Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Lucy Boston Progress

I have completed 11 more Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses blocks. Here they are ensemble:
And here's a closer look, starting with the most tradition constructions -- four different fabrics arranged in sets of four on the inside and sets of eight on the outside ring.
I fell in love with these gnomes, especially the fishers! They were the perfect scale for these honeycomb pieces and were spread out on the fabric so I could cut just one. How handy!

Peter Rabbit characters -- how am I supposed to resist these little fabrics? You can see these rabbits weren't spread as far apart as the gnomes so the pieces aren't quite so "clean", but it works.

Blue and orange and pink - oh my! I really love the pink/purple circles fabric. It has a lot of very useful colour combinations in it.

I pulled out these three fabrics because I saw a similar funny orange colour in them.
I can't imagine using them all together in a quilt that would use larger pieces, but I think this block works:
The block above and below are less traditional in that they use the same fabric for all the pieces in the outer ring. They weren't cut from the same part of the fabric though, so they still look like different pieces.

I had the pieces for the outer ring of the block below for quite a while before I found fabrics to go with them.

The next block uses the same fabric (and fussy cuts) for the blocks in the middle, and the same fabric, but different cuts for the outer ring. I made pairs of sheep, hens, cows and pigs, but even the pairs aren't identical to each other.

In the following block, there is a middle ring formed by using the same fabric for those pieces. I had this fenced village put together for quite a while before I found the right creatures to live in the "village square" in the middle. :)

My most recent block put together some Eiffel Towers. The towers are formed by fussy cutting and pattern matching three different honeycomb pieces.
While cutting out the fabric and basting them to the papers, I made sure to mark them in sets (A-D) because there was no guarantee the top of one tower would match with the bottom pieces of another set.
It was some very customized fussy cutting. I gave myself a break by making the rest of the pieces non-pattern matching!

I really liked some Tula Pink fabric with snails on it and did a similar pattern matching over three honeycomb pieces. But you can see I arranged the rest of the block quite differently:
Finding the purple and greens to go with it was a happy accident of having a ridiculous amount of fabric out at the same time.

Finally, I can show you a new spiral block design. The first uses some Cotton and Steel fabric with squirrel tails and a grey text fabric. (I call this "squirrel swirls". :) )
For the next one, I had the idea to do a primary colour gradient. First thing I did was go through all of my fabrics (scraps, fat quarters, and full yardage) and cut a honeycomb from any fabric in the right colour that read mostly as a solid or tonal.  FYI, that took a really long time.
Then I arranged them from light to dark. (I can't imagin why there are so many more reds than any other colour!) Then I pulled out six fabrics that made a nice gradient from light to dark.
Here is the final block:
I really like the softer look of the solids/tonals. The spirals are not quite as obvious, but it's still an interesting block.

And here are all the sewn blocks so far:
That's 29 out of 56. I have five more ready to sew and a couple more that are partially designed.

I can't sew quite as much as I would like because my left wrist is acting up. (It doesn't like gripping the pieces together for such long periods.) If you have any ergonomic suggestions for me, please let me know!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Star Light, Diamond Bright Quilt

Last time you saw this quilt (here on this blog) was in January when I finished the top.
I had been following a longarm quilter on Instagram and was impressed with his work. (You can check him out at @quiltingbydavid.) He lives and works in St. Joseph, Missouri, and it turns out we were going to Missouri in February.

It was about a two-hour detour, but I thought it was worth it to drop off my quilt instead of mailing it. We got to meet David and take a tour of his workspace at his home. He had just gotten a second longarm machine in November and was able to keep both of them busy.

I had already picked a pattern from his website (quiltingbydavid.com) and before the day was done, he had texted that it was done and asking if he should wait to mail it so that it wouldn't get to our house before we did! And his prices can't be beat either. :)

It was really fun to see my quilt come up in his IG feed.

The only mishap was that I didn't realize he would trim the quilt. He did and that meant I couldn't do the extra wide binding that I was planning to do. He didn't do anything wrong and I'm sure most people are thrilled to have it done for them, but it was a lesson for me to explicitly mention it next time I have plans for any special handling of the edge.

I chose an all-over interlocking diamond pattern. David did a great job of lining up the stitched diamonds with the diamond pattern of the fabric. They're not the same angle, but he lined them up along the whole length and width of the quilt. I had noticed in his IG feed that there were never issues of patterns wandering off on a funny angle or not being lined up with the quilt pieces, and that's why I trusted him to do this quilt for me.
I let him choose the thread colour because I couldn't decide on one and thought, given all of his experience, he would know what would work (and what he had in stock). I did know I wanted a solid and not a variegated. He went with a nice lilac which I think worked great.

This was the first time I "quilted by check" (as opposed to "by hand" or "by machine") and I would definitely send more quilts to David if I want an all-over design.

When I found this purple batik with orange circles, I thought it would be perfect for this quilt. The plan was to make it quite a bit wider so that it wouldn't get so lost in the busy-ness of the quilt and could actually frame the diamonds. But it looks fine and certainly is perfectly functional.

For the back, I pieced together some fabric I had on hand. The larger pieces were used for diamonds on the front. And then I added a vertical strip of diamonds that were leftover from the front.
I added a new blue batik fabric on the sides to fill in around the diamond points.

Here is the finished quilt:
The final size is about 62" x 84", a good sized single (twin) with a little extra length.

The final step was to make a label. I ironed some freezer paper to the back of a white cotton and wrote on it with fabric markers. (The freezer paper stabilizes the fabric so you can write on it. You peel it off once it's done.)
Of course I did it in the shape of a diamond and bordered it like the rest of the blocks.

I was able to deliver the quilt in May when I was home for a wedding. It didn't work out to give the quilt directly to the recipient though, so I left it with her parents. Long story short, they had to wait a couple days to give it to her, but finally her mother couldn't wait any longer. (They guessed what was in the box, but hadn't seen it yet.)

So even though she came home from school tired out from field day and looking for a shower, her mother said she had to do it right then. :)
I'd say she appears pleased. :)

May I suggest?

I Say! or at least I did once...