Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Blooming Nine Patch Quilt - Bright Color Palette

A few photos of a nearly completed quilt.  The amazing quilting on this was done by Rachael, blogged about by her over here at Rachael Rabbit (photos were also taken by Rachael, very full service operation and much lovelier lighting than I get in my small apartment).  I think she did a gorgeous job of honoring the patchwork and my vision while taking the entire project up about 20 notches, adding a great deal of beauty that I never would have imagined, which I think is what every quilter hopes when the "send their quilt out" for quilting.  

I always show my family pictures of my quilts.  They were super impressed with this one due to Rachael's quilting, convinced that this must be the work of a super powered quilting computer.  My quilting consists of straight lines and some string tying.  I did once machine quilt a baby quilt with a sort of circular bubble pattern.  I was quite proud of myself until I realized that the quilt was incredibly hard due to the density of my quilting.

Here's the photo of my original inspiration for this color scheme - a lovely dress from Saks.  I didn't find many chartreuse fabrics in the shop that day so veered a bit more towards the pinks.  I'm still working a bit on nailing proportion of color in my quilts.  I find this blooming nine (or in this case four patch) pattern a bit deceptive in that each successive ring plays a greater roll / takes up more space with a bit of a snowball effect towards the end.  I generally start with my favorite color in the center, but am going to rethink that next time and use the outer rings for my dominate color, aka deep purple in this case.  Sometimes with other quilts, I will have a color palette and know what proportions of color I would like, but it can take a bit of time to ferret out a suitable quilt pattern or block. At times, I'm also interested in only having certain colors next to each other, adding another layer of challenge. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WIP - X and Plus Quilt

This is a work in progress quilt made entirely from scraps.  I'm loving this pattern and the process.  I'm creating each little block individually.  Just making what I think is lovely and pleasing one block and at time and letting the finished product work itself out.  My favorite part about quilt making in general is the initial fabric choosing and design process*.  I've been highly motivated to continue working on this as stitching up each little block has it's own "reveal" at the end.  

I've also learned a great deal about color and value in the process, as I used various fabrics that "read" the same way rather than exact matches.  The small squares are just 1 1/2" finished, so they often read differently when cut from larger patterned fabrics. 

I was inspired to try this pattern by this quilt, made primarily from Anna Maria Horner fabrics, and this one.  Oh yeah, and this one too.  I actually don't think I've seen one of these that I don't like. I used this tutorial from bad skirt for 7" finished blocks. 

Few tips / things I learned in the process: 

1) I didn't bother to draw the diagonal lines, just eye-balled it, when stitching the corner squares onto the X portion.  This was a great time and aggrevation saver, as those squares are very small for any drawing.  
2) I have all the unpieced center plus beams running vertically.  Once I reached the point of stitching together the final three pieces, I pressed all seems on right hand side of the block upwards and all seams on the left hand side downwards.  This should allow my seams to match up nicely when it comes time to piece my rows. 

* I took one of my artist friends to a quilt shop once and she was like, "Wow, this is fun! I've just made 20 quilts in my mind." 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How to Create a Color Pallete for Quilts

I've been taking the most amazing online color class over at Stitched in Color.  I have been wanting to take a color theory class for quite some time now.  This one is geared specifically towards quilters, so it's been incredibly enlightening and helpful.  The tone is also gently encouraging and full of guidelines while highly encouraging of creative freedom, trusting your instincts and developing your own voice. It's been an incredibly joyful experience; I cannot wait to read the daily blog post (class format is a daily blog post for several weeks).  Color completely thrills me and feeds my soul.

One of the tools that I've been introduced to through the class is the Palette Builder.  I've used various palette building tools in the past; however, this one has the amazing feature of pairing your colors to a Kona cotton. It also allows you to tweak the auto generated colors, changing the colors as you like.  It's brilliant. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Work in Progress - Blooming Four Patch Quilt

This was my project of choice over the winter holiday time off stretch.  The perfect antidote to the weather, something bright and tropical.  The top is finished, more photos to follow.  This is my third blooming quilt.  Other one in WIP state can be seen here.   

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dusty Pink & Hot Pink

This photo is floor tile in an elevator.  I loved the idea of pairing a dusty orchid type color with a bright shade of pink.  It was completely unexpected, something I never would have thought of; although, a few days later I picked up my current knitting project (photo below) and realized that I had actually paired these two colors together already.  They're part of a wrap "of many colors" if you will, a la Dolly Parton.  I would love to try this pairing out in a full quilt.  It reminds of of Denyse Schmidt's two tone drunk love quilts featured here on her website. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Modern Log Cabin Quilt - Blues with Skewed Log Proportions

This quarter log cabin quilt was created as part of a University style class at The City Quilter in Manhattan, taught by Judy Doenias, one of my favorite teachers. 

I used square center pieces for the blocks, with wider cream "logs" and narrow blue "logs" which creates a sort of distortion if you will.  For the white portion, I used some lovely abstract Japanese fabric as well as some solid cream and white fabrics.  I had noticed this lovely visual effect in antique quilts when quilters used a variety of whites to creams out of necessity.  

I'm currently working on hand quilting circular patterns around the very linear blue sections.  My inspiration for the quilting came from this little symbol of Rockefeller center which I came across during my daily commute through that lovely building. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Blooming Nine Patch Quilt - Easy Four Patch Version

Here's a snippet of a Blooming Nine Patch Quilt I made using a wonderful, easier four patch shortcut taught by Judy Doenias at the City Quilter in New York.  This is an incredibly, creatively satisfying quilt to make, the color migration is thrilling, the results are always a suprise.  In my opinion, there's really no way to predict exactly how the color combination and mergings will turn out - which for a quilter is quite thrilling.  The class met once a week for three weeks, so I was able to see how other student's fabric choices worked together.  I incorporated some fabric, the pink & white fabric in this photo, that I had dyed using an arashi technique. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Black & White Quarter Log Cabin Quilt

Just a work in progress quilt, black & white quarter log cabin style. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Paper Pieced Star Block, aka Block Rockin' Week - Caldonia

Here's my third paper pieced star!  I'm actually planning to make at least one more from this pattern as I really love this little star.  It's going to be part of a Modern Sampler Quilt I'm planning for a little  cousin.  My color palette plan is red, brown, all shades of greens, cobalt blue, with a neutral linen fabric included in all block with some room to improvise.  I sort of hold fabrics up again my existing blocks and fabric pull and include them if they're pleasing.  I enjoy freedom in my creative process!  

This block is courtesy of Julie Wallander Hirt over at 627 Handworks.  This and many more lovely star blocks available on her blog plus a Flickr pool & Instagram group too, so you can see the variety of results that can be achieved.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Color Inspiration - Cobalt to Mallard to Black

Palette created via Palette Builder with a little help from Koigu.  

I would also add a tiny amount of the lovely kiwi green. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Simple Knitted Slippers

Perhaps it would be appropriate to admit to some mildly OCD-esque behavior here, as I have knitted at least 55 pairs of slippers from this pattern with another two pair currently on the needles.  The pattern can be found here.

If you know me, you most likely own a pair of these slippers.  I've found that people are generally much happier about receiving a pair of these then one might think.  I would consider them my most successful knitted gift.  

I use size 7, 8 or 9 needles, often using a combination of up to three different yarns.  I love mixing yarns - satisfies my artistic side - especially adding a shiny or glittery yarn like Vanna's Glamour from Lion Brand.  Sometimes if I have a small amount of yarn left over, I'll just divide it into two balls and knit two slippers until it's all used up.  So, it's an excellent pattern for using up scraps, also highly forgiving and easily adjustable. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Color Inspiration - Pink, Green & Turquoise aka Child's Play

Palette created via Palette Builder

This painting is from a children's art school near my office.  I thought the color choice was brilliant and unique.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

WIP - Chevron Quilt Kaffe Fassett Pattern

This is a work in progress: top finished, basting and quilting required.  I was so taken by this quilt that I purchased the fabric pack from Glorious Color and made it as specified with just one color substitution.  The pattern requires the use of a woven, reversible fabric. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Shibori Fabric Dyeing - Part I

Here are some bits of cotton pre-Shibori dyeing, post stitching.  According to Wikipedia, Shibori is a "Japanese term for several methods of dyeing cloth with a pattern by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, compressing it, or capping. Some of these methods are known in the West as tie-dye."  

I took a class at the City Quilter here in NYC with Susan - fabulous experience - and here are a few of the before shots of the fabric manipulation before dyeing.  It's labor intensive and takes longer than one might expect, aka don't wait until the night before to start.  The results are really stunning though.  

Photos of the finished product to follow.  

Friday, October 4, 2013

Baby Kimono Sweater

Above is a wee baby sweater that I made as a gift for a co-worker, or rather for his baby girl.  More details about the pattern can be found on Ravelry.  It's a fabulous pattern that I've made many, many times - examples here on my previous blog.  The construction is brilliant, making for an easy fit and

Here are the pants I paired it with from Baby Gap, part of their Diane von Furstenberg collection last Summer. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Paper Pieced Star Block, aka Block Rockin' Week - Zepplin

Just another little paper pieced star courtesy of Julie Wallander Hirt over at 627 Handworks.  This and many more lovely star blocks available on her blog plus a Flickr pool & Instagram group too, so you can see the variety of results that can be achieved.

My ultimate goal is a modern sampler quilt with a few more star blocks plus some graphic patchwork blocks.  My color palette plan is red, brown, all shades of greens, cobalt blue, with a neutral linen fabric included in all blocks.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Paper Pieced Star Block, aka Block Rockin' Week - Morrison

Just a little paper pieced star courtesy of Julie Wallander Hirt over at 627 Handworks.  She posted some really great, free paper pieced patterns on her blog.  There is also a Flickr pool & Instagram group too, so you can see the variety of results that can be achieved.  I'd take a class at City Quilter with the fabulous Judy on working with striped fabric, so incorporated a few stripes. 

My big plan for this little block is a sort of modern sampler quilt for one of my cousins little kiddies (longer term goal is to make quilts for all kiddies of cousins who don't have one yet).  I'll be making a few more stars from Julie's blog as well as a few graphic, basic blocks as well.  My color palette plan is red, brown, all shades of greens, few blues, with a neutral linen fabric included in all blocks.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Manly Scarf - Mistaken Rib Stitch

This scarf was knit on size 8 needles, casting on 47 stitches and knit in a "mistaken rib stitch" throughout.  It's very simple, just knitting and purling.  I used three skeins of Lion Brand Amazing Yarn in Cobblestone, which is self stripe (wonderfully less expensive verison of Noro) and two of a khaki color in Cascade 220 wool.  I love Amazing yarn.  It is half acrylic and half wool, so I like to pair it with a soft natural yarn to cut down on the acrylic-ness a bit. This knit up as a luxuriouly long scarf, could be a great full cowl if the ends were sewn together. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Blues Triangle Quilt with a little Green for Good Measure

My latest work in progress....I have wanted to make a quilt with as many shades of blue as I could get my hands on and also wanted to make a quilt for darling little one year old boy.  So, I added a graphic print and a few shades of green and started a new quilt, one of my favorite things to do. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Hexagon Quilt in Soft Pastels

This quilt started life as part of an experiment in a triangle class with Judy, fabulous teacher, at the City Quilter in NYC.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Blooming Nine Patch Quilt

This is a current work in progress, a Blooming Nine Patch quilt.  I've cheated a bit by making four patch squares instead.  I'm using a hand-dyed fabric in navy & hot pink for the center and also a pink & white fabric dyed by yours truly in a shibori fabric dyeing class at City Quilter in NYC. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Modern String Quilt

Here is a string quilt work in progress (I'm actually finished with this, just a little behind in my blogging, full quilt photo to follow shortly).  This quilt is incredibly fun to make.  It's scrap friendly and making it in the manner that I do - each square as it's own little mini-quilt - allows you to create many tiny quilts in one.  My favorite part of the quilting process is designing a new quilt, picking out the colors and seeing them shine together.  This style of quilt allows that many times over. 

On the right hand side, I'm auditioning colors for additional blocks, seeing if they work well with the quilt thus far.  Basically though, my design process involved using fabrics and colors I loved, so they were bound to work well together.  This was a very free and easy process. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Best Modern Quilt Blogs

Here are my current, favorite, modernesque - if you will - quilting blogs in no particular order.  Most include some lovely sewing and knitting projects as well as quilts.  I like these sites in particular for their creative curiousity and lovely photography.  Please click on the titles to visit their websites.