Gathering No Moss – Finished

Gathering No Moss – Quilt Top

I finished hand stitching the binding to the back of the quilt last evening. Usually, I would stitch the binding to the back, fold it to the front, pin, then use a decorative stitch to attach it to the front. But this time I wanted a 5/8″ binding but to use just 1/4″ of the sashing so it would balance on the outside with the rest of the quilt which meant when I trimmed the batting/backing, I left 3/8″ beyond the quilt top. To make sure I captured 1/4″ of the top under the binding, I had to align the sashing on the front, stitch 1/4″ from the top edge, then fold the binding to the back over the extended batting/backing. Even though I was careful pinning it in place, I knew top stitching on the back wasn’t going to give me a perfect stitching on the front, so I hand stitched the binding in place (not my favourite job).

Finished Quilt BackTes

With this quilt now finished, I started playing with the leftover fabric:

I used scraps to construct two offset squares by attaching a double set of triangles to each side – the triangles in two sets – cut from rectangles on opposite diagonals. When attached this rotates the square to the left or to the right.

In these test blocks I was trying to sort out a couple of things – I wanted to see what placing the shark’s teeth as both the inside and the outside triangle would look like (I don’t like either and may not use that fabric in the block construction, maybe instead as a narrow sashing); I was also playing with the dimensions of the triangles which I haven’t quite worked out yet (I need the triangle to be cropped leaving 1/4″ in the finished square so the next seam brings it to a point. Mine aren’t yet quite long enough – I have to redraft the triangles and try another pair of test blocks.

I have laid out my fabric leftovers in three piles – light/medium/dark. I intend making a 5 x 7 block array which means I will need 35 centre squares. Gathering No Moss used the medium fabrics for the centres and I may do the same here which will free up the lights/darks for the inner and outer triangles (17 blocks rotating to the right, 18 blocks rotating to the left). I still have to decide whether all left rotating blocks will be dark inner/light outer triangles, all right rotating light inner/dark outer, or if I will distribute lights and darks more or less randomly!

Lots of decisions.

Gathering No Moss – Sashing

I finished quilting the 30 blocks; next the sashing. I figured I had two options: edge stitching or stitching-in-the-ditch. I did a bit of both knowing I was going to have to take out whichever one I didn’t like.

On the left is the edge stitching (on the vertical sashing), on the right stitching-in-the ditch. The difference is subtle but I prefer the stitching-in-the-ditch. So I started taking out the edge stitching. Thank goodness I only did one horizontal row and a bit of the end sashing. That’s a job for working in front of the TV tonight.

I’m quitting for now but I will carry on quilting the sashing tomorrow.

Gathering No Moss – Quilting

I started quilting yesterday – did 6 blocks; another 19 blocks today – 25 blocks done – 5 remain.

A Quilted Block

I’d set up a single-run embroidery (single-run = the design is stitched once) to fit the block within the sashing, coming close to the edges but leaving a small amount of space so when I do something with the sashing (either stitching-in-the-ditch or edge stitching beside the seams) I don’t run into the embroidery.

Tomorrow’s decision will be what to do with the sashing. I’ve thought of other options besides the two I’ve mentioned above like under stitching all the rows of shark’s teeth but I think that would push me past my boredom threshold! And I can’t see a decorative stitch down the middle of the sashing strips – would just clash with the fabric detail. So it’s either stitching-in-the-ditch or edge stitching. I might just try a bit of edge stitching to see what it looks like, being prepared to take it out if I don’t like it! That’s for tomorrow.

Gathering No Moss – Quilt Back

Quilt Backing

I finished piecing the quilt backing this morning. It needed a good pressing with some Best Press (a clear spray starch.

Would you believe it – I see a mistake! I’ll have to take the pinning partly apart so I can get to the spot where I have to rotate one of the rectangle blocks 180°! I didn’t pick up on that – not until just now as I’m looking at the photo.

Damn!

The quilt sandwich is pinned. I’ve been setting up embroidery designs for quilting the blocks – testing them out on scrap fabric to make sure they stitch out correctly. Still haven’t decided which to use. Guess I need to sleep on it a bit. I hope to have made up my mind by tomorrow!

There! The block is fixed – the joins not quite so perfect but nobody, except me, is going to notice.

Gathering No Moss

Quilt Top Assembled

Here it is – the quilt top is finally assembled. All the shark’s teeth sashing is going in the same direction vertically and horizontally (that took a bit of correcting in the first couple of rows until I realized the top would look better with that fabric unidirectional rather than helterskelter. The four substituted square centres bring some life to the quilt and bring out the colour in the others.

Final quilt size is 52 1/2″ x 62 3/4″.

Next step is to create six more blocks for the back of the quilt. Past Friday I went to Mahone Bay to Woolworks and picked up one of the fabrics to use for backing the quilt. One length isn’t wide enough for a backing – I will splice it and insert a column of blocks with sashing.

It’s a lovely colourful quilt top – I like Kaffe Fassett’s sharks’ teeth fabric selection for the sashing – quite unlike the other fabrics, yet the right colour – it creates a very modern feel to what is a traditional block.

And I was right – the many imperfections in the blocks were amended when I added the sashing. I didn’t trim the blocks to a precise 9 1/2″ because I needed to keep the 1/4″ at each corner block point so I fudged the placement while adding sashing and the blocks have ended up as I wanted them.

Gathering No Moss – In Progress

1/2 Done

I have just finished the 15th block for the Gathering No Moss (Kaffe Fassett) quilt. That’s half way. The block, by the way, is called a “rolling stone” – hence Fassett’s choice of name for the quilt.

Once people figured out the “quilt along” on Facebook (a “private” group for those who purchased the quilt kit) was mostly about us commenting on (and sharing photos of) our progress, the traffic has died down. I had decided to purchase the kit and join the quilt-along because I thought Fassett would discuss his decision-making regarding fabric design and choices for the quilt in some depth. Doesn’t appear to be the case. Had I realized that, I likely would have just deconstructed the quilt from the photo and done it in some colour set from fabrics I had in my stash and could pick up from The Woolworks in Mahone Bay. I wouldn’t have bought the kit.

Oh, well, I won’t do this another time. I have a greater sense of satisfaction when I’ve worked out how to construct a quilt from a photo and chosen my own fabrics, as I did with the Escher quilt. That was a real challenge and I was very pleased with the outcome. Here, although the quilt block is an easy one, it is fiddly – the four corners take time to construct – add one triangle, press, add the opposite triangle, press, add a side triangle, press, add final triangle, press – and hope you’re close enough to square that they will assemble with the rest of the block without too much distortion. But overall, there isn’t much challenge to the quilt once you figure out how to construct the block. In this case, I chose to change the block size, which required some testing out to make sure my pieces would match up, and I’ve changed some of the colour selections, but it’s still the “Gathering No Moss” quilt. Far less challenging than most of the quilting I’m used to doing.

Here is the panel at noon – with four rows now completed.

2/3 Finished

This time I worked on an entire row at the same time doing what’s called “chain piecing” – taking great pains to keep the elements in the order I’d planned on them having! At the bottom, second block from the right – not sure about this one. I want that centre where it is but the large blue and white dotted fabrics together are rather loud. Given the symmetry I set up, that pairing was bound to happen since I had five light and five dark fabrics.

Enough for today. On to other tasks.

Kaffe Fassett Quilt Along

In January I did something I have never done – I signed up to do a quilt along – this one with Kaffe Fassett. He (and the rest of the collective) have created a quartet of queen size quilts – same pattern but available in four different colour combinations. The quilt block resembles a cog wheel hence the name of the quilt: Gathering No Moss.

The project began when I received an email from Hyggeligt Fabrics in St, Mary’s Ontario advertising the quilt along. Over the years I’ve collected Kaffe Fassett fabrics – my diamond quilts, the Escher quilt all used fabrics from Free Spirit which produces and sells the Kaffe Fassett Collective collections. In years past, I’ve attended a lecture or two of his which I found underwhelming, but I’ve also watched Fassett lead a weekend workshop several years ago on YouTube from which I learned a lot.

I liked the “Delft” fabric collection well enough that I decided to buy the Gathering No Moss fabrics and join the quilt along. The zoom lectures begin on Wednesday – Aug 4 – on Facebook (why there of all places – I try to stay off Facebook). In any case, my fabric bundle from Hyggeligt Fabrics arrived last week. It’s a lovely collection of fabrics. The instructions are for a 77″ x 92″ quilt – a 5 x 6 array of blocks. I decided to keep the array, but downsize the blocks.

The intended quilt block is a 13 1/2″ square:

The 13 1/2″ block / an 8 1/2″ adaptation

I did a mock-up of the intended block but I wanted to make a smaller throw size quilt so I downsized the blocks which turned into a block a bit smaller than I wanted. [ A finished 9″ block x 5 = 45″ plus 1.25″ x 6 for the sashing = 7.5″ will give me a finished width of 52 1/2″ – a largish throw quilt.]

A 9 1/2″ block

Once I’d figured out the block construction and had dimensions for the 9 1/2″ block I was going to make, I got to work on the Delft fabrics. I simplified the instructions – rather than work with the chart describing what to cut from which fabric, I sorted the fabrics into light/dark and medium. The centre blocks I cut from the small medium colour fabrics; then I cut rectangles and squares for the corner blocks from the darks; finally I cut rectangles and squares (which I cut into half-square triangles) from the lights. The cutting went reasonably quickly.

I carefully laid out the centre blocks in a numerical order – Row 1: 1,2,3,4,5; Row 2: 2,3,4,5,1, etc, until I had six rows of five blocks. While I liked the colour of the Delft fabrics I thought the quilt could use a bit of additional colour – I went through my stash of Kaffe Fassett fabrics picking six bright ones, cut a centre square from each which I then substituted into the array on my table – one in each row.

Next I laid out the pieces from the dark fabrics B,C,D,E,F and the light fabrics G,H,I,J,K in an array and began placing dark/light pairs on top of the centre squares – using a similar shifting pairing so that in the end each block will be unique.

Quilt Construction Begins

You can see the lovely blue and “white” fabrics in the collection. I have so far completed six blocks. The remaining 24 are laid out in position on my cutting table. It takes me about 20 minutes to construct a block so I will need to work on these for the next few days. There’s sashing to insert between the blocks which will tie the whole quilt together – I just haven’t decided what width to use – I’ll make that decision when I have all 30 blocks laid out.

I knew from the beginning I wasn’t likely to follow the instructions. I like the block, so I decided to use it instead of creating something else. Deconstructing the block from the images of the Gathering No Moss quilt was straightforward. I will tune in on Wednesday to see what Fassett has to say – I’m sure I can learn some interesting things from him about colour flow and placement. I’ll report back as I make progress on the project.

Art Labs – August 2021

Friday I took eight quilts and 12 wall art pieces to Parrsboro to show at the Art Labs Gallery. I knew it was a shared exhibition with two women who do rug hooking – but I had been told most of their pieces would be stand-on-the-floor works – laundry baskets, chairs, stools… Well, they were, but several were “hung” which cut my showing space in half. I was able to hang 5 quilts and 4 wall art pieces. A disappointment because the wall art pieces I’d chosen showed the evolution of my “printed on fabric” appliqué technique – the pieces all had people in them which I wanted to showcase.

At Five Islands; Wind Waiting

The most recent piece with one of the earlier pieces. I’m still very fond of the mood of these three guys at Fox River wishing the wind would moderate so we could launch our paragliders.

Escher Quilt

This is the piece you see from the doorway – it’s straight ahead of you as you walk into the gallery space. At that distance you see the 3D illusion clearly.

Diamonds

This quilt also is striking when you see it hung. The shaded border, the asymmetry of the piece, the colour movement are all apparent.

Skyline #1
Skyline #2
Skyline #3

I forgot to take a photo showing the three Skyline quilts hanging side by each on the wall. They make a strong triptych which was my intention when I created these pieces.

Into The Future

Not for sale, but it’s one of my stronger pieces using the fabric photo appliqué technique. I was so lucky that the sunlight on the children blended so well with the setting I put them in – on Spring Garden Road beside the Public Gardens – the photo of the children was taken at the Toronto Zoo!

On Deck

These were all the pieces I had room to hang. I returned home with three quilts and nine wall art pieces. I could have crammed in a few more small hangings but when I stood back I decided less was more.

The show is on until August 19 when I go back to Parrsboro to take down the show and return the art to my closet. I need an agent in Toronto or New York – anybody got connections to someone who might be interested in representing a textile artist in a market that would understand the art and the work required to create it?

Escher Quilt – 7

Redone – I removed the side border, extended the top and bottom borders, and added the 8th column.

Escher Quilt Top – Redone

I’m much happier with the balance. I understand why most people who make this quilt top choose to straighten the top and bottom edges but I find the zigzag edge an interesting detail.

So the top is now complete.

Next, the quilt back. I have to pull out the Kaffe Fassett Collective fabric leftovers and see what I can do with them. I have lots of the backing fabric (Ruby Star Society Speckled Metallic Navy 2021). I was able to pick up 3m on Wednesday at my local fabric store.

So now full steam ahead….

Escher Quilt – 6

I thought I had the top finished – I’d added the 7th column, finished off the ends with border fabric, and sewed a border all around.

Escher Quilt Top – Almost Completed

I liked how the border accented the flow of the colour in the panel, I was fine with the finished size (~48″ x 66″). EXCEPT I was NOT happy with the partial points on the bottom left and top right!

That’s solvable one of two ways: either by cutting off the top and bottom point elements; or by adding the 8th column on the right:

Escher Quilt Top With 8th Column To Be Added On Right

I’m leaning toward the second option – I’d like the quilt top to be larger rather than smaller; I also like the top/bottom points – even if they don’t match they are complementary.

So my plan is to add the 8th column tomorrow – it means redoing the top and bottom borders because they will need to be wider to accommodate the extra column width (the length of the side border remains the same).

I didn’t want to add the 8th column – it makes the overall panel close to square (remember I don’t have enough fabric scraps to add a row (or two) to the bottom). I will do that, though, because the unattached points top and bottom are just too jarring – the top and bottom need to be symmetrical (if different).

It also means I have to come up with some kind of idea for a strip for the back – if I’d not used the 8th column on the top, I would’ve inserted it into the back. Now I need to go through the Kaffe Fassett Collective leftover fabric and come up with something that complements the quilt top.