** EDITED 10/01! I really, really disliked the photos I took and posted here, so today I went for a bike ride and had a little photoshoot at the beach. I have replaced almost of the pictures except for the last one, and that just because i forgot to take a new photo of the back. Oh well. Oh and a few that show some detail that were not so bad.**
Let’s start with photographing. When I thought I was done and all that’s left to do was to take a few photos…. Well… Maybe it was the lighting, maybe the colors of the quilt, but you can see in the following photos how different it looks. Sometimes yellowish, sometime bluish…
Then it was the dimensions: it all started with the dark blue square in the middle. One day, uninspired (or possibly too hot, that’s just the kind of year we had here) to finish a quilt I was working on, I pulled out some scraps and made that square. It was about 10 in square. I really did not know what was to become of it, so I pinned it on my design wall and then it sat there for months.
Finally, when we got back home from visiting fun places (and family) in Europe, I made two more squares, this time in light blue. Then one yellow and one orange and then I came up with this center design. I finished all the color squares (you can see a few more WIP photos here), added two white squares (can you see that? it’s basically a huge nine patch) and then… then what?
I thought about simply adding white background but that would have been to easy, right? So I decided to add more nine patch squares in very light white/gray fabrics. The idea was to mirror the big nine patch, with the darkest share in the middle and two white on the sides (I am not sure if that is obvious or not?). Also, the background nine patch had to be as big as one patch in the middle, but since my color blocks were about 10.5 in, I had to cut a really weird size (for the finished size of 10 in for the nine patch, each square needed to be 10/3 in finished size, and that;s just not a fun number!). So here we have issues with dimensions and cutting.
I could have finished there but I still felt something was missing. That;s how the border was born. Since it’s all about squares and the decreasing dimensions I wanted to go with a border that will be made up of even smaller squares in a different orientation. And I wanted the side of these border squares to be the same as the diagonal of the nine patch background squares. I had no idea how many problems I will run into when I made this decision. Not just because of cutting another weird size square, but also because the sides of my quilt as it was now (without the border) was very stretchy on the edge because the edge was all of those bias cuts. So when I attached the border, which I realized later was quite longer than each of the sides, I got ruffles! yes, the border was like a big ruffle all around. I tried ironing it down. No go. So it had to be ripped. And you have no idea how I dislike ripping. But it had to be ripped, shortened and sewed back on. But the sides were stretched already, so even with shortening the border, it came out a little wobbly. But i was not going to rip again, and I decided it will have to do and it will have to be taken care of during quilting. Note to self… next time you have a bias edge, stitch it before adding a border or binding to prevent stretching! (like you would do when sewing clothes – when finishing the neck with bias tape – always stitch around the edge first so it won’t stretch!)
I initially planned to straight line quilt it. Quite densely. But because of the waviness of the border I knew I would get into trouble, so I decide to do the free motion quilting which I knew I could get around a little bit of extra fabrics at the edges (see above?). I was not really happy about having to do this, but it would have to do. And I hoped it would shrink a bit in the wash and as it gets wrinkly, it would not be so noticeable… And it really wasn’t. It is so deliciously wrinkly and soft.
One more closeup of quilting… And one more note – I really don’t enjoy free motion quilting. I prefer quilting straight lines and I do prefer the look of it. But you got to do what you got to do. And I am really happy how it turned out, problems and all. I was close to burying it on the bottom of the WIP pile, and forget about it. But I am happy I did not.
And the background (Lands End sheet with matching blues).
Look, my bike color matches the color of the beach tower!
This one has been finished for a while now, but… you know how that goes… Tomorrow it is going to be gifted, so this was the last chance to get some pictures taken. Here it goes:
Is this upside-down? It was not my intention to make hearts, but you’ll see in the next one, the bright squares do look like hearts, right?
Quilting: not very exciting I must say. Straight line, both sides and close to the seam. This past year, and I mean school year, I have not done many projects, due to a few factors, heat being among top reasons. Here in Southern California we did not have a winter. Not that we ever have much of a winter, but we went straight from summer to summer. And not our usual mild summers (here on the west side), we had record highs almost once a month. Temperatures that we might get only in the first part of September, the hottest part if out summer. And we don’t have ac in our house and fans can do only so much. So you can imagine then how inspired I was to have a blanket over me for hrs at time while sitting in front of a machine in a hot room. Not so much. Anyway…
I did do something new on this one… The corners, see? I thought it would be fun and by the time I had all the squares and triangles (for edges) cut I was a little sick of cutting. I know it’s only four more triangles, but it’s four more triangles to cut!!!
I cannot believe I started making this quilt 1/1. I didn’t pull all the fabrics out at one time, I was selecting fabrics on the go. I started with this gray fabric with big flowers you see in the middle if the next picture. That was my color inspiration even though I think the whole color scheme did change as I progressed.
I started with the basic block you can see on the picture below: one 3×3 square and one 3×5.5 rectangle in bright fabric, and one 3×3 square In coordinating low volume fabric. When I finished all of those squares I had this:
I could have just added white squares to fill in, but that seemed a bit boring and unfinished. So I decided to go with a square made up of two white 3×3 squares and two low volume 3×3 squares which created the final pattern that seems a bit like bright and low volume ‘hearts’ are interlaced vertically. I really liked the outcome.
To finish this long post two more pics. And a wish that next year, that is next school year is cooler and more productive. See YOU in about 5 weeks.
This is the fourth and the last of the quilts I finished over the last few months. This one is for my mom. And my favorite. I have a few more quilt tops finished, but they might have to wait. A bit.
This is what the process looked like. I selected some fabrics I picked up at the Crate and Barrel outlet store (Marimekko), cut them up in panels, move them around the design board until I was happy with the colors, and then I started cutting and adding strips of the gray chambray. (You can see full sized pictures here)
I quilted with different color threads, simple straight lines.
I used gray thread for all quilting over the chambray.
Initially I planned to quilt in both directions, but when I finished this one, I thought it might be too busy. And, really, I need to finish it.
One more view of the front.
The back… I had a hard time figuring out what to use for the back. Nothing I had in my stash fit. So I did what I never do – I pieced the back, using the same fabrics I used in the top. Crazy, but I like it.
Finished size: about 67 x 67 in.
Yes, this quilt started as diamonds, but then turned into triangles. How, you might ask? A method similar to half square triangles, this would be half diamond triangles.
To be more specific… Remember this quilt? Of course you don’t 🙂 I made this one over a year ago, using a method (similar to this) to get 4 half square triangle blocks out of two squares.
Similar to that, I made up my own method of sewing and then cutting up two big diamonds into 4 smaller half diamond triangle blocks. Put these 4 together, and you get a basic block for this quilt. I have taken pictures as I worked on this and I will post that soon. I promise.
Original design for this was to use just half diamond square blocks, which would result in about twice the size of the triangles. But when I put those up on the design wall… it just wasn’t working. There was just too much of too big color. This was much better. I was lucky I started with diamonds that were big enough to get these triangles – they are only about 21/4 in on the side. If I had started with a smaller diamond, the triangles would have been too small.
I had nothing in my stash for the back, and I wasn’t in the mood to piece it (never done it, really) so I went to my local fabric store and got this blue fabric. It has all the same colors I used in the top but they are a little muted. Not the best choice, but there it is.
I finished it by quilting 1/4 on both sides of diagonal lines.
Finished size: 43 x 45 in.
This is the second of the four quilts I finished recently. As always, I cannot come up with a clever name for it, so Herringbone Variation it is. It was inspired by this quilt I found on Pinterest:
Originally, the plan was to make this a pillow case for an oversized pillow I have on my bed, but then I realized it would not match anything else in the room. Not willing to cut and add more squares (once I’m done with a design, I’m done) I added a border to it. Unfortunately I ran out of the linen I used for the central part, so if you look hard, you might be able to see that the border linen is a bit darker. But i don’t fret about things like that.
I usually like all-over quilting designs. I am not crazy when different areas of the quilt are quilted with different designs. But I did it here, it just seemed to fit. So alongside seams in the middle part, and a “spiral” around the border.
I am not sure what I will do with this quilt. Because of all the linen (the purple linen used on the border is quite thin, which is why I quilted over it quite densely as you can see) I don’t think this quilt will be able to withstand frequent washes. But it’s not really a wall hanging. So?
This is the back. It was really hard to take a picture, and the color is not quite right, The background is much less blue. It is a nice purple, similar to the colors in the top.
Oh, did I say I quite like this one (unlike the Baby Quilt #2).
Finished size: about 48 in square.
This is not a second baby quilt I ever made. It is the second quilt I made cutting a bigger quilt top, into 2 baby quilts (take a look at the first one). I finished a bigger quilt top, set it aside waiting for an appropriate backing fabric to appear, when I realized I need a baby quilt for my son’s teacher in two days. The quilt top as it was, was way to big for a baby quilt, but cut simply into two pieces, it was too, small. Too narrow. The solution was to add some linen – for the first one, I added a single strip to widen it. For this one – which was even narrower, I added a few strips of linen between strips of squares of varying widths.
I planned to quilt straight lines along the width and length of the quilt, 1/4 in on both sides of seams, as I usually do when I have a simple grid like this. There was a problem however…. when I separated the strips of squares and added the linen between there was some distortion and the corners didn’t match anymore – so I could not quilt straight lines across the width, crossing the linen strips. They were not straight lines. I couldn’t even quit diagonal lines, for the same reason. I ended up quilting next to seam lines vertically, and then zig-zag lines down the strips.
I am not so crazy about this one. The only thing that comes to my mind is… bla. I am not crazy about the squares arranged in strips. There was probably another arrangement I could have come up. I am not crazy about the quilting. I have to admit I really just wanted to finish it. Not too proud of it…
I do like binding… I used a thrifted sheet. It was a little thick to work with, but looks very nice.
Finished size: 43 x 49 in.
Finished. What can I say? Not too happy. Will probably not use acrylic again. Good learning experience.
Nothing. Well, maybe a little bit – the blanket was much softer. But – the weave did not get any tighter (which I was hoping for), the blanket did not shrink (ok, I guess that’s a good thing) and the little imperfections that I hoped would go away did not (I was especially hoping that the areas where I continued yarn would be less noticeable; but no luck).
But.. as I said… it was good experience. And you need that, with any craft. And it’s better to learn on some inexpensive yarn, right?
So what to do with it? If I had a baby, I would use it as a stroller blanket (it’s small, about 32 in square). But I don’t. So I might just keep it in the car. For those cold nights (in Southern California. ha!)
As I mentioned, I have a new, old loom sitting in my studio (ha!). This was my first project, using some of the stash yarn I bought for knitting long time ago. Warp was white cotton, which I ran out of while measuring the warp, so I added some green cotton yarn. Then I used some leftover tape yarn in denim, or something like that.
This is a little longer piece, a mug rug if you wish. This yarn was very soft; wider than the warp, it covers it completely in the half-basket weave pattern I used. Even the selvedges turned out very nice.
For these four, I used the same warp, but different cotton weft, also denim, variegated. This yarn was also thicker than the warp, but stiffer so it did not cover the warp. This is plain weave. Quite a different effect.
Not too bad for the first project. I am not going to wet finish these. I like them a little stiffer, good for a coaster.