Sunday, February 28, 2021

In Which the Ghost of Claude Monet Wrests Artistic Control of My Kaleidoscope Quilt and Turns It Into Giverny

Oh-Ma-Goodness; It's MARCH Already!  I'll save you the suspense and tell you right up front: Finishing all 63 blocks for my son's high school graduation quilt is my one-and-only monthly goal for March.  By which I mean, finishing the octagonal centers of all 63 blocks is my goal -- I'll be deciding on the corner triangles once all of the octagons are completed and arranged to my liking on my design wall.  

Nine 11 Inch Kaleidoscope Blocks Completed

Behold, 9 of the 63 block centers are completed and up on my design wall.  That's one row down, and six more rows to go.  I'm planning to make three blocks from each fabric, so there will be much greater variety in the finished quilt than what you see on my wall right now.

The First Four Blocks

Keeping my time constraints in mind, I'm trying not to be TOO neurotic about the center points matching absolutely perfectly.  Meaning that I'm taking care to match them as perfectly as I can the first time, but have resisted the urge to grab my seam ripper over minuscule misalignment that you can only see from 2" away with your high-power reading glasses.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Preeti's Picket Star Quilt: Courage Like a Flower

“Deep in their roots all flowers keep the light.”              

– Theodore Roethke

Serendipity E2E Quilting Design on Preeti's Picket Star Quilt
One of the hardest things about quilting for clients is when you're working on a quilt that you are totally in LOVE with, but you can't share any pictures until after your client has a chance to share her own finished quilt on social media.  It is like having a giant box of Godiva truffles sitting on your desk, with a fan set up behind them to blow delicious chocolate aromas in your face all day, but if you eat them you will explode.  It's been AGONY, having these photos on my phone for a whole month without sharing any of them!  And now, without further ado, check out this gorgeous quilt made by my friend Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts!

Ample Negative Space is a Perfect Backdrop for Large Scale Floral Design

“There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”                 – Anais Nin

And yet, waiting to share the pictures was only one factor contributing to the exquisite agony of quilting for Preeti.  She sent me this photo of the finished flimsy before mailing it to me, but then was adamant about NOT wanting to know how I was going to quilt it until it was finished.  I know, right?!!  Oh my gosh!  

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Kick-Starting the Kaleidoscope Quilt

Son-the-Younger's high school graduation quilt has begun!  And it's SOOO exciting!



In the photo above, the isosceles triangles have not yet been sewn together into an octagon, but I just loved the way the strippy pieced triangles came out and had to snap a picture.  This idea was born of necessity, because I didn't pay attention to the size of the hand dyed fabric pieces in the assortments I ordered from Marjorie Lee Bevis on Etsy and I do not have enough of any one of them to cut four identical 5" x 6" triangles out of any one fabric.  Bummer -- but also opportunity for inventive solutions!  I cut two different marbled fabric pieces into four strips each, then pieced them with strings of Kaffe Fassett, a green batik, and a strip of Tula Pink spots that was trimmed away from leftover quilt backing, all from my overflowing scrap bins, and then I layered for of these me-made string fabrics over my AccuQuilt 5" x 6" Isosceles triangle die to get two different sets of pieced triangles for my kaleidoscope blocks.



My GO! cutter did not appreciate me cramming four layers of pieced fabric with stacked seam allowances through at once, and it was really hard to turn the crank handle -- but it cut them cleanly and without breaking anything...  So I'll be doing that again!

Saturday, February 20, 2021

I Have a New Favorite Thread Color! Meet My New BFF, Glide Khaki

I recently had the opportunity to quilt an edge-to-edge design on a client's gloriously scrappy double four patch quilt.  My client's quilting hobby had been "dormant" for the past sixteen years, until her adult son asked her to make this quilt for him.  The most exciting thing about all of this for ME is that her fabrics are ones that I had never seen before, different from what's been available in quilt shops throughout my own quilting journey, but also different from the much older fabrics I encounter when repairing vintage and antique quilts.  However, the wide range of colors and the busy nature of the quilt top necessitated a careful thread selection.  It was Glide thread in Khaki for the win!

Don't You Love That Green/Purple/Turquoise Batik?  And the Orange/Red with Turquoise Spots?!

The thread I chose, Glide in color Khaki, is a warm beige neutral with just the barest hint of green-gold.  Glide has a bit of a sheen to it, so Khaki mimics a metallic thread against the deep navy blues and blacks, but is much less flashy (and less finicky!) than a true metallic thread.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

First Personal Quilt Finish of 2021: Christmas Sweets Disappearing 9-Patch Snuggle Throw

Yes, I see you all posting your timely Valentine's Day and Spring-themed quilts all over the Internet.  I know what month it is!   But I'm like that straggler way at the back of the race, finally stumbling across the finish line a month after the marathon ended...  Or something like that!  


I actually finished quilting my Christmas Sweets Disappearing 9-Patch throw on New Year's Day, when I wrote my goofy fairy tale spoof about it (you can read that here if you missed it).  But then, as the Christmas trees were piling up at the curb and the decorations were being packed away, I just wasn't feeling very motivated to get it labeled and bound.  I also had a few customer quilt commitments that I needed to attend to first.  

Thursday, February 4, 2021

The Fabulousness That Is February: One (or More) Monthly Goals

Hello, my lovelies!  Happy Thursday, and happy FEBRUARY!  Now that I have replenished my supply of Kona Solid in Ocean, I came close to finishing two more sampler blocks for my Retro '80s Building Blocks quilt last night.  The 10" block below wasn't quite done yet when I took this photo:

Progress on Another 10 Inch Sampler Block

All of my block sections had been foundation paper pieced and trimmed, but they still needed to be pieced together and, in order to nest the seams the way I wanted them for crisp, perfectly matched seam intersections, I designed my foundation paper piecing pattern so that the sections go together with partial seam construction.  I weighted the finished sections down with my acrylic square ruler just to keep it crisp and flat overnight.

Here it is, finished:

10 Inch Block Finished

As my dad used to say, "I think that's close enough for government work!"  (I have no idea WHY he used to say that, but he did).

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