Design Challenge: cutting a quilt

Although we are still in the midst of the Colourburst challenge, my mother and I had a meeting recently and decided on a second quilt challenge.

The challenge is to transform a quilt, through cutting and sewing, into a different useful object; for instance a piece of clothing, a bag, or an upholstered item.

This is pretty exciting, what’s coming immediately to my mind is folding the quilted fabric so that it becomes a freestanding article. I suspect my mother is planning a quilted jacket.  I’ll have to do something outstanding to compete with Mom, and I also want to keep my plans secret before the unveiling.

The two of us didn’t set a deadline, but I propose February 28, 2018. If anyone has some good ideas, or would like to join in the challenge, let me know. I’ll post pictures at the beginning of March.

Grey Wolf Baby Quilt

This quilt was done as a commission, which is unusual for me. My client asked for a baby quilt for a boy in shades of grey with a wolf motif.

For my birthday I received a selection of gorgeous grey fabrics that have related feather designs. I’m working on a lap quilt using these fabrics but decided to set some aside for the commissioned project.

I used a hit and miss design for the blocks with 3 inch by 6 inch rectangles arranged randomly. The quilt is 7 blocks by 16 in total. I searched the internet for a one line wolf image to use for some of the blocks, then drew the design freehand on a sheet of paper and transferred it to the quilt top using a temporary light box and a gel pen designed specifically for marking quilts.

I quite enjoyed quilting over the lines to create the 7 wolves; I think they look beautiful.

Also for my birthday I received the book East Meets West Quilts by Patricia Belyea. In the book I read about the concept of “The Unexpected Visitor” (a surprise visitor that makes the party even better than the hostess planned) in quilting. It’s something I have done intuitively in quilt design before, but I tried to incorporate an unexpected visitor consciously this time. Can you find it?

OK, I’d better tell you – it’s the plain very dark grey blocks, there are just four of them, and I really like they way they offset the other coordinated fabrics. I thought of doing something more wild and exciting (lime green is my excitement go-to) ; maybe next time!

I chose a scrappy binding, and a bright one-piece backing with a large-scale grey floral to ensure the quilt is lively as well as having an overall calming effect.

Springtime Baby Blanket

I took a weaving class at the Art Gallery of Burlington, in between getting ready for various Christmas bazaars, as well as my own family Christmas. It seems like forever since I completed a large project.

I chose to weave the “Springtime” pattern from Tom Knisely’s book “Handwoven Baby Blankets“, but chose my own colours at Camilla Valley Farm. Don’t you just love the peacock against the dark purple?

The baby blanket is woven in 4/8 cotton, and is a plain weave that is more about exciting colour than complex structure. It’s a lovely weight and drape, and of course very washable and durable. A good project to build my confidence on the four shaft loom.

Our Christmas theme this year is “Second Hand or Handmade”, so this is great! I ended up with three beautiful handwoven baby blankets: one for my grandson, and one for each of my two nephews born earlier this year.

Breadcrumbs

I wanted to design a hooked rug with a realistic looking bird. My daughter suggested a pigeon, and it was a great choice because they are such distinctive colourful birds with their own attitude. I wanted to somehow represent breadcrumbs that the bird would like to eat, but worried small flecks would disappear in the saturated background. That’s why I went with the border of circles, using colours from the pigeon in random order.

Isn’t it funny that pigeons have red eyes? They also have large pink or orange feet, but I used some artistic license.

Anyway, the rug is mat size – 19 x 25 inches, but I’m not sure I can bear to use it as a rug considering the number of hours that went into hooking it. I may want to hook a seagull next.

Flying Geese With Rainbow

Once again I was attracted to that stack of fabric chosen for the Colourburst challenge. I wanted to see what a colour array of flying geese would be like against the dark grey background. Initially, I planned to have just the one strip of flying geese and use the dark grey for the rest of the quilt. But when I started putting it together, that seemed too stark for a baby quilt so I added the three long strips of green, blue and purple. For some reason, even though there are orange triangles in the flying geese array, a long orange strip didn’t look nice so I left it out.

The flying geese units are 5 inches by 2 3/4 inches, and the quilt measures 34 by 35 inches. I quilted feathers on the wide grey strips, ocean waves on the coloured strips, and quilted in the ditch for the flying geese.

I am so pleased with the outcome and looking forward to using flying geese again, and also continuing to work with this beautiful set of colours.

Colourburst Challenge

Both my mother and I were admiring the Colourburst lap quilt in the book By the Block by Siobahn Rogers. The two of us decided upon a quilt challenge: each of us will design and create a queen-size quilt based on the Colourburst pattern. We agreed that both quilts will be professionally quilted, so the challenge is about the design and colour, rather than the quilting. The deadline for completion is January 31, 2018. Results will be posted after that on this blog.

In the meantime, we had a meeting and did some fabric swapping. Once I had that stack of glorious colour in front of me, I decided to do a prototype in crib-size format. I love the bright colours and how they contrast with the dark grey background, and it was exceptionally easy to piece the quilt top. I used a bead curtain free motion quilting pattern to finish it off. I wanted some curves to offset all the straight lines and right angles, and the circles to echo the print features.

Doing the prototype did give me some ideas for the final challenge version: in the purple and orange sections, the larger scale prints really liven up the quilt top, while the green and blue sections are pretty, but less lively. I plan to comb through my stash again for prints, and possibly shop for additional fabric as well. The requirements for each fabric are incredibly small – just one 4 1/2 inch wide strip of each.

If you would like to duplicate the crib-size version pictured here, I used 2 3/4 inch strips. The blocks are built with a Courthouse Steps configuration rather than a Log Cabin.

Doll Quilt Collection

Last week I was overwhelmed by an insatiable urge to use leftover fabric and scraps to make doll quilts. It’s still going on, I am working on doll quilt number 14 at the moment. There is something very satisfying about seeing the scrap pile dwindle away, while at the same time completing tiny perfect doll quilts. As I work, I can’t help but imagine the tea parties that dolls will be able to have on these quilts, and the lovely beds they will be able to sleep in. This is also an excellent opportunity to practice my free motion quilting on small manageable projects, and overall therapeutic.

Recently, my insatiable sewing urge has expanded into felt dolls, and I am trying to perfect a simple felt doll pattern. The felt is so easy to work with – no fraying, and I am using my stash of novelty fabrics, stripes and polka dots for the doll dresses.