Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I Like My Blocks Big and My Palette Subdued

I’m a few dozen projects into my quilt-making career, and I’m still trying to figure out what my style is, what kind of quilts I like to make and design. I know that I gravitate toward quilts that straddle the line between modern and traditional. I also like lots of white. (I recently took a class with Timna Tarr and, when asked what my favorite color was, responded “Kona Snow.” True story.) And I really, really like my blocks and overall quilt designs big.

Here are three examples from the From Bolt to Beauty archives ...

* My Double-Sided Diamond Quilt features 18-inch diamonds.

* Bring On the Dancing Horses boasts even bigger diamonds.

* Obsession, designed by Laura Jane Taylor, is composed of four 40-inch blocks.

Longtime readers may remember my big geese from last year. I designed a quilt of gigantic triangles, some as long as 40 inches. The scrappy look I was striving for didn’t work in such dimensions, however, and I shelved the project.

But I couldn’t get the design out of my head. At the heart of it, this quilt is about shapes, so I set aside prints and color and mocked the design up in grays to emphasize these triangles and their size.

I’m halfway through piecing this project, and it’s been hard to stick with the gray palette. I cut up some precious Catnap prints to insert some color and character into the mix, but it didn’t work. I think I’ll forge ahead with Kona Shadow and Kona Pewter, and complete piecing the blocks in grays before I try to tweak anything again.

What does the subdued gray palette say to you? Do you find it serene (as Kim has been trying to convince me) or boring?!

Linking up to Let’s Bee Social and Needle and Thread Thursday ...

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Friday, September 30, 2016

A Finish for My Foxes

Lately there have been more project starts than finishes here at From Bolt to Beauty. All that is about to change, though.

First up: a finish for my foxes. I started this little-girl-size throw, which I call Foxes and Flowers, over the summer and detailed the rationale behind the fabrics used here.

If you remember that second post, The Anatomy of a Fabric Pull, you’ll notice that as I laid the quilt out, I added more fabrics, especially some purple and cream selections. I also was deliberate with my fabric placement, lining up the higher-value 3½” squares so there appears to be little diagonal lines throughout the quilt.

Most of my quilts are larger throws. I could lay this smaller project out on my dining room table, saving it from a run-in with puppy paws. (To date, my golden retriever has yet to wreck a quilt project. Fingers crossed that that doesn’t change.) Now that I see the final product head-on, I would play around with the block layout; there are too many bold blocks—all those deep purples and bright oranges—toward the bottom of the quilt. Oh, well—I’m over it!

Some simple quilting finished this project off. I followed the seam lines of the 6½” blocks and then quilted some diagonal ones. This process wasn’t as smooth as it should have been. I tempted the tension gods by using different top and bottom threads and quilted under artificial light at night. It wasn’t until the next morning that I realized my tension wasn’t quite right. Unpicking and requilting ensued.

But now she’s done and ready to be gifted. That’s a cause to celebrate in my book.

This was an easy and fun sew and, because it calls for different-size squares, a good way to use up scraps. Check out the pattern details at Stitched in Color.

This is the scene around here now that Foxes and Flowers is wrapped up: I have two quilts (this one and this one) at the long-armer, one almost ready to hand off to another long-armer, and three quilt tops that I’m going to finish myself. That’s a lot of quilt tops, and four of the six are for me. Some selfish sewing? Yes please!

What about you? Have you been sewing for yourself recently? I usually gift almost all of my quilts. It’s about time I grow the number living here at my house.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday, Let’s Bee Social, and Needle and Thread Thursday ...

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

BQF: Obsession Quilt

Hello again! I’d like to present my submission to the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, ROYGBIV category: Obsession.

The final reveal of Obsession was a long time in the making. This project wasn’t difficult to make, but I was determined to use as many scraps as possible. The initial scrap pull was back in November 2014. A second look through my scrap bin, in February 2015, grew my pile of squares for the project. Finally, I resorted to cutting some strips off my yardage, but it was worth it. And this past January, I revealed ...

Obsession, in all of her rainbow-y glory!

This swirly pantograph was the perfect complement to the angles of the design.

This project ate through colored scraps as well as low-volumes.

I trimmed Obsession in a net print from Dear Stella,
which I have in more colorways than I’ll admit to!

Design: Obsession, from Quilt-opedia, by Laura Jane Taylor

Size: 80” by 80”

Quilting: by the talented Garden Gate Quilting

Scrap usage: 400  4½” and 5” squares—woo hoo!

To see my other submission, click here.

To revel in the talent and inspiration of the Blogger’s Quilt Festival and vote for your favorites, visit the event at Amy’s Creative Side.

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