June 27, 2010

Back to Shelter

I put in a lot of work on "Shelter" in the winter and spring, to get to the point where I could roughly join the four tiers and show the quilt as part of the talk I gave in late April on "From Study to Studio: Meaning and Motivation in Scholarship and Art." (Here's a post where you can see what it looked like then, and where I explain problems that remained.) After the talk, I needed a break from the quilt. I also knew that I would be getting together in early June with quilting friends from the Chicago area, and that they could help me think through the problems. And they did! With their help I made a decision about what to do with the bottom right corner, and they also pointed out a couple of areas in the piecing that could use some adjusting.

Having spent some time clearing out the studio, and doing the easy-piecing of the four-patch posie quilt, I finally felt ready last week to put "Shelter" back up on the design wall. I pieced some additional orange-red to fix the bottom-right corner, fixed the piecing spots, and am now doing the final hand appliqué (photo above shows a basted part that I am now sewing down). I have some of the turquoise section, most of the black section, and the small added orange-red section still to go (the rest was completed before)
. This is my favorite part of the process, as I get to sit quietly with the colors.

The challenges remaining will be: 1) final joining of the four tiers (though I have some confidence on this, having done the rough join before my talk) and 2) quilting. I've purchased a low-loft ("Request") cotton batting. Quilting will be minimal--just enough to hold the layers together and to add depth to the piece. It would be easier to machine-quilt, as there is a layer of interfacing/stabilizer throughout the quilt, as well as multiple layers of fabric in many places. But my feelings about the quilt lead me to hand-quilting. My plan is to begin with hand-quilting, but if it is just too difficult, to fall back on machine-quilting. (I considered hand-tieing the quilt, but I think that would be the wrong look, even with the ties on the back.)

June 22, 2010

benefits of running out of a fabric

Here's the completed top for the "four-patch stacked posie" pattern (by HD Designs). When I was purchasing fabric for the frames, sashing, and cornerstones, I just estimated the yardage. Turned out I was short on the yellow/gold for the framing of the blocks, and the fabric store is 150 miles away. I had some other fabric that was close enough to work, but I thought I'd try out some assorted reds that I had on hand for the rest of the frames. I'm glad I ran out of the first fabric! I think the combination gives the top more interest. A couple of closeups: