Michael James could be described as the first extreme quilter. This book, which was published in 1998, is in many quilters’ libraries.
It just so happened that when I bought it at a Guild retreat, I also bought a basket of goodies which I discovered included a magnifier. Anxious to see how well it worked I held it over the book cover (not something I would usually do) and was gobsmacked to see that Michael James did not use only solids in his work. In the older pieces especially there are some pretty tame calicoes that today would likely be relegated to baby quilts or quilt backs, as they’re just not that dynamic. For example follow the fourth orange stripe from the bottom left and see what it’s joined to when the colour change happens!
CHALLENGE – what do you think? Is it harder to use colours you don’t like or prints you don’t like?
For the holiday meeting in December the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild had a mug rug swap.
This is the rug I received fro “Dragon Lady” Laura (it’s the subject of her art not a reference to personality!). Laura doesn’t blog but had enclosed a handwritten note which I thought I’d memorialize here, as a way of easing myself back into blogging without going crazy right off the bat.
Dear fellow Modern Quilt Guild Member
I’ve noticed that the blogs of modern quilters include information about fabric choice and construction considerations. So here goes (in my low tech way 🙂 )
Spool fabric was found on a field trip to the Sunshine Coast. I’m thinking this one was from Carola’s. Right away I knew I wanted to piece improvisationally and add some white to complement the mug. So that I did. Top is quilted with Wonderfil cotton Tutti TU 03, bottom is Aurifil 50 wt 3320.
Hope you enjoy the mug rug with its spools and the heart fabric showing quilting love.
Have an amazing, creative 2015.
Ironically it was Laura who saved my bacon as we were putting our efforts out, because I had completely missed the point that the mugs and rugs were supposed to be wrapped, and Laura came to my rescue with a spare plastic bag.
What was my mug rug like, you ask? Well, erm, I had the best of intentions of taking pix, but with one thing and the other that didn’t happen. However, I took two somewhat stripey fabrics and a triangle ruler which I’ve had for years but never actually used, and put together a hexagon. The mug I chose was white with a real knitted cable knit sweater to keep the contents warm for longer so hopefully the recipient enjoys it!
Check out the inspiration photo and palette at design seeds.
I watched Anne Sullivan’s webinar through the Modern Quilt Guild explaining the concept of Quilt Design a Day and took to heart her reassurance that one can participate without necessarily using a computer program to do it. Although that is something I also do plan to look into!
This was done in two stages
- outline the pieces on quad ruled paper
- trace over onto sketchbook paper and colour
Starting a list of ‘missing colours’ to pick up either markers or perhaps watercolour pencils whenever I’m in an art supply store. This palette also has a light cream that I don’t have anything close to, a very low volume colour.
The colouring was done with oil pastels. The blues and gray reproduced well in the scan but the lilac around the gray in the centre portal is disappointing.
Believe it or not I had my test block from yesterday out and very carefully (as I thought) followed it. But something got lost in translation. Can you spot the non deliberate error?
Yep, I had the red triangle and square sewn together wrong.
There might be all kinds of secondary patterns with these blocks, although not something I’m about to start exploring at this juncture. However knowing me I can bet even if I set out to make a gazillion of either block it would probably spawn a number of deviant blocks despite my best efforts. Could be interesting though if done in three fabrics consistently. You would end up with a scrap effect without actually using scraps (which is usually what I’m doing!)
anyway this block needs to be above all DONE because tonight’s Modern Quilt Guild Victoria meeting at Satin Moon is the deadline.
If the top block doesn’t already have a name I’m thinking Perverted Pinwheel. But maybe it already has a name, does anyone know?
Decided to go with the repeated diamond shapes in the background fabric.
What do you think?
Not wanting to use up all the Kona Cottons I went with the palette I’ve chosen for the next workshop I’m taking, which is Mile-a-Minute, coming up soon, as the supply list says it’s okay to bring orphan blocks. I’m curious to see how similar the method is to building slabs, which I’m still doing.
Some people would have sat down and done their banner block for the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild in under an hour, using the beautiful Kona Cottons Robert Kaufman so generously provided for our fledgling guild. Hmm, yeah, not me …
But at least I’m working on it and keeping all the other balls in the air in my life …
Cardinal, cactus and celestial
Here’s one of the fish blocks for Pirate Girl’s quilt
which I’ll post more about as time goes by.
While making fish blocks, I didn’t actually sew one this way (although I well could have, LOL!)
but it did get me thinking …
except why stop with a plain “background” in the large area?
and for that matter, wouldn’t a little more cardinal be a Good Thing?
What do YOU think? Does this say “modern”?
To mark the inauguration of the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild, Robert Kaufman fabrics has generously donated Kona Cottons to Guild members. We’re getting a total of 3/4 of yard in the colours of our Guild logo designed by Berene Campbell of Happy Sew Lucky.
We are working on our banner and the challenge is for each member to create a six-inch block using the fabrics we’ve been given.
These are arranged from light to dark. I thought had them organized correctly but decided to take a black and white photocopy to double-check. I was close but had the cactus as the third lightest but in fact it’s really the second lightest. At first I had the cardinal as darker than the glacier and then changed my mind.
As all we have to produce is one block each, there will be lots of left over fabric. Hmmm, we may have to have another challenge to do something with those.
So the colours going left to right are:
aqua, cactus, blueberry, cedar, cardinal, glacier, celestial, nightfall
The block I’m thinking about making is a riff on the fish block I’m using for Pirate Girl’s quilt, which is itself a riff on an Ohio Star block. But this block is twisted and will be made in three colours rather than just two.
Of course as I sit here writing this several other twists and possibilities spring to mind. I have worked out to make the edges first and audition the centre once the edges are done. Production would have started this morning but rotary cutters and small kids are not a good combination …
how often has this happened to you?
Well, thanks to modern quilting, this no longer means reverse sewing. This is a modern disappearing 9-patch!
Just slice it into quarters and voila!
You’ll get this ….
then comes the fun part, where you get to play around and come up with all kinds of designs!
And yes, I do realize that eight blocks do not a quilt top make but these are for a Modern Quilt Guild block of the month drawing next month.
All from the simple recipe of five white squares plus two different colour prints in each of two colours, for a total of nine five-inch squares.
Really the one time where you might choose to take a seam ripper to it would be if you places four white squares like a four-patch, because then you’d end up with a seven-inch square of white fabric with seams across it, and why would you want to do that?
This is a fast way to make Andrea Balosky‘s Odd Couple blocks. I know I have her book Transitions: Unlocking the Creative Quilter Within, and I have read and re-read it many times, but right now it’s nowhere to be found, alas!
You can see my first disappearing 9-patch here, which also has a link to a handy YouTube tutorial on how to make it turn out the way you want it to!
I have to wonder whether someone sat down and cudgeled their brains to think up a new block, or whether it was a frustrated quilter who just. didn’t. have. the. energy. to. rip. one. more. seam.
What do you think?
I picked up the challenge package in its plain brown wrapper from Satin Moon.
Everyone gets a fat quarter of a different solid fabric.
Mine is the top custardy yellow here:
How frustrating that this does not at all do justice to the colour.
The rules are simple but a bit fiendish in that we are only allowed to use solid colour fabrics on the top of the quilt, no tone on tone, no batik, no prints.
I have an idea of what I’m going to do and in fact was back at the store a couple of hours later because although I believe in busting stash and using what I have, I’m not going to sacrifice my art because I refuse to go shopping.
In this photo the yellow challenge fabric is on the lower right with the fat quarter I bought this afternoon folded up on top of it. The yellow is closer to real life and the neutral fabric has somehow picked up a blue gray slate tinge (perhaps from the iPhone flash?) that doesn’t do it justice. Really it’s a deep beige. I had quickly auditioned promising solids by bringing them to the store and trying several neutrals that I thought might do.
Now, I have no clue whether this will work or not, but click here to see these colours thanks to the wonders of Kuler.
The yellow and light brown on the left of this colour scheme look close to these two solid fabrics.
Now, off you go to play on Kuler! You know you want to ….
I love that staff at Satin Moon are so caring and supportive and will cut fat quarters of fabric upon request! This is only the first or second time I’ve ever requested them to do this for me.
The quilt has to be ready by mid-October and the winner will be by viewers’ choice, awarded in mid-November. After which I will reveal my process posts, which will stay as drafts until that time.
Up on the design wall, here’s a photo from my iPhone
Same layout, photo from my iPad (which doesn’t have a flash)
The baby for whom this is intended has arrived and is a girl! Not knowing the gender ahead of time, I had hoped to have 12 pink slabs and 12 blue slabs completed. I debated mixing pink and blue but then thought that more negative space might be a good thing.
OVER TO YOU NOW, DEAR READER:
- What’s weird with this layout?
- Which photo is better of the two pink layouts, iPhone or iPad?
There are no right or wrong answers, just your own thoughts, please!
Interested in exploring the modern quilt esthetic. Satin Moon has a modern mini-quilt challenge and I plan to pick up my kit today. It was ALMOST ready to roll on Wednesday but they insisted on keeping it a surprise until the kits were prepared. And the first meeting of the Victoria branch of the Modern Quilt Guild is meeting at Satin Moon next Thursday, so It’ll be interesting to see everyone’s show and share. I may have to organize my slab quilt pix into an album on my iPad since the baby is waiting for her gift!