Friday, April 29, 2016

May Quilty365

The sewing machine is back in working order but we've been traveling most of the month, both for business and family. Hours on the road gave me enough time to catch up the circles but now I've stressed a finger and wrist. This may be my last month of Quilty365. I've been thinking about adding several borders so six months of circles may be enough.

Quilty365 April blocks
The April AHIQ linkup is still open. Lots of great posts to read, too. 

Of course, this post is linked to Audrey's Quilty Folk. So many good versions of this simple idea. Take a look.

Enjoy the day,

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Freddy Dot Com Top and April AHIQ Linkup

Except for the border of my polka dot quilt I haven't done much improv quilting this month. Free-hand cutting the border was very relaxing and worked well. Here's the finished top.

Polka Dot quilt with improv string border

I decided to leave one border undotted... just to be different.

What about you? What did you do this past month?


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

On to the Borders

My quilt had too much background when the center was finished so I decided to add colorful borders.
By cutting both remaining white-on-black prints I made the inner border. Can you even tell there are two different prints?

Next I added the piano keys outer border. Being really tired of using the rotary tools by now, I used scissors to freehand cut 7" slices from only mediums. Next I stacked sets of four and cut four sets of keys from each stack, then rotated the cut pieces. I sewed four sets of four together. These sets were combined randomly to create the four sides in the photo below. The variations in width and seam line are especially effective to me. And now, instead of looking washed out, the light background shines.


The random widths and organic piecing liven the quilt up. But it still needs something more.

Locating the side of one of the quarter circles, I folded the border and used the acrylic template to cut half circles.


Then I inserted two quarter circles and arcs. To change things up a bit, the arc is medium lights and the center circles are lights.


On to the other sides.

Remember the next Ad Hoc Improv Quilter linkup is next Tuesday, April 26. We look forward to more interesting posts and hope you'll join in.

Enjoy the day,

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Beginning Freddy Dot Com Quilt

This is what I finished by the end of the class.

Sixteen blocks from Freddy Dot Com class
And this is what I finished by the end of the week. Forty-two nine-inch blocks set 6 by 7.

Blocks for center of Polka Dot quilt
Because I didn't use Freddy template (I had a similar set for a similar design), my quilt has more background than Freddy's. My arcs are narrower, too. I think her design is more colorful. If I make it again, I'll incorporate those differences.

Here's a good photo of one of Freddy's quilts.

Enjoy the day,

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Racetrack versus Drunkard's Path

Quilt blocks with quarter circles in one or more corners are usually called Drunkard's Path. Arranging the quarter circles to point in different directions creates a variety of patterns.  And the quarter circle can be any radius up to the side length of the block.

Drunkard's Path quilt block
A variation of this pattern uses two stacked quarter circles, one larger than the other, to create a pattern. I used four blocks for each design below and rotated one of the circles to show the offset of the circles. The one on the right makes great Racetracks for matchbox cars because the dark arc is centered around the midpoint of one side. Any arc width is fine as long as the center line is that midpoint. On the left the outside arc of that path is the midpoint of the side. This makes a smaller circle than the one on the left and means that if you rotate a single block, the racetrack won't form.

Fair Play and Racetrack variations of Drunkard's Path
Smaller circles wouldn't touch anywhere when rotated. The smaller the circle-and-arc, the more background in each block.

There are more ways to alter this block. The two above have inner circles with the same radius while the outer circles differ. That causes the arc widths to differ. If the inner circle was really small, the arc might look like a CD.

Freddy Moran's variation is called Polka Dots and incorporates arced quarter circles in two opposite corners of the block. She has an excellent template for rotary tools but I had a very similar set from a class I'd taken years ago. Not quite the same but similar.

Sixteen blocks from Freddy Dot Com class using a different template
So I decided to use what I had. There's a bit too much background for me. And who's fault is that?

Enjoy the day,

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Preparing for Freddy Dot Com Class

Last month, LeeAnn of Nifty Quilts came to the Bay Area for work. We met for a delightful afternoon lunching and visiting the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. The current exhibit, Blanket Statements, pairs quilts from the Kaffe Fassett Studio with their historical inspirations from the Quilt Museum and Gallery in York, England.

The next week, Freddy Moran was the featured speaker at our guild, SCVQA. What a quilting treasure! After her lecture, we took her to the museum, too. Of course, she wanted her photo in front of a "dotty" quilt.


To meet most of the demand in our group, Freddy gave two workshops of one of her most popular classes - Freddy Dot Com.

I didn't think I had many dotted fabrics but decided to pull all of them from my stash before shopping. And here they are. {See why I can't have too large a stash? I can't even keep track of my small amount.}


Black-and-white fabrics are not big features of my stash. They never looked good with most of my fabrics. After dining with Freddy I figured out why. Freddy likes "pure" colors - those that are not shades or tints. Except for the reds, most of my fabrics have some grey or brown leanings. While I think they are bright at times, they are nowhere near as vivid and clear as Freddy's fabrics.

Even though I didn't have many fabrics that went well with the black-and-white, there were still many more than needed. I used the two fabrics on the left below (the  stripe and the black-and-white) to choose a more limited set, culling them to ones that blended. The three on the right made the cut. Most of the pinks did not.


Enjoy the day,

Friday, April 1, 2016

April Kaleidoscope of Butterflies

The machine is in the shop but I have another one for workshops. While making these blocks for class last week, I noticed the butterflies and dragonflies.


The Audubon Society had birdwatching walk nearby and we saw several monarchs in addition to the mourning doves, coots, mallards, finches, sparrows, and gulls. Funny how much better they look with binoculars.  Zooming my camera rarely provides better photos. Ah, well. I hope you're seeing bunches of pollinators this month.

Monarch Butterfly
Enjoy the day, Ann