Saturday, August 26, 2017

Piecing Words

The Phillies top may be done. I'm letting it marinate while I start on the quilt back. These free-pieced words don't seem to match the cursive team name on the front. And besides it's turned out that there are many more words than will fit on the front. So I decided to fill the back with them.

Piecing letters is so much fun. Why did I wait so long to try it? Some are quite easy: r  o  f

Piecing r, o and f

Of course, there are letters that eat my lunch. Like W.

Drafted w's and one attempt to piece it
After several iterations on graph paper, I thought I had a plan - until I kept slicing the wrong section or cutting the wrong direction. I finally have enough but they are much larger than the others. Ah, well. It adds a whimsical feel. {That's my story and I'm sticking to it.}

I pieced the FO's name first. {To respect his privacy, no photos of that.} I didn't know what I was doing but it came out okay. Next was his college with graduation date {The 2 was tough.} Now I've started a couple of sayings.

Piecing words for a quilt back
What have I learned so far?
  1. It's hard to free piece and stay uniform in size. {No, they aren't supposed to be completely uniform but look at how the word Phillies grew. The s is as large as the h. Mrs. Davis, my second grade teacher, would not approve.}
  2. It's hard to be a "little bit" wonky. {It's kind of like "a little bit pregnant."}
  3. A quick graph of each letter helps keep track - of the direction and width of lines as well as width of open spaces. 
  4. Typesetters have letter blocks with identical heights for a reason. 
  5. It helps to mix making each letter the same height with sewing a couple of short letters together and then adding the height.
  6. One-inch finished width "brushstroke" is too wide for a three-inch tall letter.
  7. It's easier to  cut a larger background square and then subcut it for the letter. (See the r above.)
Fortunately, we are not in Houston this week but we are certainly keeping an eye on Hurricane Harvey. Our neighbors say they are prepared.

Linking to Sew, Stitch, Snap, Share.

Enjoy the day, Ann

30 comments:

  1. Love your "Phillies" lettering (Go, Red sox hahaha)--I like that they are all going their own ways...LOL
    I only lettered once on my jazz musician husband's retirement quilt ("Dig, Man, Bop, Gig").
    I hand drew the letters and then made them fat and appliqued them....
    hugs, Julierose

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    1. My grandson attended his first Red Sox game yesterday. He was quite taken with it.
      You're better at fattening those letters, I'm sure. It was tough for me. i'm so irregular.
      I'll bet your husband love the quilt.

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  2. I've been making free pieced letters for years. See Tonya Ricucci's book Word Play Quilts. Or you can look at my blog, patcherymenagerie.blogspot.com.

    Letters are fun to make!

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    1. Yes, you have. I linked to your Chicken quilt when we started this invitation. It's so charming. I hope people will take the time to look at several of your gorgeous (and funny) quilts with words. Thanks, Millie, for helping to inspire us all.

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  3. Your lettering is terrific, especially the "2". I noticed the "2" right away. I like your technique, very free form.

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    1. Thanks, Robin. That number drove me nuts. I think it and w are the most structured. It is very free form; just a sketch to start me off.

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  4. I have been thoroughly enjoying your Phillies quilt! So much creativity on display! These letters are inspiring too. Have been thinking about making some similar styled letters on my next AHIQ quilt and maybe not using my fallback applique style. Still in the thinking stages though!

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    1. I think we enjoy this quilt because it's such a boy quilt. So many that I make are more girly. Not that they are sex-linked. Haha. All I can tell you is how much fun this has been. Wish I'd added pieced letters years ago.

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  5. What a fun thing to do? Did you have a tutorial on how to make all the letters? Might be fun to make some really small to use in a quilt label sometime.

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    1. Not really, Gayle. Millie mentioned several of her quilts are in Tonya Rucci's Word Play book, which unfortunately I've never read. It would probably make it easier. There are also links to several other people's lettering on our Alphabet board on Pinterest. Link in the previous post.

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  6. Letters are so much fun but there is certainly a learning curve involved. Looking forward to seeing the words added to your baseball players!!

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    1. You're so right. Fun with a learning curve. I'm having a blast!

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  7. Your letters are fun; I like their quirky sizes. Maybe the W trick is to use words that don't have W, but then what to do about M and so many others? I suppose you're just going to have to figure them out--learning curve or not.

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    1. Thanks, Mary. Lynne sent me some advice for the next time. At least these are done. No going back.
      I hope you are well. It looks like not much of Harvey has reached Baton Rouge but you're on the dirty side for the next few days. Stay safe.

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  8. Have never attempted letters these look so good but way too complicated for me

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    1. I thought they looked too complicated, too, but have found them to be lots of fun.

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  9. Looks like you had fun with these letters and I like that they're not uniform in shape and size!

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    1. I did, Maureen. The uniformity of the m's may be what I don't like about them.

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  10. Your letters look great! I like the irregularity of them. It adds to the charm of the quilt. I have made letters in the past and it adds such a personal touch to a quilt.

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    1. Thanks, Patty. Piecing words is so much fun. You were smart to try it years ago. i wish I had but at least I've started now. Late to the party.

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  11. Super fun!!!! The wonkiness comes off just right, especially for the Phillies word. This is going to be a really spectacular quilt. "Like being a little bit pregnant" - :D my feeling, exactly, but I love it so much because it feels like "free-play in the mud" for quilters.

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    1. Thanks for writing, Lynette. I like free-play in the mud. Exactly.

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  12. Oh - and I sure hope your property is OK from the hurricane :(

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    1. Thanks. So far everyone is safe.

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  13. I've only made one word before and that was paper pieced, so well done of free piecing all those.
    Thanks for linking to Sew, Stitch, Snap Share, stay safe.

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    1. Thanks for hosting Sew, Stitch, Snap, Share.

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  14. What fun.
    I've pieced letters in the past and found them difficult to make and to keep the same size and I didn't really have fun doing it. I used the process from the book Word Play quilts which made it a little easier to make letters close to the same size. Anyway...you've inspired me to try again and to finish at least one of my UFOs waiting for some words.

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    1. I think if I was trying to keep them the same size or fit a particular area I'd be having much less fun. I'm the only person who's never pieced words before. Finishing UFOs is the name of the game here, too.

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  15. I've been meaning to try this... later... love your list of troubleshooting comments!

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    1. Gee, LeeAnn. How could you get behind on quilting just because you moved across country? Ha.
      I hope you're enjoying Colorado and settling in well. One of my favorite places to live.

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