To be a bit cliché, this shoemaker is a professional Web Developer and her child is this blog, but it was past time to launch what I have of a new design. All the content is still here, everything else is a work in progress (kind of like most of my sewing projects)!
I described this quilt pretty thoroughly in my last post, so I’ll skip the long paragraphs and just show you the finished, post-wash photos.
All of the Regal sections are feathered, most of the seams are stitched in the ditch, with the light fabrics free of quilting.
The strip block needed just a little something more, so I changed thread colors to give the large triangle a bit more color.
Now that it is washed, my feather stitching messiness isn’t quite as noticeable.
I’m not very happy with how the binding turned out. It is very limp. I made it so wide and un-mitered as a nod to Amish quilting, but I should have found a way to pad it. By the time I got to the binding, I was so done with this quilt, so I machine sewed the binding on. It worked pretty well with the serpentine stitch.
So, that’s that. Now I just have to decide which of Carl’s nieces is getting it. 2013 finish number three!
My studio space is finally clean, so of course I had to go back to a project and get it a bit messy again. Since I missed the last Sew You Want to Quilt (SYWTQ) meeting, which was talking about layout options, and we have almost a month in-between meetings this time because of Memorial Day, I figured I should go ahead and piece the top together.
The last glimpse I gave you of this quilt was on a Wednesday Wall post:
It’s another grouping of fabrics playing on the color scheme I used in “Shakespearian Bars”. Kona Regal, Moss, Berry, Peapod, and Bella Strawberry. It’s a bit closer to what I wanted for the first quilt. It would have been just about perfect with Kona Coral instead of Bella Strawberry, but I couldn’t get ahold of that in time to start piecing.
Because I made the first block undersized, but also made multiples, I had to come up with a way to include both it and the seven 12″ blocks. So, I set a few on point, and ended up with this, which is ~41″×52″:
Then, because a completed top always screams for quilting to start, especially when I’m only feeling lukewarm about the top to begin with, I managed to fit some quilting in. I quickly pieced a back using leftovers from the top and a yard of Kona Plum I’d bought to audition for the top. I’m using the same charcoal thread that I used on “Shakespearian Bars”.
Somewhere along the line, after stitching in the ditch around the major joins, I decided I needed to jump in the deep end and try feathers. For the first time. On a solid quilt. With very contrasting thread when viewed on the back.
Just don’t look too closely at it. I think this one is going to Carl’s niece, so I hope she doesn’t mind getting the guinea pig quilt. Or as Moof would say, his quilt, since he always tries to claim them.
More on this one as soon as I finish the quilting—FMQ goes way faster than straight line quilting! I just have to figure out how to quilt the remaining sections, as I don’t want dark feathering on top of the light pieces.
Aside from the baby quilt I finished earlier this week, I’ve spent most of my sewing time lately on the various samplers and block swaps I’m currently involved in. My sewing space is a mess, but my design wall is rather colorful at the moment.
The final swap for this round of my bi-monthly LQS block swap is a 6″ Ohio Star signature block for each member (10) and however many sets of three 6″ piano key blocks we want to use for our final layout. I’ve finished four of the signature blocks and 20 piano key blocks (out of 44 that I plan to make at this point). My other stars will use different fabrics from the four completed ones (seen in the blue/purple/green/orange piano key set), while the other piano keys will be made mostly of the same fabrics used in the previous swap blocks.
Rounding out the wall this week is another block for the Modern LQS sampler, and another for the SYWTQ Amish-esque block. Because we traveled over Easter weekend, I didn’t make it to the other sampler meeting, so I should have two to finish next month.
I’m currently working on three different sampler quilts (not to mention last year’s, which I still need to piece), and I oddly have the blocks up on the design wall for some reason (I’m usually good about putting them into their proper locations), so I took a (bad) photo.
One is with the Sew You Want to Quilt group, focusing on Amish blocks (I use the term loosely, based on research) in our own choice of colors. I have a few of those done, although I am still behind on one block from early February.
The other two are monthly Saturday Samplers (well, one is on Thursday nights) at the two closest LQSs. For those unfamiliar with the Saturday Sampler concept: you pay a registration fee ($10-15 seems standard) which covers a kit of the fabric for your first block at the first meeting. From there, if you continue to bring your completed block from the previous month to the next meeting, you continue to get the kit for the current month free of charge. If you can’t make it to the meeting, you typically have to purchase the missed month’s kit. Some shops give you a discount on the first kit you miss, some give you one free pass, some give you an incentive to finish the top before the next cycle starts, etc. Some give you all the individual pieces cut out, some give you strips and squares to cut and chain piece, some just give you chunks of fabric to cut everything out yourself. My two shops each have their own quirks, and sometimes the rules and procedures even change year to year.
Even though I’m not absolutely in love with the fabric choices and styles of either, I do greatly enjoy the social aspect—an hour each month to meet up with other local quilters, learn what the shops have to offer in the coming month, and see the creativity of everyone in what they bring to show and share.
I’m going to have to get creative with layouts for 12″ blocks though, that’s for sure!
After I posted this top back in January, I went a bit incommunicado about it, as I decided to submit it to the Great Lakes Seaway Trail “Beauty of the Byways” show this year. I finished it with nary a minute to spare, so I don’t have many photos of the details, nor of it hanging, but here’s an overview.
Each submission to the show must have a story:
While some say you should travel a byway to see the “simple life”, my journeys on byways around the country have been for the opposite reason; sometimes I need a break from the repetitive, “simple” driving of the Interstate System and long to see the complexities of agriculture, forests, seaways, rivers, and hundreds of small towns. Driving on Ohio’s Amish Country Byway may find me slowed by a horse and buggy, but the leisurely pace gives me time to admire the rows of corn in fields or meadows of flowers along the road.
The piecing of my quilt is not intricate, but to call it simple belies the involved process of creation—from choosing the colors of fabric and thread, to the complexity of each stitch holding the three layers of cotton together. It is plain, but sometimes the monotony of life’s daily bustle calls for slowing down and enjoying the “simple” complexity that you can find when you turn off the more often-travelled path—whether it be a break from quilting projects of many pieces to work on something inspired by the Amish or taking time to drive along a byway and admire the sights.
The pattern is mine, but it is strongly influenced by quilts made by Amish women in Pennsylvania and across the Midwest in the late 19th Century, now in museum collections.
The title comes from the color scheme, one I found for yarn somewhere on Pinterest. They called the scheme “Shakespeare”, so I ran with that. It’s “an English interpretation” because English is what the Amish call non-Amish. The colors are Kona Coral, Kona Regal, Kona Hibiscus, Kona Moss, and Free Spirit Citrine.
The back is another Amish-inspired composition using the purples from the front (Regal, Hibiscus) and Moda Bella Thistle. It’s a little off-center, but not crooked, so I call it a basting win. Considering that I cut 7 of the 12 pieces incorrectly when putting it together, I should also call it a miracle.
I hastily applied a handwritten label to one side, but once I get it back, I’ll put a better one on.
It’s quilted in a charcoal thread that I had leftover from the Cyclist quilt; many sources on Amish quilts say that their quilting was done in black at that time, so I chose to use a dark thread rather than matching to the colors of the quilt.
Pellon Nature’s Touch in the middle gives it a nice drape and warmth factor. I didn’t wash it before the show, but can’t wait to do so once I have it back in my hands.
The binding is wide and non-mitered—another nod to the Amish tradition. I chose Hibiscus, as I wanted to put it next to the Regal as a way of giving the inner pieces more contrast. In certain light, the Hibiscus and Regal photograph very similarly to each other when they are in different areas of the quilt.
It’s also Moof approved, but I’m starting to think he’s just a sucker for soft quilts on wood floors.
I don’t think this is the last of my experiments with color schemes and Amish Bar quilts!
If you are looking for something fun to do in the Central/Northern NY area this month, consider taking a trip to Sacket’s Harbor for the Great Lakes Seaway Trail annual quilt show.
This year’s theme is “Beauty of the Byways,” allowing for a wide variety of quilts inspired by the national byways. The show will also have two traveling collections on display—one collection from the 2012 Hoffman Challenge traveling show and another from the Route 66 traveling show. There are so many quilts that they’re spreading them over four historic buildings in the village!
The show is open for two weekends: March 16–17, 2013 and March 23-34, 2013 in Sacket’s Harbor, NY.
Last week was a bit hectic (our Christmas decorations are still up!), so I didn’t yet start work on my own Tiramisu for the 30 Minutes a Day Sew Along. My plan was to work on it yesterday.
But a color scheme has been stuck in my head in anticipation of the Amish quilt project with SYWTQ. I bought the fabrics for it, or at least as close as I could get to them when shopping online. They came on Friday.
Kona Coral, Konal Regal, Kona Hibiscus, Kona Moss, and Free Spirit Citrine.
It’s not quite right. I think Kona Berry would be better than Hibiscus. Instead of Moss, I need something a smidgen brighter. The Coral could be a just a little lighter.
But they are close.
While I was waiting for my fabric to come, I spent time looking through the IQSCM Quilt Center for quilts with the keyword Amish.
I kept getting stuck on the quilts made of bars.
And when the fabric came, the image in my mind wouldn’t go away.
I spent time in my sewing room yesterday, trying to get started on Tiramisu, but decided I needed to get the new fabric put away. Then I thought I should cut it out. Then I decided I should piece it. The inspiration, it just wouldn’t stop talking to me.
So yesterday, instead of starting on work for the Tiramisu sew along, I pieced a quilt top.
Now I just need to find more fabric for the SYWTQ project. And get started on that Tiramisu.