The more I do, the more I have to do

I have been so swamped with my Mom and my children that there has been no time to write. And this post is coming from my phone so it’s always an adventure.
I have had a summer of finishes and working on UFOs. I had these leftover 3inch squares from novelty fabrics and had even stitched some of them into nine patch blocks.
However after making more nine patch blocks I could not find a way to put them together into a quilt that I liked. Now I ask you–how hard is it to mAke a quilt with 9patch blocks. I must have been out of sorts or so something.
So I decided to add triangles. I have the Accuquilt 8″ half square triangle die so I cut the nine patch blocks to eight inches. That was better but not great. So after stitching three rows together I got very brave or brazen , not sure which, a d cut all the blocks to six inches. This is much better.
Interesting that taking pics with my phone is how I decided which layouts I didn’t like.
The big lesson here. Planning saves a lot of time and angst and not all scraps look good together in a quilt.

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Variegating a Quilt

I am back to the Half Square Triangle quilt. All of the triangles have been stitched. This morning I sorted all the triangles and put them in order with color transitions that seem to work from one print to the next. They could be ordered differently, but this is the order I have them.

The next step is to decide how many pieces are in each variegation. Because the fabrics were chosen randomly, there are not equal numbers of squares in each stack. Thus, I expect to use 4-8 squares of a color in each variegation.

Hopefully this afternoon, I can start putting the squares up on the design wall and will take a pix and show you how it looks. This is a real shot in the dark – we may not like it when it is actually up on the wall.

Here’s the original quilt design – if you need a refresher. The colors in this EQ7 version are random scrappy.

 
 

The best laid plans. . .

All that red and black fabric that I thought I had in my stash. . .well, it must have been too tempting for other projects because there was not enough left when I pulled it out to look at it. So, it was back to the drawing board for me. Since I have so many batiks and couldn’t decide on a single color, I decided to try a scrappy look. I played around with it in EQ and came up with this.

I knew babysitting was on the agenda today, so I quickly cut 4-1/2″ x 18″ strips from some fat quarters and half yards so that I could cut the triangles on the Accuquilt GO during baby’s nap this morning. One great advantage of the cutter is that it is so quiet – no motor, no noise at all. I layered several of the strips with the white background strips so the triangles would cut already layered and ready to stitch.

While I was rocking baby to sleep, Ezri (5-1/2 years old) was inside with me. She usually spends a lot of time quietly playing with Legos. After the baby was asleep, I walked into the kitchen and found Ezri cutting all my fabric strips into triangles–even the ones that hadn’t been layered. She had done a remarkable job of it – there were only two strips that had partial triangles – everything else was done perfectly. So, I spent awhile this afternoon layering the single triangles with background triangles. She was not at all interested in cutting white triangles – she only wanted to cut the colored fabric.

There are two t-shirt quilts sitting on my machine that must be pieced – so these triangles are ready to be the leaders and enders for those projects. It will be fun to get a third project out of the first two.

  
 

Safari Quilt: Part 2

Once I realized that the original design wouldn’t work, I tried a new design. This design used two blocks, a log cabin block with the focus print as a 5 inch patch in the middle and a connector block using a 4 inch patch of the print in the middle. When these went together, it seemed the yellow background fabric overwhelmed the print too. Here’s a picture after trying several different backgrounds and realizing that it was the design/layout, not the fabric that was a problem.

 

So, back to the drawing board. It seemed the connector blocks were not “connecting”, so that was the first plan of attack. One way to add an extra connector is to add sashing the same color as the background and use a cornerstone that connects the connector block. That is what I did in EQ7, and it works! Can’t tell you how happy I am now.

This is a very traditional style quilt, but with the machine embroidery in the blocks, it’s going to be very nice when finished.

 
 

Creativity vs Productivity

I was reading MQResource webpage last night and found a great article about creativity and how to deal with creative slumps. It has some excellent references, one of which is to Lisa Call’s blog. Lisa is an incredible woman with a full-time job and family and world of textile art. It’s hard to know how she keeps up with it all.

For me, the issues are not only creative slumps, but also productivity. I used to blame it on my day job, but that no longer exists. And I do have serious family obligations–but who doesn’t? I have only finished a couple of digital designs in the last two months–and should be doing at least two per week. I have been trying to put a portfolio of five quilts together by Monday, July 5; and that’s not finished either. In order to get it done, something will have to give, so there are decisions as to what will give. I lay awake last night thinking it through–the dog prompted this thinking by barking at 4:30 am.

Part of the issue is that sometimes I do things and then am not pleased with them enough to show them. So, I sometimes actually throw them away, but usually give them away as anonymous pieces. Anyway, the decision is made. Family is more important on this holiday weekend. I’m not going to burn the midnight oil on quilting–I’m going to enjoy my family. And the quilting will get done when it’s done.

Here’s what I’m doing now–some really fun projects–some finishes and some beginnings:

I’ve been working on ‘Delirious Again’ and am almost finished. My quilting plan is random overlapping spirals. I just have a few holes to fill. Here’s what it looks like so far:

I saw an artist’s work when I was looking at the Artcenter web page. I loved her work so much that I contacted her and asked her if she would work with me to put her designs into quilts. Her name is Jody Cedzidlo of Flytrap Studios. She does custom screen printing and limited edition garments. I provided her with fabric, and she screen printed a huge stack of fat quarters and squares for me. Now, I have to incorporate these into some sort of quilt design. I have had some of her designs up on my wall for awhile. I am still not sure what I will do with them, but have some ideas. Actually, I am thinking that the ones that are on the darker fabric may be quilted as individual prints and mounted on canvas. I was thinking of creating the frame for the individual prints with the Shiva oil pastels. Here is a preview of Jody’s prints and my beginning thoughts:

Sometimes WordPress makes me crazy – no matter what I do – it won’t order the images the way I want them. And today, I’m not going to fight it! 
 

Finished four patch strip quilts

Here’s a picture of the four-patch strip quilt now that it has been quilted. I quilted ribbon candy in the long vertical sashing strips and a Terry twist variation in the four patches. I love the way it turned out. The thread is clear monopoly by Superior. If I were doing it again, I would have used the smoke color on the dark purple strips and clear on the lighter areas.

And don’t forget to look at the books I’ve been reading. The menu is at the very top of the page. Just finished Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. It was a great book. Loved every minute of it. 
 

Design Wall: Four patch strips

Here’s what I have on the design wall today. These are four patches that Mother pieced into strips. With only one functional arm and poor vision, her seams are variable so I squared the edges from the center seam and trimmed all strips to the same length. The sashing strips are 2-1/2 inches. Because everything is accurately cut, I am using glue on each end of the strips and in the center and then easing the side fullness in with glue and steam to fit. Hopefully, I’ll end up with a perfect rectangle.

Only two strips are pieced at this point, but they went together well. Here’s the design wall:

Strips made from four patch blocks pieced by Mother
Strips made from four patch blocks pieced by Mother