Started "hand quilting" on scraps mini quilt
Prepared backing and batting.
Quilting going slowly
Today I took a Zoom workshop on Hand Lettering. It was very basic so didn't learned much but it was nice distraction for an hour. Cathy was taking it too at her house and we were chatting via text while it was going on. It was nice. Almost felt like we were taking the workshop together. One of these days we will again...
I also entered the Vermont Quilt Festival today. This year they will judge the quilts via photos instead of in person so you have to send detailed photos of the back of the quilt showing your stitches. I'm not the greatest technical quilter. I don't pay too much attention at how good the back of the quilt looks. I know I'm never going to get a quilting award. So I was a little aprehensive sending those photos but it is what it is...
I am playing around with shapes to see if this turns into something. It is a different way of working. Let's see if it turns into something. I usually have a picture in my head of what the quilt will look like and make a pattern and cut precise shapes but this time I'm going to wing it and see where it goes. I have this set of fabrics that are organized in a gradation of colors from pinks to oranges. I have a vision of this kind of Dresden Plate block in my head. I am free hand cutting wedge shapes and sewing them together. Let's see what happens...
I have kept sewing wedge together following the gradation and it is looking interesting. The piecing of this is going to be complicated and there is going to be some appliqueing involved. I like where it is going. When I started today, I was afraid that by sewing circles in the middle of this shapes where going to look too much like boobs but I am not worried anymore :) This is exciting!
I prefer piecing straight pieces over appliqueing curves and I realize this is going to be a lot of that. I dont know what else to do so today I pieced some straight pieces. At first I was thinking of having the circles at the bottom with squares coming up like the circles were roots and the squares were trees. But then I changed my mind and did a gradating field that goes from dark to light and bigger to smaller. Thinking of doing a symmetrical design with orange on one side and pink on the other with the circles in the middle. Today is the Super Bowl so there is nothing else to do but sew. I sewed for 10 hours!
Today I sewed the pink section and made an arrangement for the circles. Not too excited by it. Maybe I need to take a break from it and come back later with fresh eyes.
I finished the edges of about 70% of the circles I have made. I did this while watching the impeachment trials. Powerful presentation of what happened and how close it was to being a lot worse than it was but unfortunately, it is not going anywhere. In one of those times getting up and sitting down I do between the sewing machine and the iron, my cat Maya took my chair. There was no way of moving her so I brought another chair for me :) Doesn't the circles look like those Starlight mints? Maybe there is a title there somewhere.
Tonight I went out with my family for a Valentine's Day dinner at Jojo's. I made a little card for them to practice my quilling skills that I have left unattended. Mainly because of lack of space. I do quilling and quilting in the same place so I have to do one or the other. I made this card in a hurry so it's not the greatest but t is the thought that counts, right?
I always try to have fresh flowers at my house. I started doing this after reading in The Artist Way that you should find something, (hopefully) a small thing that brings you joy every day. Maybe I'm making things up because that was a long time ago. Flowers do that for me. I just got these ones and I'm just realizing how the colors do not look natural. Anyway, I do love that stage when roses open up and start fading away.
I've been thinking that the quilt looks better as a horizontal composition. Had to take a picture and turn then horizontally because my design wall is not big enough. The perils of a small sewing space. I do have a bigger wall. Maybe at some point I will rearrange the room...
Today I decided to add another element to the quilt, diagonal lines. It's interesting. Where is this going?
Today is also the last day of the impeachment of Donald Trump. I have my laptop set up on my cutting table watching while I sew. Funny that I'm texting with another quilter and she is doing the same.
I'm getting antsy not knowing where this quilt is going. So I decided to take the picture of the quilt, put it in Photoshop and see if I could finalize the design. So I took parts of the picture and copy here pasted there and came up with a design I'm happy with. Now the decision is what direction... I like them both ways. One way kind of reminds me of a table top and the circles look like an explotion of plates. The other way looks like a waterfall seen from above and the circles are flowers floating down. Maybe I'll put hanging sleeves at both ends and let who ever hangs it decide.
I'm taking a break from quilting today. I'm watching The Flight Attendant with my mom and sister thru Zoom. I can't sit and watch TV without doing something with my hands and I can't have the sewing machine going. So I'm quilling. Drinking wine and making a wine glass .
Today I attended my first meeting of the SAQA DC/MD/WV region. We had an artist talk with Paula Kovarik over Zoom. Just like with TV, I can't sit there and watch a presentation without keeping my hands busy so I did more quilling. I thought that what I'm making would look good on a watercolor background. Have never used watercolor so it is a little funky but I think it looks better than just a plain white background. They can probably be used on greeting cards.
Today was the first day of QuiltCon from the Modern Quilt Guild. It is the first virtual quilt show I attend and I like it. I think I am getting more than by being there in person. Walking around is tiresome for me and also sometimes there is a lot of people and it is hard to see the quilts. Some of the quilts have an audio recording of the quilter talking about the quilt and that is nice. There are a lot of cool quilts. Today I spent an hour and a half looking at quilts and I'm probably halfway done. The next few days I'm taking some lectures and look at the vendors.
I'm pulling back the curtain and show you the cramped space I'm sewing in. I never expected this quilt (or any of my quilts) to get this big so I'm struggling with my sewing space. My design wall is about 30" wide. This quilt right now is about 60" wide. So I'm having to lay it out sideways on my design wall so I can see the design. I have an ok sized room but sine I wasn't quilting that much, there is a lot of extra furniture and things I should remove and rearrange the space now that the quilting bug has bit me once more.
So today my task was to tackle the bottom edge and get that "folding" illusion. I knew that I needed it to be darker so I tried out a bunch of different fabrics and I settled for the lightest color in the orange gradation. I think it is looking good. Now I just need to work on the top edge and the top will be finished!
While putting a quilt top together, you end up with a bunch of scraps. I could have thrown them in the trash but what's the fun in that? So many possibilities... plus quilting fabric is expensive. I just spent over $150 in fabric at QuiltCon. There were some notions I wanted to buy also but it was too much $$$. Who spends $50 on a ruler? Well, I really want it so I may end up being one of those people... but I digress.
I was itching to play around with those scraps so today was the day. I made two little quilts with them. One is probably going to end up in the trash (quilting practice block?) but this one I think has possibilities.
I put qoutes around hand quilting because what I'm doing tecnically is hand quilting but it has very little resemblance to actual hand quilting. It is done with two strands of embroidery thread with big stitches close together. I am liking how is looking.
I haven't forgotten about the real quilt I'm working on. It is just big and overwhelming me right now and I'm having fun making little quilts. Also, after "going" to QuiltCon I have too many ideas in my head. By the way, I really like the virtual quilt show concept and I hope they stick with it after the pandemic. I did finished the quilt top by adding the top border. Right now it measures 47" x 32" but it feels much bigger than that. Must be because I usually don't make quilts this big.
I went a little insane. I still had some thin strips leftover from the big quilt (which I need to name soon) and wanted to do somethng with them. Saw a pattern for Diabolical Jane and was intrigued by it, probably the name. So decided to give it a try. The trick is that the strips I have a not even an inch wide so it is going to be very small. Sewing this small is tricky. Wish me luck.
Today I rearranged my sewing room and feel better about it. Design wall expansion project wont happen for a while but at least I feel like I have more space.
So today I saw that I was accepted in the Mid Atlantic Quilt Fest! I didn't know. I have been having problems with my email so maybe it was lost somewhere. Waiting for Better Times and Uniting States of America are in the show.
I'm worried I'm becoming a horder of scraps. For some reason I can throw away even the smallest scraps feeling is like throwing away my work. Started the quilt on the 23. It was supposed to be a diagonal layout, dont know what happened after I trimmed it it was horizontal but I like it. The scraps that resulted after trimming it became the border because I couldn't throw them away.
Then I still had some leftover strips so I made another one. The Studio Art Quilter's Association is having an auction and they are asking for 8" x 6" art quilt donations. I thought to myself. I'll never make anything that small. Well here I am. So I decided to make something for the auction with the strips I had left. At first I thought it was a house but now it looks like a rocketship. Art is whatever you want it to be. Still need to add a border. That four square block is 1" because I can't throw away even the smallest thing. Or maybe it is that I'm avoiding the big quilt, hmmm...
Today I pin basted the quilt. It is almost the exact size as my table.Then I printed grayed out pictures of the quilt and came up with a plan on how to quilt it. I could be bold and use pink and orange thread but I'm too chicken so I'm going to use a beige thread mostly. I may use colored thread for the echo quilting. My free-motion quilting is a little shaky but I don't mind it. It adds a little character to the quilt. Looks hand-drawn.
I keep hearing the words Mango Strawberry in my head because of the colors so I think that will be the title. I'll let it marinate in my head a little longer before deciding.