SIMPLY SOPHISTICATED DESIGN WITH A TASTE OF THE UNEXPECTED.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Creating Focus with a Nod to Nature

Marny here...home again folowing two wonderful weeks in Hawaii! 
A small selection of the numerous June flowers
blooming in a lush garden on Kauai.
Hanging Heliconia
Chartreuse, yellow, red and pink glow in the evening
light against the multitude of greens and browns.
I hope you can see the
fabuous pinks and reds working together!
The flowers grab your attention and pop even though they 
are nestled within the monochromatic background of leaves 
in competing shapes, sizes, and values.
The flower's colors are in contrast to it all.

So one lesson to be learned is a small pop of color on either a monochromatic or analogous background will get attention. 



The pieced large blocks in Supper Club have just a little pop 
of red-orange to add a bit of interest to the overall quilt
and to each individual block. 

Red-orange really pops because it is the complementary 
color to the blue-green analogous color scheme.

Nature shares lots of lessons, we just have to take a peek and learn.
Till Tuesday...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Morsel Maze Followup

jill here...Well it's Tuesday again.  Don't know what happened to the week but I was bent on finishing the wallpaper inspiration.  Visiting granddaughters next week will keep my sewing time to a minimum.  I'll be playing dress up and swimming; a nice trade for warm summer days!

All those little bits looked like morsels
lined up in a maze.

Graphic lines in dappled summer light.


As you can see from last week's post that the block
was symmetrical diagonally.  Three by three blocks
(9 in total) gave me an asymmetrical layout.
Back to the layout board for some changes.

The symmetrical design as it panned out.
Four blocks central in a mirror image,
additional line surrounding that square,
 then 2 blocks split in half to the outside is how the
quilt was finished.

The corners feature three smaller squares.

On the deck rail...

The one leftover block was incorporated
into the back.  It was quartered then arranged
into a design similar to Baby Bites.


 I  wised up and signed one of the blocks as a label; it saved me the time later.  Just had to remember to make sure the placement landed in line with the finished front.

I had lots of ideas for the quilting but when it came down to time, I opted for the familiar.  It's just an over all meander in a very neutral thread.  The binding was the little orange elephants.

Hope you're enjoying summer. 'Till next Tuesday...

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wallpaper Inspiration

jill here...yes, it's Wednesday.  Sometimes I'm a rule breaker!

There's a new baby on our block!  I do have a stash of unfinished quilts but when I saw the nursery, I decided to design anew.  Some leftover Anthology fabric (that we had used for a Torte baby quilt) seemed perfect ...but had to design judiciously.  My recent wallpapering endeavor was my inspiration. 

The recently redecorated bathroom in a taupe/white graphic pattern.
You know, wallpapering is very similar to quilting.  You have to keep the edges straight and plumb.  Each strip is similar to a block.  Patience is the key and eventually, the room was complete.   I took my time over many days (even a week's break) and it didn't go anywhere.  I enjoyed the challenge.

This is a wallpaper close-up with some line analysis.
 The dissection helped decide how to built the block.


Other important questions were proportion of line to negative space, finished block size and ultimately, the sum of blocks to get to an appropriate baby size.


With less than 1/4 yard of many fabrics, the strips were 
cut 1 1/2" or 2" WOF.
They were sewn into 3 different strip sets.
The strip sets were cut 1 1/2" wide.
The completed interior block utilizes an 8 1/2" square of houndstooth background.
 The addition of the strips brings it to 10 1/2".
The "total" block with connecting lines.
I'll post the finished design soon and will share the details.

'Till next Tuesday...

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Des Moines Modern Quilt Bee, Block 1 complete


Marny here...my 15" Bubbles block (block 11 in the pattern) is complete! It feels good to have had a refresher on paper piecing. The first quadrant took MUCH longer than the fourth. Maybe that proves I can still learn.

Leila offered a link to a great video on paper piecing. I'm going to share it here too.


The following is how the video is described on YouTube. "Karen Johnson, of Connecting Threads, teaches you the most common version of Foundation Piecing - usually known as Paper Piecing. Achieve perfect points on tiny blocks with just a few easy tips."
A design wall is very useful for reminding the sewer what needs to be included!

Paper piecing set up. The mat, postcard, Add a Quarter ruler, scissors, 
and unseen rotary cutter are all for moving forward. 
The scotch tape and seam ripper are for those "redo" moments. 
Oddly enough, my most challenging quadrant was my third one. Go figure.
Remember larger needle and tighter stitches!





Pinning to join two paper pieced quadrants. The paper side is pretty
slick against the feed dogs so a little pinning pays off.


I think it turned out really cute! 23 pieces in each quadrant, so 92 pieces in the block. Luckily it didn't seem like that many since there is no precise cutting or challenging piecing and trimming! Can I hear bit of applause for paper piecing.

Till Tuesday...

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Des Moines Modern Quilt Bee, month 1

Marny here...I've joined my very first quilt bee! Our Modern Group within the Des Moines Area Quilt Guild is having a bee! Leila is the first one up. 

She has chosen Bubbles from aylin-nilya. Paper piecing here I come. 

Leila provided these greens to be included in the four blocks
that build into a single 'bubble'.
Here are the low volume backgrounds Leila chose.
My pile of greens to add in as needed.
Low volume (?) backgrounds.
Some might be easier to fit in than others.
I'll share my finished blocks in a week!


In the meantime, here is another "project" I've been working on. I need to sit less.  

I generally get all the steps I need, along with cardio and weightlifting hours every week. But now I am very aware sitting is being compared to smoking in its detrimental effects on your health.  Here is a simple and very readable article on the risks of sitting too much from James Levine at the Mayo Clinic. 

My Fitbit HR keeps track of the 250 steps within an hour, lets you choose which hours you want to monitor, and provides a visual report.

Interestingly, even though I had plenty of steps through the day I didn't reach my target of having the minimum of 250 steps every hour. Trying to reach perfection has made me very aware of time passing with me sitting still.
Of course there are hours you will not be able to take steps; driving, dining out, movies, etc, etc. I am just trying to make myself aware of time passing without my moving. 
Here I took fewer steps overall, but, I managed to get the 250 steps
in each of the 14 hours I monitor.
Do your health a favor and examine your own sitting durations. You might be surprised. I was. You can do it easily with just a watch and a pedometer! Time for me to get moving!

Till Tuesday...

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Color Wheel Construction Follow Up

jill here...  looks like they were having fun ( but I had to coerce them to smile)!  Arranging the colors in a wheel was a bit of a challenge.  Forty eight little color squares can be confusing trying to sort them in hues, tints, tones and shades.  Deductive arranging and relative color matching all played a role in their final placement.  This exercise was devised to have a finished product and to help with color identification. 
Color therapy with grey backgrounds and glue sticks.

From left to right: blue, blue violet, violet and red violet.
The central small square is the hue which is placed on the tint,
then the tone and finally the shade.
These are hard to discern when they are jumbled together.

Another challenge:  red orange, orange and yellow orange
in the tones and shades are subtle differences.

The tones and shades of yellow flow into a green appearance.
No wander green and yellow are so compatible!


Super achiever Janice polished her wheel
before we made it home to Ames.
Some people are so cleaver!



Here's a site you might be interested in : The Craft Industry Alliance.  There is an article on current color trends.   Hope you have a great holiday weekend.  'till next Tuesday!


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Color Wheel Construction

jill here...  Thursday evening were leading a color wheel tutorial for our modern quilt group of the Des Moines Quilt Guild.   I've taught color exploration classes in the past and have a bin of solid "colors".  Although a bit disheveled, with some sorting and pressing, the stockpile came to life. So its a good thing that I'm a saver. Recreating these tints, tones and shades is not an easy task.  It doesn't take a lot of fabric,  just the right color combinations.  

The Blues

This is my color wheel notebook.
Little factoids of color information
are stored within these pages!

Twelve colors sorted with their tints, tones and shades,
cut into little squares, packaged in little sandwich bags.

The blues, ready for Marny to individually sort and bag again.

Once the 48 colors are ready, it's a mixed bag.  The group will have to identify each color and their three components.  There are some surprises.  Then an arrangement on gray background will yield a color wheel for each member's own use.  We'll share some photos of the projects next week.

'till next Tuesday, enjoy the sunshine!