Only when I started putting my post together did I realize that I am working on 4 projects at once – how’d that happen? I’m taking this time to create some new class samples in addition to working on one quilt and rediscovering another.
I have this great 8′ x 8′ design walls, one of the luxuries that I planned for when we remodeled the house 4 years ago. Yet somehow I wish I had twice the design wall! What I find myself doing is putting up the project du jour on top of the previous project. Sometimes I forget what is under there. When I took down my tablecoth quilt to begin quilting it, this somewhat forgotten project revealed itself anew:
I was really excited about this quilt, but it stalled when I got to this point. I want to make it bigger and the quilting plan that I had for it just did not seem like it was “enough”. So it languished.
When it reappeared, my memory was jogged to recall a big pile of machine appliqued silk flowers I had made maybe a decade ago for another project that never got off the ground. I thought they might be a good fit for this piece, the perfect wake-up for this blank slate:
Aha, this is the right direction for this piece! I have a whole pile of these silk flowers and I did not take any time to think about whether these particular flowers were right for this piece, but I can see that I like this concept. I’ll be moving forward on this one when I get a chance.
I am in the process of creating new class samples. I need several class samples for each workshop so that I can send out a sample to guilds when they hire me. I needed another sample for my “Doodle Quilting” class. I’ve only taught it a few times but I love that class!
Students create their own simple design for a mini-wholecloth quilt using a Sharpie pen. The whole idea is to let loose and play, working with simple, almost childlike designs.
We learn and play with a variety of fills, learning what works, and what doesn’t, as well as how to combine motifs. The class is super fun and students can take some markers, pens, crayons or inks to color in some of the designs after the quilting is completed. It’s like free motion Kindergarten!
It’s spring and I’ve got birds all over outside of my studio, so this little guy popped into my mind. I like for students to create their own fun design but I have a bunch of designs they can use and transfer to their quilt if they’d like. After all this class is all about play time!
I’ve also been playing with inset circles, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I don’t piece a lot, but I love these precise and easy inset circles. I swear they are faster to sew into the block than it would be to machine applique them on. Even new piecers can do this and do it quickly!
I have not gotten to quilting it yet but I’m playing with several ideas. I rarely use safety pins to baste but I had some wonky piecing lines. The fabrics are loosely woven and it was easy for the block to go wonky. I added the safety pins to control the fabric. I hope to have time to make a larger circle quilt and play a lot more with color and quilting. This will be a 3-hour class. Everyone loves a 3-hour class so this will be a great addition to my workshop offerings.
Progress on my “tablecloth quilt” has been slow. I have a lot more to do on this and every step seems to take longer than expected. It didn’t help when I started quilting the cabbage-rose like thingy’s in the center:
This was not a good start! And I’m still not happy with what I’ve done on them. There is some funky printing in some areas of the table cloth and I’m just not sure what to do with them.
This unexpected happy accident happened:
I have had a heck of a time getting thread colors that work. It occurred to me that the reason I’m having such difficulty is that these colors are not only vintage colors, but they are faded. Try to find thread that works with that!
The border fabric I chose, a Grunge, was close, but a little bluer than the color in the tablecloth. And the purple thread I found to quilt with (Aurifil 12 wt, love that stuff!) was also a little too blue. But once I quilted those fern thingy’s, the faded purple of the tablecloth and the too-blue purple thread blended together to make a “new” color that works very well! Who’d a thunk?
I decided to put a circle in the center and couldn’t decide between the circles on the left or the ribbon candy on the right. The current decision de jour is ribbon candy. I have time to ponder that one.
Those large white areas that kind of point away from the center are oddly shaped and I’m perplexed on how to handle them. I do think it needs to be some sort of grid on-point. I don’t want this to get too serious so probably no beading or crystals.
I’m thinking a bunch of different buttons on the edge of the border; that would be fun! I sent off for some buttons from vintage suppliers but that is a crap-shoot, trying to match faded, vintage colors to buttons showing up on my computer screen. Wish me luck!
Maybe you can see the quilting a little better here? It shows up much better in real life. I hope to have time to do dense backfills for the areas between the flowers to make them pop. I’m thinking that border needs some sort of a grid also.
BTW, gotta shout out to Margaret Solomon Gunn for creating these handy books of grids and fills:
They are excellent resources for ideas, well-illustrated and written, available only on her website since they are self-published. Even though I have my own stash of many fills and grids, it’s good to have a bunch all in one place to browse through when you’re looking for ideas.
I am just tickled pink to have the time to create and the mental space to do so. I am weary of the lockdown, yes, but I am having a blast in my studio. I hope to have made a lot of progress by next week’s post. Yikes, it will be May by then! I’ll be linking up with Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday too!