Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Karl's quilt: Update

After a bit of construction this morning, I decided to do the math one more time...just so I was good in my head that the path I was sewing down was true (and all of that horse-feather sort of jive).

It turns out I was planning on making an incredibly l-o-n-g quilt, and even though K's bed is an extra long full, the set of rows I had originally planned on was going to be overkill.  So, after scaling it back two rows (in length only), I am happier than I have been in days!  That's right, it means I can do away with 7 of the pieced color blocks, meaning I am only short by nine center squares using the beautiful brown chameleon print.  When I fill in with the lovely substitute brown batik, it won't be as noticeable (hopefully).

Plus, less piecing means I can get to the fun part (ugh) of FHMQ that much sooner.  LOL  I still need to find a decent cream material with a faint print to use on those alternate full blocks, but that should not be too tough.  I have searched through my stash and figured out I will piece very faint white on whites or creams to make the shadow blocks (where the band of color blocks won't be), and use the cream (but NOT muslin) to fill in those pesky large single squares in between all of the others.  And I even hatched a way to use the adorable bug print that has been burning a hole in my imagination for months!

The size of the overall quilt is roughly figured at 73" x 89"...plenty big enough for the boy's bed.  And when he has a son (or daughter) of his own one day, Grandma (me/I) won't have to make them one.  [snicker]

But, I probably will.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A smidgeon of progress

Karl agreed that there should be something else in the quilt mix (color-wise) to make the project pop.  We looked at the squares that had been completed and just didn't feel like there was enough variety in the palette the way it was.

So, we held the chameleons-on-brown up to the brick colored materials in my stash (since that was only one of two colors not included that do appear in the design sample), and we found it just didn't make the "a-ha" needle move on the A-ha-o-graph Spectrometer.  Neither did the lightest blue color that you can pick out very easily in some of the lizards. 

BUT...we did seem to agree that a really vibrant red made us both sit up and take notice when paired with the base material.  See if you agree. 

The decision has been made: red will be added to the quilt, but only in a very minor way.  Three, maybe four pieced blocks will be created using red as the border and added to the top configuration.  Any more than that and it would just be another color - but as a visual spark here and there - a fleeting element...well, then you have a conversation piece for your eyes and your brain.

Geez! now that means I have to cut more 2" squares!  Yikes!! [smacking forehead with palm]

Monday, June 21, 2010

Do the math

Lesson #2 - Do the Math

Always do the math...I don't know what I was thinking. 

I knew there were to be a huge number of 2" squares for the borders of the pieced blocks, but I never did that math.  Neither did I figure how much yardage to plan on for the centers of those pieced squares.

Then there's the yardage of something to place in between the pieced blocks (something cream in nature I think, but not muslin).  I wasn't too concerned with that selection (I'm still not). I thought I would tackle it when I was ready to begin piecing the rows, but it is never too early to actually have your materials in the same area code, you know?

I didn't do the math.  Twit!  I was so happy to have found a vendor from whom to buy more of that cute chameleon print, but I never took 20 seconds to figure out that if I only cut nine center pieces from the first fat quarter I had (and I needed just under 60 pieces to finish the top), much would I need overall to complete each of the pieced blocks?

As it turns out, I need 1.5 yards to make the top completely of the woggly-eyed chameleons, or else I would have to substitute something in its place to complete the top as planned (or, as close to the plan as possible).  Disappointing.  Fortunately I have some beautiful batik to swap in for the rest of the piecing - but I am going to miss those lil lizards.

Do the math!

59 pieced blocks (each of those made up of 16 - 2" squares and one 5"+ square)

 59 x 16 = 944 smallest piece
                 59 medium squares
                 58 large plain squares (alternate blocks)
             1061 Total (not including any borders, backing, binding, etc)

Do the math.

I still have some cutting to do (of the colored prints as well), to get to the point where I can finish the pieced blocks.  Holy crap! do I ever have some cutting to do.  The blocks are going together fairly quickly, so it is only a matter of time before it starts to look like something, but here are some samples of the pieced blocks.  Tell me what you think.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

It arrived!!

I am holding, in my hot little hands (it is warm in these here parts), the material I ordered to finish Karl's quilt! Yea and huzzah!!

The brown fabric with the charming, woggly-eyed chameleons (or some such) is here. After paying Hell and wreaking havoc on my time, I managed to hunt down an on-line vendor who actually had the material still in stock. The chances were slim, but I am a persistant f***** (sorry if that offends.)

Anyhow, the material is here, and it's a good thing, too, since I had already cut out WAY too many 2 and 1/8" squares with which to construct the main square for the overall design. [I believe there is a straight jacket and private padded room for me somewhere.] Now, I simply need to locate an appropriate alternate full square material to use between the pieced blocks...maybe tomorrow I will post a photo of what it is I am after, and see if anyone can help me locate enough of it to assemble the quilt top. It doesn't HAVE to be this specific material...just something that looks amazingly like it.

Tomorrow is going to be a rather constructive day - one way or another.

;^) Thanks.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Probably should stick to the orig'l game plan

I couldn't help myself - I cut out the materials for Karl's quilt today.  Between applying for jobs (and getting one positive response), odd little cleaning fits, making phone calls about the car, performing a little gardening and trying to stay cool, I pre-shrank the materials (that still required it), ironed the creases and wrinkles to a beautiful state of non-existance, grabbed a rotary cutter and made like a mad woman for the better part of the afternoon.  What you see pictured here are the results.

I now need to commit myself to a pattern of arranging and assembling the smaller blocks around the center squares (random or by color family) before I actually begin to stitch. 

It is looking like "by color family" might be the winner in this particular tug of war, by the way, since laying them out randomly was looking pretty scary. 

What do you think?  In my head, this was a great color scheme, predicated by Karl's desire for jewel tones, but I am beginning to rethink it.

Oh, yeah, the "original game plan" was to NOT begin anything new until I had finished one or two items from the old pile first.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Long time, no quilt

As luck would have it, I managed to get busy with class, then 'stuff' (from the last week-and-a-half of May thru early June)...and then I cut a finger to the point where holding/using a pencil was impossible for marking up a quilt (let alone stretching and pin-basting).  So, needless to say (funny how we use that expression, when we are really pointing out an obvious and needful point, that most people would miss if we didn't say it to get their attention pointed to the obvious), I was not able to do anything quiltwise for the last few weeks!


I finished the border on the Snail Trail and finished construction of the backing, but without the ability to get anything new cut out, or to be able to mark up the orange and brown Snail Trail until I can grip a pencil or a rotary cutter, I decided to concentrate on another completely different type of project.

Well, no......I guess it isn't so much "completely different" since it is a quilting thing, but give me a chance!

A dear friend, Jean (thank you, Jean), printed a drawing I had done (quite a while ago) in a rather large scale (at my request), that I managed to get taped together fairly well.  I will use the large paper drawing as the template, tracing the design onto the base fabric and making the pattern pieces from it, too.  I may have mistakenly figured that, being larger, it would be easier to learn the technique and manipulate the corners, etc (with the needle et. al.), than if it was smaller (thinking that would be harder to work with).

Applique is something I have been daydreaming about trying my hand at for quite some time, but figured I would leave it to the experts and just keep on with my own two quilting specialties: block quilting and crazy quilting.  Why add anything else to the mix?  Those two (and the gardening) are enough activities to keep me busy when time allows.  Applique is a technique I thought would be too much to master and would just leave me frustrated (and with something more left unfinished in a corner somewhere).  Like being married.

Anyhow, the finger is looking pretty good, and I am taking the splint off to try and start marking up that orange and brown item today.  Walking by the table in the sewing corner and doing nothing with a needle and thread is driving me crazy!  I've spent a lot of time just staring at my wall of material, and it is really making me blue.  Although, I did manage to narrow down the quilt design choices for Karl's quilt to 2 (maybe 3) contenders, so the material scope (pictured at the top of the entry) can now be incorporated almost entirely!  Wahoo!  And, during this down time I also *think* I came up with a design choice for my next Black and White and Red All Over quilt.  Yup, I see another in the series on the horizon. 

What are you up to?