Lisa Nilsson’s Marvelous Paper Quilling

I’ve dabbled in paper quilling but I don’t have the patience to do much with the tiny twirled results. But Lisa Nilsson makes spectacular art works using the technique.

This work, which took her six years to create (!) is an amazing work of art. You have to see some of the details to appreciate what she’s done:

I came across this piece on Colossal https://www.thisiscolossal.com/2022/05/lisa-nilsson-grand-jardin/ today. It’s worth taking a moment to read about Nilsson’s work.

Poppy Field #2 – Continuing

I’ve filled in the upper right corner, but I’ve run into another issue – my strips aren’t long enough to extend along the diagonal!

Corner Filled In

So what can I do? I decided to bring the dark blue into the top and use it to fill the left corner so I can bring the strips further down on the right side.

I have to say I don’t like the points, although I’m sure I wouldn’t have liked straight joins either. It’s a matter of just carrying on and seeing what happens.

Stopping for now.

Poppy Field #2

Poppy Field #2 – Top (In Progress)

I had a second set of Bali Poppies strips – Poppy Field – which I held back from the previous quilt. With this quilt top I’ve started laying out strips – the plan is to have the strips on an angle across the width of the quilt top. I started with a long strip – at the moment I’m working my way into the top right corner, then I’ll pick up and work my way to the bottom left. I want the quilt to be about 46″ wide by whatever length it turns out to be.

I’ve elected to do mitre joins (rather than blunt ones) – that may not have been the best decision in this situation. I’m also alternating the direction of the joins – which means some are almost vertical and the next horizontal. I’m not sure the visual effect I was hoping for is going to materialize – I won’t be able to tell until then top is nearly assembled.

I’m having to piece this project one strip at a time, making sure I get the join direction correct and the join position somewhat interesting.

As I get further along I’m planning on inserting “diamonds” into the dark blue background. I may have to appliqué them in order for them to look like diamonds. I have a hunch that if I piece them into the background with mitre joins they’re going to look quite odd!

We’ll see how it turns out.

Poppy Field #1 – Finished

Once I got rolling again on piecing the quilt back, the quilt went reasonably quickly. I’d already set up an embroidery (320mm x 320mm) to quilt the project – using my “grand dream” hoop – 360x350mm. The hoop is “reversible” – the machine stitches out the right half of the embroidery design, then you rotate the hoop to stitch out the second half. So all I needed was to execute 16 repeats of the design. The quilting turned out quite nicely.

Poppy Field #1 – Top

Then I stitched the sashing “in-the-ditch” using a navy 50wt thread adjacent the dark blue so the stitches are barely visible. After I trimmed the backing, I had enough leftover fabric to use as binding. I’d initially thought I’d turn the binding completely to the back, but in the end I liked having 1/4″ showing – it added interest to the quilt top. Then I hand stitched the binding to the back. It blended in perfectly; you hardly notice it at all.

Poppy Field #1 – Back

Now I have the choice to display either side of this quilt – I’m almost tempted to show the back of the quilt in Parrsboro!

Quilt Back – Finished

Finished Quilt Back

Just finished piecing the quilt back. I managed to get it a bit longer and a bit wider than the quilt top which will allow me to position the vertical pieced stripe further to the left a wee bit when I assemble the quilt sandwich.

I’m not sure how I feel about the unequal sashing on the pieced stripe – I suspect it ought to be symmetrical – the question is whether it wants both sides 1″ or both sides 1/2″? I’ll probably leave it as it is. Nobody looking at the finished quilt will even wonder about that possibility! They’ll accept whatever decision I made.

Now I have to think about binding fabric – I intend a hidden binding which will show only on the back side of the quilt; I suspect it should be pieced – I may be able to salvage enough from all four sides, after quilting, to make the binding strips which will then match (more or less) the four sides of the quilt! Wouldn’t that be nice. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

BTW the quilt back is actually square. I’ll be able to ease out the wobbles visible in the photo when I place it against the batting. That’s one of the things I like about Warm & Natural batting – the cotton fabric clings to it so I don’t have to use a spray glue when I assemble the sandwich. Also, I’ll be able to smooth each section when I place the quilt in the hoop to quilt it. The slight excess of fabric will disappear. I’m not going to fuss about at this stage. A good spraying with Best Press will shrink the fabric and eliminate a good bit of the fullness.

The Back – Shaping Up

The Back – Shaping Up

I’ve been pondering the quilt back for many days – I have the four long strips assembled from the 2 1/2″ batik pieces which I’d originally intended using on the front and I wanted to incorporate them in some way on the back. I picked up what could have been some batik backing fabric at Atlantic Fabrics on Friday – there wasn’t quite enough of it for a single length but I thought it brought out the colours in the small strips so I bought what was there. I also picked up this blue batik on Sunday at Heidi Wulffrat’s shop in Mahone Bay – just enough for a single strip. However this quilt (because it’s a square) needs ~60″ in width – close to 20″ needed to augment this strip I’ve assembled so far.

I’ve attached one of the long strips to the right side, the second is sitting on the floor beside it. I’m going to intersperse something between those two long strips and I intend using a third but I also want to integrate the fabric I bought on Friday which also needs to be broken up in some way.

I’ll just keep working at this. I’m thinking about this – if I get it more or less pieced in an interesting way – as possibly the front of the quilt! I have to see how it all turns out.

I also don’t have a name for this quilt, either! Maybe something will come to me when I get it completed.

Conundrum!

Conundrum!

I’ve just added a 1″ border to the panel using the sashing fabric. My intention was to add another 3″ border built from 2 1/2″ cuts of the panel fabrics. I have the assembled strips, I’ve added one to one end – don’t like it at all!

The backing fabric I ordered arrived – the same navy sparkle that I had – whew! – I could now cut a wider outer border from the dark sparkly fabric but I’m not sure that’s what I want, either! I might be fine with this narrow outer border and consider the panel done.

I know my local fabric shop down the street from me has no batik that would work as an outer border (I want something darker rather than lighter) so I guess it’s a trip to Atlantic Fabrics and hope I can find something there.

New Silk Kantha

New Silk Kantha

I ordered another silk kantha bedspread ten days ago – it arrived day before yesterday. It’s a dark, rainy afternoon and the overhead light floods the quilt with yellow light. It’s actually more off-white/light beige with red and purple accents. It has red and white quilt stitching. It’s going to be perfect for a colourful summer jacket – this time with more flow and more contrasting colour to bring out the red in the silk blocks.

I bought a 90″ x 108″ quilt – that’s a ton of fabric – more than enough for two jackets! I’ll do one for myself first, then who knows what I’ll do with what’s left. A friend sent me a Pinterest photo of a summer shirt yesterday – this might work nicely done with some of the kantha.

Summer Shirt Idea From Pinterest

She’s right about that – it wouldn’t take much kantha fabric to do half a front, half a back and one sleeve! I’d use red linen for the other half of the shirt. Simple to make – a facing on the front neckline, a small binding on the back. It’s hard to tell from the photo whether the bottom of the shirt is actually scooped or just tucked into the bottom. I’d make mine straight with side slits.

Clearly an idea on my “to do” list.

Quilt Math…

16 Blocks With 1/2″ Sashing

I have just finished assembling the 16 blocks with 1/2″ sashing. I decided to use a narrow sashing to tame the bias edges of the blocks – it has done that. The half inches and the intersections are pretty good – the imperfections won’t be noticeable when I’ve added the outer border and quilted the whole thing.

So here’s my dilemma – I have exactly 20″ of the sashing fabric to use for the outer border. I’d like to use 3″ cuts but here is the math:

  • Side length = 56″
  • Fabric (minus selvage) = 42″ + 14″ = 56″
  • Overlap needed to join fabric = 6″
  • Overlap for corner mitre = 3″ x 2 = 6″
  • Total fabric needed for one side = 56″ + 12″ = 68″
  • Fabric needed for 4 sides = 272″
  • 20″ of fabric cut into 3″ strips yields 6 x 42″ = 252″!

If I cut six 3″ strips I’m going to be 20″ short of fabric – and I don’t have a scrap of this navy Speckled (Ruby Star Society) anywhere in my boxes of scraps. (If I hadn’t done the sashing, I’d have had enough fabric!)

Back to the beginning – what if I don’t mitre the border corners – I still need 56″ of border length for two sides, plus 6″ to create a mitre join, the two short lengths each need to be 62″. The two longer pieces each need to be 62″ + 6″ (double the width of the border) – 68″. Total border length: (62 x 2) + (68 x 2) = 260″! I’ve managed to save 12″ but I’m still short 8″. Butting the border pieces won’t work either.

OK, so I create 2 3/4″ strips (2 3/4″ x 7 = 19 1/4″) – that means I have enough fabric to make 7 cuts from the 20″ of fabric. 7 x 42″ = 294″. That gives me enough length for four border sides with mitred corners (leaving me 22″ to play with). Attached, (using a 1/4″ seam) gives me a 2 1/2″ border. I then lose at least another 1/4″ if I do a hidden binding, 1/2″ – 5/8″ if I decide to finish with a traditional quilt binding. In the end I will have just about a 2″ border. Not quite wide enough to tame the busyness of the 40 coloured strips in the panel.

I managed to find more navy Speckled fabric online – it’s on the way; but I have no guarantee that the colour will match what I used for the sashing. It looks like I better wait for the fabric I ordered to arrive. Just put this project aside and start another quilt. If the fabric I ordered is close I’m in business. If not, I will have to make a narrower navy border and then improvise with another fabric to make a wide second border.

The World In Stones

Jon Foreman, a Welshman, does these amazing creations on a beach using stones or shells, or just a rake and some string.

It’s about the time it must take to collect the RIGHT stones – construct the array, take photos, then walk away. The next day the array is likely gone, washed away by the waves. He sets to work again.

Do take a look: https://www.thisiscolossal.com/2022/04/jon-foreman-new-land-art/ – each piece is spectacular!