Wow. My Quilt Top Challenge.

I am stepping back into my own and it feels good. 

Artistically speaking, I have been on ‘secret hold’ for more than a year. Meaning, I have not been able to show my art, talk about it, not much of anything really. That is a difficult place to be, when you keep a blog where you talk about what you make. As I resume my artistic trajectory, I have been circling several different projects, the quilt top challenge being among them.

Sylvia

 So far, I have made 5 blocks, pictured in the first photograph of this post. This morning, I did the math for the cutting of the rest of the star blocks. I am calling this block the Squat Star, because the points of the star are so short. (But also because I love squats in weight lifting!!).

I have been fussing and fretting over how to most effectively make Half Rectangle Triangles while keeping strong points. I have settled on using paper piecing as my method of doing so. I am unsure this is economical, it seems to waste quite a bit of cloth, but, I have gotten the swing of this approach, so I will stick with it for now.

I feel somewhat lost in my ability to grab this project by the horns and just make the top! I haven’t made a quilt to a specific scale from start to finish before, designing, doing the math, cutting, sewing and quilting. Usually, I either freeform or use an established pattern. So this is really working my skill set. 

I have completed these 5 blocks:

1Sylvia

My next set of blocks will look like this:

2Sylvia 3Sylvia

I need to make 12 of the above block. I really look forward to cutting and using the fruit print. I had a bunch of fun creating that multicolor set and seeing it printed in Meadowlark is a treat.

Want to know some inside information? The blueberries, seen in the lower right, were originally drawn while going to school at the Fashion Institute of Technology. I normally draw things out on tracing paper, I find it easier to work with because it is transparent and you can layer and shift it around, making it easier to see what you are doing. That piece of tracing paper was tucked into a journal from that period and when I started working this fruit piece, I knew I had to make use of the drawing. I has stuck with me through 5 moves and I still knew where to find it when I wanted to use it this second time around! If you have this cloth, check out the little crown where the blueberry flower would have been attached, I love how that area printed. The above photo, unfortunately does not show the detail well as it is a screen shot from the Quiltography for iPad app (which I curve!).  😎 

Are you making a quilt top (or any other item) using Meadowlark? If so, I would love to see your progress.

 

Magical Peach +

 

magical Peach

This is a reminder to all: There is much magic in the world and you never know where, how, or in what shape/form it might reveal itself.

The above is a typing that occurred when Peach, our cat, walked over my keyboard. I don’t think this was a mistake.

Just a moment prior to this configuration of syllables, I saw the correct spelling of the word,

“magical”.

LightBoxPeach

 And Peach, is, most certainly magical.

This month, we have had her for two years, she was a rescue, a city cat, she had kittens, she got caught with her babies. Her babies were placed in homes. Peach caught ring worm at the veterinary office, which placed her in solitary confinement for two-months-straight, this caused her to modify or shorten, her tail. She had plastic surgery (her tail is very cute!), she healed.

Then.

We found one another. We all fell for one another immediately.

When we met Peach, she was a charmer, whenever someone, a new person, came into her presence, she would charm them. It makes sense that if she were in ‘solitary’, that charming people would become necessary. She must have been lonely.

Everyone needs love and care.

In the last two years I have worked with her to lessen her fear of loud noises. Peach is becoming interested in sitting in our laps. She shows trust and love. She is much less a charmer. I appreciate this, as I prefer her needs are met and that she knows it, without feeling as if she needs to charm anyone.

GenQ

Now, I will change subjects.

Over the last year, I have been working to write a book with a good friend. It has been a lot of fun, I am learning new things. Making great art. Learning to collaborate. Unfortunately, the book was cancelled a few weeks ago. We retain full rights to our materials (no worries there). I will not go into details as to why this occurred, let me just say, the publishing industry is changing quickly. I have mentioned the book a couple of times here on my blog and I reference ‘the book’ in the article about me and my studio in Generation Q (Issue 14). The book will be published, in some form. I/we will not stop working to promote it. But as Forrest Gump says, “That’s all I am going to say about that.”

Life happens. 

Even still! This interview about me, my studio and use of space, is quite interesting. I do hope you will purchase a copy and share your thoughts with me. I have been putting a lot of thought into what a home printing studio ‘needs’ in order to function well. 

StashBuster

Pardon me for the less that awesome photograph. This quilt top is a few months old. I have been sitting on it and waiting for quilt #2. (I am making two sided quilts.) The quilt I was working on over Holiday Break is the mate to what you see here. I am not ready to talk about that one yet. I will clue you in soon.

But this, one.

This is fun right? This is a total stash buster. I cut swaths of squares at 4″. Commercial fabrics, hand printed, I chose fabrics from my entire stash. I grouped these together and randomly sewed. Playing with light and dark was a bunch of fun, I wanted it to sparkle and think it does. I love loosing myself in mindless, though highly rewarding, tasks like this.  This quilt is about 7o” square, I did not make it as a bed quilt, not for my bed, which is a king. It is just that my bed is the largest flat place in the apartment. 

A four inch square stack of cut cloth is so rewarding. I want to use my stash up completely and start acquiring when needed rather than stashing and storing. I think this part is great. (Use The Stash–). I have been printing cloth for quite a few years, but I have not been using it. Using the things you have and make causes you to make more, doesn’t it? It is a complete circle.

I like circles.

And dots.


 (Hey! I have begun using Instagram!! Friend Me, please. This year, I will communicate more through photograph, than words, I am going to start using Instagram a lot this year. Let’s have fun together and hook up over there. Shall we?

Oh, and Quiltography for iPad? Best 15$ I have spent in a very long time. Christopher Oxley? Brilliant!!! And again, that is all I am going to say about that. Buy it. I am not making money for saying so. But, I am sold; hook line and sinker.

Oh, AND!!! I have mentally bought Jen Sinkler’s Lift Weights Faster 2 already. I anxiously await it. March 10.

Winner Announcement? Sonja Mclane

That is all the news that is fit to print.

 

 

 

In the thick of it!

I found the Quiltography app just in time. I am a bit addicted. 

I love figuring out how to affectively use Meadowlark. And this app is robust, it is certainly a great and easy to use springboard. My line of fabrics at first glance is far reaching, this is not a match-matchy line. Rather it is cheerful, playful and eclectic and colorful. The patterns and color choices are like a rainbow, some reds, oranges and yellow, along with some blue, purples, greens. Looking at them as a group, it is not entirely evident how to gather them up and redistribute the goodness into a good looking quilt top.  This app takes all of that away and helps me to see the possibilities.

I don’t know if you noticed but the programmer commented on my blog! Exciting indeed. I bought the app mid week. I stumbled around it and got to know it. When I got up to speed, which really hasn’t taken long, I posted my initial thoughts, and the developer responded to my blog directly! I like that.

Twisting_stars.JPG

The first thing to do is to use the database! I headed over to my designers page at Windham Fabrics. I scrolled through and saved each of the largest images of my fabric line, 26 images in total. I imported these into the My Stash section.

Red_warrior_star.JPG

Then, I opened the My Blocks and started playing around, placing my designs in the blocks and saving. Then you move into My Quilts. By this time, you have used the features and you are cooking with gas! It doesn’t get much easier than this.

Float_in_blue.JPG

 The blue grid fabric seen here? omg. The white lines in the grid? Wonk it up, baby.  😉 


 

I get nothing for talking up Quiltography. I just found it and like it. A lot. Maybe you will too! I mean, go buy it. Upload my line and let’s play!!! 🙂

Designing we will go

Generally speaking (at least in the recent past) when I make a quilt, I do it on the fly. I use no plan, I just start sewing and see what I come up with. I might get it in my head that I want to make wonky stars, or work with zigzags, and generally speaking, when I work this way, I don’t care if the blocks are slightly off, or if the points don’t match. I just go with it. 

Otherwise, I have been doing straight up jelly roll race type quilts. Yes, you heard it, strip piecing jelly rolls. I love that. It is easy. Fun. And without much thinking, you soon have a great quilt or throw that you can cuddle up in.

I am just beginning to experiment with quilt tops for my challenge and for now, I have decided to try using the Quiltography app for iPad.  I would like to play around with my fabric and see what comes of it, without cutting into my lovely bolts (yes, I have bolts of my line of fabric, Meadowlark). Let me say that again, bolts!

This app is new to me and I plan to spend a bit of time just playing around with half square triangles in the hope of loosening up and having some fun. I don’t yet know what my other 30% of the fabric will be, I figure that will make itself known after I fall in love with a design.

In the meantime, I will tell you my initial thoughts on the Quiltography app. The app costs 15$, which is a lot for an app. I know a friend who uses it and she likes it, so I figured, why not? It is fairly versatile. It is easy to import images of your intended cloth. There are quite a few block choices to start out, in addition to a ‘design your own block’ section that I have not tried. It seems you can also use a photo to ‘pixilate’ a design, which sounds neat, but again, I have not tried it.

It is a bit clunky in one respect-if you place a fabric in your quilt block and save it, you cannot delete the saved blocks. Being a fan of tidiness, this is not ideal. I will write to the folks who designed the app with my concern. Beside that, it really did not take long to learn to use the app and to save this, my first design using it. 

I am not completely sold on designing and working with the app (I do like free-form piecing quite a bit), but I value being able to experiment before cutting! Perhaps I will combine the two for a more planned free-form approach.

P.S. Fran Saperstein made the first quilt top using my fabrics, and she posted it to social media. Please check it out!