Category Archives: Journey

Home {a finish}

What do you do when some of your favorite clothes are no longer useable due to wear? This quilt started as my favorite New Zealand t-shirt (red with map of NZ and the word “Home” on it), two striped t-shirts that I associated with my mum, and my favorite work trousers (a pair of woolen plaid trousers) had holes and had worn thin in places that could not be mended.

I really did not want to part with these four items, in particular. I don’t know why but I had an emotional attachment to these pieces of clothing but I did. I had been following Sherri Lynn Wood and her artist in residence program at Recology in San Fransisco, where she focused on reusing fabric that had been thrown out. Watching her work develop, made me realize I could reuse these clothes in a quilt, and hang onto them forever.

Close-up of fabric selections + my Home t-shirt

I added corduroy’s and a rugby shirt as well into the mix. As I was cutting my clothes up and looking at placement, I really wanted to have the a balanced composition. I found as I placed and auditioned fabric on my design wall, I needed to include more negative space. I really enjoyed the final placement and happy with the mix of solid fabrics (or ones that read as solid), stripes, prints and text fabrics and then the light, medium and dark tones of the fabric. I think the word home is placed well too, towards the bottom and really happy its offset than in the middle. It helps you move from top to bottom and then back up again as you look at the details.

Note: most of the t-shirt’s I used Pellon 911F interfacing to stabilize the shirts before cutting and piecing, making that process much easier.

Once I felt the top complete, I was so excited about the quilting (which is not normal for me as this is my least favorite part of quilting). I decided to do some of my usual straight line work but also experiment with some of Jacquie Gering’s Walk & Walk 2.0 designs.

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Example of straight line and grid quilting work.
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Experimenting with Crosshatch mash-up (pg. 46 Walk)
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Experimenting with Four Corner Radiating (pg. 52 Walk)

Finally to finish up the quilt, I auditioned several bindings and this Cotton + Steel dot print landed up being the best red and framed the quilt well.

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Details

Name : Home
Design:
 Original Design
Fabric: Variety of up-cycled clothing and scraps of Kona Cotton
Binding: Cotton + Steel, Kicks, Cleats Red
Backing:
 Moda, Zen Chic, Modern Backgrounds Paper
Dimensions: 30″ x 35″
Quilted: With 50wt Aurifil #2021, using domestic machine walking foot, straight lines.

Orange Creamsicle {a finish}

As QuiltCon Together approaches (02/18/2021) I thought I would share this quilt that made it into the virtual show but had not made it onto my blog so far. 

Say hello to Orange Creamsicle. Orange Creamsicle started with a single block that I had hoped would be a great compliment to the rest of the Sunday Best blocks.

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To be honest the block just didn’t really work with the rest of quilt. Yes, that became the start to Orange Creamsicle.

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I introduced some limits to this quilt after the first block, as I really wanted to try making a quilt top without modern equipment. I wanted to see what it was like for women of the past who made quilts.  Those limits included:

  • Limited color palette (pinks, oranges, yellows, red, purple – a warm color palette)
  • All fabric was cut with scissors (typically scissors less that 4″ so they could travel on the plane)
  • All blocks with hand pieced. Stitched up by hand.
  • The drunkard path blocks were roughly 6″ finished. They again were squared up using scissors.

If any block did not measure 6″ finished I used filler strips. A design decision was made to introduce aqua into these strips to give the eye somewhere to rest. 

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I really enjoyed this project. Much of it was done on work trips or on vacation. I remember stitching blocks in Germany while visiting my husband’s family and in Olympic National Park as we drove from sight to sight.  The best thing is I learned a lot about hand piecing that I had not known before.

  • Back stitch, 2-3 stitches at the beginning and end of your lines instead of using notes.
  • Stay stitch across each seam for stabilization and then also every 1-1 1/2 inches.
  • Mark a 1/4 ” line so your stitch lines are relatively straight.
  • Stitch multiple stitches at a time with your needle. You will get straighter and more consistent stitching.
  • I used a 10 needle and 50wt aurifil thread which worked well for just piecing.
  • Next time I will match my thread to the fabric palette and use a warm color (like orange). I used white as that is what I had on hand. You will see your stitches as they are larger than what you get with a sewing machine.

While visiting my family in New Zealand I laid out the blocks for determining final layout. Once I thought the balance of colors were right the rows of the tip were hand stitched together.  The limits of mostly handwork made this perfect for a traveling quilt project.

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I decided to give this quilt a little something else and pieced the back from scraps. The scraps were in the same color palette as the front but were all prints. They were mostly pieced in a column like fashion, again using improvisation. I was really pleased with how many of my favorite prints were in my scrap bin that made it into the back and shocked to see how much of my scraps were still in the storage jars, after I had finished.

Early on I had made a decision to use match stick quilting with a variety of warm colors. I also wanted to add a few hand quilted lines with a 28 wt thread. It was my first time hand quilting since taking a class with Season at QuiltCon (S.d.evans). I started in the middle and laid down the first few lines….and then this quilt stopped progressing.

Thankfully, I had a fire lit to try and finish some of my WiPs in the middle of 2020 (while in quarantine. Orange Creamsicle made the list.   I have no idea why it took so long to get back to it, as it did not take long to finish. The quilting added an amazing amount of texture. There is also a guarantee, with this many quilting lines, these blocks will never fall apart.

Binding was an easy decision, it was which ever orange solid color that I had a 1/2 yard of. I also used the aqua for the bottom right corner as I love that line at the bottom there and it would almost have disappeared if orange was used.

I am really pleased with how this turned out. I did do a little happy dance as this one came off the machine.

Details

Name : Orange Creamsicle 
Design:
 Original Design
Fabric: Kona Cotton (Variety of warm colors + ? )
Binding: Kona Cotton
Backing:
 Various Print Fabric scraps
Dimensions: 36 x 48 in.
Quilted: With 50wt Aurifil , using domestic machine walking foot, straight lines matchstitck + 28wt Aurifil hand quilted.

The Quilting {Quilt Journey Part II}

In the previous post, I walked through my process of creating the three tops I created while playing with color. In this post let’s take one of those quilts, Whitney, and talk about choosing quilting design.

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Whitney is a 4 x 4 grid design, (4 columns x 4 rows). I consider these columns as a red (1), green (2), yellow (3) and blue (4) column if you read it from left to right.

Quilt Designs

I started the quilting with the yellow column, which provides almost a consistent stripe down the quilt. I feel this is where the eye not only rests but also helps move you between the rows. To keep that consistency, I choose to quilt vertical straight 1/2″ lines down the quilt within the yellow areas. I did not quilt across the row separators.

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So, thinking about the other three columns, I decided on quilting each quadrant with one of four designs in a matching thread color. From top to bottom in the blue column are the following designs:

  1. Uneven Grid – This design is from Jacquie Gering’s book Walk. I quilted this at a ~1/4″ for the thin lines and 1/2″ for the wide lines as I have marks on my walking foot to make these distances easier.
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  2. The Crosshatch Diamond Mix – Another design from Jacquie Gering’s book Walk, and one of favorite designs. It is worth the effort of stitching the same space 4 times. I created the straight grid first at 1″ x 2″, then added the diagonal lines.
  3. Simple Grid – I love the texture and look of a simple 1/2″ grid so that is the third design within the blue.
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  4. Simple Diagonal Grid – Turning the simple grid on a 45 degree angle to give a great diamond texture on the last quadrant. The 1/2″ lines gives amazing texture on this navy blue and stripe. Note: I lightened up the picture to see the lines easier.
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These are the 4 designs I plan to also use on the red and green areas but I plan to shift them down. For example, the green column, from top to bottom, will be simple diagonal grid, uneven grid, crosshatch diamonds, simple grid; the red will be simple grid, simple diagonal grid, uneven grid, crosshatch diamonds.

Once these are complete, that leaves just the strips (that are acting as row separators) to quilt. I plan to try adding a couple of rows of these diamond shapes that are in Jacquie Gering’s Walk 2.0 book.
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Tools

I do use a few tools when I quilt, especially with all these straight lines.

Of course, my walking foot is the busiest tool and I could not quilt without it. I like my Janome walking foot as the edge of the foot gives me a natural 1/2″ distance which is the main reason most of my lines are 1/2″.

To check my lines are straight, I regularly (every 5-10 lines) place masking tape (painters tape) down and use it as a guide to make any corrections needed.

My new tool, is the clover chalk pen, which I use for marking. I used it to mark each of the diagonal lines and the 1 x 2″ grid for the crosshatch diamonds. Caution: I use the white and it just rubs off and works well. I tried the yellow and found that it did not work well and required washing and light scrubbing with fingers to get it out.
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As you can see in this last photo, I do bury threads, so next post will be a tutorial on burying threads and tools I have tried and what I use now.

If you want to know something else let me know in the comments and I can add it to a future post or answer it below.