Finally finished this convergence quilt yesterday. Got the binding done and label sewn on. Two sets of mistakes that went together – totally unexpected and unplanned. It definitely worked out quite well.
Finished Quilt Top
I’m happy I took out the narrow vertical turquoise stripe – it disrupted the left-right movement of the convergence flow. Replacing it with the narrow turquoise border was a good decision. I didn’t have enough grey crackle fabric to complete the binding so I incorporated a turquoise piece I trimmed from the backing after I’d finished quilting. I ran out of binding as I was coming to the join and inserted another small piece of turquoise to complete it. I like where that insert landed.
Fiished Quilt Back
To create the quilt back I set up a “jellyroll race” using leftover bits of fabric from the top, with a narrow strip inserted and two unequal sashing strips. Using the turquoise for the backing sets up an interesting flow from top of quilt to the back. There’s enough turquoise in the top that when you flip the quilt over you retain the connection between top and bottom.
The ombre fabric I ordered online arrived Friday so I will now work on completing the double conversion quilt featuring the ombre fabric.
But before I can get to that, I’m have to work on the thread painting wall hanging.
Detail – Thread Painting Floral Wall Art
I started the thread painting last Tuesday as part of a class I’m teaching (I stitched the dark green parts of this and another leaf although you can’t really see what I’ve done in the photo). We meet again coming Tuesday and I have made no progress on the stitching work. Nevertheless I need to move on to framing the piece so I’ve trimmed it, I’m in the process of adding a bit more batting to the edges to allow enough background to balance the floral arrangement and provide support for the borders. Then I have to set up the marking (using Friction heat erasable pens) so I can apply the borders – have to get that process well underway before Tuesday – not completed, but started so I can demonstrate how I add borders. The framing of the piece won’t hinder the massive amount of thread painting I will still have to do.
Finished last evening. Into the stash they go. I was pleased with how the blue solid came very close to the blue in the variegated yarn.
Can’t leave the needles empty – started a new pair, predominantly red/pink. I have two 100gm balls of variegated yarn left in my collection. Time to go through the yarn leftovers basket to see if I can find some combinations that will work. Each leftover is enough to make a pair of legs so two leftover balls will make a pair of socks, if I can find combinations of variegations that will work nicely together. That leftover yarn could keep me going for quite a while – there’s a lot of it there.
Yesterday I removed the turquoise vertical strip and resembled the quilt top panel – much happier with the flow across the two sets of strips – they’re not interrupted with that contrasting element that really didn’t work well.
Hodgepodge with turquoise vertical stripe removed, sashing and borders added
The colour was right, though, and I used the turquoise fabric to sash the panel – the narrow contrasting sashing provides closure to the panel and brightens it.
The border – that was a challenge – I had several grey fabrics in my stash – I tried all of them. At one point I thought one of the taupier ones would look OK (I used two different Grunge taupe fabrics in the brightly coloured strips) but in the end I used wide strips from the grey Crackle (Moda) I’ve had in the stash for a while (I thought the fabric pattern was long out of stock but I just found more in a wide range of colours online so I bought two yards to replace the piece I’ve used).
Now on to a backing panel with a wide strip of some kind. How I choose to quilt this will also make a difference to how the final quilt will look – quilting design, thread colour should help tie the elements together as well.
Today, I looked at the two sets of discarded strips and decided they could go together and kind of work. The miscut ombre strips needed lengthening to match the pieced strips – I used my last bit of ombre (from the dark brown end) to extend them. I sewed the two sets of strips together this afternoon. The width proportions were the same so I put them together wide/narrow, wide/narrow until they were assembled.
I don’t like the turquoise strip in there, however – I might actually take it out because it interrupts the flow of the strips in both directions. I’ve ended up with a panel 36″ x 43″ – reasonable proportion for a throw/lap quilt with narrow sashing and wide borders added.
Tomorrow I will take out the turquoise strip, then see what I can do about a narrow sashing and a wide border to get me to around 48″-50″ in width, 56″-58″ in length.
And here I am quilting when I intended to be making pants – the corduroy is sitting on the dresser waiting for me to get to it; the pattern is there, too. I wanted to get both pair done by the end of the holidays – nope! It’s quilts instead. Gotta follow the inspiration.
Oh, and I never work on more than a single project at a time, and here I am deeply engrossed in two.
This morning I constructed a new black ombre/batik panel (from the fabric I had left over yesterday) and then assembled the convergence. Yesterday when I cut the two parts into strips at the same time, my strips were exactly the same width. But cutting the second panel today meant there were slight variations in the pieced strips so assembling the large panel proved finicky because many of the joins did not align precisely…. I had to make lots of small adjustments.
Convergence Panel Assembled
However, now I’ve got the balance the way I want it with the two darker elements of the ombre opposing one another as are the two contrast fabrics.
The question is where do I go from here. I need a narrow sashing of some kind but I’m not sure what it should be. Also I have no more ombre (I’ve ordered 2m online but it probably won’t arrive for a couple of weeks) to set up wide outside borders to make a decent size throw quilt. Right now the panel is ~36″ x 36″ – I want to end up closer to 60″. That means more piecing of some kind – at the moment I have no idea where to go from here. Next question is whether there is a way to end up with a throw that’s longer than wide – that means doing something asymmetrical with sashing and borders.
The surprise with this piecing is while the ombre shading comes through due to the wider elements constructed from the darker ends of the fabric, it’s actually a rather weak colour flow. The turquoise livens up the panel but now the question is whether I should introduce more fabrics to build around this panel or wait till the ombre fabric arrives and see what I can do with that. Lots of possibilities….
Christmas day is just another day. I read the news (stupid way to start the day these days – nothing but seriously ominous views of the world). Then I picked up the strips I constructed yesterday, dug out some grey backing fabric from my backing collection and laid the strips on it – I inverted adjacent strips to mix up the colour and added one narrow contrasting turquoise. Now the strips aren’t fighting the complementary fabric. This is a possible arrangement for a quilt top.
But I wondered what it would look like if I kept the strips all in the same direction and skewed them a bit and I think I prefer this layout. I’ll cut off the overhanging bits and resew them at the opposite end so the strips will be the length of the width of fabric. I will mirror strip widths in the interstitial fabric so the assembled top will have a balanced feel.
I didn’t stop there. Here is the first pass at the convergence quilt – and I got it wrong! The ombre/turquoise is right but the batik/ombre is backward – I wanted the dark to go from wide to narrow and I inadvertently did the reverse.
Doesn’t look awful like this but the balance is not what I was aiming for – I wanted the two dark parts of the ombre to be at opposite corners from one another. I must have laid the ombre/batik panel upside down when I cut the strips. Fortunately, I have another dark ombre piece and enough of the batik to recut/resew/and recut those strips – wasn’t planning on having to do that, however.
This is one of those times it’s a good idea to stop and walk away from it all. Take a breath and come at it again tomorrow.
Season’s greeting to anyone who has bothered reading this far.
That pile of fabrics with the Ombre fabric as central has been calling out to me. So this morning I decided to have a go. My idea was to keep the ombre as intact as possible and to set up some kind of convergence idea using the other blending/contrasting fabrics.
Well that didn’t work! The strips of contrast fabrics kill the ombre – they’re way too strong; they overwhelm the ombre fabric. I’ve gathered them up and put them aside to use them in something else.
Ombre Idea #1
So then back to Ricky Tims basic convergence quilt idea – four squares of blending/contrasting fabric which are cut into graduated strips, sewn together in one direction, then sliced again in graduated strips and stitched once more. The question is what will go with the two blocks of the ombre.
I tried a light and dark turquoise – the darker fabric is lifeless against the ombre.
Possible Ombre Idea #2
The lovely lined fabric doesn’t have near enough contrast to work at all.
Ombre Idea #3
For the moment I’m contemplating this selection – the turquoise should make the overall assembly bright and the paler batik blends reasonably well with the two halves of the ombre fabric…
Ombre Idea #4
I will walk around that for a day or so before cutting further – at the same time going through my stash again to see if I have any other fabrics that might work better.
My first convergence quilt had strong contrasts and worked out well.
Convergence Quilt #1
The contrasts with the ombre fabric aren’t so defined although the ombre sets up a workable contrast in two quadrants. The challenge is finding appropriate fabrics for the other two quadrants.
Convergence Quilt – in progress
This convergence quilt in progress was created in a class I taught a year or so ago – the participant had two lovely contrasting ombre fabrics which blended together amazingly well. I don’t have a second ombre so I’m trying to set up the contrasts another way.
This is how improvisation works – one idea doesn’t pan out, you try another until something just feels right. I’m working on the feels right part – not there yet!