Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Fresh Salsa Flavors

jill here....You may have heard the shopping expression "don't know what I'm looking for but I'll know it when I see it"!  I fell in love with these blue, slightly periwinkle fabrics.  Didn't have a project in mind  but one took shape.  The Salsa block from Quilts du Jour was chosen: five fabrics that were strip pieced to create the block's 4 different variations.  Quick and fun!  A blended outcome is created with the use of less contrast in the fabric choice.

Baby sized Salsa blocks set in a random horizontal setting.
The prints are Tara by Dena for Free Spirit Fabrics.
The multidirectional, overall texture is Tule by Leah Duncan
for Art Gallery Fabrics.
These are the accompaniments adding in a blue geometric
and one yellow green with just a bit more zip.
One of the lighter prints was saved for the back.
The Snack Circuit sample from the book features the block
in solid, modern colors and a very graphic modern setting
The same block presented in two totally different fabrics creates many options.  That's the surprise factor that makes it fun.

Fresh and sweet!

The large scale print surrounded leftover blocks on the backing.

Ready for the perfect baby!

Enjoy the day.  'till next Tuesday....


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Kelp Block finished for DMMQG Bee month 2

Marny here...with the finished Kelp Block for Eva Marie. I am really enjoying the DMMQG Bee! We'll get our next block assigned this Thursday evening. I am curious what it will be. 

Linda (Flourishing Palms), formerly from Des Moines and a founding member of our Modern Quilt Group, commented on my previous Bee post. "How nice to see that you're working on improv... well, a sort of improv. It's what I'm most interested in these days, and what I don't do well. I've learned that it's more difficult to learn improv after dozens of years making planned patterns." 

Thank you Linda (and I think you are too hard on yourself!), now I am thinking about improv and what it means to me. This Kelp block starts with designated strip sets described in the Rossiecrafts tutorial. The cuts and arrangements are up to the quilter. So maybe we could call this one improvisation with defined constraints. 

Improvisation, for me, means designing intuitively, according to my own aesthetic. The end product can't be visualized from the beginning.

In The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters Sherri Lynn Woods says "improv is about exploring, not explaining. It's about finding your own way and making your own decisions through noticing your own preferences and patterns of mind."

Quilt pattern writing has filled Modern Quilt Relish's time for the past six years. It has been about designing beautiful projects that can be sewn step by step, by other quilters. Our patterns and books lead to design exploration, such as the use of value and color in fabric choices, but with the necessary framework provided for completing a particular quilt. 

So this tiny bit of improv is refreshing. Intuitive decision making is liberating. I hope to expand on the bits I've done in the past.  

The completed Kelp block is longer than the 65" requested.
There is extra background sewn to either end.
This way Eva Marie can shift the block a bit to give her some design leeway!

The block was so long I was curious what a panorama photo would yield.
In spite of the typical curved distortion, I really kind of like
the possibilities for future pictures.

My favorite portion of the block.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Kelp Quilt for Month 2 of DMMQG Bee

Marny here...another month of the Des Moines Modern Quilt Group Bee! It is Eva Marie's turn. We are doing the Kelp quilt from a Rossie Hutchinson (a Quilt Market friend) tutorial. Please go here to see the direction we are headed. It is going to be another awesome Bee quilt.

Eva Marie supplied a different white on white for each of us to be used in the background. We supply the kelp fabric. It is supposed be low volume, cream or white, solid or print, BUT, needs to contrast enough with the background to show up.
The fabric on the left is an old Lonni Rossi design I found in my stash.  My white background is a little white twig shape on white. No photograph does it justice. I find a certain symmetry in using Rossi fabrics in a Rossie quilt.

Here are my three strip sets ready to be cut into pieces as described in the RossieCrafts tutorial.

Segments making their way to the design wall.

Eva Marie requested one frame shape (at least) to be included. The directions for the frame shapes are not in the tutorial, but making them is pretty self explanatory. 
I might play a bit with the arrangement as I think through how it might be balanced with the Kelp blocks other members in the Bee are completing.
I hope to make mine a bit longer than the 65" requested so that Eva Marie has a little wiggle room for shifting up and down and trimming to size.

Till then...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

TwoXTwo ISU Design Build at Reiman Garden

jill here....Warm sunny skies welcomed us to Iowa State's Reiman Gardens.  We walked the paths in search of the "Leggo" sculptures, realistic and beautiful in their own right.  It was the "Two X  Two" construction that begged for climbing exploration.  The angles created steps, seating, and intriguing caves...perfect for toddlers' and adults' wonderment. 

Here's the link for information:

Angles and shadows. 

Interesting from any angle.

Go explore! ' 'till next Tuesday.....

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...