Quilt On The Go – IV

Alright – here are the circles and Xs pinned to the background. The result is the illusion of circles (greens) on circles (blue) which is what I was after.

I laid the panel on the floor and photographed it – the circles that were in the wrong place stood out dramatically – I made a few swaps although that wasn’t so straight forward since I had precisely the right number of circles and crosses to fill the panel with just a couple left over. I thought I was going to have to cut more but I got away with what I had by moving a few around.

Circles / Xs pinned

Now comes the painstaking task of pressing the pieces in place so I can then edge stitch them with a decorative stitch. I’m hoping the Wonder Under holds better than the Heat ‘N Bond I used on a previous quilt – I had to use white glue on some of those circles when they began separating from the backing. It will take me the better part of a week, I’m anticipating, to edge stitch all of these 154 elements.

I still have no idea yet where to go from here – I think I want a navyish small print (a grunge?) for a narrow border, then a wider border in chartreuse – I will have to go shopping with the panel to decide what might work because I haven’t anything in my stash that suits the colour scheme in the panel.

Quilt On The Go – III

Here’s how the appliqué work is beginning to shape up – I fused Wonder Under (Pellon 805) to the back of 4 1/2″ x 17″ strips of 30+ fabrics ranging in colour from pale yellow/green to a very dark green. I made the decision to cut the circles from the lighter fabrics and the crosses from the darker ones (that may be a limiting decision but I had to start with some kind of order from which to begin).

So far, I’ve cut a bunch of circles and have pinned them on the blue background and I’ve started interspersing crosses  – I’ve been placing/pinning as I’ve cut out circle and cross elements – I think at the moment I need to cut out more crosses and see how close I can get to the bottom right edge with them, then fill in the rest with circles.

Circles & Crosses

NOTHING is fused in place! I have to get the space filled with circles and crosses, stand back and look at the whole from a distance, take photographs to see what the whole looks like, before putting an iron to the quilt top. I have a feeling I may have too many light coloured circles in that upper left corner (over the darkest squares of the background panel) – I think I will want to drop a few darker circles in that quadrant – just trying to visualize what that would look like.

I’ve done maybe half of the cutting out of circles and crosses. I need to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening getting the rest cut out before I attempt placing more elements. The crosses when placed side by each create circles from the background panel – I want to bring out more of the blue in the middle of the quilt top so that will mean more crosses in that area.

The good thing is everything is just pinned at this point – I can still change my mind about all of it.

Quilt On The Go – II

Here I am with a stitched background layer – it took 3-4 hours to assemble the pieces – the difficult part was collecting them from the floor in the order they were placed and keeping the paired squares in the same order while I was sewing them. I did reference yesterday’s photo several times to be sure I hadn’t reversed blocks.

Stitched Background Layer

I began by creating the vertical columns stacking the 13 pairs from bottom to top proceeding to the next column, then the next. I put post-it notes on the top square of each stack to identify the order in which I needed to sew them. I chain stitched the pairs in each column, cut them apart, pressed the seam to alternating sides, then built each column being careful to nest the seams.

Contrast Fabrics

Yesterday I pulled 27 contrast fabrics from my stash from dark green to light green – in the photo there is a lot more turquoise in the selections than I saw when I stacked the fabrics and the light green looks rather peach. I think my pale colours aren’t strong enough to make the elements I plan on cutting out pop. So back to the stash I must go – I’ll see what I have in yellow that might provide a better contrast, or maybe (heaven forbid) I will have to go shopping for more strong bright lime green batik for the appliqués over the dark background  blocks.

I’m trying to stay within the stash for this quilt, although I already know I’m probably going to have to shop for some fabric to create a border – that’s because about a third of my blocks came from a charm pack (I have no more of those fabrics) and the other fabrics I used came from my scrap boxes (there is very little left of those as well – not enough to do 4″ borders).

Finally – A Quilt On The go

I finally have a quilt on the go.

I started by pulling from my stash a double jelly roll of batik fabric (5″ width of strips) with an idea – but beyond opening the package of fabric strips I haven’t been stuck. Nice fabrics but I just can’t find a way to start. Next I pulled out a charm pack of blue batik fabrics (5″ squares) and that seemed to get me underway. 5″ squares are rather small – ending up as 4 1/2″ blocks so I’d need a 10 x 13 array at the least to make a decent size quilt.

Quilt Background

By adding more than twice the number of squares in the charm park using fabric from my stash of fat quarters and scraps I’ve managed to come up with 130 blocks to set up a graduated 10 x 13 array from light to dark which I can see serving as background for an appliqué quilt.

Inverted Array

I’m still not sure what will develop as a layer on top of this background – I will likely use circles somewhat in the way I did the original “Double Vision” quilt which my niece now has.

The question is what colour palette will complement these blues – shades of green ranging from light chartreuse to dark green/blue? I’ll have to see whether I have enough fabrics in my stash to make this work.

More as the work progresses – now to stitch this assembly together. That’s for tomorrow.

Possibilities #3

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….

New Quilt

A while ago I came across a photo of a quilt constructed from a block I thought was interesting – two equal diagonal cuts creating three pieces – two triangles and one six-sided, double pointed polygon. In the photo, the triangles and polygons were mixed and matched in the piecing of blocks.

The blocks appeared to be perhaps 15+” square (the quilt was a 3×3 array incorporating solid blocks, sashing and borders). A block that size is problematic for me because the widest embroidery hoop I can use for quilting is 250mm (a shade under 10″, my preferred hoop is 200mm square (~8″). So my plan was to downscale the blocks to a size I could manage. I created four 9.5″ squares from 10 different coordinating fabrics.

To cut these blocks into sections I realized I needed a template of some kind so I constructed one out of quilter’s template plastic.

9.5″ Block With Template

To keep the template securely positioned, I used double sided tape on the back which stuck it to the top layer of fabric (I was using a “stack ‘n whack” technique so the triangles were interchangeable).

Cutting The 9.5″ Block

The template plastic is not thick enough to use with a rotary cutter, however, the edge of the template provided me a reliable guide for positioning my ruler.

9.5″ Block Cut

With the 9.5″ blocks cut, I laid out the elements for stitching:

Cut Blocks

I chain pieced the blocks – sewing one triangle to one side of the polygon, pressing, then sewing the second triangle to the other side, pressing, then trimming the resulting blocks to 8.5″.

Pieced Blocks Trimmed to 8.5″ – Laid Out

I now have a 5×7 array on my floor. I have two interesting pieces of turquoise fabric that coordinate well with the fabrics in the blocks which I plan to use for sashing. I also have lots of dark purple grunge fabric (Moda) for a wide border.

What I haven’t decided is whether the polygons should all point in the same direction or whether they would be more interesting pointing in all four directions – at the moment they’re pointing the same way. I can also see from the photo that I have to revisit the block distribution because the pink bits are clustered. I have six extra blocks which I might substitute for a few of the pinks.

Lots of headway on this quilt today. I’ll pick it up again tomorrow.

Oh, and I finished the binding on the strip quilt yesterday, as well.

Strip Quilt – Almost Completed

The quilting is done – just the binding left to do. I’ve decided to bind the quilt with the same background fabric which will accent the colourful blocks and strengthen the off-centeredness of the design. A coloured binding would pull your eye away from the design elements – a binding in the same backing fabric will blend with the borders.

Finished Quilt Top

The quilting itself was a challenge because I’d chosen to quilt it as if it had been regular blocks but I was short a vertical sashing on one side and across the bottom which left me having to resize the quilting design at least once in each column – you can’t really see the different size blocks but it meant measuring each “block” as I was quilting to make sure I was using the right size design to fill it.

Also, I had difficulty with the quilt backing – I’d been careful to smooth it out when I wound it onto the 1×4 board, but there was a small uneven distribution of backing fabric toward the strip insert resulting in backing overlaps within a couple of blocks which I didn’t discover until after they’d been quilted, which meant I had to unstitch those blocks, spray them with Best Press to shrink the fabric as much as possible, before rehooping the block and restitching it.

Finished Quilt Back

In the end the quilting worked out, the backing is laying flat, and the borders turned out balanced – in particular, I was able to start and stop the embroideries in the narrow border so they abut perfectly!

Tomorrow I’ll add the binding and the quilt will be finished.

Then on to the next one.