July 18, 2010

And now for some bright colors

My friend Kay visited me a week ago for four days, and we collaborated on this quilt (about 25 x 32" with 6" squares). We'd been talking for a while about doing a quilt with black and assorted solids, and decided on making the sort of "liberated" crazy-pieced block that Gwen Marston has made popular. This was a fun project to do together; we each made 7 blocks for a total of 14, giving us some extra choices when we got to the point of deciding on placement. The top is done, and now is waiting its turn in line for quilting.

For those who like using black fabric, I recommend Michael Miller Jet Solid Black, available from Fiber on a Whim. This is a darker black even than the Amish black I previously had been using.

Small stone piece finished

I finished up a small piece I posted about on May 20. It doesn't look very different in its finished form, because all I did was stitch on the dark gray border, quilt in-the-ditch with invisible thread in some of the interior lines, and finish with a faced binding. Perhaps the border should be quilted. But somehow the starkness of the piece, without quilting, is what I want. The shape suggests a tomb to me.

Here's the back, which shows how minimal the quilting is, and also shows the method of faced binding with curved inner corners that I learned from my friend Mary Beth:

Below is a photo of several of the various things I've done on the theme of stones. The top right is a paper collage, posted about here, bottom left is a piece done with my hand-painted fabric, posted about here, and the bottom right is just a trial, may or may not go further, the stone made from my hand-dyed fabric and the background fabric from Janet Smith. All of them in the vicinity of about 15" wide.

July 5, 2010

Sample of machine quilting

I've finished all the remaining applique on the four tiers of "Shelter." Even though I tried to pace myself, doing all this applique was stressful on my wrist, and I've developed a ganglion cyst. So, I need to find a way to machine quilt this piece rather than hand-quilting, which would be even more stressful on my wrist than applique. On the small sample piece above, I've quilted every other strip with "in the ditch" quilting (which runs right up against the seam-line). I think this is good--maybe even better in final appearance than hand-quilting. You can't see it unless you look extremely closely, and it will give a more flat texture than hand-quilting would. I did a row of top-stitching also, just to see how it would look. If you click on the photo above to enlarge, you can see it on the middle strip in the turquoise tier. Top-stitching is easier to do than ditch-stitching, but it would add another visible line, which I don't want here.

I recently ordered some Japanese Daiwabo fabric. I think it is a possibility for background fabric for appliquéed stones. On some pieces, I've used linen, which gives a nice contrast of texture, but the local fabric store just has one color.

I also ordered some plain white linen to dye; if that works, I'd have a wide range of choice possible.

One summer project is to get back to fabric dyeing. I've cleared a table and taken out my notes. This week I hope to figure out the basic routine again and get started.