August 20, 2011

Table runner-rectangular appliqué

I like to have handwork with me when I travel. I put together these simple blocks, playing with solids and scraps of batik. I intended to make a baby quilt, but I'm having too much pain in my hand from doing applique, so I called it quits and made a table runner (12 x 32"), which I'm quite happy with. I cut the batik rectangles by hand, and I like the way some sides are a little curvy, and angles are not necessarily 90 degrees. It's also a satisfying way to use up bits of fabric on hand. I'm going to try out some methods of machine applique, and perhaps do more of these blocks, but eliminating the hand sewing.

I tried out various fabrics for binding, and like this one that has both lavendar and gray in it; not a fabric that appears in the blocks, but it ties things together nicely. (Click on any of the photos for a larger view.)

When putting together the blocks, I just paid attention to the color of the solid background and the colors and shapes of the two rectangles on that particular block. Then, when putting together the table runner, I moved the blocks around until I found something pleasing. If I do this again, I think I would try laying out the solid blocks, and then laying out the rectangles on top. More work up front, but a more direct way to the composition.

Again, I did just the straight-line quilting, about 5/8" apart. Done!

August 11, 2011

Pine Grove/Stones

The making of this quilt goes back more than two years. Here's the story of the front.
And some details:

Both top and back have been finished for close to two years, but then I couldn't decide how to quilt it. I considered many different approaches. After finishing the simple straight line quilting a few weeks ago on the half-square triangle "Magenta and Friends," I realized something that simple would also be a good solution for this quilt. It took me a while, but I think this was a good decision!

Here's the back of the quilt. I had to line up the quilting by the seams on the front of the quilt, and I was worried about how they then wouldn't line up precisely on the back. They don't, but it still looks fine.
More of the story about the back continues here.

Some details: First, one of the blocks from the very beginning:

And here's an example of the larger stones sliced up--this may be my favorite spot in the quilt:

Here's another small quilt that involved cutting up stones.

This quilt is going to my brother, a potter. He has made beautiful ceramic stones.

And here are a few of his wood-fired pots:

I will miss this quilt, but I know it is going to a good home!

August 2, 2011

Half-square Triangle with Magenta & Friends--done!

I'm very happy with this finished quilt (38x44). My hand-dyed fabric, quilted with a teal Invisafil thread, a very thin polyester thread that sinks nicely into the fabric. I quilted this simply with parallel lines, following the example from SewKatieDid. I ended up putting the lines vertical instead of horizontal, because I made a back that was large horizontal stripes, and I didn't want to worry about horizontal quilting lines not matching up on the back.

For the back, I used fabric that came out poorly, with water spots, because of my not taking care with the flat-dyeing method. But hey, they look OK on the back.

The binding: I basted four different colors on the quilt, trying to decide which one to use. My husband David suggested I use all four. Good idea!

I was thinking I would give this quilt away as a baby quilt, but I think I'll keep it as a wall hanging for myself. I find the colors very appealing, as well as the combination of structure and randomness.