Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Ancient Ocean Waves

Not in the scrap bag {where I frequently toss leftovers.} Nor in the drawer that holds extended projects {that actually get forgotten most of the time.} These little HSTs were hiding in an old shoe box at the back of the closet. Truth to tell, I knew a box was sitting with the shoes but was surprised to find three boxes. Go figure.

How did I get so many? Well, several people hinted quite strongly that they'd like an Ocean Waves quilt after I made one for DD. Somehow I started using lots of darker blues with lights. I do remember not having many white/beige lights and eventually cutting up some reproduction fabrics. And that's where I lost interest. At least a decade ago.

Julie mentioned putting a "Discard by" date on her leftover scrap packets. I need to commandeer that tip.

Anyway, I pulled these out determined to use them up this week. Here are the four fabrics I considered for the centers. I like the bunnies but they seem to clash with the reproduction fabrics. The taupe is lovely, too. Probably not the best choice for a baby quilt though. {Actually I'm uncertain how well these dark beauties will make into a baby quilt at all.}

Four possible centers: cream, red, blue or brown print.
Possible centers for Ocean Waves scrap quilt

In the end I went with the red print. Then I cut it wrong. Grr. Instead of cutting long strips and subcutting the triangles from that {you know, so all the lines run the same direction} I foolishly cut them into squares and subcut into QSTs. Now half the lines go across and half run perpendicular.

So I have a small quilt like this...

The blocks are arranged on the design wall in a straight set.
Ocean Waves quilt block with red centers, straight set

And another like this, which is the one I wanted. The wavy lines on these red triangles make them look like roses. But it will be small.

The blocks arranged on point on the design wall.
Ocean Waves quilt block with red centers, on point

I'm pushing forward anyway. It's past time to move these scraps to a finish.

The final chapter of The Golden Thread discussed this fabulous cape by Peers and Godley. Gold and gorgeous, it debuted at the V&A Museum which is currently exhibiting a definitive Dior show.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Chinese Coins with Rabbit Baby Quilt Finished

Spiral quilting is successful. After considering another centered spiral for this quilt, I chose to use concentric circles here. I've done it before. Instructions on how/where I started are at the end of this post from 2015.

Narrow Chinese Coin columns are sashed with solid pastels. A narrow black border and a wide green and yellow striped border frame the quilt. The silhouette of a rabbit in a large floral print on white sits in the bottom right corner.
Chinese Coins with Rabbit baby quilt (CCXIV)

It much easier to start with a gentle quarter circle starting halfway down one side and then echo quilt along each side than to try to echo from a tight corner. When you look closely, it's obviously not marked. I simply eyeballed a width based on the foot. Those wobbles are not visible in the overall photo and will disappear even more as the quilt is washed, used, and loved to pieces.

Concentric quarter circles are quilted starting at the top left corner of the quilt
Chinese Coins with Rabbit baby quilt (CCXIV) detail

The back is a collection of blues. Not quite as dull as this photo shows. Again, the narrow border was stitched-in-the-ditch first to keep it nice and straight.

The back is a collection of four different blue prints.
Chinese Coins with Rabbit baby quilt (CCXIV) back

Here's a closeup of the bunny. The large floral print looks like Spring. It was fun to use fabric that is not realistic. {I'm such a stick-in-the-mud, I usually try to match real items with their real colors.}

The folded quilt shows the  of rabbit on the front, portions of the back, and yellow print binding.
Chinese Coins with Rabbit baby quilt (CCXIV) detail of rabbit and binding
Looking through the binding strips, these yellows worked best. I even pulled some choices from my stash to see if anything worked better but the quilt says, "Enough. Give me a soft, low-key edge, please."

Quilt Details
Size: 41" x 43"
Design: Chinese Coins
Batting: Mountain Mist 100% cotton
Thread: dark and light blue Gutterman 50 wt cotton
Quilting: Stitch in the Ditch and spiral quilting with walking foot

I am still reading St. Clair's The Golden Thread and finished the chapter on Vikings last week. She writes about the longship discovery at Gokstad which I think Kaja visited last year although I can't find her post. She had some great photos.

 Kassia also mentions Ibn Fadlan who I recall from Michael Crichton's novel Eaters of the Dead. The title sounds more gruesome than the book really is. Published in the 70's, it mixes Ibn's journals with the story of Beowulf. I remember the first two chapters were difficult to read as he wrote it in an archaic transcript; however, it then switches to modern language which made it much more easy and interesting. Michael added addendums to his early novels that listed his sources. Oh, how I loved to research those. 

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Chinese Coins with Spirals Quilt

Wasting no time, I spiral quilted this Chinese Coins baby quilt. It one went more smoothly due to for repeated {recent} practice.

Narrow Chinese Coins are sashed with soft tints of yellow and orange solids. A narrow black inner border and a wide yellow and white stripe frame the quilt. Three spirals of magenta shot cotton are  appliqued on the surface.
Spiral Chinese Coins baby quilt (CCXIV)

The quilting enhances the appliqué spirals although it required a few extra pins to keep the fabric flat. Even though I tried, those appliqués stretched the background fabric a bit although those improved with practice, too.

This photo highlights the spiral quilting in the center and part of one of the appliqued spirals.
Detail of Spiral Chinese Coins baby quilt (CCXIV)

The back shows off the quilting better. Why is that? It also shows the SID on the inner border.

Four orange prints form the back of the quilt and the spiral quilting shows up beautifully here.
Back of Spiral Chinese Coins baby quilt (CCXIV)

Any wiggling of narrow borders is extremely noticeable so I always SID those first in a color that matches the border. You can't see it on the front...

The border and the various orange prints used to bind the quilt are shown.
Detail of Spiral Chinese Coins baby quilt (CCXIV)

but it's visible on the back.

The stitch-in-the-ditch around the inner border and the spiral quilting show clearly on the back of the quilt.
Detail of back of Spiral Chinese Coins baby quilt (CCXIII)

Can you believe this is the fourteenth Coins quilt I've made in this series? I can't.

Quilt Details
Size: 41" x 42"
Design: Chinese Coins
Batting: Mountain Mist 100% cotton
Thread: Black and variegated yellow Gutterman 50 wt cotton 
Quilting: Stitch in the Ditch and spiral, both with walking foot

Previous posts:
  1. The Chinese Coin columns that didn't work and the sashing strips {because this one was made from the narrow columns of the same foundation as the Square Deal baby quilt.}
  2. Chinese Coins with Tulips
  3. Adding the spirals
Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

A Gifted Deal

Quilted, bound, washed, and dried. These darling blocks made a {fairly} quick quilt for a new baby. It went in the mail and arrived before the new dad's paternity leave ended. Whew!

HSTs of strings pair with red, orange, and pink solid triangles to form The Square Deal block in the center of this quilt. It is surrounded by a narrow turquoise inner border and a wider print of colorful triangles.
The Square Deal baby quilt

As frequently happens, I nearly drove myself crazy with the quilting. It needed to keep the quilt together and hold up to rigorous use. Additionally, it needed to be simple with a minimum of starts and stops. Burying threads is such a time consumer.

The inner border is SID with matching thread. This is my usual way to keep the line straight through all the subsequent quilting.

After asking my small group, I determined to try a squared-off spiral. It was a disaster. Not only were my "straight" lines wobbly, they were also too far apart. In desperation I switched to a regular spiral. It didn't seem like it would work well but I was wrong about that, too. It looks great. Yes, those curved lines are wobbly but I bet you can't tell!

This shows part of the center, both borders, the pink binding, and the spiral quilting.
Detail of the Square Deal baby quilt

The main back fabric was too short and too narrow. A bit of another blue lengthened the base and the last of the border fabric widened it. The spiral shows up so much better on the back.

The back is composed of a large floral on light blue extended with a quiet blue print. A remnant of the wide border from the front cuts across these fabrics dividing the sides about a third of the way across.
Back of the Square Deal baby quilt

I've used this design twice before, but it's been a while. The first time on the Neutral String baby quilt and later on Spiderweb 3.  I like it and plan to use it again. Echo quilting is one of the few designs that shows on patterned fabric. Spirals are a version of echos.

Quilt Details
Size: 40" x 40"
Design: Original
Batting: Mountain Mist 100% cotton
Thread: Blue and peach Gutterman 50 wt cotton
Quilting: Stitch in the Ditch and spiral, both with walking foot

Previous posts: 
1. The Chinese Coin columns that didn't work
2. Making HSTs
3. Playing with HSTs
4. Square Deal block
5. Using the extra blocks

I borrowed The Golden Thread by Kassia St. Clair, a collection of stories about fabric through history rather than a history of fabric. Thirteen chapters cover pre-historic cave dwellers through the Space Age astronauts and include several stories, each beginning with a literary quote involving thread or textiles. That alone is worthwhile. Kassia writes fluently and persuasively; she based this book on some of her magazine articles. 

The cover is printed with the title and author and embellished with loops of golden thread.
The Golden Thread by Kassia St. Clair

All in all, The Golden Thread is much more interesting than the news programs so I will be check her other book on color next.

Enjoy the day, Ann