So I moved it to the side of my house which was completely in shadow and got a better photo:
I decided not to put a border on it because I plan to put it into the rotation of quilts I rotate through my living room. A border would make it too large for the space I want to hang it. It coordinates well with the colors in my living room!
So I am working on piecing a backing together with various 1 -2 yard pieces of browns I have (trying to use my stash) and then send it to a long-arm quilter. I will likely bind it in the Stonehenge fabric I was going to use for the border.
I guess I need to work on the Medallion quilt in the photo below next as I have completed #1, #2, and #4!
Around this time last year I was posting about the sunflowers in my garden. Well they did not return this year and I did not plant sunflower seeds – so I am sunflowerless!
Luckily my neighbors on the corner have several raised bed boxes of sunflowers in their front yard for me to enjoy:
I will be more diligent next Spring on planting sunflower seeds!
Yesterday I worked to turn the “hot mess” and former unfinished object (UFO) into something resembling a quilt top. I’ve named the quilt “Cozy Cobblestones” as the fabric is the Northcott Stonehenge Cobblestones line.
I promised better photos, however I was unable to keep my promise. Still struggling with the narrowness of my hallway, I had to take entire layout photos at an angle. Alas, this is one of the “cons” of having a design wall in a narrow hallway!
Here is one “head on” photo taken by smooshing myself against the opposite wall:
You are probably wincing at the lighting on the photos. Once I sew the blocks together, I am going to take the quilt outside for a proper photo!
I am likely going to “float” the quilt top in additional Stonehenge fabric (I think I have enough yardage to put a “float” border around it). Here is the fabric I might use (it is my only choice unless I go out and try to find some more):
Next to a section of the blocks layout:
I might use the same fabric for the binding too as I am trying to use what I have in my stash. A contrasting binding might be nice but I would have to purchase it new (and I am taking a hiatus from buying fabric right now).
Speaking of my “stash”, I put the scraps and the two remaining fat quarters that I did not use up, in a future “Challenge Bag” (see post Basketof Challenges):
Inside the scrap bag you will see the blue scraps that I loved (from another Stonehenge line that a quilting friend donated) but could not work into the piece. We’ll see what I make in the future with this small bag of scraps.
The remaining scraps are fairly small as I worked hard to harvest any piece I could turn into a 2.5″ x 2.5″ block:
Quilters reading this may wince, but I did not have enough length of any of the scraps from piecing the original 12″ blocks to make the 6′ nine-patch blocks using the quick “strip-piecing” method. Instead I had to cut out individual 2.5″ x 2.5″ pieces and sew them together to make 42 6-inch nine-patch blocks! I did “chain-piece” the heck out the pieces after a while became a nine-patch block factory!
It was definitely an old school traditional piecing!
I am feeling pleased with my progress on the “UFOs” in this photo, this quilt top is the #4 in the photo below:
Once I get it all sewn together, I guess I need to work on the only remaining “UFO” – #3 (Medallion quilt) – but I am not feeling inspiration on that one yet!
In addition to a push to complete my unfinished projects, I’ve recently experimented with a couple paper-crafting/card making projects in the paper-crafting/beading area I set up in my sunroom:
Here are the two cards I made:
I am not sure if the recipients of these cards actually liked them, but I had fun making them. I listened to a classical radio station on my new(ish) thrift shop radio and found card making very meditative.
Card making was actually my first official crafting hobby that I did with others.
My friend Michele got me started in the late 1990s. I think it opened my mind to starting quilting, which I learned shortly after. I still have many of my card making supplies from the late 1990s and early 2000s. I donated about 1/2 of those supplies to charity organizations but I still have some wonderful supplies to make more handmade cards (whether people want them or not – ha!)
On the large design wall in my hallway is something that resembles a “hot mess“.
This “hot mess” actually represents quite a bit of progress. I struggled with what to do with the 20 blocks I made during a “traditional piecing” binge I went on October to November 2016 and discussed in the following series of posts:
Prior to working these blocks, it seems like the last couple of years I was primarily focused on improvisational quilting. I was craving structure (and a break from designing my own quilts) and pulled out my old Ladies’ Art Company Block Tool by Connie Chunn (2007) and started making blocks using a jelly roll I found in my stash of Northcott Cobblestone Stonehenge; and some Stonehenge scraps another quilter gave me.
Unfortunately, I did not have enough of the blue Stonehenge scraps to use them in more than just one block so I had to return those to the fabric scrap basket.
(Now I could have titled this post “Revisiting Traditional Piecing…Part IV” but this binge of working on “traditional pieced blocks” has intermittently continued while I sporadically work on Farm Girl Vintageblocks.)
The dilemma – designing the final quilt layout
The reason why the 20 blocks pictured below got put aside after my “piecing binge” was that I could not find a pleasing way to lay them out. I auditioned many different ways of setting the blocks to include traditional ways such as lattice, putting them on pointing, floating them, and various ideas suggested by my readers (much appreciated!)
(Martha and met through this quilt: She bought the green ombre setting fabric for this exquisite sampler quilt through my tierneycreates Etsy shop…glad I met her before I closed the shop!)
Alas, none of the numerous options I explored appealed to me.
Farm Girl Vintage Strikes!
My next venture into traditional-block-piecing-binging was with Lori Holt’s Farm Girl Vintage. In this book I discovered the perfect setting for my blocks! It is called the “Picnic Setting”
For copyright reasons I did not want to photograph the page in Farm Girl Vintage showing the setting, but I did find this photo on Pinterest, pinned by Deborah Thomas, of a quilt in the Picnic Setting:
The setting is a mixture of 12″ (finished) and 6″ (finished) blocks. The 6″ blocks are the setting for the 12″ blocks!
At first I thought of returning to the Ladies’ Art Company Block Tool and creating a bunch of different 6 inch pieced blocks. Thinking through this idea, I realized the quilt top would NEVER get done if headed down this path. How daunting to make 36 different 6″ blocks to set my 12″ blocks! I needed at least 36 of them to make the block setting work, and it would be 2020 before I posted about this quilt in progress again!.
Nine-Patch, an old stand-by
Finally I settled on making “old school” 6″ (finished) nine-patch blocks using up the scraps from the original jelly roll from piecing the 12″ blocks.
Here is the beginning of playing with the layout as I make the nine-patch blocks:
There will not be a lot of contrast, and that is intentional. I want the quilt top to have the feel of looking at a stone floor and the patterns and the colors of the stones flowing into one another.
More to come as I progress on the quilt top (perhaps even better photos, but do not get your hopes up!)
Decorating with Pillows
A quick follow up to my previous post – PetitePillow Power!– here is a little vignette in my living room with one of the new pillow, a batik basket I made (the top one), a lidded store bought basket, and a Longaberger basket someone gave me as a gift 20 years ago:
Quilting Meets Couture
In case you’d like to learn more about the project that got me started on my art quilting journey, check out this post on the collaborative website I have with Betty Anne Guadalupe, Improvisational Textiles:
Here are the next 8 blocks I have pieced – four (4) different blocks from the Ladies’ Art Company Block Tool by Connie Chunn, each in two versions:
This weekend I got to play with different layouts now that I have 16 blocks completed. I tried out a traditional sampler layout with sashing and corner stones; and a layout setting the blocks “on-point. I liked the “on-point” version (diamond) instead of square next to square layout.
My plan is to make a queen-sized bed quilt, so I determined I need at least 4 more blocks for a total of 20- 12 inch (finished size) blocks. I tentatively plan to do a 4 by 5 block layout and borders.
Today I completed 2 additional blocks (for a total of 18) and I will post them on the next update. I am also now looking through my quilt book collection and the web for innovative “on-point” sampler quilt settings (and of course going to make the remaining 2 blocks so the blocks can be finished).
More to come but wanted to get this update out there. Happy Stitching!