Thursday, June 30, 2016

Diamond // 17

I'm making nice progress with my hand quilting. After several hours each of quilting with and without a hoop I've come to the conclusion that I prefer to continue without it. While I appreciate that the hoop keeps the quilt nicely tight and I have a good view of where it is that I'm working at, I take greater advantage of the flexibility to also work the fabric around the needle than having the needle do the whole job. I can achieve similar flexibility by keeping the quilt rather loose in the hoop but then I may as well just leave it away and save time on the handling.
I guess it's a matter of personal preference and also the look one wants to achieve. For slightly bigger running stitches as I'm doing this is now my preferred way of working. But I can totally see the advantage of the hoop when doing stab-stitches or even embroidery kind of work.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Diamond // 16

Remember Diamond? I'm getting ready to start the quilting. I've decided it will get a plain solid backing to show off the hopefully nice hand quilting. It will also be the first time I'm going to use a hook. We'll see how this goes. This is going to be my hand sewing project for the next months.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Foulard II // 2

And this is where my choices lead to

and for comparison the finished top of Foulard I.

I received a wonderful comment from _minisi on Instagram for these two tops. It made me so happy that I'm going to share it here: These quilts look like painted. Each snippet a brush stroke.
Translated from Italian

Friday, June 17, 2016

Foulard II // 1

I've long started to work on Foulard II. I was so full of motivation that I jumped right into it without checking my fabrics. In fact I was so convinced I had a second bed sheet of the dark blue floral that I started to sew blocks with a concrete design idea in mind. Imagine my surprise when I found out that I was wrong.

I had to rethink my plans and for a short while I thought of introducing a third color. Simply because I had a third sheet of the same line. See those yellow blocks on the two sides? I quickly realised that this wasn't making any sense. It was only taking away from the good contrast of the dark and light blue.

I had to make do with what I had. Plus I wanted the quilt to be the same size as Foulard I. I had to find a way to place the 26 dark blue blocks in the most effective way. As usual there are a zillion possibilities. Some are easy to withdraw, some keep coming back asking for attention.
I am never completely sure if I'm making the best choice. Perhaps there isn't always a best one but several that work equally. Life is full of incertitudes and so seems to be designing.

The blocks are sewn. My choices made. I've stopped shifting them around and started to sew them together.

Full reveal coming up next.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Foulard I // 2

So here it is! Arranged but not yet sewn

and all sewn together

In contrary to the actual Foulard I chose to make a much wider border. I am really pleased with the result. It reminds me of antique floor tiles or Italian mosaics. 
I see some things I could do differently and I see variations in the layout. This is why this is number I. There is more I need to explore. Thus I'm back to work and won't be back for a while.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Foulard I // 1

After all the exact cutting, fussy sewing, and matching seams and corners with the tops of Diamond, Scraps III, and Hope I decided it was high time for some improvised and liberated sewing. I knew I wanted to use some vintage sheets and fabrics I've been hoarding for a while. And once inspiration hit me there was no holding back.

During last winter I've been wearing this foulard almost every day at home. It is big, soft, warm, and light enough to be wrapped around my shoulders and neck adjusting it tight or loose, just the way I needed it.

One day, while hand washing and caring for it I looked at its design more closely. A light center, a dark border, and the same colors floating around all over it. This was the moment I decided I'd use these rules as a design principle for my improvised quilt. Improvising with intend I told myself.

I ended up with this fabric pull,

decided to do some strip piecing... cut up and reassemble,

to finally cut into 15 x 15 cm blocks.

I had done some math and couldn't wait to have enough blocks to arrange on my design wall.

The blocks were all ready but unfortunately at this time the wall was still occupied by Hope and I had to be patient. You'll have to be too for a couple days so you can feel my impatience at that point.
Unless you have already seen it on my Instagram feed.