30 October 2018

Improv Block Design Experiments, 'Uneven Thirds'

Finished 'coaster' blocks on the left. Six improv blocks sewn together for table topper.

'Uneven Thirds' table topper turned vertically.

Hello from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.
The temperatures are cooler this week, staying around the 70's.

This week I worked on experiments. I was in an experimental mood!
I made some improv small blocks a while ago and then added to the number last week. At first I was going to turn them all into coasters or mug rugs but then I thought some would look good sewn together for a table topper to go with the coasters.

I designed the first block by doodling in my sketch book. I wanted a block divided in uneven thirds, vertically.
And so I pieced it together from the sketch, in a liberated manner. Three vertical strips, first from the left, from the top; orange, lt. grey, turquoise. The middle strip, yellow green, Kona cotton solid, Wasabi. And the last strip on the right, turquoise, egg shell, set of three colors and dark grey. It was fun to stay within the 'boundaries' and yet keep hold of liberated piecing.

That's last week's experiments, from the rancho. 
Where I'm remembering to be thankful.

Stop in to visit me @ crazyvictoriana.blogspot.com. 
I'll be by to visit you soon and catch up on your adventures.

28 October 2018

Years Nine and Ten (2012-2013)

This post contains mapping details
for the next two years of my quilting journey.


a quilt quickly claimed by our younger son
and still hanging on the wall of his apartment.

(flimsy reveal post HERE)

Double click to supersize this photo

Amish Strings is one of my all-time favorites.

You can read it's reveal post HERE.

And you can read the series of posts for this quilt
that were shared on the UnRuly Quilting blog
by clicking HERE.

There were many other quilts 
started and/or finished in 2012,
but not necessarily important enough 
to be listed out here.

And so began 2013 . . . 

This is my studio spirit doll -
you can read all about her HERE.

She continues to reside in my design studio.

Double click to supersize this photo

Ongoing Conversation is one of my favorite rescue quilts.

The top was pieced and quilted by Wanda for her daughter
many, many years ago.

You can read the flimsy's reveal post HERE.

(sadly, all of the photos in the quilt's 
reveal post have disappeared
but the links still work)

Double click to supersize this photo

2013 was the year of my 60th birthday.

My Sessanta Stelle project
was created to celebrate that fact.

CLICK HERE to read about the collaborative project,
check out the extensive photo album,
and the names of all those who contributed stars. 

See Rock City - the quilt - 
was completed in early 2013.

SRC ended up becoming the cover quilt
for my book BUILD A BARN - No Pattern Construction.
(publ. 2016 by AQS)

The quilt is currently on display at Quilted Threads
in Henniker, New Hampshire.

CLICK HERE to visit the BUILD A BARN blog
and be sure to check out the many tabbed pages
including those for the book's gallery quilts and quilt makers.

23 October 2018

Finally starting the Last Challenge!

Well, I'm finally starting to have a plan for the Maps Challenge. It's been a long time coming and I honestly stumbled into it quite by accident! You can read more about it over on my last blog post.
Maps Challenge Start
I am enjoying all the different versions and responses to this challenge that I have seen. So intrigued by the way some of your minds think! Mine is going to be extremely simple and much more basic I'm afraid. Not really 'maps' so much as a general mindset about how I tend to be when finding my way? It's still very much in-the-works and nothing nailed down.

The only thing I'm pretty sure about is next up, there will be a single unit in a 'road' style. Then, I'm playing with the idea of putting some words on the quilt.  Maybe even include a couple more of those 'turn right' appliqued arrows? Told you--I'm keeping it very low key and still in the arena of uncomplicated sewing. Though if I get too many words, that will involve lots of time.*sigh These things just sort of build don't they? lol

Another month of maps and a lot of unpicking

Sadly the unpicking is in my future.  This project is definitely testing me.  Yesterday I wanted to finish one little area and thought I could do it using bits I had already made.  I kept trying to do that well after the point where I should have taken a step back and reconsidered.
The idea, which still might be a viable one, was to have the darker blue extend up and around that corner.  The reality is so horrid I'm frankly a bit embarrassed, but I am sharing it in the spirit of full disclosure.  Too static, too heavy, just plain lumpy and ugly.  

So I unpicked and tried replacing the left-hand vertical blue with a white strip
which is not a whole lot better.  Next up, I will be taking that entire section off again, jettisoning the longer rectangles, which are, I think too big and probably getting rid of almost all that blue.  We live and learn (though actually this is just a version of a mistake I've made before, so maybe not).

22 October 2018

Map Quilt: Month 3

After several weeks of Productive Procrastination {an amazingly useful term coined by Mel Beach} I made myself start cutting fabric for my map quilt. I measured the city blocks, chose a fabric and cut a strip to fit the widest in a section. The next step was verifying the grouping of the blocks so they were in the correct sewing order. Then they could be connected by narrow streets.

City blocks partially cut and sewn

The street fabric is a dark grey twill. The color is deep and lustrous but the fabric is thick; not the best choice for narrow seams and intersections. Ah, well.

Sewing section together

So far there are five different fabrics. My first thought was to make each block from a different fabric but the large florals extend between blocks beautifully. And once I actually started, the work was easier than expected.

Map quilt top sewn

Of course, some of the streets don't align like they should. Two intersections are a bit off, and some streets at at the bottom rotated; however, I'm letting them fall where they will at this point.

This is my first map quilt. Constructing this has opened many more ideas in my mind. Perhaps there will be a series like Chinese Coins.

Thanks for reading, Ann

19 October 2018

Years Seven and Eight (2010-2011)

Asian Odyssey is a special quilt for many reasons.

Our DIL travels for her work - a lot.

She brought home a wide variety of items from 
multiple Asian countries and I managed to work them
into a coherent wall quilt for her 2010 birthday.

She loves the quilt and all that it represents.

Later in the year, Lynne and I had a swap.

She made me a fabulous quilt
and I made OBSOLESCENCE for her.

I took the quilt all around town 
and used my photo shoot images
to make her a keepsake book
that I sent with the quilt.

She and her cat Millie LOVE "O" 

When elder son asked if I could "fix my favorite jeans"
I had to tell him no, that they were just too far gone.

But I surprised him with this quilt
made with those tattered and worn jean legs.

I am humbled and amazed at how often I see 
HIS FAVORITE JEANS in use at their house.

SPIRIT SONG is the second Fickle Pickle quilt I've made.

This one has such a marvelous story -
it was started by my friend Chris in our class
(when I made Colors of Joy)
but she was working outside her comfort zone
(she preferred Thimbleberries 
so these brights were just too much)
and she never finished her project.

I begged and begged for her to give the remains to me
and, several years after the fact, she finally did.

I added lots more fabrics and created this beauty.

Chris quilted it for me 
and it hangs on the wall in our foyer
(where Colors of Joy used to hang)
and I smile every time I look at it.

2011 brought my first legos quilt 
inspired by Tonya Ricucci's super scrappy 
Ellis Island quilt.

Lots and lots of us around the world
made legos-style quilts -
there's info in the linked post above.

Mine was named Dumpster Diving by our younger son.

Little did I know that this humble scrappy quilt
would inspire me to make a series of quilts  . . .
there are now three as of 2018
with two more in the works.

I made GOTTA LOVE IT after I was 
inspired by a magazine pattern by Wendy Williams.

I added the piano key border just because I could.
(and because I had loads of extra fabrics)

I used the trimmings and leftover bits and pieces
along with more of those extra fabrics
to create a fabulous scrappy back.

I love this truly two-sided quilt.

2011 was also the year of orphans and orts quilts.

Lynne sent me a box with all sorts of bits and pieces.
that I used to create HIDDEN POTENTIAL.

(double click to see the details)

I pieced the center of this to be the back for 
Hidden Potential - but it became a full fledged quilt
because it was just too grand to be the back of anything.

MAGIC HAPPENS has been used on Lynne's bed 
ever since it flew off to New Hampshire.

She absolutely loves it.

When Lynne visited Memphis a few years later,
she brought the quilt so we could take this photo.

Lynne (left), Julie (center), and Chris (right)

Lynne's orphans and orts
Julie's design and making
Chris's always amazing quilting
one very special quilt.

* * *

Quilts make people smile.

They connect long-distance friends.

They embody LOVE.

12 October 2018

Maps AdHoc Improv Challenge

Hello from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.
Where the weather is sunny with wind and the temperatures have stayed in the 70's this week.

Where is RPV you might ask? West of LA on the west side of the coastal range. 
It has its own micro climate, being right off the Pacific Ocean and so generally cooler and maybe gets a little more fog, mist and wind than the LA Valley.

This week I had time to add the final border to 'City Side Walks' and to get the hand quilting finished up. Next the binding, in the same color as the final border, Kona cotton solid, Wasabi, will get sewn on. I enjoy the colors and names of the Kona cotton solids, can you tell?

I roughly followed Tonye Belinda Phillips' pattern, Welsh Folded Log Cabins, as I've said before.
I used my own construction method, color and block arrangement.
This quilt is my interpretation of the Adhoc improv challenge, Maps.
It reminds me of city sidewalks with houses, townhouses and apts all stacked along city streets and sidewalks.

Also Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew has a wonderful post on 'Why I Quilt'. Thanks Allison, for the encouraging words!

That's the news from the rancho.
Where we are remembering/praying for the people who've lost their homes in Florida.
And being thankful.
I'll be by to visit.

08 October 2018

Years Five and Six (2008-2009)

2008 began with one of my few 
Bonnie Hunter mystery quilts.
(lower left - Tobacco Roads from Fall 2007)

The inspiration for my color palette 
came from driving across Tennessee on I-40 - 
those little yellow flowers along the edge
stretched for miles and miles.

I started with Bonnie's brown in the mix,
but it was too heavy and ponderous - so out it went.

Instead, I used my yellow, green, 
and cream pieces and parts and invented 
my own design for the front and the back.

I still love this double-sided quilt!

(the photos in this post should supersize if double-clicked)

Another major milestone for 2008
was my one-of-a-kind Flying Monkeys quilt.

61" wide x 86" long

Created during another of Tonya Ricucci's
online liberated letter gatherings.
(two-color quilts was the theme)

The quilt was published in Tonya's 2010 book,
Word Play Quilts,
and has hung in our foyer ever since.

(and if you look closely at the photo on the right,
you'll see the top of Tonya's head
peeking over the quilt - photo taken in the
Martingale booth during the Houston quilt show
shortly after Tonya's book was released)

Vortex Interrupted (2008) was inspired by a sample quilt
that I saw at The Quilted Fox in St. Louis.

Super scrappy, super saturated, and full of curved piecing.

This one also hangs in our foyer 
and is a family favorite.

It earned a 2d place ribbon at the fair 
in the bed quilts category
and a Viewer's Choice 2d award 
at that year's Davies Manor show.

2009 featured any number of quilts,
but these are a few that stand out.

Inspired by Gwen and Freddy's Collaboration book,
I vowed to make myself a scrappy basket quilt.

But Sing the Sun Down didn't look like theirs.

I added a handle element from another of their quilts
to Gwen's scrappy baskets 
(pieced the opposite direction of hers)
and altered the setting considerably.

And then there were the three Ice Cream quilts - 
I flat out bought too much of the Moda fabrics.

Ice Cream Social (top) - Yellow Brick Road on point

Ice Cream Roses - French Roses design

Sweet Cream Roses - scrappy wall quilt using the leftovers

All three of these were gifted
and have been much appreciated.


(named by a co-worker who said the backing
looked like a Jerry Garcia tie)

This was my first all-selvage quilt - 
a precursor to the many string quilts
I have made since.

* * *

Working my way through these first few years,
it is becoming clear to me why I chose these four words
to describe my quilting style -
and eclectic.