21 Nov

Inspiration Sunday

I almost forgot!! To continue from last Sunday’s inspiration:

From photo…

to sketch…

to quilt…

It’s even got a rainbow, just like the real place (click to see this, and all the photos, bigger):

I like the little sawtoothy triangles too:

I’ve titled the quilt “Kunia Road” because every time I drive this road this is what I see. It’s working title was “the red dirt quilt” because that’s what I wanted to capture most. I even went on a special quest for red dirt fabric. In my stash I had found a small piece of shot red/orange cotton which was looking pretty great, but it wasn’t nearly enough. So, I sent a bit of it to Kathy at Pink Chalk Fabrics and she found a similar cross weave in her shop. Three cheers to Kathy for indulging her customers!

customer fabric matching

And yes, if this quilt looks familiar, it’s because I’ve shown it in progress here, here, here, and here.

27 Mar

Fliegenpilz III (The Latest Mushroom Quilt)

You know when you can’t decide on something and then you ask for someone’s opinion and then are disappointed if they don’t give the answer you wanted and so “poof” you have your answer?

I was hoping that would happen with my mushroom quilt. But, no. It didn’t. Everyone’s help was equally appealing. After much internal debate with me, myself and I, we decided that, although the Fairy Ring was conceptually awesome, the row of mushrooms better showcased the ‘shrooms, and looked a bit more modern. I resigned myself to buying more fabric and took the plunge to actually purchase backing fabric too (it totally cracked me up that the burgundy with green polka dots that was just perfect ended up being a Kaffe Fasset print!).

I did use a strip to separate the mushrooms from the strips — jumbo red ric-rac! It has the necessary contrast, and just the right whimsy to compliment the mushrooms. I mean really, when you are working with wonky polka dot mushrooms, you can’t take yourself too seriously

I almost convinced myself that I should overdye the strippy side just out of curiosity, but I wimped out and cut a bunch of the strips thinner instead. There was a lot of cutting and re-sewing and cutting and re-sewing. There are some sections that I don’t think are as successful as they could be, but it’s destined to be a utilitarian quilt and at some point, I just wanted it done. I kinda wished the near solid was the larger half, but it was the perfect color (and had groovy flowers on it that picked up on the quilt’s whimsy without being too cute) and the shop had a very limited amount. It’s a print from a Christmas kitty collection a year or two ago, so I didn’t feel like going on a quest for more.

The Fairy Ring still lives, but you can’t really see it in the photos. I quilted an arc about six inches wide with red thread where I had intended the ring to be on the original quilt layout. Inside the ring, I quilted free form circles in green and outside the ring I echoed the strips with parallel lines, also in green. It’s subtle, but it’s there in spirit.

I tried a couple of gadgets on this quilt. A column in the latest Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine made light fun of wearing a toilet paper tube as a necklace to facilitate sewing the binding on a quilt. Sure, it looks ridiculous, but man if it isn’t incredibly helpful! Speaking of binding, this is the first quilt I’ve made with rounded corners. For a softer look, it’s great. I think I make pretty good corners, but I sure didn’t miss them this time around. I also used my new (as of Christmas) laser level square both when I blocked the quilt (before binding) and when I squared up the quilt to be bound. How did I ever live without this? Thank you Nadine for turning me on to this indispensable hardware store find!

09 Mar

What Do You Think?

This is a low priority project that I’ve kept setting aside and I finally decided to just do. Ultimately, it should be a quilt for the guest bed we don’t have.

Funny aside: the extra bed we’ve previously had was on loan from the Army as you can borrow basic furniture when living overseas. They don’t loan furniture here in Hawai’i since it is part of the US. However, being stationed in Hawai’i is considered an overseas tour (technically one must go over a sea to get here) and we did what’s called a Consecutive Overseas Tour to get from Germany to here. Go figure.

Anyway, my intention above was to make scrappy mushrooms and piece them as a fairy ring into a scrappy, strippy background. Everything was to be from my stash. Looking at it now, I’m thinking that maybe the ‘shrooms get a little lost and I fully accept that I may have gone overboard on the scrappy background. My solution would be to continue piecing the background strips and then overdye the whole quilt top in a dark green to knock everything back a bit and even out the color. Then I’d add in the fairy ring. This is the same construction I was originally planning, just with the addition of a trip through a bucket of dye before adding the ‘shrooms. My concern with the dye is that the seams will hold more dye and call attention to themselves. I’d be doing a scrunchy type dyeing so complete uniformity is not necessary though.

Before I laid the strips out on my bed, I was concerned that I didn’t have enough strips to finish the top (now unfounded), so I went back to one of my first sketches. What if the ‘shrooms were in a line and the strips were only on one side? I’d have to go buy new fabric for the other side (white blanket in the photo), but maybe then I wouldn’t need to dye the strips — especially if I used them for only about 1/3 of the top instead of the half that it looks like here.

Does anyone have a preference or two cents to add?