Friday, August 22, 2014

Derived Inspiration, No.1 "Twenty Questions"

Derived Inspiration






The process of being deeply inspired by something/someone.  It happens to us all the time. We photograph, we pin, we post, we admire, we dream,  then we create.

I'm making a conscious effort to document the process of inspiration. From inception to the aftermath. Going from the source of "the idea" and seeing where it takes me. I think I've done this unintentionally many times. This time,  I'm taking an intentional route.

Derived Inspiration: Study No. 1, "Twenty Questions", a friend quilt swap with Whitney (the peacock tree) (scrappy_lam on IG). We settled on asking each other some questions to learn more about quilting preferences, or just more about each other. Some questions helped shape my workable palette (fabric: solids in turquoise with buttercup/chartreuse/eggplant); others were just plain fun ( Crayons vs colored pencils- definitely colored pencils). Still others, getting at the overall design taking shape in my head (Q:"organic or linear",  A: "symmetrically organic"). 

Taking the "Twenty Questions" in their entirety I learned much about my friend; we both are morning people and prefer salty vs sweet things. And to paraphrase my friends unexpected sense of humor; (Q: "Do you still consider Pluto a planet" A: "Pluto, is a big goofy dog")

Lucky for me, I was at The Denver Botanic Gardens Chihuly exhibit right when we were talking about making each other a quilt. The glass sculptures were breathtaking and exhilarating  but one photograph, of a leaf just screamed "symmetrically organic". The palette was not the one I would use for the finished quilt, but the leaf was inspirational.
The source of Inspiration. I think this captured the "symmetrically organic" vibe perfectly
What I used from the inspiration: For one, the layout. This close-up photo is of a tropical plant leaf, organically divided into thirds. That appeals to me on many levels. The dominant  "background" green color, would be changed in my composition, but the amount of space that color occupied would not. The quilt design would fill the entire workable space, without borders. I would add complimentary colors to the background color to give depth and dimension. And the focal point, the sharply offset, slightly slanted, vein of red would play a difficult and pivotal role. 
The goal: Not to copy the leaf, it is already perfect. But to derive inspiration from it and take that inspiration on a ride. To be thoughtful of Whitney's 'requests" but not to lose one bit of myself in the process. 

The details
"Twenty Questions" Derived Inspiration: No.1- 2014

Quilt front
Quilt back, keeping with the symmetrically organic vibe?

50" x 55"
Improv linear piecing with an offset, slightly slanted improv pieced vein. Inspired original design.

Materials: Fabric Top- 100% Kona Cottons in Turquoise, Caribbean, Oasis, Cyan, Aqua, Robin Egg, Peacock, Lagoon (the blues); Grass Green, Lime, Peapod, Chartreuse, Sprout, Cactus, Honey Dew (the greens); Eggplant, Dark Violet, Mulberry, Magenta (the purples); Buttercup, Corn, Papaya (the yellows). Fabric Back- same as above scraps from top, plus white with turquoise dots from my stash.

Threads: This quilt was an opportunity use use all kinds of almost done thread and bobbins from my collection. For those that I had information the following was used for piecing the top and the back: Gutermann poly cotton: 618, 650, 206, 607, 2776, 581, 6170, 577. YLI 100% cotton in seamiest 18V. Coats and Clark, 100% cotton 3690, 7360. Aurifil 100% Mako cotton in 50 wt was used to quilt. The top #2810 (turquoise) and the bobbin #2021 (off white). 

I got myself into a bit of a Y seam debacle part way through piecing the top, luckily, I'm getting better at those pesky seams. 
despite planning this still happened

the flimsy before modification of the purple/yellow vein

Batting: 100% cotton warm and natural.

Quilting done with a Bernina walking foot: Purple area: matchstick ; yellow area: Bernina modified #4 stitch; background turquoise areas: Bernina mirror image # 719 stitch.

Quilting, top, mid-detail
close-up of quilting details
Binding: cut 2" straight-of-grain with pieced insets.

Things I did that I don't normally do: I used Mary Ellen's Best Press starch alternative. I wish I tried this before, makes ironing a breeze. I also ripped out the inset purple/yellow "vein" twice. The proportions were never quite right. Third time was a charm.
I ripped this out twice. 
 I used all the scraps on the back, again, and generated a few unusable scraps- mostly from squaring up my fabrics and trimming down that troublesome vein.
not much you can do with these skinny pieces, except admire the colors,
 take a few pictures and post them on Instagram.
using up the usable scraps on the quilt back along with  a lovely white with turquoise polka dot print,
 my only" not solid" fabric
Stash fabric was used to finish the back. And I documented the solid fabric colors and threads used. May as well start practicing with the documentation in case Whitney wants to know. I didn't sketch since I had a good idea of what I was trying to achieve, but I made reference notes on a printed photo of the leaf, noting proportion and what I felt would be appropriate sizes for the large blocks of color and the prominent vein. I adjusted the vein size in the final quilt, as previously noted.

Dear friend, I hope (fingers crossed) that you like what I have done with your "Twenty Questions".










Saturday, August 16, 2014

Fly fly away

IF anyone is going to these shows could you PLEASE take a picture of my quilts?????
Many, many thanks

AQS Quilt Week- Chatanooga, 2014 Bad Ass Quilting Special Exhibit (September 10-13)
Open and Shut

AQS Quilt Week- Des Moines, 2014 Bad Ass Quilting Special Exhibit (October 1-4)

Stitched
International Quilt Festival, Houston: Modern Quilt Guild Exhibit (October 30- November 2, 2014)
(I may see you there for this one since I'm still pinching myself)
Fade to Gray
Colorado 4x4


Saturday, August 2, 2014

July oh how I love you


A bit of a take a breather month, only 2 active Bee's/swaps which is good, because I got to step away from Quilting for a bit and tried some other sewing. Nothing for me however, although I was hoping to make a skirt of 2 to wear this summer (better hurry up on that one).


The Birthday Bandy Swap: for Mariana


The whole package of stuff: Round embroidery pouch, embroidery hoop, threads in rainbow palette, needles and transfer paper. Hexie paper, fabric and thread. Small hoop pin cushion.
small hoop pin cushion and pins
Embroidery hoop bag, front (with economy block pieced sewing machine)
embroidery hoop bag back, with pieced hexies


Gifts for new friends in Bolivia

Funky chicken pot holders and dish towels.
and this great roomy and fun to sew Cooper Bag by Colette Patterns, purchased with the bag hard wear  (brilliant)! The pattern allows you to select from 3 finish styles, cross-body/backpack and satchel. I went with the cross body option.

my first rivets

I really love the lining fabric

used linen for the strap instead of cotton webbing
This bag is made from 2 mid-weight Italian Linens (navy and olive) and heavy weight fusible interfacing. The lining is Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements "Expedition" also with heavy weight fusible interfacing. I modified the interior of the bag to incorporate one zippered pocket instead of 2 open pockets. And made the bag strap from fabric instead of purchasing cotton webbing. The zippers are from Zippit and have large zipper pulls for ease of use. The pattern was well written, the magnetic snaps were easy to install and I must say, I am no longer fearful of rivets.

Sewing for my Remi
Merchant & Mills, The Top #64 Pattern in a  soft subtle striped flannel. Pattern edited to include french seaming along with the suggested top stitching.


really fun pocket construction.

back details with french seams, believe it or not, I did press the top before I gave it to her…...

French seam detail with added top-stitching
Fabric detail- subtle striping
2 patterns purchased this month and both patterns used and liked.
 




Saturday, July 26, 2014

Derived Inspiration, No. 2 "Stitched"

Derived Inspiration




Derived inspiration- The process of being deeply inspired by something/someone.  It happens to us all the time. We photograph, we pin, we post, we admire, we dream……...then we create.

This is No. 2 in a series of quilts. The first in the series is to be gifted to a friend but it won't be mailed until mid-August, hence the out of sequence numbers. No matter if it's the first or the 100th, the process is the same, the spark of an idea taken hold and mulled over until just right. The translation of thought into something realized. The beginning, but certainly, never the end.

The inspiration for this quilt was a quilter and her pattern. 

Leanne's style and quilting ethic makes me want to do my best always, and she was kind enough to let me use her pattern in a slightly different layout than that described in the canvas quilt pattern which is available on both Craftsy and in her Etsy store. The challenge (for me) was to use what I had (fabric/batting/backing/threads) but to also have fun. I started with one block.


What I used from the inspiration: The basic block pattern, in pillow size.
The goals: To make a small quilt using the original block I made, plus 5 others,  using solids and prints and using similar colors in different tints. To try and incorporate something I've never done before (inset seaming), and give the languishing metallic threads in my thread stash a second chance to shine- literally.


The Details:
"Stitched" Derived Inspiration (No. 2) - 2014 (named from the stitch like inset seam joining the quilt panels)
39" x 50"
Quilt block: Canvas Quilt- she can quilt (Leanne)
Fabrics: All stash material, Kona black, steel, medium gray, ash,  bright pink, medium pink,  curry, maize, snow, azure)  for the "stitch", and the canvas blocks. Various printed quilting cottons for block centers. 100% cotton flannel (pre-washed) for the backing, pieced.
Threads: Aurifil #2012 (top and bobbin), #2625 (top); G├╝termann #10, 116, 110 (Top); Coats and Clark #V35 (top) and Sulky metallic #142, 7009 (top)
Batting: 100% cotton Warm and Natural
Binding: 2" wide straight of grain, color and layout inspired by comments on instagram.
Quilting: Bernina modified stitch #4, 5mm wide using a walking foot.
Detail of center inset seam, metallic threads really show up on black, on the right.
I used multiple different thread colors and types on the quilt.
Makes the otherwise solid background a bit more interesting.

inset seam with glue residue. Not pretty, but it did the job
Seam total width= 1/4"
Split binding detail, top

quilt back with pieced flannel

binding detail lends pop of color to back of quilt

washed and wrinkly the "stitches" really standout.

New things I did in this quilt that I haven't done before : Joining seam for the Canvas Quilt pattern panels- an inset seam featured in Threads Magazine, July 2014. Glue basting using a washable glue stick (when pins don't/can't do the job) and using metallic thread for quilting. (I think I finally figured out a trick to make it less unpleasant to use).

Thank you to Leanne (she can quilt) for use of her pattern, Canvas, #canvasquilt. Thank you all my fellow IGer's. I appreciate your binding suggestions.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

One of these is not like the other

A finish from the Always Bee Learning Bee, a group "effort" in this case. I chose the block from the book "Modern Blocks" compiled by Susanne Woods. This group is about learning new and perfecting existing quilting skills, literally "Always Learning", and I would like to thank  everyone for their contributions, so Thank you: Kristina, Megan, Michonne, Leanne, Toni, Hettie, Marci, Mary, Debbie, Celeste, Shanna, Elizabeth. Most of the group tackled  and completed 2 blocks, and you can see how lovely they are all together. The blocks arrived in their quarter sections, and I further mixed them together to get the scrappy of scrappiest layouts.
Quilt front
 The lovely ladies of this talented Bee used their stash for the colorful bits. I provided the background material. I was piecing the top during my economy block phase and added these to the sashed grid and corners. A few blocks even made it onto the back, as the top was already completed when they arrived.
Front, close-up

The Details:
"One of these blocks is not like the others"
Can you find it?? And yes, I did that on purpose.

73 x 73" square
Collaborative effort, the Always Bee Learning Bee, 2013-2014 season.

Quilt layout/sashing and back design- me. Block from: "Modern Blocks" compiled by Susanne Woods
Fabric: 100% quilting cotton bits and pieces from my Bee-mates; background Sketch in black and white, Kona cotton solids in medium gray, coal and charcoal.
Thread: (for piecing and quilting) Aurifil #2021, 2625, 2605
Batting: Hobbs Heirloom cotton
Quilt back: Main block plus left over economy blocks that didn't make it onto the front. Bits and pieces left from the sashing.
Quilt, back

The blocks look different with sashing between the quadrants instead of just around the blocks.


Binding: cut 2" straight of grain- Kumari Garden holiday edition
Sashing detail with binding

Quilting: FMQ on a domestic Bernina machine: random zig zag quilting in the background, avoiding all the colorful geese. FMQ scallops and fish scales in the sashing.
Perfect! (that's 2 different quilts and one girl)….. Bliss!





Saturday, July 12, 2014

Backtracking on Keeping Track

So, I loved hearing from all of you on how you keep track, or not, of your creations. It was fun to read your comments - Thank you, thank you.
I learned and I realized that I am not alone.
It was hard to pick just one "I wish I had thought of that" comment, so I let the random number generator pick a winner……

So, Melissa- I know how to get ahold of you. But if you see this, you won!!!

Here is the link back to the post for anyone who wants to read the comments. I learned a few things about all of you. Thank you for sharing honestly!