From Design to Reality

I am part of Facebook group called Quilt Design a Day.  The goal is to design one quilt each day based on the prompt for that day.  I haven’t yet found the time to participate on a daily basis, but I do participate here and there.  One of the prompts last year was the following picture.  We were to design a quilt and then make the quilt for possible acceptance into a special exhibit at QuiltCon in Savannah next month

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Photo credit: Michelle Wilke                         @ Factotum of Arts

I started playing around with the different lines.  I design in EQ7 and love how flexible the program is.  I can design multiple variations of the same quilt and save the block and the quilt to go back and look at later.  Originally I decided to play with the black and white angles, and maybe a little bit of the windows.  Here are 3 quilt possibilities that I started with.

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Then I decided that I wanted to play with the windows a bit more and came up with this.

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But that felt too heavy to me.  The windows were just too block-y.  What if I turned them on-point?  I turned them, played around with them a bit, and came up with this.

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I like it, but it’s still not quite right.  What if I elongate it?

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YES!!!  I LOVE IT!

Then I had to make it…  Of course, it took longer than I thought it would.  Of course, it was a headache in many ways.  The angles were quilt difficult to line up.  I made a smaller version than I really wanted because I started it just 2 weeks before it was due and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make a large quilt in that time period given that I also work full-time.

And… I didn’t finish it!  If I had had one more day, I could have finished.  But I didn’t.  Oh well.  At least I finished and it didn’t join the long-term UFO pile.  And any finish is reason to celebrate.

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I wanted to do some special quilting on it.  Sometimes I like a bit of design in the quilting rather than just a straight line or an all-over meander.  This is probably the reason I didn’t finish the quilt by the deadline, but I love the way it looks.

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Here is the back.

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Measures: 34″ x 47″

Fabrics: Kona Cotton Mediterranean, Kona Cotton Prussian, Kona Cotton Carrot, Kona Cotton Snow, and Kona Cotton Shale.

Linking up with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and  Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts

Vintage Rainbow Mosaic

Vintage [vin-tij] adj. 1. Representing the high quality of a past time.  2. Being the best of its kind

What’s that saying about styles of the past coming back?  From my amateur point-of-view, it seems that fashion, home decor, and hair styles run in cycles repeating every couple of decades.  They get revamped and revived, and suddenly old school with a twist becomes chic and stylish ‘new’ school.  Quilting fabric hasn’t been immune, although it’s probably been a somewhat slower process.  We have reproductions for the Victorian, civil war, and depression eras and just about everything in between.  More often than not, these reproduction fabric look very much in color and style like the fabrics of old.  However, sometimes they can look more modern due to the use of modern geometric prints.  Also advances in technology have given us whiter whites and brighter colors which can make a reproduction fabric seem more chic.

Rachel at Stitched in Color is having a mosaic contest where we are to pick our favorite ‘vintage’ rainbow fabrics.  A collaboration of color slightly aged, faded, or dusty.  Maybe even colors that clash.   Think shades of green from 1930s kitchens, Williamsburg blue from the 80s, or the one thing we all hope never comes back in style, avacado green appliances from the 70s.

I made 2 color pallets that most resemble the 30s and the 50s decades.  Intuitively, I really like softer tones with a pop of color, and a dark color or two with a cool base to balance it out.  I love the two pallets that I came up with.  I tried to capture the essence of the vintage rainbow while keeping the prints modern for more trendy charm.

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pallet 1

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pallet 2

As I was building them, I thought they were quite different.  I started out with 6 colors for pallet 1 and 8 colors for pallet 2.  So the differences were more noticeable.  But then I reread the instructions and realized I was supposed to have 9 colors for each.  So, I went back and filled in more colors for each, and now that I see them side-by-side, they are more similar than I thought.  Pallet 2 is a bit softer than pallet 1, but they both have a good balance of light, medium, and dark values.

I really love how the colors are playing together.  I have been loving gold and aqua together and have used it recently in a quilt that I will share soon.  Also, coral has been one of my favorite colors for year.  I love how it plays well with grays and citron.

I had a lot of fun with this challenge, and decided to play around with quilt design on my EQ7 at the same time.  I decided to work with triangles and this is what I came up with for each color pallet.

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pallet 1

Vintage Rainbow quilt

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What do you think?  What colors would you have chosen for this challenge?  Visit Stitch in Color to view the other entries and vote for your favorite.  Maybe you’ll find a collection of color you love and decide to use in your next quilt.

Waterfalls and new WIPs

North Carolina is home to approximately 200 beautiful natural waterfalls.  Two of the little monkeys are visiting this week, so yesterday we hiked to one of them.  In fact, the waterfall we hiked to, Mooney Falls, isn’t even on the website I linked to above, so there could be many more that are not even listed.

We started our hike to Big Laurel Falls in Nantahala National Forest.  The path through the woods ran along a river and was just beautiful.  We saw many kinds of mushrooms, moss, fern, and a huge tree that was growing somewhat sideways.  But the path was terribly muddy due to the daily rain the area has been having.  So we turned around before ever reaching the falls.Collages18 Collages19

We climbed back in the car and drove less than a mile up the mountain to the trail head for Mooney Falls.  This trail was shorter, less muddy, and easier walking.  We found this waterfall in short order.  Not very tall, but still beautiful.  And the cool air coming off the water was a nice relief to the humid day.

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I hope to visit more waterfalls in the area before winter sets in.

On to quilting… I am working on the WIPs I brought with me (I really am, I promise), but I’ve started more new ones than I finished.  Oh why do I do this to myself?  I have too many ideas running around in my head that need to get out, or someone presents me with a challenge and I have to jump on it.

I started a challenge related to hexies for the brand new Smokey Mountain MQG.

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I bought fabric for a challenge sponsored by Art Gallery Fabrics for Bonnie Christine’s new line, Cultivate.  I have just 2 weeks to complete this one, so I really need to jump on it.

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And I’m working on designing new quilts.

A rainbow quilt…

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And this design started off simple…

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and ended up much more complicated.

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This is the same design, just laid out differently.

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They are all still in progress.  Just churning ideas around in my head and seeing what they look like in EQ7.  I could give you about 30 more examples, but I don’t want to overload you. So, what do you think?  Do you love them, hate them?

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Cirrus Solids BOM Challenge Winner

I keep forgetting to share this news with you, so it’s a bit old.  First I had to wait for it to be announced by Cloud9; and then when it finally was announced, I didn’t have time to write a blog post because we were so busy trying to finish our house, pack, and move.  But. here it is… I am the May WINNER for the Cloud9 Fabrics Cirrus Solids BOM Challenge.   YIPPEE!!!!

If you haven’t heard, Cloud9 Fabrics is coming out with a new line of yarn-dyed solids in September.  In anticipation of the release, Cloud9 is hosting a BOM challenge in which they are asking quilters to design and submit blocks (including instructions) using 4-6 of the new solids.  I started designing a block last October and had it about 85% finished, but with work and other things I wasn’t able to get it finished and submitted.  And then… the January winner was announced and the block I had designed was so very similar.  Oh no!  I just couldn’t believe it!

So in February I started over from scratch.  More ideas…. more drawings… more blocks designed in EQ7.  Playing around with layouts of the blocks, and trying to figure out which one idea I would settle on and submit.  I finally made a decision and had the instructions written and submitted by the end of February.  And 4 short weeks later, I received an email stating my block below, which I call “Stuck in the Middle”, was selected for the May BOM.  🙂

stuck in the middle

Several weeks later I received my winnings — a fat quarter pack of all the solids — and I have the say the fabric is amazing!  They are soft, have a nice drape, and the colors are bold and saturated.  I am looking forward to sewing with them… once I figure out what I’m going to make.

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You can find the directions and layout for my winning block here, and all winning BOMs can be found here.

Some alternate layouts are below:

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Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Half Square Triangles

I started cutting and sewing half-square triangles (HST) for the quilt I decided to do for my parents.  I wanted the quilt to have a scrappy look with 10 or so different fabrics in each of the two colors.  But golly, this is a lot of cutting and trimming.

Putting the HSTs together really isn’t that bad.  I’m cutting my fabric so that I can sew and then cut 50 HSTs at one time.  Ironing and trimming to size comes next.  I realize that trimming them to size is probably the most important part, but it is taking forever.  This is what 400+ HST units look like.

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Only 800 more to go…

The embroidery design I’ve been working on for the baby blanket is now looking like this.

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And just because she couldn’t let me have the camera out without taking a picture of her..

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So what are you working on?

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

WIP Wednesday linky

WIP Wednesday

My first WIP Wednesday… normally, I post projects once they are completed, but it seems as if I’m not completing much these days.  Well, that’s not really true – we made it through my daughter’s wedding and that was a huge project.  But quilting projects are stalled at the moment.  I am working on designing, but the sewing is stalled due to waiting for coordinating fabric to arrive or waiting for the inspiration to strike.  And rather than show all the WIP’s I have because that would be too overwhelming for the both of us, these are the ones I hope to have completed in the next 4-6 weeks.  That’s a good goal, right?

First, I decided to make my parents a quilt for Christmas/50th anniversary (which was in June).  I know, it’s a little late to be planning this – I just haven’t had much time before now.  So I’m looking at doing a pastel blue/pink and am working on an original quilt design.  I pretty much have the center of the quilt figured out — lots of half square triangles which means lots of cutting and lots of sewing.  While I wait for the rest of the fabric to arrive (had to mail order it since the local quilt shop didn’t have any in stock), I am working on whether I want small borders or large borders, or borders with designs.. hmmm…

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WIP

Then I am doing the Riley Blake challenge through the Modern Quilt Guild.  Here are the fabrics — we were given 6- fat 8ths.  The challenge is that you can only use other Riley Blake prints or other solids to create something quilted.  I’m thinking a baby boy quilt with large blocks and a modern arrangement.  Something easy and quick to put together.

IMG_3348Next up – a quilt I started in June (?).  The challenge was to create a quilt using just one color and one print we drew out of a bag.  My color was purple and my print isn’t pictured here so you’ll just have to be surprised.  So I stocked up on purple solids, designed a quilt and started sewing.  I hope it turns out like it did in my head!  It’s been a WIP for so long now I really need to get it finished before it makes it’s way into the pile of WIPs that are a year or more old (yes, I have some of those too).  Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get to them…

IMG_3350Last but not least, and likely the one I will actually finish first… a friend has asked me to make 2 baby blankets for a niece that is soon due.  She wants an embroidered elephant with a bird on its back.  So I’ve been working on digitizing the design in my “super expensive that I will probably never get’s my money’s worth out of” software.  Every time I try to do something in this digitizing software I feel like I’m having to learn it all over again.  One day I’ll gain a comfort level with it — I’ve only had it 1-1/2 years! Haha…  But the more I use it, the easier it will be (at least that’s what I keep telling myself).  Right?

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So, that’s it.  These really are my quilting goals for the next 4-6 weeks.  I’ll probably rearrange, and likely add more to it, but here it is for this moment in time.

What are you working on?  Do you tend to have more than one project in progress like I do?

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

WIP Wednesday linky

GooseTracks

Yay, UFO #1 is complete!  Well, almost.  I still have to cut some stray strings, take my seam ripper to some basting stitches, and hang it on the wall.

This design is called Goose Tracks and is by HoopSisters.  You actually piece and quilt in the hoop as you go.  I started this as a block-of-the-month project at my LQS in Nov 2011.  We went through September 2012, then I still had to do the borders and put it all together.

Overall, I like how it turned out.  Before I started the quilt, I was really intrigued as to how the piecing and quilting in the hoop worked.  Once you do one block, it’s pretty easy to understand.  I have another UFO from HoopSisters that is also on my list for the near future — it was the mystery quilt they released last year.  So, I have no idea what it will look like since it is still a mystery to me.

I had fun doing this, especially since we did it as a group and I met new friends; and it has a big WOW! factor just looking at it.  However, after the mystery quilt I will probably not do another HoopSisters design.  I like their designs, but I felt as if my creativity was really squashed since I was only following along with the pre-designed software each month.  I think I would enjoy and get more satisfaction from continuing to sew and quilt my own designs.  And, I am working on several already.  I keep a graph paper spiral notebook handy most times and draw when the inspiration hits.  If I can just get through these UFOs, I can start on some new stuff and that is where the real fun lies.

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My little helper

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