Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A repectable number of finishes!

Well, the year’s end is near and I thought I’d better take a little inventory of where I’ve been and where I need to go…I went through my photo files and counted up 17 completely finished projects so far in 2014!  A respectable number of finishes!  Some big and complicated and some small and simple, but still not bad for 10 months of work!

Of course when I looked at my stack of tops waiting to be quilted and my baskets of  “in progress”….it kinda wiped the smile off my face!   But I think if I concentrate on getting a bunch of those tops quilted I might be able to redeem myself (somewhat) before the end of the year. lol

In the mean time I have up-dated my quilt gallery and Charitable quilts pages to include my 2014 finishes.  I hope you’ll take a minute to check them out!  I'm linking up with Slow Bloggers Catherine's button is on the right.
 I think my favorites were these two:
This one for it's colorful simplicity...
And this one cause it was a real exercise in perseverance.  It took me a couple of years to make all the 6" blocks, several more months to put the top together and add the borders and it was a real marathon on to quilt.  104" x 104"
What are your favorite finishes of 2014?!  Send me links!
Happy Finishes!
cheers, CW

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

More Blue Work

I've had a few car trips lately, that means progress on my blue work.
The one on the right is suppose to be Fushias (?!) and the one on the left features the year 1954 which is my bith year.  I  thought I'd barrow an idea from my friend Lori D.  of making a quilt to celebrate my birthday.  (Lori's was her 50th) I turned 60 in March, I'm a decade behind but that's OK!  Anyway I decided since I have been laboring so long on this blue work thing I would make it My commemorative quilt to honor my 60th year!  I hope to have enough blocks by the end of the year to finish the quilt!  Here's my layout so far  (minus the two above).
I'm not sure I will use this layout but it's one idea...Blue work is the perfect travel project for me.  It's compact and does not require super concentration and fun!
Happy Mid-week!
cheers, CW

Thursday, November 6, 2014

More Batik Scraps

I need to make a few scrappy samples to promote my Scrap Strategies class.  That sounds like it might be big task but it's really fun and easy using my scrappy methods!  I organize most of my small scraps ( strips and patches) by color and / or genre' of fabric.  So I grabed my basket of Batik Scraps and put them up on my design wall to see what I could see.
You can see some of the scraps are already sewn together.   They are leftovers from other projects.  If something does not fit in one project it goes back in the basket to wait for the next round!

It looks like it could be overwhelming but with a little sorting here and there some patterns emerge.  Think of it like that wonderful box of 75 caryons, it's Play Time! First I look for  sizes and shapes that might go together and then any color schemes that might declare themselves.  In the lower right I've grouped a bunch of scrappy Triangle Half Squares.  These were all Trimmings from this project.
I decided to take those wonky squares and sash them in black.  I used up a bunch of ends from left over binding pieces, I use black for bindings a lot thus the accumulation of short ends.
They were all slightly different widths and textures but that's OK  it's all going to be a little wonky by design.  I try to balance wide bits of sashing with small squares and narrow strips with the bigger squares so they all come out about the same size.
You can see how the work goes fast since all the first cuts have been done since I use the scraps pretty much how they come out of the basket!
This little top was about 90% finished the 1st day!

So back to the wall for the next top...
You can see I've shifted things around.  There are two other groupings that are starting to emerge.  In the lower right corner are some scrappy units made mostly of strips sewn together.
Here's another picture farther on.  All the while I'm shifting these scraps and scrappy units around I'm also makeing more.  Taking smaller units and sewing them together, adding, moving maybe taking things off the wall that just are not working etc.
But the group in the lower right seem to be going together really well so I'll go with that and make more!  Here's how..
As often happens when you square up yardage you get these wonky strips, wide on the ends and skinny in the middle.  Rather than timming them into super skinny strips that may not really be usable I match the wide end of one strip to the skinny end of another strip sew it,  fold it in half, cut, sew and do that again.  Square it up and you get something that has some fairly interesting geometry without a great deal of fuss or effort!
Now the blue and purple thing seems to be working rather well so I dug into my pile of wonky strips and made a bunch more of these kinds of blocks and ended up with this:
OK so there not all purple and blue,  and there not all strictly just strips.  I don't always have enough of one kind of scrap to fill a particular need.  I will have to fiddle with this layout and maybe make some more blocks to get it all balanced; but,  I hope you can see the possibilities are there?!
Back to the wall...
There's another group of scrappy units in the lower center...
Lots of little multi colored pieces.  I have used these to good effect in a variety of settings like the quilt I showed at the top of this post and also in these two quilts:

The nice thing about multi-colored schemes is pretty much anything goes,  especially if they are bright colors, It's kind of like confetti!  It's more a trick of finding the right mix of each color and choosing neighboring colors that compliment each other.
I decided to arrange this set of scraps into bars like the example above.  It seemed like pink was becoming pretty prdominent in the color scheme.  look what happened when I changed the sashing...
 The blue green is much more complimentary to the pinks! With a few more scraps to fill in it will be
 So there are 3 tops for samples,  mostly all done.  And all from one baskets of scraps.
All this playing around took my attention ( part time) for about a week and a half  I think that's a pretty good return on my time!  If you like traditional and or / symetry this technique might not be for you but if you like to experiment this can be a lot of fun!  Remember the scraps are like free fabric it's just a fairly small investment  of time.   It's easy and a real scrap buster and every project can come out looking differently just by letting the scraps be your guide!  
That's my scrappy story and I'm sticking to it! lol
Happy Fall!
cheers, CW