Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Red and White Design Challenge

Although I was part of the Blog Hop to get the design juices flowing for creating red and white quilts in EQ, I had never made a red and white quilt myself. I enjoyed the process of writing the tutorial for the blog hop and subsequently designed a quilt with the 48" x 60" parameters in mind.

So, here is my entry to the Design It! Challenge.

Here is my inspiration behind this design: My mom does an incredible amount of work for charity working with a chapter of It's My Very Own (IMVO) that meets weekly on Mondays in Apache Junction, AZ. From 2007-2011 they delivered a total of 500 bags. In the past two years they have delivered 483 bags. Already in 2014 two other agencies have signed on to be recipients, so they anticipate a huge increase in demand for their bags this year. The bags are referred to as a "Bag of Love". Several local organizations have been generous contributors to this effort. All contributions are greatly appreciated. Sometimes when someone in the area is cleaning out their estate, downsizing, etc. fabrics will be donated to the group. Good quilting cottons are hard to come by, but they use as many types of fabrics that are reasonable. They often receive types of fabrics that just can't be used in a quilt and have been quite inventive to create other objects that they can sell or put the fabrics in a bi-annual rummage sale whose proceeds go to a local one room school that they support. Not often does an organization have the opportunity to pass along goods that aren't quite the right fit in such a productive way. I continue to be impressed with their charitable spirit.

What is a "Bag of Love" you ask?  Each Bag of Love includes a handmade quilt, stuffed animal, toys, and personal care items that are gender and age appropriate. There are 10 separate groupings of gender/age.

They aim to have the quilts be a 48"x60" size. So, since I had suggested to my mom that while I was in AZ, if the volunteers would appreciate a quilting class, maybe I could help them with a fairly simple, yet different than they usually put together for their charity quilts. Since these bags even go to teenagers, something with a bit of design I thought would be nice.

This design helps to teach color value and the importance of understanding lights to darks and how it can effect the design. With a border fabric of their choice that might be something hard to work with, choose 4 coordinating colors. Place them in order of what your perceived value from light to dark is and take a black and white photocopy of it to test your perception. If you got it right they will shade from light to dark in a natural progression. If not, rearrange the order so that you can get the appropriate contrasts and effect of the intended design.

This is the design result in black and white. (48"x60")

In red and white with a Jinny Beyer border from her Monochrome line.

Fabric Requirements:
Border: 1.5 yards if pieced; if cut lengthwise with a border print --2 yards
Four values - EACH 1 yard
This is a generous portion. If you have usable 41.75" WOF, then 14.25" x WOF is sufficient.
Binding: 0.5 yard
Backing: 2.75 yards

Some of their results:

by Betty
by Cindy

by Margaret
by Kris

by Mary
by Mary

by Sally

There are several ways to construct this quilt (half square triangles  and two strip sets are just two ways that I can think of quickly), but I choose to minimize the number of seams and keep use of fabric efficient, which required diagonal sewing on the bias when assembling an individual row.

Key piecing elements include knowing when to have a dog ear at each end and when you don't! The triangles at the end of each row matches up at the point, but the other end of it needs a dog ear. The large triangles all need dog ears at each intersection. Once you have the whole row put together. Repeat until all rows are are complete and sew the rows together. I found pressing the seams in a given row in the same direction (need to think about this while you're piecing the row together) keeps a better 'average' of intersection depth rather than getting some quite flat seams and some double overlapped seams. This design is easily adapted into larger sizes.

I have upsized it to twin, queen and king sizes. I have designed pieced borders for the queen and king size. The sizing provides a bit more opportunity to design something to sit ON the bed, and something separate for the sides of the bed.

Fabric Estimates below are based on EQ7 calculations.

Twin - Approx 73"x98"

Fabric requirements:

Border 2 yards (3 yards if cut lengthwise)

Darkest and Lightest: 2 yards

Two Medium values: 2.5 yards

Binding: 5/8 yard

Backing: 5 5/8 yards

Queen - Approx 97x110

Fabric requirements:

Pieced Border
Light: 2 7/8 yards
Dark: 2 7/8 yards

Dark Inner Border : 1 1/4 yards
Light Inner Border: 1/2 yard


Darkest and Lightest: 1 5/8 yards

Medium Light : 1 1/8 yard
Medium Dark: 2 1/4 yards

Binding: 1 yard

Backing: 8.5 yards

King - Approx 110 x 110

Fabric requirements:

Pieced Border
Light: 2 7/8 yards
Dark: 2 7/8 yards

Dark Inner Border : 1 1/8 yards
Light Inner Border: 1/2 yard


Darkest and Lightest: 1 7/8 yards

Two Medium Values: 2 3/4 yards

Binding: 1 yard

Backing: 9.75 yards

I'm entering this design in Phase Two of the Red and White Challenge - Design It! I hope you'll check them all out.
Have fun!! 

Friday, March 7, 2014

New Scrollwork Freehand Border Design

What a difference a few days can make. The snow is gone and we had a beautiful sunset last evening.

This week I got to work on a quilt that left lots of open spaces and begged for a special outer border since the fabric read as a solid.

When I realized that doing a simple freehand scroll wasn't enough for the outer border...I decided to do an echo on both sides and this is what I came up with. So happy with the result! Easy too!!

First pass - consider a center section and keep about an inch or less away from both sides of the border (horizontal straight lines in (crude) illustration below), stitching a scroll on the outside of the section and coming back towards the line on the inside. This lets you cross the line to continue instead of sometimes maybe not hitting it.

Second pass (in blue)--echo on the inside doing a wave into the open side of the scroll and then just a pivot point at the next large open area.

Third pass (in green)--echo on the outside doing a wave into the open side of the scroll and then just a pivot point at the next large open area.

Completed illustration (tried to turn all the stitching into black lines) --ignore the straight horizontal lines...those were guides.
Here is a video trying to also demonstrate it.

Curious what people use to create digital illustrations of quilting motifs. Ideas?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Double Nine Birds in the Sky - Sneak Peek

This last week we had a nice bit of snow and the next day was glorious sunshine so made for some great photos. Here is my studio with the snow covered hillside below.

Today I captured this up river from Grand Coulee Dam on Lake Roosevelt. It was so calm, even though it was snowing, that we had a good mirror on the water.

I need to work on my voice-over voice (HA!)

I promised a sneak peek of the Red and White quilts ....and provided one of each on Facebook already, but here are a couple more images.

These two quilts are planned for an upcoming Red and White book being put together by AQS. I'll write up a lot more about my quilting choices and process when the book is ready.

In progress ......Initial structures of "Birds in the Air"

critical learning lesson--should have taken Judi Madsen's advice and marked all the straight lines that didn't have key registration elements in the piecing. The purple marking pen just wasn't lasting long enough when I initially tried to do that, so just went for it. Should have found a blue pen or got out my FriXion pen.
UPDATE: This quilt will be included in the
Ruby Jubilee: A 40-Year Celebration
at Houston Quilt Festival 2014! Whoo Hooo!!

In progress.....Initial elements of "Double Nine Patch" (used the FriXion pen this time to mark a grid in the open white spaces.)

Here is a short video of how to do the continuously stitched orange peels and treatment around the red patches. Compiled three takes this using the Windows Live Movie Maker. Need to modify my camera mount so its not part of the image. Sorry.

Happy March!