Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wild Mustang - Part 1

About a month or so back SewCalGal had posted a link on her Face Book page!/disabledwallforsewcalgal to a quilt artist by the name of Daniel Rouse!/pages/Daniel-Rouse-Quilts/149647345088130 and I was quite intrgued by his stencil quilts.  Here is a link to his blog for those who aren't on Face Book.  Looking at these quilts got my mind thinking and all of a sudden I had ideas for about 4 different quilts. These ideas kept coming back to me and I realised that I had to explore this further.

One of the ideas was using an image of a sea turtle but the fabrics that I wanted to use I currently don't have everything I need so that idea is on hold. The next idea was the horse.  I had a bunch of Stonehenge fabrics from Northcott and I knew I was off to the races :-). So the stencil quilts are basically a reverse applique technique using 2 layers of fabric (can be a quilted top or a whole cloth), one for the focal image and one for the background.  I'm doing a wall hanging size for this project.

For my wild mustang I wanted to use a mixture of browns to blacks form the Stonehenge series and create a top that was just small blocks (either 1 1/2" or 2" square) and then I would have the top go on point.  Since I wasn't completely sure which size would look best I did a sample of each from some left over fabric.  It turned out that the 1 1/2" was what I wanted but in the process I also learned something interesting.  Here the picture of the two samples.

If you look at the rows going across they have a lot of diversity but when you look at the rows going up and down there are only 2 fabrics worth of diversity.  The reason for this is that my test was only done on 1 set of fabrics sewn together then cut into their strips.  Then I just alternated those strips and sewed them into the larger block. This was not the look I wanted.  What I was after was a more random mix of blocks so I had to re-think this. 

I had 10 different brown to black fabrics and I ended up devising a grid in Excel that would give me the diversity I needed.  I also decided that I would create several smaller sections and then put them together to create the final top since I didn't want to sew full width of fabric strips that were only 2" wide due to the potential of stretch and distortion. So I cut 5 2" strips of each of my fabrics and then cut those strips in half so I had 10 strips of each of my 10 colours.  Here is my 10 by 10 grid that I used. 

The fabrics were all numbered from 1 - 10, and I worked on 1 column at a time to keep things organized. Once all the columns were sewn, I had to iron the seams in alternating directions.  So if I started ironing column 1 seams towards the top, then column 2 (red box #9) seams were ironed towards the bottom. Now the fun part was to sew the pieced columns together.  I first tried to sew one set without pinning but there are just too many junctions that can move around and not meet where they need to, so I ended up having to pin everything but it was worth it. Here is a picture of one of the finished blocks.

I actually only sewed 9 of the blocks because once those were put together in a 3 by 3 configuration I would have approx. 42" top which was more than enough for what I was planning. Here is what the completed top looks like.

The background for the horse is made up of 3" horizontal strips of light neutrals through lighter orange Stonehenge fabrics. Then  plan on putting a small inner border in a darker brown and a final border in the darker oranges.  Here is the initial background top.

This is the image that I'm using for my horse.

This is as far as I have gotten.  Next I have to baste the two tops together, then attach the pattern (not sure if pinning will be the best or if I will also have to baste it).  Then I will be ready to sew the outline of the horse. I will continue to document the process as I go through with this project in case anyone is interested in trying it.

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Celebration of Quilts XI: Silent Auction - Part 4

Here is my progress on the beading on one of the mini quilts of the silent auction.  It's starting to look really nice and now I can hardly wait to see what it will look like when it gets finished.  It takes quite a while to sew all those little seed beads on, but I find it an enjoyable time passer while watching TV in the evenings. You will need to click on the picture to actually see the detail of the little beads.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Jade's B-Day Quilt - Part 6

I got Jade's quilt finished last week, nothing like having to hand sew the binding in the heat that we have been having. I basically sat in front of the A/C unit in the evenings and stitched a bit each evening.  It's still rather warm here today but nothing like the heat we had here on Thursday where we hit 38C (100F) and with the humidex it was 49C (120F). It was just down right nasty and our window A/C units just barely could keep the humidity out, forget about cooling down the place.

Jade is coming over this evening along with a few other friends for dinner and she will be getting her quilt which I know she will love.  Here is the finished quilt.

Later this week I will have an update on the beading that I have done on the mini wall hanging and the start of a new project.

Footnote on Jade's quilt: Jade loved her quilt. I had a hard time coming up with a name for the quilt and it only came to me last week to call it "Celebration". For some reason it just seemed right. Well there really turned out to be a true celebration for Jade on her 55th birthday. Costa, her boyfriend gave her a diamond ring for her 55th birthday. They have been going out for 8 years and he finally decided to make a more serious commitment. Both he and Jade have been married before, he doesn't have any kids and Jade has 2, both grown up. Now I didn't ask when they were planning on actually getting married because I figure with Costa that may take a few more years before he will make that final commitment. So definitely a birthday worth celebrating.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Jade's B-Day Quilt - Part 5

The quilting is finally done on this quilt. It has taken a bit longer than I had anticipated but that is because I had some extra help in the process. There is just something about the quilting process the Jordie just feels the need to help. I kept it simple in that all I did was wavy lines going across the quilt but even that proved to be a challenge.  The struggle that I had with this was trying to keep my stitches the same size throughout the quilt which proved to be impossible.  Still I like the way it turned out and hopefully no one will look that closely.

Here is the quilt all trimmed, sorry for the rather poor photo but it's very hot and muggy here today so the blinds are drawn to try and keep as much heat out as possible.

I've decided to go with this batik for the binding, it was used on some of the blocks and it's a good fit in that it has both the blues and greens that are in the quilt.