Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Metropolis blocks assembled

Back in August I whipped up a batch of super bright Metropolis blocks using a rather unusual color combination.
I made a few fabric changes after this point in the block assembly; replaced the batik with a chestnut, and finished with a shimmery light turquoise.
I started with the neat mosaic print that runs vertically between the dark brown bars in the photo above. I have had a yard of this sitting calling to me for years. I think I might have actually bought the fabric before I even started quilting. Weird. I love the combo of orange, purple, and turquoise, and this fabric combines those with chestnut and gold accents. I am always drawn to oranges, especially oranges that don't specifically scream "Halloween!!" (Not that I don't love Halloween - I do! - but I appreciate orange in a much broader context.)

Anyway, these blocks have been in a bin for almost three months largely because I haven't been able to decide what I wanted to do for the sashing. Although the blocks are predominately orange (with purple accents, even!), I didn't really want to end up with a Halloween quilt. I tried dark purple, ivory, chocolate, peach, navy, black...but a bright solid turquoise won the day. I picked some up on my trip to Salem last week and finally have a complete top:
Metropolis quilt (top), 75 x 75". Pattern by Elizabeth Hartman.
This pattern is a great one for working in a tricky multi-color print that you have sitting around. You can combine several different vaguely coordinating prints with a few solids (or near-solids) to pull them all together. And, at this size, you don't really need too much of any one fabric. In the book, she gives yardage requirements for the blocks AND the back, which is a terrific effect for a reversible quilt, but if you ignore the back requirements, it's a great way to use small pieces of a group of lovelies. I don't have the math right in front of me, but I think 6 of the 9 block fabrics use less than a fat quarter.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pre-Sandy preparations: Part II

So far no power outage...plenty of time to do October's free-motion challenge. I had spent some time doing the paper prep-work with Child the Younger this week, while Child the Elder had his piano lesson. Here's my practice job:

Kind of like a zentangle. I like this style.

I scavenged up a scrap of navy silk from when I sewed my husband's academic regalia robes, and sandwiched it with two layers of batting. I didn't have any wool or silk or bamboo, so I just used two layers of low loft poly. Close enough for an emergency pre-storm situation.

I started with some nice 12-wt Sulky as the border, then switched to a 30-wt blue for the first step. I didn't want to do my name, in case it came out well enough to frame, so I used a nice studio-wall word:

I switched back and forth several times between the two weights of Sulky blendables, some regular sewing-weight Gutermann, and the rayon Sulky that I use for embroidery. I decided to work on my bubbles, since those are sort of tricky for me. This time I focused on varying their size, and I like how it turned out. I also tried a few new motifs, including the checkerboard and the clamshells at the top. I really love the nautilus - it's a fast way to fill in irregular spaces. The one on the right is one that I developed on paper, as a fill-in for wavy but mostly straight areas (like tree trunks). My son and I have christened it "mermaid's tail." 

This little project is a keeper! I'm so happy with how it came out that I'm going to frame it and hang it above my cutting table.

Take THAT, Sandy! October projects are done!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

storm quilting

I had this great...if ambitious...mental schedule for finishing my monthly challenge projects after our Halloween party. Now, however, in the face of power outages, I have run out of time. I did manage to complete a nice lap/crib-size top for the Color Palette challenge. This month's inspiration is a wonderful Kandinsky:

I have had some perfect Dan Bennett fabric maturing in the closet for about a year...now is its time to shine. I found some almost-solids in every color in the palette chosen by Vicki Welsh, and a scrap of coordinating polka dots.Here's my "solution":

I edited the post to put in a better-lit photo. Love this bright cheerful, colorful little quilt!

I think our hatches have been sufficiently battened, and we are well stocked for comestibles and potables (potent and otherwise). If you need heat or a hot shower over the next few days, please call. We have a nifty furnace/thermostat setup that runs on the pilot light rather than electricity, so as long as gas service isn't interrupted we should be fine. Plus, we bought a little generator after last year so we can keep our freezer safe and occasionally fire up the modem and recharge devices. Stay safe, fellow east coasters.

And that, my friends, is my first Kindle-created blog post! My darling husband recently gave me a Kindle Fire HD for our 12th (!) anniversary. I love this little device so much that I suspect he might be regretting it a little (not really...just kidding).

(Edited on a grown-up computer to replace the photo. And to add that my friend Laurel pointed out that the sashing fabric looks like the projection tracks for the hurricane...so I'll be naming this one "Tracking Sandy". Thanks, Laurel!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Congratulations to Melissa and Brian!

A little gift for my neighbor's super-adorable new son.

"Once Upon a Time" story quilt pattern by Fun Quilts (Weeks & Ringle).

Still loving that orange peel motif, which works out easily on a pattern like with a regular grid structure.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tula Pink Quilt Along

Last week I found a notice about a Tula Pink sew along...so while my parents were visiting this weekend I dug out a stack of lovely oceany batiks (thanks, Deb!) and started cutting the pieces for the quilt called "Fade to Pink" in the Quilts from the House of Tula Pink book. I couldn't find an online image of the quilt in the book, but this one from the sew along is incomparably lovely. I do love the full spectrum.

I had some nearly solid bright purple fabric that I decided to use as the sashing/borders, chosen largely because I had enough of it (and the contrast is brilliant!). I think the pattern called for 4.5 yards, but I'm pretty sure I didn't even use a full 4...which means I have several other possibilities if I decide to make another of these. This is an incredibly fast pattern; I spent half of Saturday monkeying around with the order of the fabrics and had everything cut before I went to bed that night. The 2-piece blocks took just a few hours during Sunday football, although keeping track of which went where took a little organizing. I'll probably have this top finished tomorrow evening after my class.
Ocean-y fade quilt top, still in progress

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Political distraction

To survive the interminable debate, I did a boring job that has been hanging around for several weeks: edge-stitching a zillion little appliqued pieces down. This is the top for the miniature version of the Owl Eyes quilt from Modern Patchwork:
"Owl Eyes" pattern by Elizabeth Hartman
I really love this effect, but I'll never make a full-size quilt with this pattern. The unstitched ovals would sit in a pile for a hundred years. I'll get this quilted up in no time, probably with an allover chevron or something that contrasts with the roundness. My favorite part of the process was putting away my bin of embroidery threads; they had been sitting directly under my desk lamp while I sewed, so the glow-in-the-dark collection was fully charged and is still glowing a half-hour later. Fun!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy October Colors!

If this month's palette doesn't inspire me, I guess nothing will. Happy October, Dear Readers!