Tuesday, March 28, 2017

AHIQ #19

My first Chinese Coins went together so quickly I was sure this next one would, too. Not true. Of course, I don't have a deadline... and I unexpectedly went to a quilt retreat... and our guild show is this weekend and two of my entries weren't done. Why did I insist on entering my current WIPs rather than ones finished last year? Do you do that, too?

CCII is still on the design wall and I make a few triplet sets whenever I need to use up the last bit of thread on a bobbin. Here's what I made last week.

More sets for Chinese Coins II
What have I learned from #AHIQChineseCoins?

First, that I work better tackling one or two ideas than trying to copy a quilt. {I knew this already but it's always reinforced when I try to duplicate something - even my own work. As evidence I present my attempt to copy the petal quilting of a small Spiderweb onto a larger Spiderweb quilt.}

CCI took my niece's color sense, limited the values, and used a stripe effect. I learned why modern quilters prefer solids and white. When dark values are eliminated {or light values for that matter} the remaining fabrics must have some contrast. The print assumes greater importance because fabrics can so easily merge into one another.

Additionally it's hard to combine many neutrals in a soft quilt. Adding tan/brown to the greys and whites just muddied the background. I'm glad I took those out.

Chinese Coins I in soft blues, yellow, grey and white
I {may have} learned to check twice before hand cutting columns. One of these columns is upside down from my original plan. Probably no one notices but me, yet it slaps me in the face each time I look at the photo. It's hard/impossible to turn hand cut columns. {I wrote 'may have' because this is a frequent mistake. Someday I hope to cease making it and move to a new mistake. Ha.}

I learned that simple walking foot quilting can create an excellent texture.

This quilt reemphasized the need to check several values of binding. Originally a light grey seemed like it would be the best choice but the blue improved the quilt greatly when I tried it.

Walking foot quilting and blue binding finish a Chinese Coin quilt

I started CCII with the idea of making boxes similar to Timna Tarr's Summer Reading. It was a mistake to pre-plan that far.

Boxing Coins in red

Conversely, after looking over many of the links last month I realized I didn't want to pull random scraps from the bag. Many of yours were scrap-style but still had a planned value or color scheme that greatly enhanced the result.} So far I'm liking the semi-planned effect of blues and greens. Now that I have a large set, I'm ready to add a few more colors. No idea where it will end up.

Beginning Chinese Coins II by sewing triads of strips

These days I'm always reminded to slow down and finish what I start. I don't have the energy to keep too many quilts in-progress - neither the space in my sewing room nor in my head. Unfortunately that means limiting the classes I take. But I'm also taking time to review my sketchbooks more frequently.


One Final Chinese Coin Link

While the center of this Anna Williams quilt, LII: Strip Quilts, may not be a Coin it gives a strong nod to them.  Irregular blocks of strip sets are joined into three columns. The left column has five blocks while the other two have four blocks. Along the left seam the same fabric matches from the two columns. What a good way to disguise the seam. She incorporated a few short rows of triangles and perhaps some crazy piecing. Take a while to look at the construction.


Thank you

So many of you added excellent links last month. It's enlightening to see how differently we can each approach a simple design. We build confidence in our vision and voices when we attempt new versions.

This month I'm sure there will be even more starts and some finishes to link up. I look forward to reading what you've discovered. Thank you all for accepting this Invitation.

Next month Kaja's introducing another project on her blog. I admire her style and can't wait to see what she plans.

Enjoy the day, Ann

21 comments:

  1. Thank YOU for the wonderful links, insights, and process thoughts you have shared during this coins challenge. Looking forward to Kaja's prompt/challenge next month.

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    1. I'm looking forward to Kaja's prompt, too. She's such an inspiration and has a unique vision.
      Thanks again for participating so fully with #AHIQChineseCoins.

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  2. I love those blues and greens -- very much my colours too.

    I feel quite strongly that working with prints is like playing in the deep end of the pool, while solids are the shallow end. In the podcast I mention in my post, Gwen Marston says that she likes solids because they give a clear line, which is quite true. Prints add dimension and shading, they can never be 100% controlled, and to me, that is the real fun.

    Thanks for this great challenge! I am pretty sure that the strata of the coins influenced my quilt too, even if it is not strictly on topic. ;)

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    1. I enjoyed reading your post this morning, Monica. Synthesizing our work with our role models' always provides serious meat. Your work is very nuanced; your skills are readily apparent. I'm so delighted you are pushing into your own designs more. I think you have lots to show the world.
      I've read several of Gwen's books and have started her iquilt class. I worked with many solids back in the 80s when they were very stylish but I must say that I much prefer printed fabrics. Good insight: prints' lack of control is probably a major attraction to me, too. Combining prints and solids sounds like an exciting challenge for the future.

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  3. Ann, I love your work; thoughtful and fun.
    Mistakes are opportunities! I think that word should be replaced with the word opportunity.
    I just don't see a 'problem' with your work.
    Thanks for sharing, you are inspiring.

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    1. Thanks for the compliment, Janie. Yes, mistakes are opportunities but I still see the way it was originally planned. This is a good recovery though. I doubt anyone else sees it as a mistake. I recognize it as my typical "barrel on through" attitude. Good in some ways but taking a bit more time might not be a bad idea every once in awhile.

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  4. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your process and what you have learned. Thanks for sharing. This is making me want to try a coin quilt again.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed this invitation, Em. Especially since you've already made some Coin quilts. It was difficult for me to decide on a topic that would be encourage beginners without disinteresting master quilters.

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  5. Loved reading all about your decisions & processes while making your coin quilts. Nice to dig a little deeper into what initally seems a simple pattern.

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    1. How delighted I am that you, too, found this pattern more complex than originally supposed. The variety of designs my so many people causes me to believe others did as well. Thanks for joining us.

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  6. I just read through each of the linked posts. It is astonishing to me how many common themes came through, and at the same time how differently everyone responded to the prompt. Very inspiring. Cheers, and onward!

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    1. As I've written before, you and I have remarkably similar views. Chinese Coin participation exceeded my hopes. It seemed an excellent choice for a wide variety of abilities with commonalities and yet sufficient variety to help everyone explore simple improvisation. Thanks again for joining us and for creating one of the original links in this invitation.

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  7. good to see your progress and think I must join in too as I have so many scraps I presume we can join anytime

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    1. I hope you will join, Margaret. It's an easy way to tiptoe into improv while using lots of scraps. No new material required unless you wish.

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  8. I had to laugh - I have done that also - cut a section and sewn it not as planned! Yes, it drives me crazy like how on earth did that happen, but improv is going with the flow! I want to take some serious time to read everyone's comments and study everyone's pieces. Amazing unique perspectives on the same theme is mind blowing!

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    1. It seems to be one of my common mistakes, Patty. I wish I could outgrow it.
      These links by everyone are so good, so much detail and insight into process. I'm glad you're taking the time to read and consider them all. What I love about improv is how everyone's quilt is unique.

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  9. Thanks for the challenge! It's been fun to see everyone's interpretation of a Chinese Coins quilt. I've also appreciated all of the links and info you have provided along the way. Looking forward to Kaja's next AHIQ post!

    (And since I don't enter shows...no I've never done that!)

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    1. It has been enjoyable reading the many ways to interpret this simple design. I'm thrilled so many people played along because their insights made this invitation great.
      Kaja's will be a stunner, I'm sure. I can't wait.

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  10. I just read your insightful comments on this post and looked at Timna's bookshelf quilt. You are correct that eliminating darks or lights forces us to work more carefully with the hues and prints. She uses soft teal as a neutral, her constant. Each of her triads of strips is a contrast 2:1 in itself. Almost all of them are not truly bright, except for a red polka dot and a couple of bright blues. She obviously set boundaries for herself. In you red version there seems to be no background. However , with your CC ll you have achieved her effect by limiting the color ranges and having light strips for background between rows, like her teals. Congrats on your progress.

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    1. Great points, Paula. While I think Timna's quilt is stellar, I wasn't trying to copy it exactly but rather to highlight reds as if they were the sashing. Either I didn't create a large enough example or used poor trio choices. It didn't grab me. Your comments point out why. I want to give it another try sometime but...
      Now I have CCII and a dome possibility. This is how my life balloons out of control. Yikes!
      Thanks again for the insights.

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  11. Wonderful to read through your thoughts about the process and how it works for you, mistakes and all. I am still so annoyed at the common mistakes I make--distracted much? I wanted to work more on my coins project, but life called. Have enjoyed your linkups tremendously, having a spark or a place to start something I was thinking about helps give the push I often need. There are just too many ideas and sometimes I get lost in production! lol Loved seeing your finish in this beautiful colorway! Your fabric usage is as always a great inspiration.

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