Friday, 22 October 2021

All out of fabric

This one is done now.  I added what I thought might be a final row across the bottom, to echo the triangles near the top.  

That got me almost, but not quite, to where I wanted to be. It was looking fine but it just wasn't quite as big as I like.  I eyed up my (tiny) pile of remaining fabric and figured I could go round just one more time.  I didn't do anything fancy, because the more cutting and piecing you do, the less fabric you end up with.  Instead I used up my left-over, previously pieced, odds and ends and then just cut wide strips from the remaining shirt fronts.  As is often the way, this practical decision pleases me from an aesthetic point of view too.

Here's the finished top, blowing in the wind.
Now I plan to quilt like a mad woman for a few days and let my brain settle, then it will be back to the beginning again.  

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Happy accidents

I definitely feel like I've hit my stride with this now.  I added another chunk down the left-hand side, then more of the black and white bird fabric at the bottom.  

Then, in a most satisfying development, it turned out that the things which looked best over on the right-hand side were those little blocks based on flying geese. They were a happy accident: I made the geese, left them lying around, looked down and they had obligingly arranged themselves into the pairs, with one facing each way.  I love a bit of serendipity.
Almost there now.  I have, I hope, enough fabric for one more round but no more than that.  

Friday, 15 October 2021

The rules, roughly speaking, are as follows...

No sooner do I think I know my mind than things change.  Those triangles, which didn't look at all right down at the bottom, were somehow the best fit when I came to working the next row across the top.  Go figure.  
The sharp-eyed amongst you will notice that although this is now, broadly speaking, a medallion quilt, I am not being entirely consistent about working in rounds.  More a 'mostly medallion' quilt, I guess.  
I have been thinking about trying to articulate the 'rules' that I feel emerge as I piece.  It's not entirely easy, since I seldom think them through, but looking at this I can see that, loosely, I am not putting two sets of wedges side-by-side, or two long runs of plain strip (except where there are coping strips).  The black fabric is only being paired with orange, and most strips are cut so that they run vertically.  There is probably at least one exception to each of these, but I did say they were loose rules.

Monday, 11 October 2021

A game of fits and starts

One step forwards, two back.  Or sometimes one back and two forwards.  That's the way it's rolling around here at the moment.  This is mostly, I reflect now, because I wasn't listening to the quilt.  This had, quite early on, a medallion feel to it, but I had just done a medallion so I tried everything I could think of to avoid working in rounds.  Some things I tried were okay, but nothing fantastic emerged.  Still reluctant to give in I toyed with idea of building out on just two sides.  But you know what?  When I stopped thinking like a fool and just sat and looked, it was quite clear to me that this quilt wanted to be, if not a medallion proper than at least a fair imitation of one.

Amongst the bits I have made but rejected are these pointy triangles
and some Flying Geese which turned into these bits.

I rather liked those but sadly they looked too busy and didn't seem quite right there.  I'm keeping them though, on the offchance.  In the end, I settled for something simpler
The very pale strips were added in an attempt to counteract the distinct curves this has developed, due to a combination of some denim that I'm pretty sure had a bit of stretch in it and my habit of cutting every last bit of fabric from a shirt, on the bias if that's where it needs to be.  I quite like them though, so it's all good.

Sunday, 3 October 2021

Photos, what photos?

There is a reason I can't build up a backlog of posts, to be published at times when I'm not sewing.  It has to do with my ability to keep track of where I put things.  Today is a case in point.  I had a couple of sessions worth of work done on this project but hadn't had time to blog.  Now that I come to write a post, do I have the camera card with the necessary photos?  No, I don't.  So I will have to ask you to imagine the steps between the previous post and where I am now.  
I know that those steps involved at least one piece being sewn on and then removed again and experiments with both flying geese and a pointy kind of triangle.  Those bits are still knocking around and may still get pressed into service, but for now they were not what I want.

I am much happier with how this is working now, though it is definitely still at the 'groping for something that works' stage.  More things are being tried and rejected than are succeeding. I would be able to demonstrate that, if only I had the pictures!

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Off we go again

Kicking off the next quilt.  I pulled these shirts, just because they pleased me.

I have it in mind that I would like to try adding some denim into a quilt and these seem like they might work.  Three shirts, though, isn't enough for a whole quilt, even with a load of denim added in, so I found a few more bits.

I started with some random wedge-y bits.  This was my first go at putting them together.  Don't like it much.  Correction, I do like the individual chunks,(3 of them) but not the way they look here.  I added the scraps of black floral and while I think they will do a job for me, the piece across the bottom is somehow too heavy and lacking in movement.  Luckily it will be easy to separate them again.
I should probably have made more pieces before I started sewing things into bigger bits, but I just wasn't feeling very patient.  I have learned my lesson.  On the bright side, I do like how they work with the denim.  It's early days, of course, so some wins and some hiccups is neither here nor there.  I shall just keep going and see what comes of it.

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Done and dusted: Sugar and Spice

All this time quilting is paying off, as I have another finish.  This is a quilt that was pieced in 2019, so I am definitely catching up with myself, albeit slowly.  

I had a song-and-dance trying to get photos.  No prop for the clothesline, as previously mentioned, and no indoor options, so in the end I got creative with a length of downpipe and some clothes pegs.  (The builders are coming in October and once they're done my priority will be an indoor wall set up for quilt photos.  Something not weather-dependent.)  

Once I had things set up I took quite a few photos, trying to get the colours right.  I find these light pale shades don't always photograph so well.  I think some of these are okay though.

I like this picture of the back too, because the quilting shows up nicely.

I too-ed and fro-ed with this while I was piecing it: it pleased me very much that all the shirts came from one rack, in one shop.  When I saw them all neatly lined up, with their sugared almond colours, it felt as if they were calling me to take them home and turn them into something.  On the other hand, once I had started I was nearly overwhelmed by that very same sweetness and, briefly, came almost to dislike it.  Once I had figured out what I needed to add in to balance the sweetness, though, I came to love it.  I love that it has not one, not two but three different bird fabrics in there, that the magpies, which I had held on to for ages, found a home and that they let me to the little sparks of emerald green.  I love that in the end nothing about this felt predictable to me, but everything felt right.  

The details  

Started on 15th May 2019, the piecing was done by the 18th July.  I started quilting round about June this year, and finished on 12th September.

Made from that lovely shirt pull (yellow, deep coral, blue, green, pink and the print with little parrots on), plus a small selection of organic prints from stash, including the Charley Harper magpies. The batting is organic cotton, which is pretty much my favourite right now and the quilting was done with no. 8 perle cottons, again from stash.