22 January 2019

RED {update}

I've been back working on my blocks for the  #uanduqal inspired by @therootconnection 
 And as I'm using 'red' as my main colour, 
I thought I'd join in with the recent adhoc: improvquilts challenge too 
of using RED as a neutral..

More of a story over at kokaquilts blog

20 January 2019

Red is the new neutral!

I'm taking part in a QAL hosted by Sujata Shah on Basket full of Scraps . This post is almost identical to one on that group blog. My "Overlapping Octagons" is progressing, but nowhere near completion. Here are the units I've made so far, randomly placed on the design wall.

Overlapping Octagons: Try-out on the design wall with 4.5" red (the new neutral) centres.
I thought I would use as many of my 19th century reproduction fabrics as possible to make space in my sewing room. Unfortunately most of the "reds" look more like brown, so I shall be adding brighter reds to the mix.There was not much blue, and that has nearly all been used now.

I started by planning to use neutral squares; changed my mind to using red ones; changed back to planning neutral and went for it. I forgot to take a photo, but 4.5" neutral squares, surrounded by dark blue strips were so boring! I decided to go back to the red plan and to add neutral and green as well as orange to the strings. The neutral squares went into the hourglass blocks, and strings; cut smaller they are much less ugly/boring. So red became my new neutral!

Although I planned to cut everything freehand, that hasn't been the case. Only the hourglass blocks and some of the strings have been cut freehand, a lot of the strings are actually strips left over from other projects. I didn't dare cut the squares freehand; 4.5" is definitely still out of my comfort zone!

At present I've no idea how large I'm going to make this, and how I'm going to finish it. I'm enjoying using up scraps like this: really satisfying!

For more information about this QAL got to Basket full of Scraps .

Happy sewing


16 January 2019

RED is my new neutral

Making a start on this today. I'm joining in with Sujata @therootconnection making a quilt from the book #unconventionalandunexpected. Sujata has kindly drafted patterns and instructions for the 'overlapping octagons' quilt, but I have altered mine a little . . . couldn't bear the thought of making 2" quarter square triangles!

I'm using scrappy bits of Amy Butler fabrics and then I tried a few options for the bigger blocks. I almost went with a variety of plaids, but then suddenly I tossed in a red solid . . . and it looked great, so I'm teaming up the prints with assorted red fabrics from my stash.
I wondered about how to get the octagon effect to show more. Things seemed a little lost with the four quarter square triangle blocks, so I made up a couple of simple HST blocks too and plan to throw a few more in now & then to lead the eye.

I'm not too sure yet where this is going yet, it's all quite mix-and-don't-match right now. However, I'm enjoying making this quilt in a contemporary colour way, it's much brighter than the vintage version. And I guess it fits the brief for both the uanduqal and the recent adhoc: improvquilts challenge too of using RED as a neutral..

Another "Red Is A Neutral"

Here's another quilt where I used red as a neutral. 

Don't Set Sail On Someone Else's Star
72 x 90
(Snow kind of blew all over the quilt while I was taking photos that day.) 

Some of the stars were September 2013 Block Lotto winnings. I made the rest of the blocks and decided on a layout. 
Quilt was finished February 2014. 

This was the first time I added words to a quilt.  I thought the African proverb "Don't set sail on someone else's star"  was a good one for a high school graduate so put the quilt in the hope chest for a graduation gift for a grandchild. 

Cathy L in IA

Improv Hand Piecing

These blocks began with my need to empty the bins of scraps I have accumulated over 25 years of quilting. I'm determined to get them done and into another quilt. This is a sample of where I am so far. 

Block construction was completely #improvquilting and they took on a life of their own. I apologize for the distracting background in some of these photos.

 As you can see,these blocks are wonky!

I began incorporating orphan blocks as I found them.

Some blocks have curved edges and are not scare at all.

Orphan chunks of fabric such as these curved edge pieces from the Klassen Forest Fire Quilt.

Randomly pieced and I am keeping to 100% cotton and some washed rayon and linen have found a home in these blocks. 

I intend to redo an old quilt that has been a favorite wieght of a sleeping quilt for both of us. I will redo it by simply making a new top and backing and then quilting it with more random machine quilting on my domestic Janome.

Some of the "circle blocks" made in 2017 have walked on in too! Do you do random hand piecing using an improvisational way of putting even tiny pieces into the mix. Please share if you do, I'd love to see them and maybe even I can find a new hand piecer on Instagram.

I have made over 40 blocks so far over about two months of my hubby's surgery preparation and his recovery period that started Dec 6,th. Our Christmas was a quite one with our sons and girlfriend helping out, it was lovely.

So, here is a sneek peak of my newly purchased mannequin.I just love upcycling my clothing too!

Thanks for popping into my little corner of the world! Happy quilting whereever you are!

Caroline from Good Earth Quilting.

15 January 2019

Red is Neutral

Confetti Waves
48 x 64

Started December 2015
Finished October 2018

I finished this quilt last year that used red as neutral and waste triangles in an Ocean Waves layout.
It is in my donation pile now. 

I also have another WIP inspired by vintage blocks that uses red for neutral. I'll post more on that later when I finish it.   I continue to work on a couple of quilts for the mapping challenge. 

Cathy L in Iowa

Red is a Neutral AHIQ Invitation

Kaja and I emailed back and forth discussing ideas for the next invitation. After the extreme challenge of mapping, we wanted something simpler. The new year is always busy with challenges, swaps, QALs, etc. Personally, I've joined Sujata's  U and U Challenge. She and Rod Kiracofe are delightful, generous, and exceptionally open to the beauty of handmade crafts.

In the meanwhile, two venues in Berkeley CA showcase Freddy Moran this month: Hello Stitch and Bay Quilts. Unfortunately Freddy was unable to attend the reception but it sparked further discussion of her many contributions to improvisational quilting. She and Gwen Marston collaborated on two books where she famously stated, "Red is a neutral." Then I pointed out that Rod's show, Red, just closed.

Ode to Gwennie by Freddy Moran

It's a sign! A series of blinking red light signs!

How would you use red? Does it really go with everything? Of course, feel free to combine with other challenges, with your current projects, choose another neutral, or skip it altogether.

Zig Zag by Freddy Moran

We invite you to join us this year. Use #AHIQRed if you post on your blog or other social media so we can find your work.

Are you in?

Ann and Kaja

11 January 2019

The Last Adhoc. Projects from 2018

It feels good to know that I've wrapped up the last two open-ended Adhoc. Improv. projects. One was a follow-up of our Playing With Scale challenge. You can read lots more about the quilt over at my last post as I rambled forever.
Lots of improv. piecing!
I can see that this concept is one that I'll continue to revisit through the years. Simple, repeating elements mixed with changes in proportion are a fun way to show off fabric or play with color. This quilt was a tough slog at times though, and in the end, I took advantage of my son being gone for the weekend in order to bring the quilt top to completion. I desperately needed that time to ponder and tinker and play with the pieces. His bedroom joins with my quilting area and so I essentially co-opted his bedroom floor for the duration in order to have plenty of  'design floor' time. Once I got the rows figured out--where they joined up with each other {side by side}, how much to chop off or add to the ends, overall color flow and balance--then all I had to do was make sure the components stayed in the proper order. The rest I could accomplish from the tiny floor in my quilting room!
Playing With Scale #2
I also wanted to post a picture here of my results to the Maps Challenge. As most of you know, it has been named, 'Directions From a Local'. When I posted about it the other day {over at my blog}, I completely forgot to make sure it was over here as well! This challenge was really hard for me to get started on. And in fact, I never really did. What happened was that I eventually attempted to recreate a Roderick Kiracofe 'Unconventional & Unexpected' quilt, which, as per usual, took a few detours.  Along the way, it unexpectedly blossomed into my answer to the maps challenge.  First when I added the 'turn right' arrow in the center and then later when I allowed the unmeasured, free cut strips to make a huge, wonky mess of the quilt.
Directions From a Local
I think some people were appalled when I subsequently cut into the quilt and straightened it up by easing out the wobbles. Oh it definitely lays fairly flat and straight now, contrary to what it looks like in the above picture. Believe me, it's just a bit rumpled from being folded and put into a zip-bag for several days! Something about hacking into my quilt and basically 'letting the chips fall where it may', actually felt very cathartic though. That was after I got over the initial trepidation of course.

Regardless, it definitely made it easier to add a 'road' to the quilt , which for some reason felt so silly when I was only 'thinking' about it. Then it all just sort of fell into place without the fussiness or detailed piecework that I had somehow imagined would be needed. The lettering was the most time consuming part of the entire project. It so easily said everything the quilt needed to say without having to wrap wording around the quilt on every side. That's what my brain was trying to insist had to happen in order for the message to read properly. Can you tell that I had really built this challenge up into something to be dreaded? lol 

So glad I went with that seed of the initial idea {the right turn arrow} and gently, slowly, let the quilt tell me what to do next. On another note, all the fabric was sourced directly from my stash with the exception of one piece of black fabric when I ran low and didn't want to substitute another color. There is also one piece of mixed cotton/poly fabric included {the brown/white gingham}--a definitely departure for me. It was not fun at all to mix in with the cottons, but really helped give the quilt more of that utility look that I love and adore. This quilt has a lovely, subtle glow to it, a nice feeling of old fashioned charm and also a whimsical message. What more could I ask for? Now the slate is cleared and I'm ready for the next challenge coming up! #unconventionalandunexpected