Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Willa said......

This is the week of the full calendar ---- dentists and doctors.  So today is the only day to get some sewing done.

  Over the weekend I put Hot Legs through a workout and got the quilting done on this one......She needs a trim and some binding to be finished.    The quilting is minimal on the orange peels....outline the peels and swirls in the border.  For me, this quilt is more about the design, fabric, and the glow of the layout.




  This morning was spent testing a block idea that has been rumbling around in my head.   While I was sewing,  I could hear Willa in my head saying, always make a test sample to be sure of your measurements, and colors.   Who was Willa?  A very dear lady with incredible quilting skills that I met early on in my quilting life.  She was a formative part of our quilt guild and we all learned so much from her.  I remember walking into our small quilt shop and watching her pull fabrics for a "new quilt".  She had a pattern, but did not like the colors.  She had ideas to improve the layout.  She had 2 or 3 "reject" blocks that she had made.  Willa was sure there were better combinations to be discovered.   Personally, I thought her rejects were beautiful!  So my efforts today are a reminder of the lessons she shared.


Strip Stacks By Erla, Gudrun  - Quilt is made with 2-1/2 strips and yardage for the background fabric. The pattern includes 3 sizes (crib, lap, full). The Lapsize uses 1 Jelly Roll This quilt is very simple to put together, great for beginners.:      The pattern?  This is Strip Stacks by Erla Gudrun.  It is perfect for a jelly roll quilt in 2 1/2'' strips, and I am sure you have seen a few of these around.
   But what if I wanted to use 2'' strips?  Ok, I managed to resize the measurements.   What I was not crazy about was the assembly of those long...long...long vertical bands.  I have done that.  I much prefer a block to work with.  Add to that, I wanted to insure placement so I could get a blended effect using some floral fabrics.




 I created the block on paper, and went to EQ7 to get this.  The basic layout was easy....it was adding the wide strip to the bottom of the block that will allow me to create the staggered layout.  Without the wide strip, all the blocks lined up in a blur.
   I realize I am taking away some of the vertical design elements doing this.  The other option is to use longer pieces of the light background to extend to the needed size.


    My sewn sample block using floral fabrics.
I need more testing.

  • Value placement is more crucial to get the look I am going for.  
  • Maybe a consistent background fabric will improve it.
  • Lighter centers strips might be a better arrangement.
  • Try the longer vertical strips for the bottom length.
   Thank you, Willa, for the lessons you gave us.  This one is for you.

Happy stitching.

9 comments:

  1. Oh, I was always taught to test a block, too, but I rarely comply. It would save much frustration if I did. : )
    This will be very pretty in your florals. I'm interested to see your final placement choices. You may be on to something with that consistent background idea.

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  2. I draw it out, make either fabric or even paper blocks to see if it works first. I think keeping the darker pieces to the outside would make them stand out and a constant background - love where you are going with this.

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  3. How I wish there had been a Willa in my early quilting life - even now for that matter! A test block is the way to go, for sure, but do I do it? Sometimes ... definitely on the next queen size project! I love the way the orange peel quilt is looking, very soft and inviting with the more minimal quilting.

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  4. I think lighter centers and dark surrounding will work with your florals in that block.

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  5. To me, the lighter blocks sort of disappear into the background. Now, if they were in the center and the darker ones near the background... but it's your quilt and you know what you want to accomplish. Either way, look forward to seeing how it progresses.

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  6. I almost always make a test block out of scraps to check sizes, math isn't my thing, then a test to make sure the colors work in the block, usually that's the first block of the quilt, but I've had some that just look awful. I think you're right about the consistant background fabric, very light to make it pop.

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  7. I really like the orange peel quilt. It just speaks to me & says "come snuggle up" & enjoy some quiet time. I very seldom make a test block. I'm thinking I should take Willa's advice & save some frustrations. Thanks for her tip.

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  8. I would say Willa was a very wise woman!

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  9. The orange peel quiltis just gorgeous and think your design is great.Can´t wait to see your new quilt!

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