Category Archives: Project Finishes

Scrap Dive – Study no. 3 {a finish}

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Idea

A couple of years ago I discovered the Lisson Gallery in New York as I went to see a Carmen Herrera exhibit there. The next show, was Stanley Whitney. I had never heard of him. He is African American artist, and I was fascinated how he played with blocks of color in a very vertical/horizontal grid like fashion. They are such amazing compositions, maximalist with color but minimalist in shapes.

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Design | Create

His pieces are just amazing!! My mind, after seeing this work, could not let go of how to do the same color play in textiles. Around the same time, friends and I were talking about how to use larger scraps of fabric up.

What is a scrap you might ask?
I store most of my fabric, that is a fat quarter or larger, wrapped around comic book boards. Smaller scraps are stored in the white bins you see below. So to me, I consider a large scrap a fat eighth, a scrap that I can still fold nicely but won’t fit around a board.

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Pulling out these larger scraps, I realized they would be perfect to explore color play in a similar way that Stanley Whitney’s pieces speak to me.

I have done three studies exploring color with my scraps. Whitney was the first and I explored this using a similar composition to Stanley Whitney pieces. Stanley, the second exploring more the lack of color with neutral colored scraps and using other fabrics like denim, linens and feed sacks. The third is Scrap Dive – Study no.3.

I always start making each piece by putting the scraps I have on the design wall.  I edit placement and what stays or goes directly on the design wall. The initial pull and layout of Study no. 3 still had the bands of vertical color. It evolved as I wanted to play more with my own layout and explored a quadrant-like composition using a linen scrap to put up the boundaries.

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While this layout you could see the movement from warms to colds, I wanted to really show the movement more around the quilt, almost like a color wheel. I moved things around so each quadrant took on different colors – Reds/Oranges, Reds and Yellows, Greens, and Blues (ROYGBIV). The other thing I found difficult was what to put in the center. I tried adding a variety of prints until I decided on my strip piecing from a class sample I was using.
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The last design decision was the binding. I tried 20-30 different solids and prints to see what would work. Nothing. Then I was looking at recently purchased backing fabric and realized that this crazy colorful Melody Miller print from Ruby Star Society would be perfect.

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Quilt

I put the quilt top away for a while as I had no clue how I was going to quilt it.  Finally deciding on straight lines, I decided to start with a grid of 1/2″ line for the center.
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Each quadrant was then quilted with alternating vertical and horizontal straight lines. The other detail that might be hard to see is within the boundary lines, around the gridded center the lines in the boundaries are just vertical or horizontal. The boundary lines are then gridded where the two color sections are against each other.

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Details

Name : Scrap Dive – Study No. 3
Design:
 Original Design
Fabric: Variety of solid scraps
Backing: Frolic Wide-back, Tula Pink (green)
Binding: Social Bird on a wire, Melody Miller, Ruby Star Society (navy)
Dimensions:
58 x 82 in.
Quilted: 1/2″ Straight line and gridded quilting using Aurifil white #2021(center), cream #2310 (quadrants)

Smaller Projects of 2019

I find I am more creative if I don’t get too bogged down with larger projects. I intersperse smaller projects while making those larger time consuming ones. Last year, a lot of those smaller projects landed up being gifts.

My favorite of the projects, were these vintage wood egg cups that I made into pin cushions. I tried a variety of cushion fillers and in the end used felt balls. I used wood glue to glue in the balls to both the wood cups and these swan ceramic cups (its all I had on hand).

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After sorting through a boat load of fabric and pulling a destash pile out, I found this Lotta Jansdotter print. I was in desperate need for napkin sized placemats for our Bistro table in our sun room. This fabric was perfect with out color scheme. IMG_8687

Lastly for charity, pillow cases were big last year and so super quick and easy to make. Also used yardage which is great if you want ways to use some fabric up. fullsizeoutput_1585

I made more pillow cases for my son, friends kids and these neon pink ones for @wasntquiltinaday who is a pink and cat fan. Loved these fabrics by Sarah Golden.IMG_8921

This year, especially during quarantine the small projects have been the life saver. It feels good finishing stuff and then getting to gift it or use it.

Isolation {a finish}

Idea

Have you ever felt left out, or just on the outside of a group or even cast out? I assume most people at one time or another have felt like that. I have at various times, more than once. This quilt was originally designed based on that feeling of being on the “outs” from a group.

Design

I started the design with an idea of a group people being represented by 10 lines; 9 black (representing the group), 1 red (representing me or the person who was feeling left out). The other big decision I made was on the placement of the red line. Originally, I had the red line to the right but still in alignment with the group of black lines.

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In the end, I moved the red line down 50% and decided to emphasize the mis alignment.

Create

The piecing was relatively simple. I did stitch the Width of Fabric (WOF) black and white strips together before I cut them to size to make it easier and more precise. I used Robert Kaufman Kona cottons for the piece; White, Black and Ruby.

Backing is Moda Fabrics Chicken Wire print. I choose this as it fit the theme of being in prisoned or cordoned off.

Quilt

Since COVID-19 isolation, I have been looking at this unfinished quilt top, and it speaks to me now of self-quarantine and the distance from our friends and family. As a person with Asthma, considered to be in a riskier group (if I catch COVID-19 my symptoms may be more severe), I am realizing I might be here in quarantine for a couple more months.

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These feelings of being into quarantined introduced the idea of ripples and how things effect other elements. I decided to show this effect by using overlapping circular designs around the two groups. The top negative space is then finished with vertical lines and the bottom with horizontal lines, again showing different forces with the direction. All the quilting is 1/2″ lines.

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Finishing this quilt did lift a weight off my shoulders, I did not know needed to be lifted. It was great being able to express yourself through art. The feedback from the community and how people have related has been so wonderful. Thank you all.

Details

Name : Isolation
Design:
 Original Design
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Kona Cottons White, Black, and Ruby
Backing: Moda Fabrics, Chicken wire
Binding: Carolyn Friedlander, Carkai
Dimensions:
34 x 41 in.
Quilted: 1/2″ Circular & Straight line quilting using Aurifil #2021

 

Market Bag {a project finish}

For the longest time, I have wanted to make the market bag from Anna Graham’s book “Handmade Style“. I was at Sewtopia a couple of years ago and my room mate, Corrinna, made one for a gift (and not for me!!). It was so good, which made it a top of list item to make.

Then last year, I decide it was time to make one, as a friend’s birthday was upcoming in June. I had an idea of the outside being AGF denim with scraps for the bands that go round the bag.
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I got the scrappy bands sewn and everything cut out. The project then came to a grinding halt. I finally picked up some leather handles of Anna Graham’s shop, spurring me to getting the bag finished as a Christmas gift for the same friend.

I loved the quilted look with the scrappy bands. It was my first time using leather scraps. Another friend, gave me a lesson on attaching them. There were a couple of small issues in a couple of extra wholes in the lining that I fixed (oops).

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The inside of my bag has some precious and the last of my Anna Maria Horner Canvas butterflies with the amazing Carolyn Friedlander print. I did add lining or interfacing to the pocket (one of those was missing and I thought it needed it).

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I am so happy how this bag turned out!! I managed to meet the Christmas deadline this time and it was well received. Now, I need to make myself one and buy a rivet press.

This was an easy and quick project in the end. High recommend the pattern.

On the angle {a finish}

Just before Christmas, I made a couple of mini quilts as gifts. I have not shared those makes with you yet. One of those quilts was a striking black and white minimal quilt.

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Idea

This quilt was inspired based on a drain cover discovered on our family walk around the neighborhood. I loved the diagonal pattern of lines.

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Design

During the design phase I used those 45 degree lines in the top part of the design. In the drain you have this bar 1/2 way across the lines, giving it a broken line feel. For me, that translated into this break a a random angle with the lines then being distorted back the opposite angle. fullsizeoutput_13c6

Create

The creation was relatively simple, using PBS White solid and black fabric at 1″ unfinished, I stitched 16 pieces together. Making sure the angles were at a 45 degrees I then cut an angle that closely matched the design above. The remaining fabric, I removed the excess lines and added a much larger white section to the stripes for the lower negative space.  I lined up and pined where the lines best connected. Once pinned, I cut the fabric at the appropriate angle and stitched the two pieces together. It was both liberating and a little scary as I did not measure or carefully planned these connections. Luckily, it turned out as expected.

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Quilting

As this was a small piece, I kept the quilting design simple. I stitched about 1/8″ from exhaustion of the stitched lines (both sides of the line). I did not bind the quilt to finish, as the final piece was framed and ready to be hung.

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I swapped this gift for 6 ginger pear galettes from a local baker, Meg. The family loved them. So amazing (including the extra banana pecan bundt cake that was added)!!

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Details

Name : On the Angle
Design:
 Original Design
Fabric: Black & White Painters Palette Solids, Paintbrush studios
Dimensions:
12 x 14 in.
Quilted: Straight line quilting using Aurifil #2021

Book Project: Rotating Spokes {a finish}

I have not given up on my book “Idea. Design. Create. Quilt.” It is just taking more time than expected. I did finish another one of my book projects last year. This table runner, I am calling “Rotating Spokes”.  I love how it looks on our outside table in these pictures.

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This was inspired by an Art Deco style wrought iron balcony rail, I saw in New Orleans. I immediately a design formed, and it is repeated but rotated for each of the circle designs. The fabric choices were also an easy decision. I used:

  • Black Essex Linen (Background Fabric)
  • Recycled Clothes (T-shirts, wool trousers and Corduroy)
  • AGF Denim
  • Kona Cotton (Silver & White)
  • Various yellow prints
  • Various grey prints

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It took me a little while to decide on the quilting. In the end I decided to quilt the circles with 1/2″ straight line quilting. Where the triangles meet at a 90 degree angle, I have lines following the angle and making a crosshatch. The background is quilted in 1″ horizontal lines.IMG_7896

I realized fairly quickly that I did not want the family to spill food on it. So, I moved away from using it as a table runner and it’s found a home above our bed. It is a perfect width across our King size bed.

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This was one of my favorite finishes of the year.

Details

Name : Rotating Spokes
Design:
 Original Design
Fabric: Variety of Prints, Neutral solids, Recycled Clothes and Essex Linen
Binding and Backing: Carolyn Friedlander, Carkai Print
Dimensions:
15.5 x 80 in.
Quilted: Straight line quilting using Aurifil #2021

Squircle {a finish}

Can you believe it is mid-April?? How are you all doing with your isolation / social-distancing/ physical distancing??

Working from home has been interesting, as my work hours seem to have increased and now can be any from 8am-11pm.  Add making sure school schedules are being met, getting 3 meals a day on the table, and baking once a week…all seems overwhelming at times but we are making it through each day.

I have decided to start attaching up on my blog posts of some of my finishes and projects I am working on. I have been awful here on my blog, however those that follow me on instagram (@ml_wilkie) will have seen these. So let’s get started, first up is Squircle.

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Within the first year of quilting I joined the New Bloggers Blog hop. It was so good to meet people with a common interest and starting out on their quilting journeys, and many of them are still friends today. After the Blog hop 12 of us did a block party/swap (Scrap-bee-licious), where each of us gave instructions on our particular month and people made the block and sent them back to the person of the month. I sent every one a couple of Angela Pingel’s book “A Quilters Mixology: Shaking up curved piecing“. I asked for 2 six inch drunkard path blocks in particular color ways (blue or teal or aqua print for the pie and the crust in a neutral back ground (cream, white or grey). It was the first time for many of us sewed curves.

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At the end of the round these were the blocks I received. I was then stuck what to do with them. Do I make a baby quilt, as I don’t have enough blocks for a lap sized quilt? Could I add more drunkard path block? I decided to put them away for a while.

That landed up being almost 5 years later. Finally, I was inspired after seeing an Art Deco poster, that I could use these blocks for a lap sized quilt and transition from a circle to a square.

I am really happy how the quilt top turned out, and decided that I would get it quilted by Cary Quilting Company with an all over design.

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To get a picture of the finished quilt, I called up a couple of friends and we took the quilt out for a photo shoot at the NC Museum of Arts. It was a perfect outing with coffee and lunch, then the perfect light for a picture in front of this amazing mural.

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The quilt now lives with my friend in Houston, TX and her beautiful girl. I might make a couple more of these as they make great gifts/charity quilts and it was a quick make.

Details

Name : Squircle
Design:
 Original Design (with use of Angela Pingel’s templates)
Fabric: Variety of Prints and Neutral solids
Dimensions: 56 x 70 in.
Quilted: Cary Quilting Company using a circular design