Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Putting in time

Saturday I found a link in The Quilt Show Newsletter for a method of making four Flying Geese blocks out of one charm square.  I had a package of charm squares that I had won in a small raffle about 2 years ago.  They are all ugly Halloween prints, and have been sitting in my studio, almost daring me to do something with them.  So I thought "What the heck, take a day off, and play".  So I did.  I chained as much as I could, and ended up with 112 Flying Geese blocks. 

 I used black as my background colour, and then hit my stash looking for any colour that would fit into the bright neon-type colours of the prints.  I found a green and a purple, so I'll use those in the sashing, along with more black.  This has been a very good bolt of black, a deep, pure colour, but this is the end of it. I have another bolt but the colour isn't quite as good.  Not that anyone would notice unless the two were side-by-side.  Anyway, all of the blocks, and extra fabric are carefully put away in a project box, for when I get home from the hospital

The quilting project on the hand dyed fabric is done.  I have mixed feelings about it, but read a message from Angela Walters in a recent The Quilt Show newsletter, talking about three things a quilter should never do.  She emphasizes that we should remember what the purpose of the quilt was, and never loose track of that. This quilt was an experiment in trying to design quilting to accent the colours in hand dyed fabric, and as a means of practicing my machine quilting.  Within those requirements, it did the job, and the finished result is what it is--nothing to get excited about.  I decided not to bead it, although I had purchased the beads.  I felt it would be distracting, and would prove far too much work for these old arthritic hands, especially on a piece that won't be leaving home.

The design did not work out well, and I learned several things

  • with LWI dyed fabric the various colour patterns do not flow well enough to support a feather based design
  • choose a design with as little travel stitching as possible.  It will show, especially with a variegated thread.
  • if you want to emphasize the colour  of the dyed fabric, choose your thread very, very carefully.  Variegated thread does not work as well as a neutral.
  • make sure you have enough fabric to use as binding.  Otherwise you will be looking at a facing.
  • unless your machine has perfect tension ( mine doesn't), match your top and bobbin thread for colour
  • I need a lot more practice in turning sharp corners during FMQ'g
  • beading will be a distraction to your fabric colour and stitching design
  • If you  see beautiful quilts with designs that appear to have been chosen to match the colours, you "bet your bootie" the colours were added after the quilting.
I probably won't be back in the studio for a couple of weeks.  Talk to you then.

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