Saturday, March 26, 2011

Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom - Project Quiting time to vote

"Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom" 24" x 28.5" Project Quilting, Season 2, Challenge 6: Large Scale Print, Mar. 2011

Quick recap of the challenge "Large Scale Print":

1. Use at least 1/8 yard of a single large scale print on the front side of your project. It can be a regular eighth (4 1/2" x 44") or a fat eighth (11" x 18") or anything in between, but the total needs to add up to 1/8 yard. It can be used as 1 piece or cut into smaller pieces and used.
2. You must also use at least 1 stripe or plaid fabric. No restriction on quantity.
3. Add any other fabrics or materials you wish.

I don’t usually use a lot of large scale prints, but I did have half a yard of one with large overlapping yellow, orange, pink and burgundy flowers that I’d bought several years ago for a purpose that I don’t remember now. It’s just been sitting in my stash taunting me.

When this challenge was posted I knew I wanted to finally use that fabric and a layout came to me rather quickly, it was just the stripe that had me concerned. I’ve used striped fabric before (I like to use them for bindings) but when I’ve gone to buy them I usually haven’t liked the selection of striped fabric.

Because of that concern I actually came up with a second layout using a different large scale print that went with a striped fabric I already had in my possession. Off to the fabric store (the only one of the six challenges that I’ve had to buy fabric for).

I wanted a stripe fabric with at least one of the colors in the large scale print but not something too formal or straight. The very first striped fabric I found was perfect, and how often does that happen? I did check out all the other options but went back to the first one, a yellow fabric with an orange stripe that looked like it was made with a crayon, so not too formal or straight! And it was a remnant, so I got it for half price.

I also purchased the burgundy background fabric because I wanted something that was mostly solid so it wouldn’t compete with the large scale print or the stripe but it had just enough color variation to provide some visual texture.

I pieced the background fabric to the stripes so the stripes are horizontal on the left and right inner borders and vertical on the top and bottom. Then to be a little different, I cut out one stripe and ran it the other direction going length-wise on the left side of the background (more obvious on the detail photos).

Then I pieced the corner blocks and added the large scale print fabric as borders. (Regarding the first part of this challenge: including the seams I used about one quarter of a yard of my large scale print fabric.)

Before I added the other elements, I quilted the burgundy background at this time with slightly-curved horizontal lines in both a dark burgundy and a pink thread to give it more visual depth (the dark burgundy thread is a little hard to see in the photos).

I quilted stitch-in-the-ditch on both sides of the yellow stripe border then did the same slightly-curved horizontal lines in the borders, going all the way across the top and bottom borders and doing shorter waves on the side borders.

I wanted a visual element to go on the burgundy background that had the same energy that the large scale print had but at a smaller scale so I made the three “fabric mosaics.” I fused many small pieces of orange, pink and burgundy fabrics on a square orange background allowing the mosaic pieces to form unusual angles at where they stopped.

I covered them with netting (which provides the sparkle that shows in the photo) and quilted them together with a purpley thread and also an orange thread. I folded the raw edges under then machine appliqued the mosaics to the background, aligning the top and bottom blocks so they were centered on the yellow stripe.

To hold the yarn and ribbons in the center of the fabric mosaic blocks I considered at least 10 sets of items including shells, plastic rings and round paper clips but decided to use three square buttons from a blouse I bought about 18 years ago (I probably bought the blouse because I liked the buttons, and when it was time for it to become a rag I saved the buttons…and my husband even recognized that they were from a blouse that I used to have).

I twisted different yarns (including fun fur) horizontally across the quilt and added beads every few inches to hold them in place.

More about Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom

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Click on any of the photos to see them larger.

To see the other entries, go to the Large Scale Print page.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilt: National Quilting Month

This month is National Quilting Month, and this Sat., Mar. 19 is National Quilting Day. How will I spend National Quilting Day? At a Miami Valley Art Quilt Network meeting. The meeting is at the Dayton Public Library in the room that we are having our current quilt exhibit.

To celebrate National Quilting Month, my on-line quilting group "Quiltsy" decided to work on a traveling quilt. Every year the National Quilting Association decides on a theme and this year's theme is "Build Your Own Log Cabin." We decided that each of us would make a log cabin square in the colors of green, blue and purple. One of our members even mailed a strip of fabric that had all three colors in it and it was optional to include in our blocks.

We have 43 quilters participating from 22 states and 2 Canadians Provinces. Texas has the most with 6 participants and Ohio the second most with 4 quilters participating.

We'll have 6 rows and each row will have seven blocks. We've all been assigned a spot and the first person in the row sends her block to the second person, who adds her block and sends it to the next person. I was the fourth in our row so my block is the one on the right in the photo above and I've sent it on to the next quilter. I'll be sure to post of photo of the whole quilt when it's finished.

One of our members has been blogging about the quilters as it progresses across the country, you had read about it on our Quiltsy blog.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dancing Geese - Project Quilting time to vote

At left: "Dancing Geese" 10" x 18.5" Project Quilting, Season 2, Challenge 5: Flying Geese, Mar. 2011  

Quick recap of the challenge Flying Geese
1. Your inspiration is Flying Geese. I'm sure you've all seen the traditional flying geese. Your challenge is to let them inspire you to do something unexpected.

2. For an extra twist this week, you are required to use a complimentary (opposites on the color wheel) color scheme.

I actually spent a lot of time coming up with the layout for this quilt. Using my computer, I played with many, many different arrangements. One of the things I love about using traditional quilt blocks is the way different parts of the block are emphasized or de-emphasized depending on color and fabric placement.

I knew I wanted the background fabric to be all the same so the triangle parts of the geese would be the focal point. Once I finally came up with a layout I wanted to do, it was time to start playing with complimentary color schemes.

I went to my stash to see what fabrics I had that I thought would work with and I wanted the fabrics for the triangles to be the same color but to range from light to dark. The color that provided me with the most range from my stash was yellow, although yellow is a light color so it doesn’t have a large range of shades. And if the geese were going to be yellow, then the background would have to be purple. I found a wonderful purply batik that had cream and yellow colored swirls, so it was time to get started.

"Dancing Geese" detail

I knew that I could fuse the triangles to the background but I was a little concerned about the background showing through the yellow fabric and I also didn’t want the geese to be so flat.

I played around with some origami-like folds, kind of like making prairie points, only I didn’t realize that until later. The triangles are pretty small, only 2” on the longest point. (The 3-D quality of the triangles is more noticeable in the “Side View” photo.)

A few false starts on figuring out how to piece the background led to cutting the background fabric for each “stripe” and drawing the shape on the wrong side, much like using a template only I traced by placing the fabric over my full-sized diagram on my lightbox.

Still using the lightbox, I placed the triangle in its proper place then sewed adjoining pieces and attaching the bottoms of the triangles at the same time. The points of the triangles were sewn into place during the quilting.

"Dancing Geese" side view

I made the top and left borders the same width as each other and made the right and bottom borders the same as each other but larger than the left and top borders and I added a light purple cord in the larger yellow borders to contain the triangle that extended beyond the background. I decided to do some of the quilting with the opposite color, which is something I don’t do a lot, but I think it helped the design. I did some echo quilting around the triangles with a yellow thread and also stitched in the ditch on the yellow inner border and more echo quilting in the purple background with purple thread.

For the binding I used the same strip- facing technique that I used on the last challenge quilt “After the Rain” because I liked how well it worked.

More about Dancing Geese

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Click on any of the photos to see them larger.

To see the other entries, go to the Flying Geese page.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Local Art Exhibits in March

Yellow Ribbon Fabric Mosaic on exhibit in Yellow Springs

Women's Voices Out Loud
March 1-31 Program and reception Saturday, March 12 at 7 pm John Bryan Center, 100 Dayton St., Yellow Springs, OH 45387

Uncommon Threads V: At the Library
Miami Valley Art Quilt Network Exhibit March 2-April 13 Mon., Tues., Thurs. 9:30 am-8:30 pm Wed., Fri., Sat. 9:30 am-6 pm Sun. 1-5 pm Dayton Metro Library, 215 E. Third St., Dayton, OH 45402