Sunday, January 15, 2012

Magic Garden - It is all about timing

I walked into the store a couple of weeks ago and the new In The Beginning line of fabrics with William Morris designs was on the shelf.  This is really pretty stuff but how would I use it.  Naturally, Nancy came to the rescue and we looked at the Michele Hill applique designs with a William Morris flair - there was more than one idea I could go with.

When Nathan suggested that we both take Pat Cox's applique class I knew that I had the project and the Saturday classes would give me the motivation.  Since I work at Glad Creations I wanted to use my time in the class with a pattern and fabric from the shop.

This is the sample they have in the book

I am working on the Morris Meadow wallhanging.  Although the pieces are not tiny, there certainly are a lot of them.  I have a start in one quadrant of the quilt.  I want to see how the colors work in this section before I cut everything out.

Starting in the upper right corner of the quilt -
one quadrant at a time

Hopefully, the every other Saturday schedule is going to give me enough time to make measurable progress from one class to the next.  This should be interesting.

Scrap, Scrap, Scrap, Scrap.......

They are everywhere!  The more quilts I finish the more scraps I have - its like rabbits - every time I turn the lights off, they multiply.

In the last couple of years I have made a number of "traditional" based colored quilts.  They had similarities in the fabric but of course never shared fabrics.  I now have a small mountain of fabrics in this genre and need to start culling the herd. 

Add to that, I have been digging out the fabric shelves downstairs and find that a lot of batiks have been coming home from the store with me.  It pains me to see these beautiful fabrics hiding in my storage boxes in the basement.  Not all of them are in quantities that will be a focus fabric in my next grand endeavor but they certainly are nice laid out together on the sorting table.

Last year I started taking a bite out of the "traditionals" with Glory Bound from Bonnie Blue Quilts.  I made up a stack of half square triangles but only got a couple of blocks done.  After working at the sorting table I am more committed to moving out these leftover fabric chunks and scraps - both "traditionals" and batiks.

So here is what the first 4 blocks look like.  It is a simple pattern with a great secondary design.  Now that I have Sylvia's off the wall I can put this up and figure out what other colors need to be added for variety and balance.  This block uses 36 darks and 28 lights.  I would like to make up more half square triangles in a greater variety of colors (adding browns, dark golds, more blues....) because the same fabrics keep show up in each block so quickly.  It is not like I don't have the variety so I might as well use it.

Then I think I will do one in batiks with a focus on jewel tones.  More to come.

Garden in the Grey Dawn Project for 2012

Now that the Baltimore Album top is done and I am working on hand quilting it (this is going to take a while 'cuz it is really BIG) it is time for me to pick up another applique project.  I have a number of patterns but found the Karen Kay Buckley design for Magical Medallions online and really liked the stylized flowers and sweeping design. 

During my trip to Lancaster last spring I was thrilled to find that the quilt show had a special display of Karen Kay Buckley quilts hanging.  I was so excited to be able to really look at her quilts and the subtle design additions that you can see close-up but really miss in a typical photo.

My friend and travel companion, Meg, suggested starting with a grey on grey color pallet for the background and framing which I thought would be a great neutral but still show off the brighter colors that I had in mind. I am thinking of the iridescent glow that flowers and plants take on in the early morning light - hence the Grey Dawn.

I have the first block almost complete except for some embroidery accents and about 75% of the second block completed.  This is turning out to be a nice pattern to work with lots of detail but fairly straight forward applique pieces - just a lot of them.

Block 1 needs embroidery vines to the little pink flowers and tiny yellow appliqued circles in the center of those flowers.

Block 2 needs to have the green scrolls finished and the flower center has some pieces to add yet.

I will post the various blocks as they come together - there are a total of 12 blocks plus the center medallion and a darker grey scalloped sashing.  I have a lot to work on yet.

Sylvia's Update

Sylvia's is complete; quilted and bound.  This is the only picture I have right now of it hanging at Glad Creations in Minneapolis.  Susan and Nancy invited staff and customers to display their Sylvia's Bridal Sampler and were surprised when there were over 40 quilts of various sizes and designs that were submitted.  The show will be hanging through January 21st if you can get in for a visit.  You can also click on the link to the Glad Creations blog in the right frame of this page.  That will take you to their blog where you can look at the 2 different slideshows that they have posted.

I will post a more complete photo of the quilt and the label (work in progress) when I get the quilt back at the end of the month.

Four Patch Poesy in Wine

I have always liked the unexpected results of the kaleidoscope or fussy cut repeated units.  Stack and Whack is still a favorite but 4 Patch Poesy is faster.  I bought this fabric a couple of years ago and pulled it out for my fall retreat in northern Minnesota.  I had the fabric cut and the orientation of the blocks figured out in advance so it made for a quick go together quilt.

I had planned on giving it as a gift at Christmas but that is not how the calendar worked out.  I do know when her birthday is so I have a new target date.  I hope to be more skilled on the Handi Quilter by then and would like this to be an HQ quilt.

Pink Flowers???

Some time in the last couple of years I purchased a kit at the Minnesota Quilt Show from Pincushion Boutique with the pattern Out of the Box.  I liked the pattern and thought it would be great for a larger scrap quilt but I also really liked the black and pink floral in the kit.

At a weekend retreat this past fall I put the kit together.  I do like the pattern.  It was quick and easy, and lends itself very well to making a much larger quilt. 

I have it pinned and ready to quilt.  I used it as an example in the machine quilting class on how closely to pin the sandwich.  Since I have another class in February I will probably wait until after the class to finish the quilt.

Christmas Cards for 2011

This year's card was a little simpler than last year.  Time was not on my side so I streamlined the design a smidgen.  Now that I am not in a corporate setting with 30 or 40 co-workers I was able to reduce the number of cards to 90 for 2011.  Of all the cards that I sent out, I only had 1 returned as a bad address.  Either people are doing a better job of getting their addresses updated or folks are just not moving as much as they have in the past.