Thursday, June 25, 2009

Stacked Coin Quilt - Part 4

I kept looking at my new stack and there was one area that still kept nagging at me so I ended up changing it out. Fortunately it was easy to do since it was a matter of flipping the blue section around. Before the light blue was up against the purple-pink fabric and the motley blue with pinks, purples and greens was against the grey. To me there was just too much contrast between the blue section and the corresponding fabrics. So it was as simple as ripping out two seams, flipping the blue section and resewing. Now I really like the way it looks.

I placed my order for the espresso fabric but it is back ordered at Web Fabrics from the manufacturer so I'm patiently waiting for it to arrive. Hopefully it will get there soon.

In the mean time I have started to cut my fabric for the Cats & Dogs paper piecing blocks to get them ready for the exchange in September. I should be able to start sewing them this weekend. One of the gals in our quilt group was really nice and figured out the sizes that we needed to cut of fabric for each of the various pieces to create the blocks. so I figured I'd get all my pieces cut and then I can just sit down and sew then up.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Stacked Coin Quilt - Part 3

Here's the new layout. I removed 4 colours that just didn't seem to work no matter where I placed them and some of the other colours were moved around. This version works better than the first one but both will make nice quilts. The funny thing is now that I see this version I can think of yet anther version that might work even better. I suspect one can stare at these colours and come up with all kinds of versions and drive oneself nuts in the process. I think I should quit while I'm ahead.

I went to several fabric shops yesterday to see if I could find a better sashing fabric for these quilts. My original vision for this was a rich dark chocolate brown which I didn't have in my stash. None of the quilt shops had anything remotely close to what I was looking for. While I was in the shops I did try some other colours such as dark green, dark blue and black. The dark green was OK but I really didn't like the pattern on the dark green. It had these swirls on it and I found it a bit distracting. The blue just didn't work and black was too harsh.

I have a set of sample squares for the Kaufman fusion fabric and in that series I found this wonderful rich brown called espresso (see sample below) and when I took it and placed it along side the various colours of the coins it looked really good. I've decided to order this fabric because unfortunately it seems no one here in the city carries it, and yet it is such a versatile fabric. In fact I'm noticing that many of the quilt shops seem to be caring less of the so called blender fabrics or have switched to batiks as the all around blender. Now I love batiks but sometimes I want something different and I just can't find it at the shops. So I'm hoping that when I get the fabric it will still have the same effect in full mode as it did with a sample square.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stacked Coin Quilt - Part 2

I've been re-working the order of the fabrics and I think I have the new layout. I'll be cutting the new fabric over the weekend but in the mean time I cut my strips from the first attempt and was trying out a couple of fabrics for the sashing. I had picked up a dark brown and a very pale cream in the same series for another project and decided to see how they would look. I'm not at all liking the brown one. I wish it was even darker, then it might work. (note I only had a metre of the brown so the strips went below the fabric so the picture is only a partial layout)

Here is the cream version. It's definitely better than the brown one but I don't know if there might be a better solution. I don't have anything else in my stash that would be suitable so I might take a few strips to the fabric shop and test out some other fabrics and see if anything else works.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Stacked Coin Quilt - Part 1

I bought some of Northcott's new Stonehenge fabric on the weekend to make a stacked coin quilt. I spent a bunch of time sorting the fabric to try and get a nice gradation from dark to light and back between the various colours that this series comes in. But until the pieces actually get sewn together you really don't know what they are going to look like together.

Now that I see them sewn together I don't like how I have a few of the blues grouped, as well as there is that greenish one beside the motley orange one where both look out of place. Then there is one grey fabric that has a large variation from light to dark within itself that depending on which fabric you are looking at in relation to it, it may or may not work (11th strip from the top). Also the photo didn't capture all of the colours quite right so it's hard to tell from this picture what is truly off.

So now I have to decide whether I take the seam ripper to the places where I want to switch things out or leave this one the way it is. I have enough fabric to make a second set of strips and that just might be the way to go. I'm all for making life easier. I would still make this up as a quilt and I'm sure it would find a good home as well as the intended one.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Modern Day Quilting Bee

Quilters Pets, the small quilting group that I belong to had our last meeting before taking time off for the summer yesterday and we had a modern day quilting bee. Joan, one of our members got volunteered to make a quilt for a charity raffle for the Home Child Care Association. This is one of the associations that she is involved with through her work and they are having a big fund raiser in the fall. Last month's meeting was at my place and I gave a tutorial on the wonky star block that I used for the bushfire quilt I made earlier in the year. Joan liked the block and decided to use it for her charity quilt and it would be a good block to work on in a group setting since it doesn't require extreme precision.

We had a great time, lots of laughs and got 12 blocks made for the lap size quilt within 2 1/2 hours. We started with cutting the fabric into the needed squares and triangles. Here's a picture of the 2 sewers and the presser. There was a gal at this table trimming where the gals were sewing but every time the camera came out she very quickly disappeared.

Here's one of the trimmers of the wonky squares...

... and the second trimmer of the wonky squares.

I ended up floating around from table to table assisting everyone. The big challenge was getting people's minds out of orderly and into wonky. It was an interesting process to see how gals kept wanting to put the blocks together in a neat and orderly way instead of randomly to get the wonky look. Here is the end result of the evening's efforts.

Here are some close up shots of the blocks.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Art & Cold Cash - Collaborative Art Quilt Project

I'm working on a collaborative art quilt project with friend and artist Jack Butler and another quilter friend Bernice. Jack spent several years living up in northern Canada (Baker Lake, Nunavut: located 320 km (200 mi) inland from Hudson Bay) with the Inuit working on a critical exploration of the introduction of capitalism into Northern economies. "Art and Cold Cash" explores how capitalism was introduced to Inuit culture through the development of indigenous arts and crafts industries.

During this project Jack explored his own introduction to money with a work titled "My First Memory of Money is Selling Flower Seeds Door to Door". This piece is a story of his grandfather showing him how to package 4 o'clock seeds in envelopes and then going door to door selling them to the neighbourhood mothers.

Jack's original work was digitally scanned and the image was sent to Spoonflower to be printed onto cotton fabric. The size of the printed image is approx. 30" by 40".

This cloth version will be quilted and embellished with thread painting, beads yarn and ribbon. There will be a small inner border of red fabric about 1/4" and the outer border will be a cream raw silk which will also contain some additional embellishments. We are still planning out the details of the treatment.

In addition there was a digitally manipulated version of the image that was also printed onto cotton fabric in the same dimensions. This image has a "northern lights" kind of feel to it and will also be quilted and embellished. It will also have a 1/4" inner border of red fabric and the outer border is a dark blue and black mottled cotton.

This will be an on going project for many months given it's collaborative nature and I will keep you posted on its progress. We have yet to decide which of the two we are going to start first.