Friday, March 23, 2018

Island Batik: Try A Technique

Island Batik Ambassadors were asked this month to try a technique.  It didn't have to be a particular size or use a particular line - so the sky was the limit (the fabrics were provided by Island Batik).   I have been quilting a long time, and worked in a quilt store, so I have tried a lot of techniques.  What to do???
In April, while I was still working at Cambridge Quilts, Linda Warren stopped by with her ruler and some patterns.  While I couldn't make a decision for the store to buy it, I liked it enough to by one for me.  The ruler is not very large - pieces will finish either 2" or 4".  The pattern I chose would make a 12" block.  There wasn't a lot of fabric, so I had to be careful
 So, here it is - my new technique is using the ruler called "The Learning Curve".  This ruler is quite fun.  You can get wonderful circles and create wavy borders.  You can find her patterns and her ruler at Linda Warren Designs and also follow her on facebook.
The first order of business was this test block.  I loved the technique and so I chose my fabrics. One thing about me is I never do the easiest pattern first - always the hardest. I did watch one of her videos, too, just to be sure that I knew what I was doing.
Island Batik sent quite a few fabrics, but it is always hard to decide which group to jump in and use.  I figured since we have been in the winter of our discontent with 3 Nor'easters in March, I would do my Nor'easter quilt!   I would use Alpine Ice!  Here is one of the pictures that helped me figure out what I wanted to use.  The middle fabric with snowflakes was a little bluer/brighter than the others so I pulled it. out.  Funny that the background looks much whiter in that picture.

Linda's business card had the setting I used with a kind of gradation of color across it.  I loved the one on her business card but was afraid it would be too busy.  I made one section and loved it!  I tried to group the fabrics to make it work, but mostly, it think it helped the prints be in a little more control.  The other batiks I had were just not going to work, so I decided to go ahead.

It is a good idea to press seams open and use a stiletto.  I never liked pressing seams open, a hard habit to break.  I find myself doing it more and more.  The stiletto really helped control the curved piecing  and no pins were damaged in this exercise. 😉
 There was a lot of trimming.  Her technique has a good way of giving you plenty of help to get those curves nicely done.   Mostly what I liked is that it all really worked well - no puckering - no redoing of seams.  I pressed to the dark batiks and that allowed the pieces to nest well when I got to joining the blocks.  I highly recommend this ruler.  It is a simple easy solution to get some great curves in your blocks!
I chain piece when I can, because why not!

Here is the final quilt!
You can see the quilting on the back, pretty simple as it is a small piece.   I used Hobbs Thermore batting for this quilt (generously provided by them) and I loved the way it behaved.  It is thin but has a bit of loft.  Quite nice! Notice there are triangles I used for hanging smaller pieces.
In case you were wondering what a whole quilt might look like here's an example. I used a program called Layout on my Iphone to do this.   Note, there is a double row that acts differently and interrupts the interlocking circles,  but you get the idea.  If you want to see others, you can go to Linda's facebook page from here.

And a final look!

"The Winter Of My Discontent - 2018"  20.5" x 20.5"
Island Batik fabrics from the Alpine Lace Line
Hobbs Thermore Batting
Machine pieced and quilted

Monday, March 19, 2018

#365DaysOf ArtPBQChallenge - Week 11 - Exercises 71-77

71:  Add shadows to the glass bottles.  Try different ways of drawing them.
I found this one to be fun.  Not sure I found a lot of different ways of drawing them.

72:  Create a design or pattern
I enjoyed this one too.  Did a rather larger design as I had less time than I would have liked, but I found it pretty much fun.

73:  Add trees to this half page.
I took Sherry's approach and did the trunks first this time.  I liked that better.

74:Draw the weather today.
Good thing it was a sunny day with clouds.  The nor'easter this week would have been blank!  I really just gave this a passing sketch - very fast and not really dark enough.

75:Draw something that you have seen today.
OK - I did this Sunday not Friday when we were in Maine.  A bit of the coastline - I am no Winslow Homer-  but I liked doing it.

76.  Draw an object using colored pencils.  Use the background as a mid-tone.  Use light colors to draw the highlights and darker colors to draw the shadows.
I did a strawberry.  I enjoyed this but the lights were hard to get to work. I think this may be my best work this week.

77:  Explore colors that look good together.  Fill in with colors that work well as a group.
Of course, I would like this - whats not to like about working with color for a quilter.

All in all, a pretty good week in the drawing world. I do need to take these pictures as I go and in the daylight.  My apologies.

In my quilting life:
I worked on quilt with a new technique for my #IslandBatikAmbassador as well as working on my OMG - the loon.  I am nearly finished both, so we'll see which I blog about first!

Linking to:  Powered by Quilting #365DaysOfArt

Sunday, March 11, 2018

#365DaysOfArtPBQChallenge Week 10, Exercises 64-70

64:  Continue to add flowers to the meadow:  I enjoyed this, but didn't feel like drawing a lot, should have been using my markers.

65:  Calligraphy practice:  Joining thin and thick strokes in a U:  Finally got a few calligraphy pens.  This was ok, but somehow maybe the wrong letters for me.  Certainly got the hang of it, but drawing U's that way felt artificial.

66: Fill the squares with different marks:  Loved doing this one.  Took some inspiration from things in the room, some from things I have been seeing or think of for quilting patterns.

67:  Complete the pattern:  I enjoyed this.  Used better pens for this, so it was easier, the inner circles got a little harder as I got sloppy with the squares.

68:Using  black fineliner, draw your hand.  I suggest you draw the hand that is drawing. Start by drawing the nib of the pen, then work up:  I rather liked this one, but not the pen.  Its a little off but not bad for drawing with a pen.

69:  Continue creating your own patterns.  Select cool, calming colors:  Adored doing this.  Just having more and more fun with patterns.  Why is that not surprising?

70: Experiment with different art materials to discover what you enjoy using.  Today, use colored pencils to create different marks.  Try using the side of the nib to create broader lines, and blending different colors.  Apply more or less pressure to change the intensity.   This was fun.  I got some other kinds of colored pens, that I can wet with water, and they were used in this exercise.  Really like the overlapping rainbow at the bottom.

Not a bad week - patterns are getting easier, but repetitive tasks sometimes don't engage my thoughts.

Link to:  Powered by Quilting #365DaysOfArt

Friday, March 9, 2018

Squiggle Finish

This quilt was a lot of fun to do.  I did it as a quilt along with Christa Quilts and it is all done.   The schedule was relaxed enough and I took the same break as Christa did, due to getting some Island Batik work done. The pattern is from her book Piece and Quilt with Precuts I think I like for the following reasons:
  • it was not one of my ufo's - so I had no emotional blocks
  • it was a well structured QAL
  • it used up a charm pack I won and, most importantly,
  • it will be a benefit quilt.

I won this group of fat quarters last fall during the Quilt Bloggers Festival.  They are from Moda and called Midnight Garden by 1Canoe2 and I thought they would be perfect for this quilt!  They were paired with a Moda Grunge and it made a great combination.

I used my Sizzix (affliate link - if you buy I get a little commision) for the first time to cut the squares and make the triangles.  It also saved the marking of the many squares.  And, with the leftovers, I cut some 2 1/2" strips.  I loved using it and know it will come in handy.  I don't forsee a huge collection of dies for me, but some of the common sizes or scrap busting sizes I will definitely use (5" square, 2 1/2" triangle,  2 1/2" strips are the basic ones I have now).  

Another fun thing was quilting as Christa did.  I used the squiggles and enjoyed the process.   It definitely is a new go to quilting pattern for me, as is the quilt pattern.

Another part of the fun of this quilt was doing it with a few of my blogging friends.  It was another nice little incentive to getting this done and staying up with the schedule. The participants included:
Wenday @ Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life, Jan @CocoaQuilts and the instigator, Rose @ SomethingRoseMade. [Rose says Jan instigated - no matter - it was fun to do it with 2017 New Quilt Blogger friends!]

Its a great go-to pattern for 5" squares  - I see more of these in my future.  My version measured 46" x 59".  I had a little less fabric than needed, but I made it work!  Thanks, ChristaQuilts for a fun quiltalong!

Linking up with:  Finish It Up Friday
                             Friday Foto Fun
                             Finished or Not Friday
                             Pieceful Sunday

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Snomaggedon or not?

Well,  I don't know if we are getting this much snow or not.  Lot's of dire predictions and cancellations but it seems a slow start.   Well what am I going to do today???

1.  Take Percy for a playdate with the Pointer Sisters (3 chocolate labs in our old neighborhood).
2.  Work on my Island Batik rep sample - sorry no peeking just yet at this fabric collection.
3.  Work on my new technique March sample - trying a few blocks with scraps before I dive in!
4.   Maybe purchase watch some Craftsy classes while there is this awesome deal (affiliate link).  One that I can recommend is  Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting A Sampler.  This expires March 11, but it is a good way to get a bargain class.  I love the classes I have taken and think this is a great way to learn from experts without having to travel!  I realize I have some catching up to do so I am going to pick one and play while I am working.
5.  And maybe finish Squiggles.

Okay, I am officially at too many things for one day, but tomorrow looks good too.
I'll report back later - wish me luck.

Monday, March 5, 2018

#365DaysOfArtPBQChallenge Week 9, Exercises 57-63

#57: Color in the concentric circles:  I liked doing this one, but didn't like  naming the moods. Somehow, I wasn't really feeling it.

#58:  Design a T-shirt:  This was more like practicing a quilting pattern - kind of like it.

#59:  Fill a page with things that are the color yellow:  The yellow wasn't showing up well - didn't float my boat.

#60:  Color in the dots:  I enjoyed this.  Did half in orderly lines and half random.  I don't think the coloring in lines was too successful.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed this one.

#61:  Calligraphy practice - thick lines:  Didn't spend time. Still don't have the pen.  Maybe next week.....

#62:  Color in the waves:  Loved this - was gonna do only blue and green but then just decided to play.

#63:  Fill the opposite page with texts/marks:  I liked doing this one too.  I used seeds in a packet in top left, a knitting marker on right, a paper clip and a business card on the bottom to get the darker lines.

If you haven't joined in - there is plenty of time.  Amazon has the book 365 Days Of Art by Lorna Scobie (not an affiliate) back in stock, so you can jump on the bandwagon! Stop by Sherry's site to see what we are up to.

Linking up with:  Powered by Quilting

Saturday, March 3, 2018

New Goals: OneMonthlyGoal, APQResolution, and 2nd Quarter Goals

April is should be blooming but they are having a hard time here in New England.  Nonetheless, I am commited to setting monthly and quarterly goals and here they are!

First, my One Monthly Goal and APQ UFO Resolution Project for April will be...

For the 2018FALQ2 - Finish along Quarter 2 I will include the above quilt....

Grandmother's flower garden - needs trimming, binding made and sewn on
Rose of Sharon - finish applique, quilt and bind
Typewriter quilt - quilt, binding made and sewn on

Linking up to:  Elm Street Quilts/One Monthly Goal
Elm Street Quilts - One Monthly Goal
She Can Quilt - 2018FALQ2
All People Quilt - Resolution