It looks a bit wonky in this photo. I am going to draw a square on the flannel the same size as the top – so that I can block it before adding the wider outer border.
I measured the width across the middle and cut the strips accordingly. I had a lot of easing to do – because all of the blocks on the edges are on the bias. I handled the blocks as gently as possible when joining and pressing them – but there is no way you can avoid a bit of stretching. If I can be sure that the top is square at this stage it should be square after the outer border is added.
I finally got it ironed – took untold hours which I spread out over several days because it was so boring. I am pleased to report it turned out nice and smooth and flat. Trimmed the edges and now I am attaching the fourth strip of the inner border. The sun is shining through the top hanging off the ironing board and it looks like a stained glass window – but unfortunately it didn’t show up in the picture.
I have to trim the edges, add the inner and outer borders and piece the backing and then it is off to my long arm quilter in Connecticut.
But first I have to press it. That is the stumbling block – the reason I have put off finishing this quilt. I pressed all the blocks exactly the same way as I was making them. But when I started joining the rows I forgot to pay attention to how the seams were pressed – I just picked them up at random. Now the seams are going every which way and it will be very difficult to sort out. I’ll just have to do the best I can – even if each one isn’t perfect – I am sure it will lie flat.
My main project right now is joining the 100 octagon blocks. I haven’t been doing much sewing recently – but I did manage to join them into 5 rows of 20 blocks – only 4 more seams to go! I already have the fabric for the inner border, the outer border and the backing. This is going to be my entry in Quitfest Jacksonville 2012. Maybe another one too (Alabama Beauty or Patchwork Of The Crosses) if I can get my act together.
I’d almost forgotten how many projects I have in the works. Most of them have the fabric selected – awaiting printing and cutting.
The 25 completed Patchwork Of The Crosses blocks aren’t up on the wall – I am trying not to handle them anymore than necessary because the background is white – aside from the fact that they wouldn’t fit!
Here is a close up of the Drunkard’s Path blocks. Ten blocks down 90 more to go! It’s going to be 10 blocks by 10 blocks – just like the octagons. This was an experiment – I wanted to use up lots of 5″ charm squares of hand dyes and Kaffes. I really like it – it’s also one of my husband David’s favorites – but he’s color blind (red/green.) Humm… wonder what that means?
I have been messing with this all morning. Unless I get some fantastic suggestions I think I am going to go with this arrangement. With maybe a small tweak or two before I take them down off the wall.
The way I arrive at the final arrangement is fairly complex. First I try and distribute the various colors evenly. This turned out to have three main types of fabric: multicolor fabrics with black backgrounds, browns/yellow ochres, and blues.
Then I look at the value. A black and white photo helps with this stage. As you can see from the B&W picture above the values are very much the same – really only darks and mediums – with some accents of light in some of the prints – not the whole block.
Next step is the fabric pattern – I try to evenly distribute the large florals, the small prints, the geometrics and fabrics of the same design in different colorways.
Of course you run into problems at this stage – for example – moving a floral away from another floral will undoubtedly mess up the previous color or value arrangement.
Once those parameters are as good as they are going to get then the gut reaction is allowed to take over and the fine tuning begins. This goes on for as long as I need it to. My design wall is opposite my sofa and coffee table and I sit and sew and watch TV and look at it off and on – often jumping up to move something.
All of this sounds like I have a plan when I first start pulling the fabrics for a new project – I don’t! The only thing I pre-plan is the overall look of the quilt – brights, darks, pastels, etc. This one surprised me – when all of the blocks were up on the wall together it had a very exotic look that I hadn’t noticed when I was working on the individual blocks. I am calling it “Tropical Nights.”
I like ordering fabric in bundles – like “Kaffe Summer 2011″ – in the different colorways – then I get fabrics I would not have chosen individually. I don’t want all pretty fabrics – some ugly weirdos make the quit more interesting.
I just placed an order to Glorious Color for the border fabric. Brandon Mably Aurora Black and the backing is Brandon’s Dapple Regal (the octagon three over and five down from the left – the black and purple dots.)
This is not going to be easy – I like this one too. Overall a lighter look than the red. Opinions?
When these were all up on the wall together for the first time I thought they looked vaguely Asian – although I didn’t use any Asian fabrics – only Kaffes and Co. Deep red, a color I had not considered, is a possibility for the joiner squares and a one inch inner border – what do you think?
These have been finished for awhile but I never got around to putting them all up on the wall and taking a photograph. They are a breeze to do – with Inklingo of course. I still haven’t had a chance to audition batiks for the joiner squares. I was thinking turquoise – but maybe fuschia or mustard yellow – or even orange?
Not in the final order since I have 29 more to do. I am very pleased with the way they are turning out. Still thinking of turquoise for the connecting squares – but I will have to try out several options before I decide.
A departure from my ultra brights – I tried to use all my darkest Kaffes – staying away from fuschia, lime green, bright orange and yellow. For some reason it has sort of an Asian look to me.