it is doing.
The two Sugaridoo quilts are all ready to go on the longarm—as soon as I figure out how to quilt them. And the second project from The Color Collective is all ready go—my fabrics are washed and I’ll iron them soon. This project is all about curves.
Then, there are two garments that are all cut out and ready to sew, but neither is something I can wear right now, so they are still on pause.
I’m busy and engaged, despite being alone and staying away from people. And I’m grateful for my sewing projects. They can pass a lot of time, for sure.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I voted this morning and came home to pick the filet beans again. I rescued the plants twice about two weeks ago from frost in the night by covering the plants with a tarp, and now they are turning to delicious, tender beans that are such a treat.
Look how healthy the plants look in the cold frame—as do the new raspberry plants behind the beans, which have been trimmed back so they don’t try to fruit.
This was my first batch of these little beans, and I have had two batches since, including this morning. There are loads of flowers and beans growing on the plants, which will fruit until they are stopped by a hard freeze. I thought maybe I had waited to late to seed them into the cold frame this year, but here they are.
And look at these beautiful squashes, garlic, onions, and shallots. They are almost too pretty to eat. The red onions are cipollini onions. I found a recipe to pan sauté them until they are caramelizing in the pan and then to finish them in the oven.
Nights have been much cooler, but rather than organize a wool blanket for my bed, I chose a quilt—the improv quilt I made in 2019—“Parts Department Party”—that includes blocks from two friends as we all made an improv quilt with our shared blocks. (This quilt is BIG and is folded in half here. Here’s the 2019 post that has all the pictures: https://louisaenright.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=11105&action=edit)
I love the bear’s face in one of the little stars. The bear is an old Cotton+Steel fabric. But the designers did take their fabric designs when they changed manufacturers, so maybe someday we’ll see this image appear again.
I am putting binding on my “On Point” quilt from The Color Collective, season 2, designed by Denyse Schmidt. She also chose the fabrics and this placement of the colors. I like the way my quilting choice came out on this quilt—it has lovely texture. When the binding is done I’ll post pictures of the whole thing. When I’m sewing binding on a quilt I fold them and put them on this chair so I can admire them as I come and go during the day.