Monday, July 21, 2014

Indigo Salmon - Update

So a few months ago I talked a bit about a block I was entering in the 2014 Sister's Outdoor Quilt Show.  I call it Indigo Salmon.

Indigo Salmon

I literally had no expectations of winning anything as I knew the submissions would be amazing.  Imagine my shock and delight to be contacted and told I was a runner up to the grand prize, and would be receiving a package of my block + 12 others and a selection of fabrics from the challenge!  I was giddy!

I have been waiting anxiously for the package.  In the meantime I have had lots of pictures and even a video sent to me by friends and others who were able to attend the show in Sister's Oregon.  Check out this slide show - its a great representation of the show!

Here are a few close ups sent to me by one of the wonderful people who helped put this challenge together - photo credits to Susan Rola!















Today the mailman rewarded my patience!  A box full of fabric...

1/2 yard of each of these yummy Westminster fabrics!
...and blocks!  12 blocks made by obviously talented quilters!



The details are extraordinary...

Caterpillar!  It is almost 3D - it lifts off the block!

Amazing embroidery!

Couched yarns!  That might make it into borders...

Such gorgeous fussy cutting, and what a wonderful way to make a turtle!

The hand work, oh my - even embroidery in the borders of each fabric!
I am overwhelmed.  Back to giddy!  I will have to percolate for a while.  Each block is so special and I want that to shine in however I chose to set them.  And it feels like a story here...

I am so grateful to the Sister's Oregon Outdoor Quilt Show organizers for putting this together and continuing to grow the show and with it participation in quilting no matter where you are.  One of these days I will drive down and make it a day of fun to go to that show, maybe an annual fun trip!

So my lovely quilters and learners and viewers - challenge yourself!  Throw your hat in the ring!  You just never know what will happen...

Sewvivor- An Indigo at Work and Play

I am taking the plunge.  I am auditioning for Sewvivor.  This looks like a fantastic online contest that is right up my alley - periodic 'challenges' where different artists interpret things in innovative and unique quilty ways!


My mind is already working on the challenge topics.  The first is nautical.  Well heck, thats almost too much to work with!  Then quilted bag.  Hmmm, that one worries me a bit.  Then hexies.  I can't decide if I am delighted or chagrined!  Lastly - a lap quilt.  All exciting stuff for quilters!

I am being foolishly brave by selecting a work in progress as my audition.  I actually can't think of anything I have done or am doing that is more uniquely me than this project that helped me create this blog and certainly inspires me daily.


Pinned to my design wall to see it all together.  Still keeping it in rows up to 6 for bulk under the needle.
Here, I am 10 rows in, or 43% of the way.  I have to say, as eclectic as the blocks are I am truly loving how they come together.

The original premise was to create one 4 inch block daily.  However, the daily part quickly revised to 'when I can'.  Life has been busy and other quilting projects come first many times.  The one thing that has remained consistent however is this project is where I test ideas.


Closeup of the first row of a word
Paper piecing, felt free form, and applique flags
Each block is a challenge for me in a new technique or to perfect a technique.  It may be an idea that came to me like a flash, or one that percolates for a while.  Some are techniques I have read about in a blog or magazine.  All blocks have their own blog posting in this blog as I have created them.  By using quilt-as-you-go for a finishing method it has helped me keep the blocks from damage and made me learn a great deal about QAYG as a technique.  It also means that while I consider this a work in progress in all reality the quilt as it is is finished other than a binding - every single piece is individually quilted.


Paper piece flying geese, reverse applique,
my version of a Baltimore Block style pattern,
 and tiny cathedral windows.
When finished this quilt will likely become wall art.  Its is very heavy now and when fully done will likely weigh as much as 3 quilts!  I am also thinking about using it for a teaching quilt; it is a record of many of my skill milestones and will likely hold many more by the time I am done.  I truly think any quilter looking to expand their abilities should do something similar.

Another Baltimore Block style, wonky star,
paper pieced square in square,
and more flying geese.
So, using this for Sewvivor audition.  Even if I do not make the final 16 (and there is some serious talent in the auditions sew far) I will follow along in the Sewvivor quilt along, which may have it's own prizes!





The backs are interesting on their own - all but one so far a solid piece of fabric!

I also love how the quilting comes through on the backs.

3D hexi flower, half square triangles, playing with circles, and improv curved piecing.

String piecing fun, thread painting, reverse applique,and  raw edge applique.

Drunkards Path variations, more 3D hexis, thread painting, trapunto, painting on fabric, applique, and hand stitching.

Faux Cathedral Windows, traditional Amish square in square, disappearing 4-patch, and the twister.

Trapunto, paper piecing, needle turn applique, prairie points, and free form applique.

11 more rows to go!

Come sew with us!

Blocks 166 and 167 of 368

Isn't there a saying about mimicry being the highest compliment?  If not, there should be.

After I saw this quilt from the Tokyo Quilt Festival on Flickr I fell in instant quilty love.  

While I am not fond of hand quilting and therefor kind of allergic to quilting hexigons, I do love the geometry and design possibilities.  This quilt may be my favorite ever example of hexigon use.

So, I elected to do a bit of this on a smaller scale.  I used 1.5 inch hexigon templates and then made a few diamonds and larger hexis to fit.  

 Pulling shades and prints of blues from my stash I put them in roughly tone order.
 For the backing I decided to use a batik with lots of movement and color to highlight the quilting.

For the quilting I simply did straight lines along the edges of all the pieces.  It created a wonderful geometric pattern that looks wonderful.  I decided to make this into 2 blocks for the added interest of the sashing once they are put into the quilt.  It will look almost like a paned window.

I love how this came out.  The different sizes of hexi fool the eye with the different prints.  It almost creates a while new print.  While I am not asure I have the patience to do this on a larger scale it is tempting...

Keep quilting!

Block 161-164 and Block 165 or 368

These blocks came about from an excess of fabulous fabric and a desire to retest a technique.

I had read this blog a while ago on improv curved piecing.  I have used the technique a tiny bit in improv drunkards path blocks.  I even used it to make a wonky circles baby quilt a while back!

But I wanted to try it again in a simpler block, highlighting some gorgeous fabrics I have been given.


I selected 4 fabrics I thought would look good together (like that's hard with these batiks!) I then placed them light to dark.


For the back I used a large piece of the medium blue in the pieced bit.  It gave me a chance to show off the batik print and color variation in that one fabric.


Then, cut and sew, cut and sew!  I used a similar feel in the quilting.  Using an aqua thread I did improved wavy lines.  I let them echo, overlap, whatever I felt the space needed.  In the end its an 18 inch block that is landscape looking.  It reminds me heavily of looking at the peninsula across Cook Inlet in Alaska.

 Then, When I got done with that and squared it, I had a chunk leftover.  Not enough for another block on its own, but too much to discard.  So, I decided to play with adding another bit to it.

I found a batik brown, green and light aqua.  Used the green for Quilt as you go strips, and quilted the brown and teal in another small chunk using matchstick quilting lines.
 This is the back.  It is the first pieced back for this project.  I love it!
And voila!  each charming and lovely and each a bit different from the other.

keep sewing!

Block 160 of 368

This block was one of those ideas that woke me up in the middle of the night.  

I have never really played with stained glass look in quilting.  I find it beautiful, but the idea of the precision and yards of black bias appliqued on the top just gives me the hives.

I figured for something this small I could do that.  But then I thought - what about a satin stitch in black thread?  Same thing right?

WRONG!!!!!

My first mistake was probably fabric choice.  The dark background I chose looks like stained glass, but its too dark to see the black outlines.  


 Second mistake was in not stitching the background.  It is layers on the batting, but as the satin stitching went down the edges kept popping up.  Which then needed more satin stitches....

However, i do love how the back looks.  It gives a reverse image of the stain ed glass pattern and looks pretty cool. 

I elected to keep it in the quilt as another reminder - sometimes learning isn't about what you learn to do, but what you learn NOT to do!

Keep sewing!

Blocks 158 and 159 of 368

After viewing some hand quilting I realized that hand quilting can be it's own pattern.  i know, this might not be a big revelation, but it made me curious enough to try.

So, I took some variegated flosses and went to town.

One callous on my thumb later and voila!

 I started with a stark look by using a block charm for the top...

...and a black and white print for the back.  I sketched out a few arcs and sewed sewed sewed.  And sewed.  And sewed.  I didn't think I would ever finish!


 Finally I felt it was good to go.  While hardly a favorite technique the almost primative look of the imperfect stitching in a high volume is interesting.  It also has a fabulous texture.

I decided to try again, even after the pain of the first.  I again used a variegated floss in blues and this time added a spin with a pieced block. 

 Keeping the stitches simple again, and in random widths from the next line.  I Love how it highlighted the HSP pieces block.

For the back I chose this sweet floral print.  With this kind of stitching it feels like a southern summer, simple and sweet. 

Keep sewing!