Saturday, January 4, 2020

Lines in the Sand Placemats

This set of eight placemats was meant to be a Christmas gift. I'm only a couple of weeks late, so it still counts, right?
I used Alissa Haight Carlton's Lines in the Sand pattern. You can download it for free here. They are really quick to sew up, but a hint if you'd like a fast finish - don't quilt them the way I did. Straight lines, a quarter inch apart, for the quilting took some time. Of course the benefit of dense quilting is amazing texture and a placemat with some body to it. I used grey Aurifil thread on the black Essex linen background and a light green Aurifil thread for the stripes.
I used the same linen for the binding, which was a bit thicker than I'd prefer. I do like the way it lets the stripes shine, though. A gorgeous green Carolyn Friedlander print is perfect for the backs.
After binding all eight by hand, I feel like I've bound a queen sized quilt. I haven't done the math, but the perimeters together might come close. I finally wrapped up that hand sewing late last night. Oh well, being late just means I have any early first finish of the new year!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Metro Link Quilt 2

Who braved the freezing temps and rushing wind to snap a few photos of her quilt? This girl. The phrase about suffering for the sake art came to mind.

I'm happy with the way the quilt came out, especially the choice of backing and binding. I'd been saving the Habitat print for just the right quilt, and I love it with the bright colors of the scraps on the front.  It was begging for a solid yellow binding.
In typical Kansas City fashion, yesterday was sunny and warm. Can you believe I hand stitched the binding outside on the deck, then this?
This is the Metro Link quilt, pattern by Michelle (@ilikeorangetoo on Instagram). I made another version of the quilt several years ago.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Metrolink Quilt Top

It's a quilt top! We're in the middle of a wet, gloomy stretch of cold weather here, so a couple of quick shots by an open door will have to do. I have to say it is so satisfying to see all those neat 90 degree corners matching, and I'm still loving the bright scraps against the black essex linen.
Now on to basting and quilting. I think I will use straight line quilting to emphasize the geometric piecing.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Metro Link Progress

I've been piecing the blocks of my Metro Link quilt this week, enjoying every minute. Each block is a new chance to make unique fabric pairings since I'm working with scraps. It's been like eating candy - I want to savor each one and not rush through, because then they will be finished.
The columns came together fairly quickly, so I'm ready to assemble the top next.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

A New Link

I decided to get back in the scrappy saddle with the start of a new Metro Link quilt. Boy, I had forgotten how many tiny pieces (617!) are in this pattern by Michelle. The smallest ones finish at 1 x 2 inches. Cutting the background pieces from Essex linen yardage was quick, but cutting each individual piece from scraps took the better part of the past week. Whew!

I usually enjoy sewing from scraps improvisationally because it eliminates the need for precision in the initial phases, but I have to admit that there is something very satisfying about all those neat stacks cut to precisely the right size.
I've got the first step of the pattern all lined up for a night of chain piecing. Belying its precision, this type of sewing is actually quite relaxing. Unlike every step of an improv piece, there are no decisions to be made - just methodical, soothing stitches. Sometimes, it's just what you need.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Prisms and Fireworks

Ronnie Thompson from British Columbia was kind enough to send me this photo of a Floating Prisms quilt she longarm quilted. It was pieced by Marven Ecker. He asked her to create fireworks with the quilting, and I think the bursts are a stunning design in the negative space.
You can find my post about the Floating Prisms pattern here, as well as the whole pattern as a free download on the Robert Kaufman site. The design is foundation pieced.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Scrap It?

Here they are - all 54 scrappy, three quarter log cabin blocks. Now I just have to decide if I want to keep them. I have thoroughly enjoyed making them, and individually they are pretty. The best part of these blocks has been the process. I loved picking strips for each one, playing with colors, and finding old fabric friends in the bin (which is still crammed full somehow).
It's just that together they are ugly - like so ugly I can't bring myself to post a picture of all of them here. It seems odd because I love other people's versions. So what went wrong? I believe it comes down to three things. First, I didn't limit my color palette. Even with scraps, I usually stick to a select few colors to ensure a harmony, as with my Scrappy Trip Along Quilt.
The same calming effect might have been achieved by using more white and low volumes too, to give the colors room to breath. Each block tells a color story I enjoy, but it's just too loud for me when the blocks are together.

My second mistake was giving no thought to color placement for the quilt top as a whole. I don't mind using all the colors, if they are in some sort of color order, like the Therapist Quilt.
Lastly, there is nothing tempering the chaos, as with a background fabric in my Midwest Metro Link. 
So, while I enjoyed the process of this project, which is frankly all I really intended, I'm not sure if I want to put any more time into the blocks or pass them along to someone who might feel differently. Another idea is to reverse engineer a color scheme by selecting blocks that do go together and making a couple of smaller quilts from those.