Saturday, August 8, 2020

Stash Busting Woven Stripes

As I slowly make my way through my stash, I still get that tingly feeling of great accomplishment that I'm doing it!  With each quilt, each fabric line, there is a big sigh of relief that I've finally used what's on hand.

This latest quilt began as an idea for a long term project, but soon spiraled out of control and I found I couldn't stop making blocks!  Good intentions!  I don't know what made me think I could make a block or two here and there.  In the end it doesn't really matter since I ended up with a fun and pretty lovely quilt in the end.  As for the woven stripe stash, let's just say there will be another quilt or two in the future!

This photo almost looks like its computer generated!  I promise it is not!  I've sewn together all the blocks and sashing thus far, but plan on adding a border.  When it will get quilted is another story.  Maybe that should be my long term goal since I always seem to let these quilts sit for weeks on end until I quilt them!

I had a lot of the stripes already cut in strips in my stash, but there was more work to do.  Cut more!  If you've ever worked with Kaffe Fasset woven stripes you know they can go wonky just by looking at them!  I always starch before cutting and hope for the best.  I doesn't take much for this fabric to become distorted no matter how much starch you use. 

My plan was to use a foundation of paper in an effort to keep the stripes as straight as possible.  I found some newspaper print in the basement that was originally packing paper that I ironed flat, cut to the size I wanted and marked with guide lines in pencil.  Drawing the lines ended up being a big waste of time for the most part.  I could have saved myself time by drawing one line to work from as I really didn't use the other lines at all.  It was all for the greater good of keeping things straight. 

My strip width varied from 2 1/4" to 1" for the sake of variety.  After I stitched the first two strips on to the paper using the center marked line, I could make my way across the block by adding the remaining strips which turned out to be a pretty quick process.  I did have to fold the foundation paper back and trim much of the time, but I found my rhythm and couldn't seem to stop.

After making a stack of blocks, I would neatly trim each one to 7".  I used the 45° line on my cutting mat in order to keep the diagonal the same on each block.  Again, once I found the rhythm of cutting it went fast.

Something I don't often do with my quilts is add sashing.  This was destined to be a quilt that required it in order to bring it all together.  I auditioned several color options, but ended up using my go to accent color for woven stripes...Kona Chocolate.  It always seems to be the perfect compliment to the colors of the stripes.  Plus it feels 'comfortable' to me.

The sashing is 1 1/4" finished, with a different color setting square in the center of each one.  A little added pizzazz!  The blocks are pretty gorgeous I think!

Even though this is a random scrappy quilt, I still laid out the blocks before sewing could begin.  I wanted to be in control until the very end scrappy or not!  

As it stands it's all pieced.  But I think I'll add a border for containment sake!  It'll be a big surprise in the end!

With all the starch prep, there was still a lot of stretch with the stripes.  I hope when it's time to quilt it that it won't be an issue.  I see lots and lots of pins in my future!


Saturday, August 1, 2020

Fractured :: Improv

I'm not sure what I've been focusing on these days.  Some days it's mini's or pot holders, and with a little luck a quilt or two.  But with all that and more, it's always a welcome relief when I can get back to my love of improv.

15 1/2" X 23"

Every so often I come across a pile of scraps that are in need of being used.  These colors have found their way into several other quilts and wall hangings, yet there are always scraps leftover.  This time I finally made it to the end and while I may revisit this color combination again, I won't be using this never ending scrap pile!

The day I started this project I was completely unsure what to do.  I layed out my pieces and waited for some sort of inspiration to hit me.  Instead my daughter grabbed a couple pieces of fabric and said 'do something different, use these'!  Well that was easy, except it wasn't!  

I had never thought to use such colors!  You can see just how uncomfortable I was with the selection because I used as little as I could!  The dark color looks black but it's actually Moda Grape.  In order to please Britt and to get into the project I powered through and threw caution to the wind!

Part of what was leftover in my scraps were half circles.  Instead of reinventing the wheel, I decided to slice and dice the pieces together and add 1/4" strips randomly throughout.  Inset circles always intrigue and excite me, so of course I had to 'go there'.

Instead of using one large background piece for the inset circles, I pieced together my background trying to make it as improv-ish as I could.  Curves, 1/4" strips,'s all there. 

Once the large circles were finished I added pieces to the sides and threw in a few more inset circles to meld it all together.  I was having fun once I got into it!  The true test is in the end when it's 'a thing' and finished.

Then again it really wasn't finished until I quilted it!  That took some time.  I mean, what the heck was I going to do?!  With many of my wall hangings I take the opportunity to hone my free motion chops!  I'm never sure where it will end up, but I continue to try.  

I used my circle rules aiming for random perfection.  They aren't perfect, but they are more perfect than if I had done pebbles!  Stippling, straighlines, circles, wiggly little things...the kitchen sink.  It's all worth it to me in the end.  Anytime I get to play is a good thing.

The final touch was hanging corners and a three color scrappy binding.  When I do a lot of 'normal' quilting I like to end the streak with something crazy.  Improv is my palette cleanser.

I've promised myself that one day soon I'll make a large improv quilt again.  I don't even know the last time I went there...but I think I remember how much I loved it!!