Monday, August 23, 2010

Piecing and Layering

I feel like I've been making so much progress on my Kaffe Quilt that the blog isn't keeping up! Let me then give you two blog posts in one:

Part One
Things were far enough along that I felt like I could shop for binding fabric and batting this past weekend! With the new job, this has to be done on weekends now so even though I wasn't quite done piecing I went back to my favourite LQS on Saturday. (Besides, fabric shopping is just fun!)

I tried a number of fabrics. I found a great red that would have followed traditional ideas of having the border pull out main colours from the middle of the quilt. But it didn't do much for me. I tried some bright teals and turquoises because there's quite a bit of that in the red fabric. But they didn't do much either.

Then I tried some dark navies with a little purple, and that started things clicking. The one you see above was the best and I felt like it really made the dark blue in the red squares pop and did its job as a binding to visually hold everything together. Anchor it or frame it. However you want to think of it, I thought it did it.

Once I had the binding, I thought of the backing. I was pretty sure I was going to stripe the back according to the pieces I'm quilting. (I'm quilting this in sections a la Marti Michell--have I mentioned that?) I settled on using two fabrics and using the same one for the top and bottom stripe and a contrasting one for the middle.

Since the binding fabric was so different than the quilt body, I thought the back may as well match the binding, not the front. And so I ended up with:
Although the top picture didn't have quite enough purple in the blue,
this one definitely has too much purple.

The one on the left is just darling, and I bought lots of it! With these fabrics on the back, the quilt will be quite reversible and I dare say there will be people who prefer this side than the one I consider the "front"!

Then it was "work before play" as I washed, dried and ironed the fabrics before I could use them.

Part Two

I finished piecing!! I got over (that is, corrected) all of my piecing errors which I bemoaned last time. And then laid the sections over the couch to make double sure I had all the squares in the right place.
(Since last time, I've "lost" my studio as the dining room is now housing the kitchen as the kitchen is being demolished. Yes, I know, what a great time to start a quilt!!)

I have split up the quilt for piecing into three sections: the top and bottom are made up of four horizontal rows and the middle section is three rows. I thought this nice easy linear quilt pattern would make a nice test run on some of Marti's ideas of quilting in sections. If I were quilting all in straight lines, this would be no problem to run through at full size, but I'm not. And I wanted to try sections, just to see how I like it. If I do, I think it would really help to make quilting a whole quilt into more manageable chunks for me.

Once the piecing was done, it was time to lay it out and pin. I used our "new" [make shift] counter in the dining room cum kitchen. Backing on the bottom, then the batting (which I pre-shrunk as well--I'm really going all out on this quilt!), and then the top.

And then a lot of pins:
I actually ran out on the last section, but I got enough in to hold it together until I finish with the other sections.

Now it's time for some practice runs. I bought thread while I was at the quilt shop. Red for the red squares. Dark yellow for the yellow squares and a single colour for the bobbin that matches the colours of back fabrics. I hope to piece a square or two of leftovers to practise on and maybe they can turn into a pillow. Or maybe they'll just be practice.

I have to remind myself that to get good at something, you have to use a lot of paint. Or fabric. Or ink. Or wood. Or whatever medium you use for your craft. Doodling is not wasted if it's practice for art. And that's what I'll be doing on my fabric: doodling.

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