Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Little Helper

Well, here's how I filled that hole in the third side of the Parts Dept. quilt top:

And then it took me the better part of the week to create the fourth side:

Which doesn't sound so bad now but it sure felt like slow going during the week. Of course, the migraines don't help. I still haven't laid out all the blocks around the top to make sure I'm happy with their current placements but that day will come.

Because I haven't felt up to that task but because I had to stitch something I turned to a UFO. This one happened to be a doll. The pattern, some of the fabrics, and the inspiration came in a package from Alma Stoller early in 2010 as far as I an remember.

She's only a little stump doll (meaning she has no legs) about eight inches tall.

Longtime readers may remember the stamped swatch of muslin that crosses her chest:

That was in the package of goodies from Alma. I foundation pieced the scraps of fabric to create the front and back body panels. Her arms are stuffed with a bits of Warm & Natural batting. Then she was whammied by my magic beading needles. ;- )

Even on her back!

Her hair is a bit of fancy trim. I debated whether to leave her face without features, like the Amish do. In the end I used a couple of beads for eyes and a heart sequin for her mouth.

I'm especially pleased with the application of the 'dream' charm.

Since she is part self-portrait and part motivation angel I gave her scissors and something to work on.

All I have to do now is clear off some space near my main work station so she can be nearby to do her job!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

More Block Play

I want to thank everyone for their kind comments on the work I've been showing recently. I'd have posted something new by now but I've been having difficulties with my photo management system. There's probably a simple, logical fix. I just haven't had the mental capacity to deal with computer issues. Let's see what I can dredge up...

I have blocks arranged for three of the four sides of my Parts Dept. quilt, working one side at a time. In spite of the number of 12" blocks I had in my Parts Drawer very few of them actually played nicely together. I've been having to make at least two new blocks per side. They haven't been sewn them together yet in case I feel the need to rearrange them when I can see them all at one time. That's going to have to take place on our living room floor or maybe even in the front yard if the weather holds. ;- )

Apparently I only have pictures of two sides. Here's one:

And here's the other:

Hmm, there's a hole in that side that I have since filled. Guess you'll have to wait and see what I put in there! Maybe I can get my photos sorted out so you don't have to wait forever to see my progress. I've made another whole quilt you haven't seen any particle of yet too. It was a gift and has been given so now I can make it public. :- ) I just have to find an easier way to access the pictures!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Rippit, Rippit

For those to whom it matters, this is a photo heavy post.

Once I had the 12" Lego blocks arranged to my satisfaction I started auditioning Bow Tie blocks to surround the square flimsy. Setting them straight was just too static.

So then I tried alternating them to create a scallop effect:

That held possibilities! I could have kept to one color family per side but decided to mix 'em up a bit more.

In a burst of energy and enthusiasm I put 6" Churn Dash blocks in the corners and sewed the borders to the flimsy.

The next morning I found I wasn't exactly happy with the way this looked. Those Churn Dash blocks were just too small and wimpy up against the Bow Ties. I dug around in my Parts Drawer and found some 7.5" blocks to try as cornerstones:

Better. But in order to use those I'd have to take off the Bow Ties and add 1.5" all the way around the Lego block flimsy. {sigh} I decided I would do that if I could find an appropriate print. Otherwise I would leave it as is.

First thing the next morning my seam ripper and I were hard at work.

rippit, rippit!

It was worth it in the end:

Now I'm auditioning 12" blocks for the final round to create a full/double bed quilt top.

In spite of all the blocks that size in my Parts Dept. I'm having to make some new ones. Not everything in the Parts Drawer plays nicely together. ;- )

Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Quilt From the The Parts Department

Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran changed my life when they introduced the concept of a Parts Department in their collaborative quilt books. My favorite part of quilt making is probably making blocks. Well, that and the challenge of using what's on hand rather than buying fabric specifically for a project.

As a result I now have a drawer chock full of blocks and units in various sizes. I also have strips of varying widths and lengths, most of which are hanging in my studio closet. Not too long ago I spent some time making six inch liberated log cabin blocks out of the shortest of the 2.5" strips.

I put them up on the design wall as I trimmed them to size but wasn't moved to do more with them at the time. They ended up in the Parts Drawer.

Meanwhile, the shortest two inch scrap strips continued to accumulate in their little basket until it was mounded and dripping. So I finally sat down with them to make twelve inch "Lego" blocks using the Jelly Roll Race technique. Now look at the basket!

There might be enough bits left for one more 12" block but I don't need one more right now. FYI, I sewed the two inch strips together end to end until I had a single strip just over 100" long and then folded that strip over and sewed it to itself three times (to make 8 rows per block) to get a square large enough to comfortably trim to 12.5."

These are the blocks as they were finished, also haphazard on the design wall:

This batch of blocks and the wildfires burning homes to the ground in eastern Washington have motivated me to begin a new quilt to donate to someone who now has nothing to call their own. I will be donating the finished product through Jean over at Layers of Hope Quilting 911. I'm shooting for a double/full size top. These blocks will get me halfway there!