Quilter’s Toolbox – “Numbered Q-Pins”

I hit a snag on my latest quilt and then found a tool that made life so much easier…..Marilee’s Numbered Q-Pins!!!

Advertisements

Let the handwork begin!!

Over the last 9 months I have been working on my color wheel quilt. A few weeks ago I posted about using the Pathagorean Theorum to calculate the size of the triangles needed to fill the corners.

Now the question was exactly what to add to the corners. In my original design, the outside circles were going to move in curvy lines…..

But, when I started laying out circles in different orientations, having curves in the outside drew the eye away from the center rather than toward it……

I had also considered making the darkest grey into a circle, but quickly decided that it wasn’t worth the effort!!!

After a lot more playing around……

…….I decided that a starburst effect would draw the eye to the middle……

At this point I realized that I needed a bit more fabric than I had on hand so, while I waited for UPS to make a drop to my door, I started making all of the circles. I found that the colors were much easier to pick since I had my fabrics folded so well. This was the basic way that I worked…..

SUCH luscious colors!!!!

You can check out this post where I tell how I prepared the circles.

Once the fabric arrived I made strip sets and then trimmed them down to a size that was a few inches larger than the final product…..

Now I needed to transfer the circle pattern onto each of the 4 fabric triangles. I started by tracing the triangle onto the fabric and adding the straight radiating lines. Next step was to trace the circles onto the fabric……

Final step was to baste each of the circles into place….

Then it was time to put it up on the design wall…..

Happily, I am pleased with how this looks!!!

So, now every night will find me sitting in my chair and appliquéing circles!!!

LET THE FUN TIMES BEGIN!!!

I’m Seeing Red!

….A little late because I forgot to post it yesterday!!!

.

No, I am not mad!!!

This is the title of yet another challenge quilt that I created back in 2000.

This time the guild had a color challenge and the color that I selected out of the hat was RED.

I wanted it to be bold and audacious and finally settled on a pattern from the book “Op-Art Quilts” by Marilyn Doheny…..

The construction of the quilt was relatively simple, as long as I CAREFULLY followed the cutting instructions. I remember that I didn’t have much extra fabric which meant that proper cutting was even MORE important!!

I even found some of the strip sets when I opened my “Pandora’s Box” of miscellaneous fabrics!!!

I was especially proud of the the two borders that I added. I really felt that the second “strip set” border added a lot to the design.

I wanted to keep the corners simple to really emphasize the bold pattern. I entered it into our guild quilt show and remember that one of the judges said that there was too much movement and no place for the eye to settle!!! It was one of the few times that I wanted to reply to the review and say DUH!!!

Opening Pandora’s Box

It is time again for a Tuesday filled with…….

Last week, I wanted to make a pincushion and had the “brilliant” idea to use up some orphan blocks that I had sitting around.

I pulled out the box innocently called…….

But when I opened it, I realized that it was really ……

….a PANDORA’s Box!!!

There are fabrics and blocks in here that range back to the early 1990’s when I was very young in my quilting career.

There are 1.25 inch strips that were used to hook a rug for my Daughter, Autumn color blocks that were left over from a jacket that I made to wear to my first Houston Quilt Show in 1990, ties that I took from my Dad’s closet when he passed away in 1999, and SO many other memories.

Now, I need to use all of this as inspiration to move forward to making new, fun quilts for our Guild’s Charity Bee. There are several ladies in the group who are amazingly talented at turning nothing into something and maybe, with some practice, I can join them!!!

Moral of this story……don’t open that box….. it may be scarier that you thought!!!

I love a good challenge…..

Every year our quilt guild does two challenges with one being due at the December meeting which was this past Tuesday. My long-time method for these challenges is to start out with tons and tons of ideas, slowly winnow them down over the 3 or 4 months that I have to do the challenge, and then finally settle on an idea and get to work on the Friday before the Tuesday meeting and normally finish it with minutes to spare. My friend Sheila calls this the “Frances Method”!!! This challenge was no different.

The rules were to make a quilt, of any size, that featured a Silhouette in black or white. The challenge was to make the background be the exciting part of the quilt.

Now, I LOVE a good sunset and immediately started thinking about several photos that we had taken in Australia and India…..

Then I found this photo…..

This is my husband, Michael, sailing in Canyon Lake in Lubbock, Texas. Lubbock is at the base of the Texas Panhandle and is known for it’s wind, which made owning this Banshee racing boat a LOT of fun, but it is not known for it’s large bodies of water. This small, man-made lake was filled with treated sewer water!!! You were not allowed to swim but could ski or sail.

Obviously there is not a sunset anywhere in this photo, but I loved the idea of using the silhouette and the idea was born.

First step was to draw a basic design and I googled how to paint a sunset to get my starting point…..

I then covered the pattern with a super lightweight fusible interfacing and started adding fabrics…..

Most of the fabrics came from my scrap bin of pieces that were too small to sub-cut into usable sizes…..

I cut each piece in a wavy pattern…..

….and added it to the background, trying to overlap them slightly…..

I really liked the bit of yellow that shows thru in the pink and decided to mirror that “break through” in the blue…..

After I finished with the water, I carefully ironed all of the pieces to the fusible interfacing and then went back in and glued down the pieces that were overlapping and not touching the interfacing…..

I decided that it needed a few more highlights on the ocean waves and originally planned to use fabric snippets, but after cutting a few out, I decided that paint would be easier. I also added an aura around the sun so that it would stand out more…..

I always try to do something new with each challenge and this time I wanted to add tulle over the top and then do the quilting over the tulle. We had seen a bunch of quilts done this way at Houston and it looked like an easier way to handle raw edge applique. After I pinned it in place, I decided that it needed some stitching to hold it in place….

Then I basted it and started quilting!! The problem with the tulle is that you can’t easily rip out stitching so I tried to make every stitch count. I did have to rip out a small amount and it was HARD to take out the stitches without catching the tulle in the seam ripper. Most of it was done from the back but there were a few stubborn stitches that I had to do from the front. It was nerve-wracking!!

I did change to a smaller needle and used Bobbin Thread in the back and I think that helped some with the quilting.

I normally use a facing on my landscape quilts but was concerned that the thickness of all of the layers (backing, batting, interfacing, overlaid fabric, and tulle) would make it hard to turn to the back. Instead I planned to make a binding where the colors shifted as it moved around the piece. Unfortunately, because I had done this quilt using the “Frances Method”, I was completely out of time and didn’t want to play with doing the binding. So, a good old plain binding was attached!! In the long run, I think that the binding is a nice frame around the quilt……

I called this “Dreaming of Sunsets” and I am very pleased with how it turned out. The jury is still out about the use of tulle which is concerning because that was how I was planning to finish my Henna Girl portrait so I need to do some thinking now!! I didn’t use the finest quality of tulle and I think that was part of the problem. I will definitely look for “wedding quality” the next time.

So I can mark that challenge off of my list and now get back to the portrait….