Quilter’s Color Quest: 2. Seasons

Quilter's color quest.pngHum! Seasonal colours… Should be pretty obvs, right? Not to me, partly through trying this exercise right after lock-down was announced when my mind was distracted by the conflicts between ‘old normal’ and ‘new reality’ and partly ‘cos I do find playing with colour just plain hard! Which is, of course, why I am working through these Quilter’s Color Quest challenges.

As I started shuffling through the swatches from Rachel Hauser’s book, ‘Quilter’s Field Guide to Color’, I found myself going all indecisive: a season may have a color palette but that surely varies with the weather conditions and time of day? For instance my initial picks for Spring were very much coloured (ha!ha!) by the bright sunny weather we enjoyed most of last week: Bright blue sky, bright yellow daffodils, deep purple crocus, lush green grass… Not the softer pastel colours I’ve learned to associate with Spring. And that’s another thing! What about our learned expectations of seasonal colour? Deep greens and berry reds initially came to my mind when thinking, ‘Winter = Christmas’ but then my thoughts went to the beautiful, subtle colours of a Winter dawn: pale peachy-pink skies, frosty landscapes, a bit of mist…

Anyway! Above is my pick of color swatches for each season: the challenge was to pick a blue, a pink, a green, a neutral, a yellow, a purple, a red and an orange for each of the seasons. You can probably tell I was in a bit of trouble!

I felt happier using a few of my swatches from each season to chose fabrics for the Bear Paw blocks. Some of the fabrics are not perfect matches but I think they are fair representations of the colours I had in mind.

Still not sure anyone would instantly be able to differentiate between my Spring and Summer Bear Paws but hopefully the Autumn and Winter blocks speak for themselves ๐Ÿ™‚ The Winter Bear Paw is my favourite.

My Word for 2020 icon by Allison ReidThe next Quilter’s Color Quest challenge involves colour and emotion. I’m already feeling tense :-O I am definitely exercising my word of the year, GROW, with this project!

Linking with Susan and friends for Midweek Makers and I’ll post photos of my seasonal Bear Paw blocks on Instagram @allisonreid.neweverymorning using the hashtags #quilterscolorquest and #stitchedincolor and #quiltersfieldguidetocolor ๐Ÿ™‚

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (98)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your projects and share in the inspiration to be found in the company of the Worldwide Quilting Community ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s a comments box at the bottom of this page if you’d like to add anything to what you discover as you click on the links below.

Read moreSaturday Quilting Bring and Share (98)

Patchwork Mug Rugs – a quick tutorial

In preparation for the Two Ways to Build a Log Cabin workshop I thought I’d have a go at a third Log Cabin technique: Wonky Log Cabin blocks.

Guided by Jackie White’s instructions in her chapter of the book ‘I love Log Cabins‘ I set to; diving into my boxes of fabric strips (I know! More scrap fabrics!). The boxes were stuffed so full that taking the lids off was like activating a Jack-In-The-Box ๐Ÿ˜€

It took about twelve strips of fabrics ranging from 1″ to 3″ wide to make each of the blocks. Here they are before I trimmed them……

….. and after I trimmed them to 6ยผ” square…

I used the no-binding method to make the blocks into mug rugs:

First layer a quilt sandwich:

  • Place the batting on a flat surface. (I used two pieces of cotton batting so the mug rugs would give a bit of protection to table tops, you could of course use an insulating batting).
  • Onto the batting lay the backing fabric, right side facing up (I found some cotton flannel to use as backing).
  • Then lay the patchwork block on top of the backing, right side facing down.
  • Smooth the fabrics flat and use a few basting pins to stop the layers shifting as you sew.

Next stitch the layers together:

  • Using good quality thread stitch a seam ยผ” inside the edge of the patchwork block.
  • Leave a gap in the seam about 2ยฝ” wide. Strengthen the seam either side of the gap with backing stitches.
Sorry it’s a bit hard to see.. The seam is stitched on the light blue fabric and the threads show the gap in the seam.
  • Cut away the excess backing and wadding fabrics up to the edge of the patchwork block. Tip: I leave about ยผ” of excess fabric alongside the gap in the seam – this makes it easier to tuck the fabrics in when it comes to stitching the gap closed. Cut across the corners being careful not to snip the stitching.

  • Use the gap in the seam to turn the Mug Rug layers inside out. Push out the corners with a blunt tool.

Finishing the Mug Rug:

  • Close the gap in the seam by hand stitching or by machine.
  • Roll the edges of the Mug Rug with your fingers to flatten them and then pin.
  • Stitch a line of quilting stitches about ยผ” – ยฝ” from the edge of the Mug Rug to keep the layers in place.
  • Add further quilting as desired.

I had time to test out a Mug Rug before packing it and the other four along with my class notes and demonstration materials ready for the workshop tomorrow. ๐Ÿ™‚

Linking with Susan for Midweek Makers and Kelly for Needle and Thread Thursday.

Allison

Improv Free Motion Quilting and a Missing UFO

My Word for 2020 icon by Allison Reid

I am so happy with the progress I made at Jo Westfoot’s ‘Mix It Up Improv Free Motion Quilting Class‘. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve dabbled in the past but you know I have a love-hate relationship with free motion quilting. In a recent blog post I went as far as to call it a battle! Anyway, in the spirit of GROW (my word for 2020) I booked myself onto the class. I’m so glad I did.

Jo took as through quilting a series of motifs and filler designs with plenty of time to sit at our machines and give them a go. I particularly enjoyed stitching out the whimsical flowers.

My fat quarter practice sandwich – an afternoons work!

Since the class I’ve tried designing and stitching my own flower motifs. Doing that is a clear indication that my attitude to FMQ has shifted, I now have a ‘can do’ attitude rather than getting bogged down in the fear of spoiling a patchwork with my imperfect quilting. No doubt there will be occasions in the future when theย  ‘mind monkey’ chatter will stop me in my tracks BUT at least I do now have my practice sandwich to wave at them!

When I booked the class I had in mind a long abandoned UFO which has some large setting triangles, ideal for decorating with improv FMQ. Last week I went looking for that UFO. Could I find it? Uh!Uh! I looked through boxes of fabric, partially finished projects, class samples…. I dragged more boxes out from under beds… No sign of the quilt top *sigh* I repeated the hunt. I was getting a bit anxious: What if this UFO was stashed away with a whole lot of other UFOs that I had completely forgotten about?! Still no sign of the quilt top! A few days later I tried again. This time I armed myself with a torch and lay myself flat on the floor next to each of the beds in the house. Success! Pushed way to the back of a space I found the quilt top, in a plastic box and *phew* it was on it’s own.

I am ashamed to admit that the eight 12″ blocks date back to Amy Gibson‘s 2016 ‘Sugar Block’ BOM series on her blog stitcherydickorydock! The large block is older – a sample for sofa cushions that were never made. The fabrics are fabulous, such gorgeous deep, rich colours. Actually, looking at the blocks I’m quite impressed with them. Thanks to Amy’s clear instructions I managed to negotiate some fairly complex cutting and piecing including my first attempts at Foundation Paper Piecing.

I’ve had to search through the Gallery section on my phone to discover that it was September 2018 when I cut sashing strips and stitched the top together. And then I guess I was gripped by fear of FMQ and relegated the project to a box and the dust under our bed. Please don’t judge me – I’m sure I have dusted under our bed at least once since Sept 2018… And since then just forgotten about the UFO lurking there.

There are a few projects in the queue that I need to work on before I I can turn to quilting this re-discovered UFO but thanks to the skills learned and practised at the workshop I now feel excited by improv FMQ rather than fearful.

Have you worked through a fear/can’t do attitude to gain a patchwork quilting skill?

Allison