27 July 2021

Itching to unbalance

What I am learning from this challenge is that symmetry is definitely a much less comfortable idea for me than asymmetry.  I think my decision to use courthouse steps as a starting point has been helpful, up to a point,  but really all I need to do now is just keep cutting strips and going round and round.  And where, I ask myself, is the fun in that?  

You would think, wouldn't you, that I would be grateful for a nice, simple, pretty solution but clearly not.  I love these fabrics,the mix of florals and stripes and plaid,  and the general feel of what I have so far but I am itching to start unbalancing things.  I'm not even sure that would be a good idea at this point, but still I want to meddle.  

I will try to think of a way to tinker that doesn't upset things too much.

20 July 2021

50 shades of pink

*Edit: photo updated, scroll down to see

Thank you for all the feedback on my last couple of posts,
seems like lots of you are enjoying my 50 shades of pink

- next batch of crumb blocks

- my focus fabric 

I've been busy making more crumb blocks this week for my present pink project, the 'predictable' quilt, {pattern from @sunspellwho encourages you to put your own spin on her design}. It's all made up with HSTs, with the interest lying in the random way the triangles are laid out, giving it a modern vibe.

And I thought I'd combine this project somehow with the recent AHIQ challenge. Kaja from sewslowly discussed our various preferences to working asymmetrically or symmetrically with our quilts. Her new challenge is to pick whichever of these is furthest from your comfort zone and see what you can do.
After some research, a few panic moments & a couple of chats online {thanks to both Susan & Julie}, I'm thinking my 'predictable' quilt could be leaning towards being an asymmetrical quilt - it's got that modern asymmetrical composition with the more traditional HST blocks. I'm also planning on adding an asymmetrical border on two sides, shifting the midpoint over to further achieve asymmetry.

Here's a few progress photos of how things are looking down on the 'design floor' . . .

- now this is looking more interesting and exciting!

{wink wink} Still don’t know if I’m on the right track for the challenge, 
but I'm trying not to overthink this too much.
And it's certainly predictably unpredictable!

Ever had a picture of a quilt in your mind, 
then as you proceed, you find it's just not happening how you imagined?

Well, after lots of faffing around and with only 4 more blocks to make,
this is finally coming together nicely and making me smile again! 

Love to hear your thoughts on which sort of quilt you prefer to make -
symmetrical? or asymmetrical? 

19 July 2021

a new challenge

 a new challenge : Asymmetrical v Symmetrical

Kaja from sewslowly recently discussed our various preferences to working asymmetrically or symmetrically with our quilts. Her new challenge for AHIQ is to pick whichever of these is furthest from your comfort zone and see what you can do.
I did a little research and to put things simply - "Something is symmetrical when it is the same on both sides. A shape has symmetry if a central dividing line (a mirror line) can be drawn on it, to show that both sides of the shape are exactly the same".

Hmm, well I think I tend to make more symmetrical looking quilts, 
here's a few that stand out to me...

More research was required to further define asymmetry for me because, while I have made a few quilts that were definitely more improv in style, where that cohesive balance took a bit of work, I can't say I've ever made an asymmetrical {modern} quilt as such. 
But what I did find were a few examples of asymmetrical balance within my own quilts. Here are a few quilts that I think have an asymmetrical composition of traditional patchwork blocks, like the New York Beauty, Flying Geese, Log Cabins, Rail Fence, etc.

And like Janie from crazyvictoriana I knew if I shared these you'd get all excited, share your quilts, and maybe join in the challenge too . . .

This first quilt was made from a selection of orphan blocks. I guess it's improv, as I didn't use a pattern nor did I have any idea how the finished quilt was going to look. 

Again, this feels like improv to me, no pattern, just an overwhelming desire to work with the colour "grey". The asymmetrical balance in this quilt could be viewed as chaotic or visually interesting & exciting, depending on your point of view!

 symmetrical arrangement of asymmetrical blocks ↑
↓ asymmetrical arrangement of symmetrical blocks, yes?

And finally, leftover low volume blocks put together improv style using the 'magic numbers' formula. I love an inconsistently balanced quilt.

I think I mostly have the asymmetrical/symmetrical labeled right, let me know what you think.
Asymmetry is one topic I do find interesting, and definitely The. Most. Challenging. So I'm off now to deal to my present pink project, my 'predictable' quilt - it's been giving me headaches but I feel very much like it could fit somehow into the asymmetrical section of Kaja's challenge!

wish me luck 🤞
Linda from kokaquilts

14 July 2021

Pandemonium - Asymmetrical Work in Progress

This is where things stand for now . . . 

You can see how it happened using the links below
for the process posts on my blog:

As is so often true for me,
I'm as excited about designing the scrappy back
as I am about designing the quilt top (grin).


13 July 2021

String Tulips Quilted, Bound, and Mailed

 Kaja prompt will be challenging for me since I strongly prefer symmetrical bed quilts. But before starting the new one, I wanted to finish the previous prompt. {Could there be a more symmetrical quilt than this?} It's served its purpose as a sample for the QAL. And friends of my son would like a baby quilt. It needed to be quilted... and bound,.. and signed... and washed... and mailed. All those small steps that weigh us down. Done and dusted.

String Tulip baby quilt 3

Since I didn't trim the fabric behind the tulips, it's pretty thick there making it difficult to quilt.  The decision was simply outlining near the major seam lines. The white background is stippled/doodled. Not terribly close together but there's only one start and stop in that section. {I hate burying lots of threads when I can avoid it.}  

String Tulip 3 stipple quilting detail

The ESS blocks are free-hand quilted in a zig zag design that moves easily from one to the other because nothing shows in all this busy-ness. 

String Tulip 3 zig zag quilting detail

The outer border is a free-hand loop. And it's done.

Three purple {approximately} half yard pieces sewn dark to light create a simply back. Not clever but an easy way to use up some leftovers that also adds more color. Because this quilt was so quiet... ;-)

String Tulip 3 quilt back

Thanks for playing along with the String Tulip QAL. 

Asymmetrical symetrical

Asymmetry is one of the possible characteristics of modern quilts as listed by the Modern Quilt Guild. I find it an interesting, and definitely challenging, topic.

Asymmetrical symmetrical I take to mean symmetrical blocks arranged asymmetrically, as opposed to the symmetrical arrangement of asymmetrical blocks. I have several to date. Click on the caption under each photo to go to the original post.

Rainbow bears is the least asymmetrical arrangement of the lot:

Rainbow Bears' Square Dance  
 The blocks are identical in shape and the arrangement is barely asymmetrical.

In "Star light, Star dark" each rectangular block contains the same units, but the blocks are arranged differently within the grid. By turning the blocks the arrangement is somewhat asymmetrical, but because the blocks are rectangular they could only be turned through 180 degrees, while 90 would have given more variety.

Star Light, Star Dark

 Modern Maples is an asymmetrical arrangement of a totally symmetrical block.

Modern maples

On the other hand, "Over the Hills and Far Away" is one asymmetrical block.

Over the Hills and Far Away

While asymmetry creates a dynamic in a quilt, it would appear that too much can become chaos, and is aesthetically less pleasing. My wonky log cabin table runner, which I'm still hand-quilting, is not to everyone's taste, and is in fact considered not to be patchwork at all! (??) 


I could have trimmed the blocks to squares, added sashing to make them symmetrical and to make the grid more obvious, but I didn't. Would that have been more pleasing to the eye? Personally I think that would have been boring, but that's just my opinion, and I didn't try it. The aesthetic is always personal taste.

I am intrigued by this challenge and am looking forward to seeing what everyone else comes up with. I have several ideas, I just hope I have enough time to follow them through!

Keep safe and healthy, 

Happy sewing, 


07 July 2021

Symmetry (or Not) Challenge Response

I posted about my orphan block stash here.

Since then those blocks have not been quiet 
about remaining in their project box.


Once I had LUDIC clipped for webbing
leaving the design wall empty again,
I pulled out all of the orphans.

Hmmmmm . . . 

Almost immediately I removed the orange blocks
left behind after piecing the top for 
October's kitchen table quilt (Trick or Treat).

They have been passed along to another maker.

I also decided that I will NOT be using 
black and white prints as filler.

(I've been watching Agilejack and lots of her blog followers
making Frankenbags and thought Anne's b-w ideas 
might work with my stash of orphans)

Instead I have pulled out several unused 
2.5" strips and a few more pieces 
of quilt back trimmings.

This mixture definitely has possibilities.

Next step will be to measure the various blocks,
count the scrappy rectangles and misc. HSTs,
add in the extra HSTs from Ludic, and
play around with graph paper and layout ideas.

Clearly I will be focusing on the 
aspect of the new Symmetry challenge.

I have named this project Pandemonium.
(meaning 'a wild uproar')

* * *

This post was previously shared on my blog,
but I'm also adding it here to enhance the
AHIQ conversation.

03 July 2021

New Challenge, Asymmetrical/Symmetrical Quilts, Art/Improv Quilts, Some Blurred Lines....

My art quilt, 'Love in a Meadow', asymmetrical.

Small art quilt, not my design, symmetrical.

Liberated Log Cabins pieced asymmetrical.

My symmetrical sampler

HSTs in Yankee Block formation, Symmetrical.

Asymmetrical pieced, Improv Strip Blocks in Medallion Formation

Layout symmetrical, Log Cabin Block Style Quilt in Iron Orchid Fabrics.

Asymmetrical Improv Log Cabin Blocks Quilt in Neutrals.

Symmetrical, Log Cabin Blocks in Barn Raising Formation 


Kaja's New Challenge, Asymmetrical/Symmetrical got me all excited!

I looked through my photos, recent through a couple of years ago, and found some examples of my art/modern improv quilts and knew if I shared these you'd get all excited too and share your quilts.
And that's fun sharing the stories and projects.
I think I mostly got the asymmetrical/symmetrical labeled right.

In my new post/blog are two more photos of my most asymmetrical ( I think) quilts, stop in to visit!

Have fun quilting and sharing!

01 July 2021

A new challenge

A new month, a new challenge.  I'm going to keep this one brief.  When I was working on my tulip quilt there was quite a lot of discussion about our various tendencies towards either symmetry or asymmetry, so my challenge to you is to pick whichever of these is furthest from your comfort zone and see what you can do.  Of course there are lots of mid-points:  for example, you could arrange identical blocks in an asymmetrical layout.  I shall be trying hard to work in a symmetrical way, though that is going to require some thought (also some effort and probably a fair old bit of complaining!)  

I have been looking back, to try and find my most symmetrical quilt so far and I think it is this one:
My least symmetrical, probably is this:
If anyone else wants to share their most/least symmetrical pieces, even if you aren't inclined to participate in the challenge, it would be interesting to see them too.  

For the instagrammers amongst us, I think this could be #AHIQsymmetry 

Have fun!