Sunday, May 25, 2014

Austen Family Album week 8 Eliza's Star

I should have not bothered with the miters on that square frame in the center - with this fabric, my job would have been simple with straight pieces.

I like the combination of Vicki's hand dyed fabric with my own.  Mine is the very light one - accomplished by diluting the dye bath after my first tests came out too dark. Not anywhere near as scientific as what Vicki does - and really, I'd rather just buy her beautiful pieces anyway.  I did these experiments at Judi's house a few months ago.  It was a worthwhile experience as I discovered I just don't like hand dying.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

WWI Block of the Month - Block 5 - The Airplanes

When I saw this block, I assumed the maker had a red and white striped fabric she cut those pieces from....

No, they are pieced in.  We're not sure about the airplanes, but Norris thought it looked like a test pattern. We think maybe you're looking straight at the rotary blades?  But that doesn't explain the stripes.

The pattern as it was given and as it appears in Blockbase is not symmetrical - the red and white stripes are reversed on two adjacent quadrants.  I guessed that would be if you ever made a quilt of this block and set them block to block.  Here are mockups, the original first -

Since my quilt uses only one block, I decided I could make it so the imaginary quilt would look like this - I do like it better this way!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Just in time for warm weather....

a winter sweater!  This one is Bosun, from Twist Collective, Fall 2013. The original design (visible at the link) was four inches longer and probably too long for me.  I thought the diagonal pattern made by the twisted stitches would be fun and interesting in the one-of-a-kind hand-dyed merino yarn I bought a couple of years ago at the Southeast Animal Fiber Fest.

 I doubt very much I'll be wearing it before October.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Empire Star - Austen quilt Week 6

When is a star not a star?  When it's the Empire Star -

Mine looks like two arrows.  But I played with the one in EQ - just the way it was colored in the program.  Since its symmetrical in both directions, there are not many variations for the setting. These are basically what you get, though there are versions where the quilt would be rotated 90 degrees.

This is straight set.

Then we have every other one turned 90 degrees.

And finally every other row turned 90 degrees.
Those are some odd stars but think (?) I see them better in the last two versions.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Process photos of Judi's Healing Cloak

Many of my friends and family have heard me talk about this collaborative project between fiber artist Judi Jetson and me. Judi has had a long recovery from a serious illness. Early in her recovery process she contemplated the cards she had received from friends and family while in the hospital and thought of making a cloak so she could literally wrap herself in the comforting images and thoughts.

She asked me about printing on fabric and with little more than a few words of guidance from me, was experimenting with the techniques, repeating the images, combining them with prints and upholstery and plain fabrics. She overdyed some of the results, washed them, compared the outcomes and finally decided to mute the disparate colors by lightly tea dying them.  Some of her experiments took the shape of pillow covers but not being a quilter or garment maker, Judi's plan to turn the cards into a cloak stalled at that point.  Recently, she asked me to get involved in the construction, so she found a pattern that we altered considerably.  I then made a "muslin" out of a delightful peach fabric Judi had so that we had a foundation for creating the design.  As much garment sewing as I have done, I hardly ever have made a muslin-- but if all muslin were as pretty as that fabric which had a nice texture and didn't ravel a bit, I might always make one just for the fun of it.

I dismantled the muslin and Judi took the pieces home to arrange the fabric "cards" on.

Judi planned to hand-dye the background fabric and had worked on some shades of taupe, but was having a difficult time envisioning the various images and shapes not being too chaotic. Since I have some fabrics in many colors around, we tried putting the muted cards on a variety of them, none of which spoke to Judi. Inexplicably, I suggested she think about a graphic black and white dotted print for the connecting fabric.  I say "inexplicably" because I've never used a black and white print in that way.  But we dug out some of my black and white prints and we both felt it would work - so last Saturday we visited several local fabric stores and found a spatter-printed batik.  This is the above front piece of the cloak, sewn together and ready for the next phase.

It was an interesting process for me to figure out how to cut out the wedges to fill for the flair of the cloak shape. I changed the placement a little so that the cards are perpendicular to the hem and the corners stayed out of the seam allowances  I told Judi it was a good thing she had a piecer who never liked working from a pattern, because there certainly is not one for what I was doing!

Judi made all the decisions about which images went where on the garment and in relation to each other. I figured out a practical way to piece them together, trying to balance the spacing.  In the shot above, I am being mindful of the placement of the column of cards next to this unique center panel Judi created using some of the images that she really identified with. She used a newly acquired technique of printing the image on silk, slicing it into 1/4 inch pieces, then weaving it into a new textile.

This weaving of sliced up images is something I predict Judi will do more with - she's already been experimenting with black and white family photos.

The cloak still requires a lot of work before it's completed.  The trickiest part for me will be behind me in a day or two though - just a couple more of those wedges to figure out and the rest will be straight piecing of rectangles. Judi plans a shibori dye on the lining fabric. She showed me some beautiful examples - any of them will be gorgeous peaking out as a model walks down a runway in this cloak, which is among the plans Judi has for it.

Delectable Mountains - quilted

I finished my part of the Delectable Mountains quilt on Sunday and handed it over to Ann and Alice for binding yesterday morning.  I snapped a couple of photos before I trimmed the backing off the next day.  I've taken lots of photos in the afternoon light that have not been this dramatic. I expect this happened with the automatic white balance - since the quilt is about half white, the camera let the dark parts be darker than they really were.

 This photo has the more natural looking shadow.
The admittedly elaborate quilting I did won't really show for the raffle ticket buyers, but the person who wins will get to see it. We'll get photos of the full quilt for the Folk Heritage Committee to use in their publicity after it is bound.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Village Square - Austen Family Album Week 5

We did this block in the Grandmother's Choice series, when it was called Art Square - photo at this link. 

I decided to break up the center square again, but did it at 90 degrees to that one, just to make it different for me while cutting it out -

The fabric I used for Dana's quilt had more interest than this little floral stripe, but I think that version, with the stripe mitered the other direction, is better in any case.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Thrifty - Austen Family Album Week 4

This is a very simple block, so of course, it's hard to figure out what fabrics to use. 

But the motif in the print I used in the center worked pretty well in the 3 inch square, once I decided to break the rules and cut it on the bias.