Spectrum: A Colorwheel Quilt

Spectrum_labeled

Spectrum: A Colorwheel Quilt
Quilt No. 153

Spectrum_Quilting1

You’ve seen this beauty before, as I’ve been working on it steadily since last summer.  Since this summer is about to arrive, I thought I should finish it up and get it up in my shops at Craftsy and PayHip (for EU quilters), in case anyone wants a colorful wheel of color on their sewing studio wall. Spectrum_detail

It’s also great for quilt swaps, or special gifts.  I started on mine for a swap, but soon realized I wasn’t going to finish it in time, so made for her instead another colorful creation of mine, Colorwheel Blossom.  (It was a colorful Kaffe Fasset fabric swap.)  But then I had two quilts, so I gifted one to someone who loves and uses Kaffe Fasset fabrics, keeping one for myself. Stack of colorful quilts

Before I sent my swap quilts off, I took them outside for some photos, and love this stack of fun (colorful?) quilts, a prism of quilty delights.

The pattern has templates for English Paper Piecing, if you like to do that sort of thing (I do!) and full instructions for how to put your quilt together.  While the color wheel is 16″ in diameter, the quilt can measure up to 18,” depending on the size of your background.  It is stunning made up in Kaffe Fassett fabrics, and I’m teaching it that way this Spring in classes at my local quilt shop.  Enjoy!

Flying Through a Rainbow Mini Quilt

Flying Through a Rainbow_frontlabeled

Flying Through a Rainbow
Quilt #152

You’ve seen this one before, but I wanted to give you the directions on how I put it together.    Flying Through a RainbowI made this for the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap, the final small quilt of my four mini swaps.  I know that people traditionally go over the top for this swap, but when I glimpsed into my partner’s life, I realized that she did a variety of activities and wanted to honor that by using the Flying Geese block going in multiple directions, but with a twist: I used two half-square triangles to make the block so I could work in a bunch of neutral light fabrics behind, including a fun fabric that was a bowling score sheet (one of her hobbies–she doesn’t read my blog, so I’m safe to tell).

Flying Through a Rainbow_blue Flying Through a Rainbow_green Flying Through a Rainbow_orange Flying Through a Rainbow_purple

I cut a 4″ block from sixteen different solids (then sliced it in half diagonally), choosing four gradated hues from four different color families: violets, blues, greens and yellows.  I then cut a 4″ block from ten different low-volume background fabrics and sliced those on the diagonal so I could mix and match the backgrounds.  Yes I had some triangles left over on the backgrounds, but I wanted a variety.

I cut four 3 1/2″ center squares, then laid out all the cut pieces so I could see the play of backgrounds to the colors.  After I was able to get an arrangement I liked, I stitched the two half-triangles together, pressing the seam allowance to the darker side.  I trued them up to measure 3 1/2″ blocks, using the nifty BlocLoc ruler I bought at QuiltCon.  It’s worth every penny, believe me.

Then I sewed each color family together as if it were a nine-patch, then trued up those four blocks.  Last step is to sew the four blocks together.

Flying Through a Rainbow_quiltingA

I am always stumped by “how to quilt this thing.”  I decided to keep playing around with the triangle theme: I traced smaller triangles in each larger one, and echo-quilted those.  In each color group the triangles are placed in different places, providing a different, yet harmonious quilting design.  The background was quilted in the wavy line stitch from my sewing machine.  I had to dodge around the triangles a lot, switching back and forth between the wavy stitch and a straight stitch.  That’s one more reason I’m glad it’s a mini: they are easy to maneuver on the machine.

So that’s the season for my mini quilt experience.  It was a good experience and I had fun coming up with ideas.

Rolling Rainbow Star_labeled

Rolling Rainbow Star
Quilt #150

I did finally finish the pattern to Rolling Rainbow Star (above) and it’s now in my Craftsy Shop (or PayHip, if you are from a VAT country), if you want to make a great little 16″ quilt.

I do have one more mini that I didn’t swap.  More on that in the next post.

Mini Madness Wrap-Up (Mostly)

This past summer, I joined four swaps, then had my head examined and swore never to do it again.  It was sort of a good thing to have some small things to try out my design skills and to keep me quilting, so I guess another title for this post is “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.”  I do plan to do individual posts on a couple of them (so you’ll see them again), plus I have one more mini quilt that I made with quite a story (not shown, but soon).  But so far, here they are, in the order they rolled out from my house.

Mini House_frontlabeled

The Heart’s Solace: Home, Sweet, Home (No. 147)

House Mini Gift

Although a little bit late (she had fabric and pattern issues), Emily sent me mine and I am so in love with it.  I ended up drafting her a pattern on my QuiltPro quilt software, which I’m happy to share with you.  It’s in a PDF file: Emily’s House  On the first page, the piece for the narrow sashing around the central patchwork square is cut off.  I’d recommend using the width of the pattern piece as a guide and cutting a strip to fit your work after you start sewing it together.

Rainbow Gardens

Rainbow Gardens, No. 148

This post has links to my Craftsy/PayHip store where you can purchase the pattern.

Kaffe Mini Gift

Here is the creative and beautiful quilt I received from that swap–a lovely Dresden-plate type circle of houses.  I love them all and love the variety of sewing machine fancy stitches that my partner used.  I hear there is a pattern out there for it called Dresden Neighborhood (by Persimmon Dreams) and you can buy it from Craftsy.

Little pouches for swaps

One hallmark of swaps is the little gifts that you send, although I did join a swap titled “Simply Mini.”  (More about that one later.)  I made two of my swap partners Dumpling Pouches and filled them with interesting PostIt Notes, some washi tape and quilty trinkets.  I’ve seen some swap loot that is over the top; I hope my partners aren’t disappointed (all of them have received their packages).

Rolling Rainbow sent off Rolling Rainbow_front

Rolling Rainbow Star–I made one for the Simply Mini Swap and then had to make one for myself.  I changed up the binding on it to tell them apart.

Rainbow Rolling Star_back

I love this backing.

Flying Geese

Flying Rainbow.  The last one I made was for the Schnitzel & Boo swap–the grandmama of all swaps on Instagram, now in it’s fourth year.  I wanted to say I did that one, and now I can.  The quilter I was to send to liked bowling, cooking and classic comic books, so I bought her some bowling score fabric to use the quilt, and backed it with fabric showing wee chefs and bakers.

Flying Geese_back

Now my To-Do list looks like this:

Mutts To Do Lists 10_8

 Just kidding.  Now I have to clean out the garage before our hoped-for El Nino rains arrive.  (Fingers are crossed!)

Rainbow Gardens

Stauffer SewJo(from here)

Sometimes I feel like this lady here, moving at snail’s pace, trying to make my entrance, but know I’ll miss it somewhere.  Slow-jo, or Missing the Sew-Jo seems to be a topic of conversation on Instagram and on blogs.  It’s the end of summer for the northern hemisphere, and we’re all a little out of sorts with the hot weather and all.  Frankly, I’m just happy to be on the snail these days, as for a long time I wasn’t doing anything but Recovery (it gets a capital letter around here).  So here’s some of my snail-sewing for the last while.Rainbow Gardens

Rainbow Gardens
Quilt #148
18″ square

This started when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to finish the block I had planned for the Kaffe Fasset Mini Quilt Exchange. My friend Lisa and I had been talking about patterns that were from the 1960s era, and this morphed off of that, as I wanted to subdivide the center to allow for greater color gradation.  I have the pattern and templates for sale in my Craftsy shop (European customers will find it in my PayHip shop), so if you can’t figure it out, you can head over there to grab it.

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I had fun customizing the quilting, using floral motifs in the floating center square, and geometric designs in the outer corner backgrounds.  Someone on Facebook said it looked like the glowing camera lens from Hal in Space Odyssey, which is a completely creepy thought, if you’ve ever watched the movie.  I prefer to think of it as walking through a large botanic garden, the rows of plants giving way in color as the varieties change, hence the name, Rainbow Gardens.

Unnamed

This was the original block, “Unnamed” from Woman’s Circle in 1963.  This is from Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, which has been out of print for ages.  However, the other day I noticed on her blog that she now has an e-book version of this amazing publication (scroll down on the left of HER blog for the link).

Mini Quilt hanging

Here’s I how hang the minis: cut a large square and fold diagonally in half (this one is 6 1/2″ for an 18″ quilt) and sew it into the two seams top and side.  Cut a dowel to fit across–it works great.Rainbow Gardens_back obscured

And the back of the quilt.  I love this cheery print. Yes, I’ve obscured the name of who gets this, as we don’t send it out for a couple of weeks, and it’s forbidden to tell who our partner is.  I hope she likes it, though.

Spectrum blades finished

I had intended this one to be made for  the swap, but when I got to here, realized I just didn’t want to push forward on this, so went with the Rainbow Gardens design.

Back of Spectrum

Love the back, with all the papers.  This is an enlarged version of one of my circle blocks, and as soon as I get the mini quilt finished, I’ll put the PDF up on Craftsy.

Kaffe Circle Mini

Of course, once the pressure is off, the sewing can proceed apace, so then I was able to put the outer arcs on the design.

Spectrum

Then I got this far: center circle on and the background chosen and just didn’t like it.  But since I’m not under a deadline, I had time to un-pin, re-think.  I had put up this photo on social media with its twin (but with a different center circle), asking which center circle people liked.  It was so evenly split, it told me that I hadn’t hit the home run on center circle choices.  Back to the drawing board. . . and the quilt shop.  (Can you tell I’m still riding a snail?)

Rosette #4 partway done

I did get this far on Rosette #4 of The New Hexagon Millefiore block, then stalled.  Later, ‘Mater.

Bibimbap bowls

Bibimibap serving

The one day had a craving for Bibimbap (recipe *here*) and no energy to drive the hour to Orange County to get it, so had to make our own.  While it sounds complicated, dicing and slicing and blanching all those vegetables, it took way less time than driving to my favorite restaurant and back, and now I have another recipe conquered.

Mini House_frontlabeled

Earlier I’d written about my mini-quilt for the Houses swap, posted a pattern and a brief tutorial, keying off another popular tutorial online.  I’m sending off the quilt today (one day early–I just can’t stand waiting any more!), so here is the label for my quilt, a clone of the mini I’m mailing off to Indiana:

Houses Label

It was finished in that anxious week before surgery, and boy, was I weepy and sentimental, not knowing if I’d survive the surgery, or be diagnosed with cancer, or if they’d carve something up they shouldn’t.  I just wanted to hide in my lovely home with my beautiful quilts and out-of-control vegetable garden.  Yes, my mind can ruminate and imagine Worst-Case-Scenarios like no one else.  So this is how I felt, and six weeks post-op, I still like the message.  I’ll tell you what I put on my partner’s label. . . later.

Barbie dolls

And when really, it all is just too much, there’s always a spin through your Instagram pictures. . . or someone else’s.  This is from a new follower of mine.  I love all her knitted clothes for Barbie, plus all the cool poses in which she places Barbie.  I say, let the fashion doll come up with the moves.  I’m headed back to the snail while we get through the last hot month of summer.  Yes, here in SoCal our summer always lasts until the middle of October.  Can’t wait for fall, y’all!

Good Heart Quilters Quilt Retreat 2015

QuiltRetreat_2015_2

The Good Heart Quilters had their 4th annual quilt retreat at Lisa’s home this summer.  She is the smiling blonde marathoner in the lower right (I am in the yellow T-shirt).  Some of our group isn’t here, and we also had a couple of newbies join us this year.  We meet at Lisa’s home Friday morning, eat lunch together (Lisa gets it all beforehand) and this year, we went out for dinner, then sew into the night. Saturday the group meets up again (we always lose a few on Saturday) and goes again until they can’t anymore.

QuiltRetreat_2015_1

From this industry. . .

Quilters working on Quilts

. . . came these results.

EPP Laurel

We had some handwork going.  Laurel shows her Rosette #1 of the New Hexie Millefiore Quilt along, and the start of her third rosette is the inset.

House Block CentesrLisa was more than patient with me as I auditioned centers for this house block for her to comment on.  At 16″ it is to be a mini quilt for a swap I’m in.  While the easy way would be to use the popular Swoon pattern, I went back to Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Quilt Patterns and went to the source: a block titled Rolling Star from 1932. This brilliant little house idea came from Blue Mountain Daisy.

LemoyneSawtooth Star

(from here)

After setting in umpteen Y-seams and a billion more V-seams, I finished the mini quilt top.  I think using the Swoon Block method of half-square triangles would have been easier, but the center of the original Rolling Stone block is also a Lemoyne Star, rather than the a Sawtooth Star block, so inset seams it is (although I suppose I could subdivide them like the lower block on the right).  I like to try this original Rolling Star block again, now that I’ve got one under my belt.  We’ll see which one ends up going to my partner!

See you all next year!

Mini-Quilt Swapping

I know I’m late to this particular party on Instagram, but I have recently jumped right in and signed up for three swaps.  These are little groups of crazy people who have more than enough to work on but think it would be fun to make a gift for some unknown person, include a boatload of treats in addition to the mini and send it off, hoping it arrives.

So here they are:

HomeSweetHomeMiniSwap

Mini-house Swap.  This was started because the Denise, the organizer was moving and wanted to do a swap around the idea of a new house (blog post showing general info is *here*).  I like house quilts, and had never tried a swap, so decided to try it.  Then all these terms started floating around like Swap Mama, Swap Angel, Swap Moderator (which I think is the same as a Swap Mama).   I thought I would just sort of play along and pretend I knew what they were talking about.  Since I’m such a non-shopper, I’ve been taking screenshots of people’s “other extra items,” and will try to head out and find some since I’m such a newbie at this.  For this swap, we have an organizer, and a Swap Mama, who has sent out emails letting us know what’s up.

The first picture (above) is the confirmation I received after I signed up, then the logo for the main swap, then the logo for the group with our own “Swap Mama.” Believe me, the State Department has more code words than these do, but we do come close.

KaffeMiniSwap

Kaffe Fasset Swap.  How can you pass up something like this?  The sign-ups closed July 5th, with partners posted on July 13th, so I haven’t heard anything from Leslie Piper, who is the organizer.  Here’s their Facebook page, though.

 

SimplyMiniSwap

Simply Mini Swap.  This may turn out to be my favorite because all we can send is a mini quilt and a hand-written note to the recipient.  Brianna, the organizer has already sent out guidelines, and I love everything she is doing.  We have three check-in dates, a request to post a Mosaic, and shipping dates.  Above you see the interest post, then the IG post that the swap was a go, and the rest of the images are pretty self-explanatory.

She also gave us a link to a fine post about Rules for Swapping from Karri Garza.  Loved it.  If you click on Karri’s “swapping” hashtag on the bottom of that post, there are a few other posts she’s written about swapping.  From this I learned that some people sign up their dogs. (!!)  And their children. (!)  Hmmmm.  I’m hoping I’m on the receiving end from another grown-up human quilter, and that all these turn out to be a cool way to meet new people and create something fun.

If you want to try a swap, Amanda of Openquiltswap on Instagram has started a clearing house of swaps–such a great idea to help people like me find their way.  I did a search on other “swap rules” posts.  Here are some:

Katie Bastie on 52 Quilters

Schnitzel & Boo, who I think kind of pioneered this whole swap thing on Instagram

A Pinterest Board of mini quilt ideas from the New Jersey MQGuild

Be Nice or I will stab you

I also found out that there is an informal Black List that circulates among the swap organizers of flakey quilters who receive a mini quilt, but never send one out.  I’ve been in block bees like that, or have received quilt blocks that were at best questionable and at the worst, hideous.  So maybe being in a swap is like a big fun roll of the dice.

keep-calm-and-swap-on-3

Are you in any swaps?  Have you thought about being in a swap?  Any interesting stories to share?