Paint by Numbers, a creative approach to pictorial quilts

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I was recently asked to review Kerry Foster’s new book, Paint-by-Number Quilts, recently published by C & T, and I eagerly said yes.  I’ve been a quilty-pal of Kerry’s for some time, and enjoy her style of quilt-making.

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Her style reminds me somewhat of Edrica Huws.  I love the energy this type of quiltmaking generates, as I trend toward the pristine and ordered, and am not as comfortable with the assemblage/collage.  I always want to be better, but it’s like trying to straighten that errant curl in your hair–when you are not looking, it springs back to where it wants to be.
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So I thought I would give Kerry’s techniques a try in recreating this picture, taken when we were in Burano, Italy some years ago.  I like the weather-beaten look and knew that it would be better served by Kerry’s Paint-by-Numbers approach.Red Door_2_small

I threw it into an image processing program and used a filter on it to highlight the edges, but you could just trace the strong lines using a lightbox.Red Door_3_small

I extracted all the color, so I could see the shapes, then printed that directly onto the dull side of freezer paper, cut to size and put through my color printer.

I trimmed the freezer paper to size, taped it to a piece of cardstock at the top edge and fed it through the printer.  Mine has a rear cassette access, so the paper path is flow-through (it’s the reason I purchased this one).  Since I’m making one of my tiny picture-stand quilts, there are two images per page.

4_drawing hashmarks

I did draw on lines and prepared it for construction, according to her instructions in her well-written book.  All the information is clear and concise, with great photo illustrations to accompany each step.

I’m mid-process in the upper left photo, layering up the pieces as per Kerry’s instructions.  Yes, it did dawn on me at this point, that I’ve hardly broken out into wild new territory, but I liked this door when I took a photo of it some years ago.

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In retrospect, I realized that some of the proportions are off a bit — like the doorway is kind of floating, but I am always learning.  Next doorway will be better…and wilder!

Instructions for a tiny quilt on a frame are here.

Tiny Quilt Red Door_4a back

The back.  I’ve finally wised up and am using some of my favorite fabrics in quilts, instead of leaving them on the shelf.  I can enjoy them that way, instead of never seeing them.

Okay, back to the real reason for this post: letting you see a couple of the fun things that Kerry has in her book for you to make:

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Foster Book Review_1

Grizzly Bear quilt

Kerry, and C&T Publishing would like to for you to have a copy of her book. There are many others who have reviewed Kerry’s Paint-by-Numbers Quilting book; I’m one of the last.  Each one is running their own giveaway, if you want to visit them:

Monday Sept 17 – Kerry @ PennyDog

Tuesday Sept 18 – Deirdre @ C&T Publishing

Wednesday Sept 19 – Anita @ Daydreams of Quilts

Thursday Sept 20 – Sarah @ Coopcrafts *

Friday Sept 21 – Krista @ Poppyprint *

Monday Sept 24 – ME!  Elizabeth @ OPQuilt

Tuesday Sept 25 – Wendy @ The Crafter’s Apprentice

Wednesday Sept 26 – Angela @ Heart of Charnwood *

Thursday Sept 27 – Leanne @ She Can Quilt *

Friday Sept 28 – Katy @ The Littlest Thistle

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To enter to win a digital copy, please leave me a comment below.  Thanks to you, and many thanks to Kerry and C&T!

All done with Frivols 9

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Yippee!  Number nine is finished, and in the same month I started it. We had to take my car in to get fixed (see recent post) and I thought taking photos at the auto body shop would be something different.  I’m calling it Walk Around the Block.

First, a cool picture from @bymariandrew:

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It’s been this way this month.  I’ve kind been working all the time to finish up this and that.

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I’ve been helped by listening to this excellent book,  Forty Autumns, by Nina Willmar, about one family separated by the Berlin Wall.  I got down an old guidebook from the bookshelf in our family room, and sure enough, it shows the two Germanys, and the “island” of West Berlin.  The Forty Autumns cover photo shows the Brandenburg Gate trapped in East Berlin, a fitting visual reminder of the difficulties of this time.  I recommend it highly.

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The squares had no HSTs–hallelujah! so I whipped right through them, and the directions were easy to follow in both cutting and sewing.Frivols 9 _7

After switching  the blocks around a bit, I found an arrangement I was happy with.

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Now to mark off the triangles to make the flying geese borders.  I usually put on a gizmo on my sewing machine to make that sewing easier, but I was talking to my Mom, and it seemed a nice quiet way to keep my hands busy.

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And then, just like that, I had it quilted and done.  I did loopies in the octagonal parts of the block, filling in with little petaled flowers.  I kept the quilting to a minimum, so the quilt is soft.  I always think there is a baby coming right around the corner who might need this.

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When I sewed on the the snowball squares, I did a double seam, so that I was — in the end — left with lots of little half-square triangles.  There are four per block, and two per triangle in the border, so you can figure out how many I have.

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I’m now three-fourths of the way through, and I often wondered if I would make it this far.  Thanks to all those supportive comments; I do appreciate them.

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A Stack of Frivols.
One is missing and is now the property of a wee girl named Halle.

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It’s been All Frivols, All the Time.

Now for a break!

 

Northern Lights Medallion

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Northern Lights Medallion
Quilt No. 210 • 52″ square

I love these posts where I get to place a quilt front and center, quilting finished, bound and photographed, and even a label made AND sewn on.  It’s like that Easter Sunday long ago, where your mother dressed you and your sisters up in fancy new dresses, new patent leather shoes and anklets with ruffles and you all posed for a picture.  It’s like that wedding day, where your hair was behaving, and your wedding dress and veil were just how you wanted them, and oh–the love you had for your soon-to-be-yours was shining from your face.

Yeah, kind of like that. Some process photos:

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I now pin my quilts on my kitchen counter–the floor is too far down these days.

Northern LIghts Medallion quilting

I’m getting faster at quilting: the dates from start (August 8, 2018) to finish (August 25, 2018).  Part of the challenge is figuring out what to quilt, and another part is not to physically wear myself out.

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I love the texture that quilting creates.

Northern Lights Medallion Name label

Fun detail: I like to include my name and address on my quilts, but also like to hide that info.  So I used the logo from the Mad for Solids Challenge and used it as a disguise.

This began as a challenge to create something using just eight colors of Painter’s Palette Solids, in the March Madness Challenge in 2018; you’ve read posts about this before.

But the other challenge I put for myself was to create a medallion quilt using my favorite quilt software, QuiltPro, which I’ve been using for years.  I love it love it love it and their tech support person, Linda, is nothing short of a fairy godmother, always answering questions quickly and succintly.  Like she taught me how to do this conversion:

Northern Star Medallion

from this

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to this (no pen outlines)

This creates a more modern look, I think.  Anyway.  I’m a fan.

So I posted this design up on their Facebook page, and I was contacted and one thing led to another, and Northern Lights Medallion (its real name, in spite of other confusing  malarky above) will hang in their booth at both Paducah and Houston this year.  I’m honored, and I love working with these lovely people (and it may be the only way I get to be at either of those shows!). So if you go, snap a photo and email me (opquilt@gmail.com) or tag me on Instagram (occasionalpiecequilt).  Thanks!

This is quilt number 210, and it’s going up on the 300 Quilts list.

You Are Not Going to Run Out of Ideas

You’re Not going to Run Out of Ideas

And I need to keep remembering this.

Folding Fat Eighths

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As I mentioned in my last post, the printing was messed up for the patterns for the South Bay Quilters Guild, so I wanted to send a little something to say how sorry I was.  My friend Simone’s On Your Mark fabrics folded up into sweet little triangle bundles, which I’ll send along with accurately printed patterns.  I’m posting this not only because they are cute and you may want to do it sometime, but also so I don’t forget where to find the instructions.

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All of this is on Wanda Dotson’s blog, Wanda’s Life Sampler, where she had this amazingly cool shot of a quilt at the beach.

Frivols 8 ** FINISHED!** & Intro to Frivols 9

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Frivols 8_7 front

I finished Frivols 8, and haven’t yet named it, although Moda calls it “Brio” or something like that.  But all those Bear Paw blocks are so fun and alive, I need another name.  How about…

Charlie and Bear Earmuffs

…Baby Bear?, especially after my daughter-in-law posted this picture of her youngest son (my youngest grandson) helping with dinner, complete with bear earmuffs.  He’s a character.

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I finally was able to get to the quilting (see below).

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I found some old 1940s prints in the stash, and chose a blue to match the lightest blue in the quilt for the binding.  That’s one of the troubles with doing these frivols after the fact: the fabrics to complete them are AWOL, but I made it work.Frivols 8_6

Now the requisite Beauty Shots.  The print above is titled “She Will Find What Was Lost,” and is a print by Brian Kershisnik, a favorite of mine.Frivols 8_8a draped

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Eight are done!

But since this is your two-for-one post, here’s the intro for Frivols #9, our little box for September.

Look!  No Half-Square Triangles!  Okay, there are some triangles that are snowballed on, and a few Flying Geese, but hooray!  I couldn’t face making another quilt with prints on a white background, even though I do like the look, so the background for this one will be a peach woven-looking print fabric.

This collection is by Lella Boutique.  More info is found on Moda’s Blog.

And in other news this past while:

  • survived a “Meet N’Greet” when a young woman rear-ended me in stop-and-go traffic on the freeway.  After spending too many hours on too many phone calls with her insurance company, I called mine, and the car will go in next week to be fixed.  They’ll fight it out later who gets to pay what.
  • agonized when I discovered that all the patterns I’d given out in my workshop in August were too small. It was only after a phone call to corporate headquarters for the printing company, and two visits to the local outlet that I discovered what had happened: they had set the button to “Print to Fit” which ALL quilters know means at about 96%.  They graciously printed out new, accurate copies, which I’ll collate and get over to the Guild.  Then I’ll put a paper bag on my head and try to remain incognito.
  • created another tiny quilt in order to review a book by Kerry Foster, titled Paint-by-Numbers Quilting.  My day on the Blog Hop is September 24th, and we’re doing a digital giveaway that day, so everyone can enter — US and international quilters.  Check back then.
  • rearranged nearly everything upstairs in my house:Stuff in BathtubWe swapped the old guest room for the new office, which meant that all my stuff in the old guest room had to go in the hallways and the Master Bedroom, and the old office, and yes, even the bathtub. (I won’t show you the rest of the mess.)

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Lately, I wake up every day feeling like I have about 400 things to get done that day, and fall into bed exhausted, having only accomplished a few of the things on my list. I know this soon will end, once my home is back in order, the big projects finished, the trips taken, the car fixed, the weeds pulled, next month’s Frivols finished, and everything crossed off my To-Do list.  Right.

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