It should of course be still looking more like this.........
.......as I work towards the summer quilt intended for our bed. The sewing is not difficult and I can tackle it bit by bit when energy allows but the laying out is what takes the longest - and it had been the same (ish) view for quite a while. I had made a resolution to finish the top before I started anything new. (But I know from experience that resolutions and me don't mix.)
Alas the next shiny new thing came along and all that changed (at least temporarily). That shiny new thing largely revolves around the work of New Yorker Victoria Findlay Wolfe and her books which I first mentioned in posts here '15 Minutes of Play' and here 'Double Wedding Ring Quilts' . I also saw two programs on Nancy Zieman's show 'Sewing with Nancy' ( see under videos 2015) and by then my appetite was well and truly whetted....... There are direct links to these programs on Victoria's website where you will also find a link to her blog Bumble Beans Inc. (You can subscribe to her newsletter and be advised by email when there is a new post). The other site she established and moderates is based on her 15 Minutes of Play book and ideas. If you subscribe to The Quilt Show (with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims) you will find another program there based on 15 Minutes of Play - Program Number 1404. And of course you can follow her on Instagram (search for victoriafindlaywolfe) and twitter etc if you use them......(Is this beginning to sound like stalking? I hope not - but do yourself a favour and have a peek.......)
This is now what it looks like beside my sewing machine as I construct circles from the the cutouts I saved from a drunkards path block I used in a quilt I made for my sister a couple of years ago (back tray) and as I cobble together pink fabrics for another project I have decided on as a gift for some very important people currently in my life. (The colour is probably a clue.)
|I'm using (my take on) Nancy Zieman's method for making circles to applique .......|
|......and I have to say for this purpose it seems to work well......|
Another project using the concept of play is the first of several planned dog quilts / floor mats....they may not all be made but it's a way to use up hoarded scraps and try out sewing and design techniques where I can concentrate on the process. I don't know any dogs who will complainn about mistakes in the sewing.
This is all part of one of her challenges to use what you have on hand - scraps, old clothing etc.......
|Improv blocks (yes they are meant to be wonky) using offcuts of chintz curtain fabric given to me YEARS ago in a big bag of remnants) and flannel leftovers from finished quilts.|
|Working out borders on the design wall....|
|The finished quilt top.......|
A couple of new treats also arrived in the mail to add spice to the mix.....
|This traditional version by Shelly Pagliai of 'Prairie Moon Quilts' is just beautiful........|
However, whilst I have a newly engaged daughter it is unlikey to appeal to her, though something like this one might......
|Yes, you guessed it again - Victoria Findlay Wolfe........|
Inspired by this quilt below of Victoria's - A Summer's Day - from her Double Wedding Ring Quilts book (and also explained in the videos) by this stage I had to try out a test block with whatever was on hand before I burst.
Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of it on its own but you'll get the idea.
Some of the 'made' fabrics under construction for my gift quilt......
|(And I do mean whatever....) A little wonky but I learned a lot in the process.|
At the same time I was given a bag of fabric by my quilting friend who was clearing her stash of flannels and fabrics from the French General range, (bits of projects she knew she would never finish, including this large block and quite a few improv pieced blocks as well as some larger pieces of fabric).....that set the challenge in motion.
|This large block will become the centre piece of a new medallion quilt|
|Testing fabric for sashing strips........|
|Some of the blocks in the bag......(along with the charcoal piece)|
|Testing the piece on point.|
|One of the large pieces - the birds will become the focal point of the new blocks.|
|The other large piece....|
|Pattern traced and cut out to try a single block using 'made' fabric and old jeans - another test piece......|
|My quilt design inspired by Victoria's...........|
|The first cut was the scariest.......|
|Keeping the pieces in order.......|
|Sashing strips sewn in.......|
|A test flower - I intend to applique one in each of the main corners - probably buds on the others....|
|Coming from this book which I've had for years but not yet used - I knew its moment to shine would eventually come.......|
|Looking something like this. The circles are made and ready to become flowers.|
|A bit of close 'stash interrogation' revealed fabrics from the same company squirreled away and others that might work with them if required.|
|Leading to this basket of stuff in preparation of starting in earnest when the template set I ordered arrives....|
These will be cut to fit the shape I will applique to the quilt......
|Centre piece for single large ring under constrution....|
Along with several other baskets and tubs of WIPs (Works in Progress) the rocks on this landscape are ALMOST ready to be fused on and stitched.
Under my enforced grounding I have also been keeping myself amused (and educated) with online classes - mainly from Craftsy.com, including one by Aussie quilter Sarah Fielke - Big Techniques from Small Scraps - largely based on her most recent book below. (Which I have also had for some time and is now exactly what I need at this particular time.)
And, as Craftsy is having a sale I bought two new classes this morning. Would you believe it - one of them is about Double Wedding Ring Quilts?.......Of course you would.
Progress may not be swift but bits and pieces are happening- and it's actually less chaotic than it might sound.
Off to view Lesson 1,