Shadow Owes Its Life To Light

Shadow Light Quilt_detail4

What do you do when the quilt you just finished is too big for your improvised outdoor home photo studio? You try to photograph it anyway.

Shadow Light Quilt_full1Shadow Owes Its Life to Light
Began July 2013 • Finished April 2014

I pieced it, but Cathy Kreter of CJ Designs quilted it.

Shadow Light Quilt_detail3

I’d first seen this in the City Quilter Quilt Shop in New York City, and immediately signed up for the block of the month. It was great fun to have those packages arrive every month for six months.  I kept up pretty well.  Nancy Rink called it Amish With a Twist–II, as it followed her first quilt design in the Amish style.  I blogged sporadically about its progress on this site (and *here* too), as often the work progressed sporadically.

Shadow Light Quilt_detail2

My design wall wasn’t big enough to hold this massive quilt (106″ square) so I pieced it together in sections.

Shadow Light Quilt_detail1

I wrote about the quilting *here* as I really stressed out about which thread to use.

Shadow Light Quilt_detail6 corners

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Shadow Light Quilt_detail5

Shadow Light  Quilt_back

And to make this record complete, here is the back.  I used some Jane Sassaman fabric.

Shadow Light  Quilt Label2

I thought about many names.  I halfway thought I’d just keep Nancy Rink’s name for the quilt, but wanted something different.  Certainly, since it has furrows of light and dark, calling it the oft-used “Sunshine and Shadow” would be a possibility.  But I didn’t just want to say it THAT way.  So I found this old proverb: Shadow Owes Its Life to Light, indicating the interdependence between light and shadow.  Not only did I like it because its allusion to the old cliche, but it also had a nicely poetic rhythm to it.

Shadow Light Quilt_full2I vowed after making my son’s king-sized quilt that I’d never make another quilt that large.  Well, I did.  But next time, please come running over to my house and talk some sense into me if I ever even think about making another big quilt.

This is Quilt #130 of my lifetime quilts.

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Amish With a Twist II Update

Amish Quilting

When I returned from our little visit to the East Coast, my quilter called me and said the Amish With a Twist-2 quilt was finished. I was really happy to jet over to her house and pick it up, and was really happy with the quilting.  There was lots of discussion about what color of thread should be used on this quilt, if a person wasn’t going to pay to have it custom-quilted, and needed to travel over both the lights and the darks of the quilt top.

Blush Thread label

I was able to take my quilt top to the Superior Threads quilt booth at Road to California, and run about comparing threads.  They told me that King Tut would sit on top, So Fine would sink a little deeper and that the very fine Bottom Line thread would almost disappear into the quilt.  We unwrapped a billion thread cones (just kidding) and I finally chose this one: Blush.

Blush Thread_Superior

In spite of its name, it is a coppery colored thread, and goes perfectly with this quilt.  I still have oodles of thread left, so check with your long-armer on how much thread to buy.  I know that Superior also has a thread app, available on the Apple iTunes store, that can calculate how much thread you’ll need to buy for your project.  I figure I’m good for about a hundred years of needing copper-colored thread.

P.S.  That wild Jane Sassaman fabric you see it the backing I chose.

P.P.S.S.  I promise a picture when I’ve finished sewing on the miles and miles and miles of binding.

Quilter Missing In Action

Quilter MIA

Wow.  Have a Giveaway and then go AWOL (*Absent Without Leave*).  Where have I been?  Grading.  Prepping.  It’s about this time of year that I can just feel the end of the semester looking around the corner, and I go wonkers writing the weekly blog posts and printing off assignments, and writing tests, just wanting it all to be done.  But I haven’t been totally inactive.  Here’s my QMIA (*Quilter Missing In Action*) report:

Binding for AWAT2

Cut and pressed about 45 miles of double binding for the Amish With A Twist – 2 quilt.  It’s still hanging out on the ironing board, waiting for me.  (I seemed to have been passed over by the binding fairies somehow.)

April 2014 ABL block

Always Bee Learning quilt block for April, with an ogee pattern.  I thought I laid it out as best I could (in this bee, we receive our fabrics and then stitch up the block), but I feel like I could have done better if I’d been able to slip in some of my stash to get a better distribution of colors, as I don’t want to disappoint her. I do hope the quilter is happy with it, but I’ll gladly do another if she’s not.  I finally got out the Curve Master foot that my friend Rhonda told me about, lo these many years ago, and after cutting myself a few curves out of some scrap fabric and practicing, I felt confident enough to go at the bee curves.  Rhonda says after you do a whole quilt of Drunkard’s Path, you’ll be considered a Pro.  I’ll take your word for it, Rhonda.  I tried to watch a YouTube video showing how-to, but that was the weekend that Adobe updated all their Flash software, which apparently didn’t work with my computer, so to be fair, some of my quilting time was spent cursing the computer, downloading, cursing some more, then uninstalling, reinstalling, etc etc.  You’ve all been there.

MCM April 2014_1

MCM April 2014_2

Two Mid-Century Modern Bee blocks for April for Debbie.  She only asked for one, but I got going and forgot to stop.

Fabric Stash Purl Soho

A birthday lunch with my kid, who is now thirty-nine and holding.  He has to stay that age so I don’t have to declare that I’m any older.  Oh, and just down the street from where he works is the Purl Soho warehouse for the West Coast, which coincidentally was having a sale, so these came home with me.

I also graded and prepped an inordinate amount, caught not one, but two, plagiarizers, but you don’t really want to hear about that.  Now to change gears a little, here’s a quote from a new book by curator and art advocate Sarah Lewis:

Mastery Quote

This quote is from Brainpickings, a website I haunt.  The author of this review, Maria Popova, often reviews books and brings together a lovely mix of ideas.  While I’ve been unable to get to the quilting, I’ve been thinking a lot about why I do what I do: cut a piece of cloth into little pieces and sew it back together again.  Of course, that’s the simplistic way of looking at things, for in the cutting and sewing lies a high degree of autonomy–of my being able to invent the design, give input to the creative process and even have a Fail once in a while.  I like the above quote, because while I’ll probably never have the fame of other quilters, Mastery seems like a worthwhile goal.  And apparently, according to Sarah Lewis, the author of The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure and the Search for Mastery, we don’t have to be perfectionists, nor have constant successes day after day.  But we do have to be willing to shut ourselves away and work at it, embracing failure and going forward.  Or, as Popova says, “This is why, Lewis argues, a centerpiece of mastery is the notion of failure.”

Popova continues by saying: “One essential element of understanding the value of failure is the notion of the ‘deliberate incomplete.’  (Cue in Marie Curie, who famously noted in a letter to her brother: “One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.”)” And then Popova quotes Lewis:

More to Do Quote

Okay, that’s enough brain food for one day.  I’m off to climb that mountain of binding, think about my goals (next post), and possible even finish grading the most recent literature paper that is in a stack downstairs on the dining room table.

01-marcelle-goes-to-the-circus-by-cindy-wiens

But let me leave you with this gorgeous quilt from Cindy, of Live A Colorful Life, who is a one of those quilters who, while understanding the idea of the “deliberate incomplete,” also has a LOT of deliberate completes, such as her Marcelle Medallion, from *here.*  She and I have often talked often about the WIPs that float in our closets and cupboards, yet I’d like to morph Lewis’ idea of the “deliberate incomplete,” to a new place–perhaps that of a quilt that is not ready to be finished whether because the quilt maker’s “other” life gets in the way, or that the quilter has “lost her mojo” (a phrase often seen on blogs) or does not yet have mastery of the skills needed to finish up (and certainly, that may include time management!).  Yet mine and yours and Cindy’s quilts that are on our beds, our walls and folded ready for visits from family and friends, certainly is a testament that we do finish, that we are — at some level — on our way to mastery.

Amish Quilt, in progress

AmishWithATwist2Top

Finished the inner top.  Put on two borders and still have one border to go this gigantic quilt (finishing at 105″ square).  What was I thinking?

AWAT-detail Jan_2014

I was thinking I loved the colors, the sparkle of the brights, and the use of solids.

Quilt Border Fail

This picture is titled Border Fail.  They sent me 2 5/8 yards of Blue Coal (it’s a nighttime photo, so all the colors are wacky), and after dinner I was tired but wanted to push on to finish the quilt.  So I came upstairs and whack, whack, whack started cutting crosswise strips to piece together for the outside border.  After I’d cut about half the strips, I realized they sent me enough to do a lengthwise cut for that outside border, which would really stabilize the quilt.  I slumped into my chair, and yes, got all teary about how dumb I was.  I was tired.  My husband said some “there, there, theres” and I ordered a new swath of Blue Coal from an online shop, which should be here by the end of next week.

Lessons learned: husband is a gem, mistakes can be made, especially if I’m tired, and beware of cutting after dinnertime.  I’d already put on the first inner border, and the little squares border.  Now that’s an exercise in frustration.  Those squares NEVER fit, so you go back in and stitch another 1/16″ of a seam on a few squares, inching it down to fit. If you want to see what I’m working toward, here’s a photo of Amish With A Twist–II:

AWAT2_someone else's

Here’s Amish with A Twist–Version I, and it’s really big, too.AmishWithATwist2011

Found this on the web when I went searching for ideas on how to quilt my quilt.  Which won’t be done until NEXT week now.

So the center of my version, Amish With A Twist-2,  is this lighter set of fabrics, so that would call out for beige or cream or light gray or something.  But then the outer is darker, so that indicates black or dark gray.  And I’m having this done by my long-armer, and to keep it affordable, I’ll probably do an edge to edge design.

AWAT1 quilting

This quilter had hers done in colorful variegated thread, which she showed on another page.  That’s certainly an option, as it does melt into the light-colored fabrics.  But I’m not too crazy about how it looks on the dark black.  My version doesn’t have that dark black thing, so maybe it will be okay.  What would you choose?  Road to California is coming up in a couple of weeks and I can pick up some Superior Thread there.  Any ideas?

Road to California Logo

And if you are going to Road to California, want to try for a meet up–say Friday, late afternoon?  That will give the out-of-towners time enough to get there, and by then, I’ll be ready to call it done for the day.  If you are going, leave a comment, and we’ll figure out a place.  Possibly near the ice cream cones.  Or cookies.

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WIP Wednesday

I seem to be on an Amish trend.  First the book announcement and a round-up of my Amish quilts, and then with this WIP Wednesday, news of my Amish With A Twist-2 BOM status. I was sailing through these monthly chapters of fabric and pattern until this one: twenty-eight blocks, all log cabin style.

AWAT2 cards

I got out my trusty swatch/color helper and started cutting.  I had to add a bunch to my cards to keep them current, one selvage snip at a time.

AWAT2-strips_1

At first I was confused, with what they wanted, then I figured it out.  They want a TOTAL of 28 strips, in a variety of the colors listed.  I did my math, and figured out that would be about 4 strips of each different color, in the dark color way and a different number in the medium color way, so lined them up on the board and started cutting.

AWAT2-strips_2

And cutting.

AWAT2 centers Log Cabin

I sewed the centers together, then did one complete round of strips.  They look kind of cool lined up here, I think.

AWAT2-strips_3

I assembled them in kind of a log-cabin-block arrangement, just trying to get the visual.

AWAT2-Log Cabin Blocks1

And finally–twenty-eight blocks completed.  I have eight more to go in a different coloration, then assemble and finish.

CrossX_1

I’m also working on the #friendshipxandplusswap showing up on blogs and instagram; there are quite a few of us who have paired up, decided on the number of blocks, and are going at it.  In October I was supposed to send my partner two blocks (we make four and send off half), and in November, four.  Well, here’s a part of November’s, I still owe October’s and December is right around the corner.  We all plan to blog on the last Friday of the month, so if you are not entertaining a turkey-pumpkin-pie hangover from the day before (American Thanksgiving), and can head back around, you’ll see some more of these blocks.

Structure1

Structure2

Next WIP rattling around in my head comes from when Leanne announced the theme for our next Four-in-Art challenge: Structure.  So when I was visiting my sister and her husband at Cedar-Sinai hospital this past week, I took some photos to get me in the mood.  They have very cool structures there, in terms of modern, angular buildings.  But it’s their art on the inside which is swoon-worthy. (That’s another post).

Santa and His Squares

Here’s the Big Kahuna of WIP projects, and the deadline is fast approaching.  I have now received all the 12″ squares from my bee mates.  Now to find the hyper-overdrive-Christmas-blast of energy to get it done!  I’ve not arranged these yet how I want them, but I love seeing them and all the signature squares,  up on the pinwall.

I could bore you with more, but I think that’s more than enough.

Linking up with Lee of Freshly Pieced.

WIP on

Amish With a Twist 2–progress

Amish With A Twist 2 Blocks

Today I’m all caught up with my Amish With A Twist-2 Block of the Month program with the completion of these four, plus the components shown below.

AWAT2 Blocks

I think these will eventually become part of the center star.

AWAT2 cards

I’d be lost without my color sample cards–I snip off a bit of selvage and write the name on it (and underneath) along with the color number.  It REALLY helps.

AWAT2 blocks cut out

I also cut each block’s pieces all at once, then store them inside the pattern, all folded up for when I can get to the sewing.  Done in parts, this quilt will be manageable, I think.

4-in-art_3

Check back tomorrow for our Four-in-Art Challenge Art Quilt Reveal!  I’m pretty excited about it, having seen bits and pieces of my fellow quilters’ works.  In addition, if you are a Schnibbles fan, Sherri and Sinta will have our newest Schnibbles on display, plus let us know what the next quilt will be. (Here’s mine!)

But today, I’m linking up to Lee’s Freshly Pieced for Works In Progress Wednesday.

WIP new button