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.