Sunday 29 July 2018

exploration in subtle

My "quilt receipe" for this quilt top was to have a simple colour palette of just a few peach, pink and mint prints . . . with lots of low volume fabrics . . . making sure the darkest fabrics went in the centre of each block . . . and of course, to go scrappy. A simple quilt can be the most pretty sometimes, don't you think?

There's been a lot of interest in using low volume fabrics lately. I know these fabrics as maybe called pastels, lights, background fabrics, or neutrals - print fabrics that are "light" in colour.

We all have different fabrics in our stashes, are you like me and tend to {unwittenly} buy mainly medium value? After a little stash-diving, I found an assortment of scrappy low volumes for this quilt. Mine all tend to be mainly white based, pale but not dull, some busy some not so. They seem to give a soft subtle feel with just a little merging of boundaries to my quilt top.

I've loved playing with these subtle colours and exploring the different light & dark values from my stash! As I progressed, it was clear that 'contrast', however subtle, was the key and really, the colour of a fabric is not known until it is actually playing up beside it's neighbour!

Close up, things aren't too obvious,
this is a quilt best veiwed from a distance to get the full effect . . .

Here's the links to a couple of recent posts about using low volumes -
Blair from wisecrafthandmade, where my initial inspiration came from

I'd love to hear your thoughts about working playing with low volumes too.

Monday 23 July 2018

it's slowly growing on me

Here's a few progress pics of my values quilt . . .

hm-m-m- I need a bit more pink I think

Loving this mix of peach & pink with the mint. Three of my blocks are not actually joined together yet, they are just in place up on the design wall. I'll leave them like that until I've made all the other blocks, and they can be altered if the colours look a little unbalanced, or the light:dark ratio gets too lost.

Yes, it is slowly growing on me, and only a few more blocks to go.
I don't know about you though, but I do get a little bored making all the HST's . . .

. . . So-o-o- I've been plotting & planning my next quilty detour
Have you seen these wonderful EPP blocks, 'brimfieldawakening'
It ticks all the my boxes just now - slow stitching, live to be creative, modern quilting, handmade
and so, I've ordered my brimfieldawakening pattern from here

Linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here
and with Beth for 'Monday making' over here

Monday 16 July 2018

a values quilt

My oh my, I've been missing sewing lately. We've got into a nice routine now with the three little ones, and it's great to be involved & helping. And, I have done a little sewing since we upped our childcare days, like stitching bindings down, but it's not quite the same.
So I've decided I really need to make time to sew on my 'free' days, just slip away to my sewing room for a few hours to work play with something. anything.

This quilt is a great way to use up leftovers, scraps, etc from previous projects. It's totally inspired from a quilt in this book by WiseCraftQuilts. Another 'values' quilt has been on my 'quilts to make' list for quite a long time now, one where the HST's have more of a rhythmic layout rather than being randomly scattered, (see here for my previous efforts). I'm not wanting to go too large, hm-m-m- unless I get really carried away of course!

Lots of 4 1/2" squares and lots of HSTs in an assortment of light, medium and dark prints to create contrast. The darks and lights together will create a sharp “high contrast” however, with the mediums mixed in too, I'm hoping they will give my design a softer feel, easing that jump in contrast. I'm aiming for an overall gently muted look to this quilt, #lowvolumelove.

As I was making up the first block, I worked out a rough colour scheme to make things a bit easier - a peach, mint, pink and grey combo. This is how I tend to start a lot of things, a lot of the time (and I'm sure many others do too), with no real plan, just pop stuff up on the design wall that might work together, narrow things down a little, and from then on it's fingers crossed!

oops, I can see one little block in the wrong place, can you too?
. . . better fix that up before I start sewing them all together.
Linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here at quiltingismorefunthanhousework

Have a good week, Linda

Monday 9 July 2018

finally finished

This quilt was probably one of my oldest unfinished projects. It was lurking in the depths of the wardrobe for ages and resurfaced after the "big move". I started it way back in 2007 following a Kaffe class and now it's finally finished! I used Kaffe's 'snowball' pattern, he's made a few versions thru'out his many books. I had it professionally quilted in an all-over scroll pattern. Finished quilt measures approx. 63" x 52". All bound now & off to it's new home . . .

Linking up this week to 'moving it forward' here at emsscrapbag

Sunday 8 July 2018

slow stitching on a Sunday

This is one quilt that had a mind of it's own all. the. way. I started out with one single thought - that I wanted a piece of bold floral in the middle, and would work outwards from there. I made it up as I went along, hoping each additional border went on ok. And, in the end it all went well according to NO plan! That's improv I guess, yes?

A little while ago I had this quilt machine quilted by Sandy Mayo in an all-over floral pattern. The centre block is a lovely 'Outback Wife' fabric and as I was adding on the binding this afternoon . . .

. . . I suddenly remembered that I was going to add a little extra something to the centre. So for my 'slow stitching' today, I gave Kantha style stitching a go, the simplest stitch in the book! It's a bit hard to capture in a photo but here's a few pics to give you an idea of the texture. 

I came across this comment recently from here -
"Modern quilting is NOT just about clean lines, solid fabrics and negative space! 
It also embraces gorgeous modern prints and is a mindset which embraces ancient arts 
such as #kanthastitching with modern fabrics!" 

Not sure what the thinking is about the 'modern' debate these days
. . . I just make what I love making, and I have to say, I'm hooked on kantha stitching
Linking up with 'slow Sunday stitching' here at kathysquilts

Friday 6 July 2018

throwback Thursday

It's fun now & then to look back and see quilts I made earlier, in my pre-blogging days, to reflect back and see how my quilting 'style' has changed over time.
In 2007 I attended my first Kaffe class here in NZ. It was an eye opener for me, a new way of working. We threw all our squares up on the design wall, working fast and thinking later.

There was alot to take in at the workshop, lots to learn, and everyone's quilts all looking the same yet different was interesting. As is his way, towards the end of the workshop, Kaffe went around the class discussing everyone's efforts. I seem to recall him talking about 'pops of spring colour' when he came to my one.

Once we had a good amount of squares up on the wall, I must have missed the part where we then needed to carefully consider where each piece went and how to make the most of the pattern. I can see now that I didn't have anywhere near enough variation in the depth and saturation of colour, just not enough contrast happening to keep my quilt interesting.
And, I guess I didn't have the confidence or knowledge of what I was doing 'wrong' back then to keep going, to keep experimenting.

While blue has always been my 'go to' colour, the mockup I made in class that day never, ever really gelled with me. All I remember was feeling frustrated that things weren't working well and thinking it wasn't all as easy as it looked.

And so I started over again completely. I went back to Kaffe's book and made a similar version from there, thinking "I want to make one just like that". So much safer to let the professionals do the work, yes? (they are so good at it too). And, I'm more of a pattern follower than a pattern maker!

Fast forward to now, (and if you follow my blog) you will see that I'm a bit more adventurous with mixing fabrics and colours these days, striking out with my own colour combos a bit more, and after lots of trial & error, I'm a bit more relaxed about everything going according to NO plan.

So while this quilt didn't end up at all how I first imagined,
it will always symbolise a special learning time for me.

It's been all quilted for a long time now and I really must get it finished soon.
I am going to make one small change though . . .
 I plan to cut off all that wide brown floral border and simply bind with some hot pink!

Linking up with Sandra here at mmmquilts for 'throwback Thursday'

Sunday 1 July 2018

landslide quilt

I'm currently working on a string quilt. It's a scrappy quilt (of course) but with a limited colour palette of coral, peach, pinks and a few black & whites for a little 'pop' of interest, along with a healthy dose of low volumes. I downloaded the pattern called 'Landslide quilt' by Melanie from southerncharmquilts

Lots & lots of scrappy horizontal strip sets, then lots of diagonally cut wonky improv blocks. However, as indicated in the pattern, this method did create quite a lot of waste.
So, what started out as a quick and easy sew this weekend, ended up taking some time 'cos I couldn't bear to not use the leftovers. I sat in the sun one afternoon with my quick-un-pick, and did a spot of unpicking. Then I resewed all the little bits into new blocks my way, fast, effective & used up most of those little leftover strips. 

Keen to see how things were looking, I put a bundle of blocks up on the design wall
I didn't stress over placement, just made sure everything was going in the same direction. 

It was looking just a bit too samey-samey to me and was borderline being trashed
tossed into the 'spare parts' basket,
so I tried adding in a smidgen gold & blue and made up a few more blocks . . .

. . . a lovely blending of vintage & fresh
Linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' over here at quiltingismorefunthanhousework

And if you are interested, 
here's the link to the vintage quilt that initially inspired Melanie to make this pattern, here