Thursday, 23 May 2019

Melting ice cream

Putting my blocks together on the floor it became pretty clear to me that I don't really want them touching each other - they just blend into an overwhelming mess of sweetness, a bit like a pool of melting ice cream.  In fact, the more I looked at them like that, the less I liked them and as I went to bed last night I was wondering about sticking the whole lot in a box and hiding it at the back of the garage.  

However it's not in my nature to let myself off the hook, so today I got on with adding a bit of something more, to see if I could get to somewhere I felt happier with.  The black print seems to work well
and, digging in my boxes for something with that emerald green from the magpie fabric (didn't find anything) I came across a white-based print that also seemed to fit. 
I have been playing around with combining the sweet colours and these two and don't mind the result, especially when I up the quantity of bird shirt I'm including.   At the moment I don't love it but I don't hate it either.
It seems a bit bloody-minded to buy a pile of ice-cream coloured shirts and then complain that they are too sweet, so I will stop doing that now, but I'm thinking that I may still need an extra something...

Monday, 20 May 2019

Sugar and spice

I started off thinking I might keep this quilt really, really simple and used scissors to cut some square-ish bits. I let the size be dictated by the magpie fabric - this was as big as I could get before I started hitting another bird.
 I used this as a rough guide for some more.
At some point, still just cutting squares and not making any decisions beyond that, I noticed a couple had fallen on top of each other.
So I followed that thought, which got me here. 
I should add a disclaimer at this point, to the effect that no fabric was ironed in the making of this block.  I would iron, if only I could remember where the iron had been tidied away to.  Ah well.

I made some more.  I am cutting with no attempt to keep things straight/neat for the moment.  At some point I will probably add strips and wedges to square up before I try joining any of these together.
Now, I like these but a whole quilt would be too much for me.  Too much sugar in one place.  So I need to find some spice, or contrast, which means either a slightly mismatched colour, possibly, or some choices which extended the value range.  I have added in the bird shirt I bought a few weeks ago, but need something dark now.  Obviously I have the black fabric with the flowers but I haven't figured out yet how to use it.  It could just go into the mix with everything else or I could use it in some other way.  For now I'm just mulling things over, as there's no great hurry.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Feeling summery

I know that the process of selling and buying a house works a bit differently in the US but here, once you are on the market, nothing else can happen until you have a buyer.  So I had a plan for this hiatus and to be fair it was not a bad plan.  In fact elements of it will probably still happen.  But in the meantime I decided a bit of shirt shopping was in order.  

I found these
and, hanging all together on one rail, I found these.
It is lovely and sunny here at the moment and they made me think of ice-cream.  Not a palette I have tried before or would have thought of in other circumstances, but there they all were, calling my name.

So I took what life offered me, scooped them up and packed them into my extra-large shirt-shopping bag.  

Back home I have had a dig around in my boxes and come up with something that might work.
It's certainly worth a go.  

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Taking Flight: done and dusted

Hooray!  Just when I needed it, I have a finish and I don't know whether it's just because everything else has stalled or not but I'm really happy with this.
I like the wonky string blocks, I  like the places where the corner triangles make little butterflies, I like my blue border with its freehand vine quilting, I like those funny little leaves. Yep, I pretty much like everything about it.

Here's a peak at the back
here's the binding, which is a lovely Cloud 9 print

and here's a closer shot that lets you see all the lovely shirt fabrics properly.
The details:
I started this on 9th May and finished piecing on 4th July 2018.
It reached the top of the quilting queue on 12th March this year and was finished on 8th May.

I started with, I think, 4 shirts but also a pile of squares cut from other shirting (that's where the pretty yellow check came from) plus the Charley Harper piece with the swallows and everything else was pulled from stash.

The wadding is organic cotton and it is quilted using a selection of perle no 8.

It is 60" x 75", roughly speaking.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

A bit of binding

Today I am starting to bind Taking Flight, which feels like a big achievement right now. In fact, I shall see if I can take a couple of days over it, just to prolong that feeling of satisfaction at nearly reaching an end.  
I am also thinking a lot about piecing, but not doing any.  

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Not a lot going on here

I'm just dropping in here to say that I'm not really doing much sewing, though I have nearly finished prettying up my wee house so hopefully I'll be back to it fairly soon.  I am hand quilting still, just not piecing, so who knows, my next post may be a new start, or a finish.  

In the meantime, I've popped up a post on AHIQ, winding up my go at the Red is  a Neutral challenge.  

Also, apologies to everyone who commented on my last post and to whom I haven't yet replied - normal standards will be resumed as soon as possible! 

Monday, 22 April 2019

Progress and a sigh of relief

I have been all around the houses with this quilt, but I have finally moved it on a bit.

Since I last posted about it I have contemplated adding smaller blocks, adding a darker block, adding sashing using my darkest red shirt.
I also spend a lot of time pondering why I felt the need to do anything.  After all this is a perfectly satisfying block and a whole bunch of them just sewn together in a perfectly straightforward way look rather lovely.  Yet I couldn't quite bring myself to do it.  I needed to tinker.  I needed to make it my own in some way. 

I rather liked the smaller block (it's 6.5") but only till I thought about how many I might need to make.  The grey didn't add anything, so the red shirt seemed like my best option.  Just to be sure, I went back through my boxes and found this, mucky greeny-brown, which also seemed to be making a case for inclusion.
 In the end I have ended up with this.
I would concede that this is only the tiniest tweak and am not even claiming that it looks better than it would have done without my butting in, but somehow I feel much better and there is a lesson for me in that.

I might add a border or I might stop here. Tomorrow I'm hoping to sew the final seam on it (currently it's two big chunks) and then I'll see.  Right now I'm mostly just feeling relieved!