Monday, October 28, 2013

Color Journals: Harpa for Sue

I have Sue's color journal this month, and she has selected the theme of travel for her book, using rich golds and teals as her base palette. She asked us each to create a page of a place we have been to, or a place we dream of visiting, or even a mode of transportation.

For about two years (and two months) I have been wanting to make a quilt project inspired by the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik. The entire building is constructed of hexagonal and diamond-shaped panes of glass, build right on the sea to reflect the waters swirling around it. The inside was also breathtaking, with light bouncing everywhere in 16.9 million different colors and heavy black (hexagonal!) columns as interior walls, designed to look like the basaltic columns created by the volcanic geology. Before I saw this incredible structure, I hadn't ever really paid much attention to architectural design, but this just sang to my heart!
Harpa Concert Hall (Reykjavik, Iceland), interior view
So, for Sue, I am making a tiny version of Harpa. I drafted and cut the paper shapes this afternoon. Time for more fabric wrapping!
English paper-piecing units for Sue's Harpa Concert Hall journal page.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Ravens, Quilting Begun

Jen's raven table topper is all basted up and has been a great wall decoration for this halloween season. I used the football day (go Pats!) to quilt it. I put some feathers in the center, up to the part where the ravens begin, then I skipped the ravens and did some curls in the outermost regions of the Nevermore fabric. The batik got a nice straight-line treatment, but the big wreath of feathers in the outer grey border segment came out really fantastic, which I DO say so myself! It's a little dark to get a photo of the full project, but here's a detail shot that shows just a segment of each section.

My nine-year-old is increasingly jealous that this one will get a new home. I am trying to think of something to make him for yule using the raven fabric.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Embroidering after dark

Staying up a little late (even for me) tonight embroidering runes on velvet for a certain nine-year-old's costume. It's (supposed to be) the name of his (current) favorite Magic (: The Bickering) character.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Revisiting hexagons

Using a nifty little Fiskars paper punch that makes a hex with a 1" side, I have started wrapping yet another set of hexes, this time using only batiks. It's a great little project to take in the car or to swim meets. I'm just getting started, so this is all I have so far.

1" batik hexes...such a pretty little rainbow!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Another new one!?!

Despite my best intentions of quilting the tops that are waiting upstairs (and a marathon basting session in which I got 5 projects ready to quilt), I still managed to get another new one cut and half pieced this week. The pattern is Avalon by Elizabeth Hartman. I'm going to call this one "Petticoats and Polio" because I don't have a lot of sympathy for false nostalgia.
Two of the four blocks are already finished. I might do a little retro-motif stamping on the solid background, but a variegated quilting thread would fill in the space too. I'll let the possibilities brew for awhile.
This will finish at 60 x 72". (A nice view of the Cloud Nine quilt that I basted yesterday too. I'll post about that one later this week.)

With Halloween eerily looming on the horizon, my sewing machine time will be costume focused for the remainder of the week.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ravens, continued

Picked up the necessary Nevermore fabric after my Tuesday night meeting, and I also found the perfect red-and-purple batik to use as the accent color. The pieces of the raven tabletopper are all cut and ready to assemble! (Well, not quite -- I still haven't cut the 2" border that goes at the very edge.) When my 9-year-old comes downstairs in the morning, sees it and says "Wow, Mom, what is that?!? I love it!" I suppose I'm on the right track.

The developing conspiracy...
I am trying to pick up the pace of posting on here, but my computer is in the process of failing. A brand spanking new laptop (first new computer in eight years!) is on order, so if you find yourself weeping and pulling your hair out for want of new posts, rest assured that I will be more active in November once I figure out how to configure said laptop.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Color Journals: Purple for Polly

On the first month of our color journal exchange, I made a purple page for Polly's fantastic journal. I loved the elongated shape that she chose. I used a simple Karen Eckmeier freeform technique to make a mountain landscape, accented with some free-motion quilting and a few aqua beads that looked like emeralds in the deep dark earth:

"Misty Mountains Rise" -- my boys gave me the name, which is apparently from a Hobbit song. SciFi geekery for the win!
Who'd'a thunk I'd have some purple and mint ice cream fabric? Perfect for the back!
The meeting last night was a delight -- I think everybody was so excited to share what they had made that we blew through all 13 projects in less than an hour! My next assignment is to make a "Travel"-themed page for Sue's gold-and-teal journal. So many ideas brewing for this one...

Monday, October 7, 2013

Scrappy Trip

I have been cutting strips for Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt all summer. I wasn't thinking big when I first started the cutting, but the strips just kept appearing, so at this point I'm anticipating that this will be nearly queen sized. I have the first 11 blocks done:

Scrappy Trip Around the World: A first look

Ravens begun

A friend of mine who is a serious fan of all things "raven" (it is hoped that this fandom doesn't extend to a certain NFL team from Baltimore...) commissioned me to make a table topper after she saw the Nevermore fabric that I used to make my sister a table runner earlier this summer. I showed her a few different concepts with hexagons and pinwheels that might work on her round table, but we settled on the decagon pattern that I bought at one of the Newington Schoolhouse meetings last year. I couldn't resist this nifty ruler set -- I love that it has pieces with 72 and 36-degree angles. (Stars! Decagons! So many geometrical delights!)

I bought the raven fabric this weekend, got it all washed and ironed, set to cutting...and realized that I miscounted the, sadly, another stop at the quilt shop will need to be in my immediate future. (What a bummer.) In the meantime, the pieces that I do have look spectacular in the round:
If only this mathematically inclined quilter could count...