Monday, June 24, 2019

Blog Banner---From my archives

Rather than fending and answering a couple dozen emails, I thought it would be easier to re-post this from 2017.    I responded to a post by Kerry on the Quiltville Studio Group on FB and she mentioned my blog.  She had been inspired to make a beautiful version of Scrappy Trips in floral fabrics by my banner.  Others had here is a post that could answer many of them.
From July 2017.......

Insight:   Things occur and happen to direct you along the road 
you are suppose to take.  There are signs we can chose to ignore, 
but with advanced age I have learned to be more 
receptive to directions.  At least sometimes. 

   All of this to say......this has been a week for emails and questions....not just requests for patterns.  Questions are a good thing.  Questions ask for help, provide direction, point up details I have forgotten, and they let me know what readers/followers want to know.   So after 3 questions about the quilt shown in the blog banner, I think I needed to provide details.  A hunt thru past posts revealed a big lack of details.  I have no idea what happened about that.

   Trippin'  Thru the Flowers is from 2014.  I began working on this as a Let's Book It project in April/May 2014.  The pattern is from Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville.    She calls it Scrappy Trips.   It is a Trip Around the World variation.....many small trips in fact.  My version is based on value rather than one color.   So.....chains of value radiate around the center square creating diamond bands of value.   Doesn't that sound rich?

  Value......not color.  Value is the lightness or darkness of the fabric.   And the secret to a quilt with the changes in value like this is variety.  You can't have enough floral prints to chose from :)   
 Three things I use to work with value in a water color (or a scrap quilt) are
  •  a value viewer (ruby beholder), 
  • a design wall, 
  • and a camera.   
Learn to sort your fabrics into correct value groups.   I use a ruby beholder viewer.  Additional tip....... Visit Exuberant Color for some good lessons... variety of value  ,  a lesson on value .  I learned great lessons from Wanda's blog, and there is no reason to create my version when she is a master at this.  

Design wall.....big, small, permanent or portable, it is so important.  I can stand back from a design layout about 8-10 feet and see how the values are working together.  In this design I wanted to  see distinct lines of dark and light.  I needed areas of medium value fabrics to blend to the dark and to the light fabrics.  

A camera....if all else fails, take a photo.  Look at it on the computer and amazingly, I can see where problems lie that need to be fixed.  Added tip....turn the photo into a black and white version and you will see instant photo based on value!

Back to the quilt............  
This is how the Scrappy Trips is put together.  4 blocks come together to make up the small trip around the world unit that you see.   If you read thru Bonnie's pattern, you will know that it takes 6 strips for each block unit.    So I had to make several variations for the variety in the full quilt.
   I laid out the strips according to value from dark to light before sewing them together.  It was important to be sure the dark and light fabrics were distinct and not too "mushy".   The lowest block on the left is just a little bit too mushy.  Compare it to the upper corner block that is diagonal to it.  Much stronger light in the center creates the radiating diamond.     So yes, I did have to do some planning--not too much--- to be sure I had light center units forming as well as dark center units.  

 And now a little further along.
   I got better as I went along....selecting fabrics to put together to blend and to have contrast.  
  In the pattern instructions, after you make sub-cuts you unpick a seam to join the rows.  The strongest dark or lightest light fabric was needed to run thru the center to get the pattern.  

   So many Scrappy Trips became Trippin' Thru the Flowers.   And  then became my blog it speaks dearly of the floral fabrics I love.   The blended values  remind me of shadows  in the garden in the evenings.  Movement can be strong and still gentle and that is what this quilt says to me.  
Happy stitching.

UPDATE:  After a few more comments and emails I realized there was a beginning section not detailed.   So I am adding a few more details here.    This is one of the stratas I used.    The strata is 6 fabric strips about 13'' by 2''  that are sewn together darkest to lightest in this example.  The blend might run  from very dark to light medium, or  dark to medium to light.  It will depend on your fabric selections.  
  When the strata is sewn into the tube and the sub-cuts are made,  The darkest fabric should be the bottom left corner of your layout.    Again, the technique for sewing is found at Quiltville under the free tab.  It is the fabric choice that makes this version different.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Piper and package

    Piper came for a short visit with our daughter and SIL.  Note the "place quilt" that travels with her.  She has become quite famous with her own Instagram page to promote her travels, and people she meets.   She's a Therapy Service dog for my daughter....yet everyone at her work loves to feed and pet Piper.  I think she serves as an anxiety calmer for a lot of gals there.  I spoiled her by baking an extra sweet potato for dinner.

  We had a great visit and Sir Old Man had some help in the garden for weeding and thinning plants.  That is until he was swarmed by wasps!  That pretty much squashed his day with about 6 stings on his arm.  So he was brought inside, treated with Benedryl, and ice packs.   He is much better this morning.

So I haven't done a lot of sewing.....but a lot of fabric came my way.
   Sir Old Man brought in the mail a couple of days ago.  He came down the hall asked if I had ordered some fabric.  I said, No.  He then asked if I was expecting some fabric.  Again, I replied no.  With a grin he presented me with a fully stuffed, absolutely stuffed to the gills, priority mail envelope.  Well, he told me, I think you got some anyway.    I am sorry I did not take a photo of the envelope.  And right now, I can't get the phone to transmit photos of the fabric.....have no idea what is up with that.  Sometimes I hate technology.
   But let's just say, 5 pounds of fabric is a lot.....probably 10+ yards  easy.  And of course, it is all older floral fabrics....from VIP and Cranston, and early Hoffman....probably from the 90s.  Some one had a clean out/de-stash and I was the gifted one.  Thanks, to Cheryl at  Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting for passing on her  de-stash.  And since it is more than I can use.....I have a couple of people in mind to pass some on to.  :)   Happy stitching.

Update!.......Sir Old Man figured out my technology problem and the photos uploaded.  I hate those phone updates that mess with my settings!  So here's a photo of the fabric received.  I will be cutting and sharing in a few days. 
  I have my cousins coming by to spend the day Friday, so I need to do some food prep tomorrow.    I always enjoy their visit. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Between the rains

  I glanced out the office window as I was answering emails and saw a swath of yellow blooms.  These are large, very large daylilies called Buttered Popcorn.  Isn't that name just the best!     I had Sir Old Man separate them last fall and plant them all alone the front walkway.    They are quite prolific bloomers.

  He had to tie up the gladiolas near the window that are just coming into bloom.    We have had 2 '' of rain in the last 2 days, and more  coming.  So I am afraid the these stems will be beaten down or broken soon. 

  On the design wall......
I unearthed a hidden UFO.  Well, not really a UFO, just a very long term project.  Anyway, I found about 20 of these block units while Sir Old Man was in Alaska.  I sewed most of them into 4 block units to create the small Trips Around the World unit. 
  Once I got them up on the design wall, I started sewing up more of the strata units of 6.   I have shared this many times.....from Bonnie at Quiltville.  It's the Scrappy Trips around the World.
  So this is what I have been sewing when I found a few minutes.   I like the very scrappy nature of this, and it is just fun stitching.  I probably need another 20 or so blocks for a large size.  So I will just keep going on this long term one. 
  Thanks for all the wonderful comments on Sir Old Man's project.  He was floored by the response. 
Happy stitching.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

From the workshop----no drooling please

   The last 2 weeks got away from  me.....Sir Old Man made it safely back with a full suitcase of laundry!  It took a couple of days to get things back to normal, and run errands, etc.  Then a week of something scheduled everyday.  And time  to sew or blog completely escaped me. 

   Today's project to share comes from the wood working shop of Sir Old Man.
It has been a UFO project for about 2 years.....everything else got put ahead of it for one reason or another.  No drooling, please.

  A Mission style cabinet  now fills this spot in the sun room.   He made it of oak, which he once again fumed with ammonia to achieve the color.  No stain, just the natural reaction of the wood to the ammonia.   He had to do a second closed fuming tent session to get the color he wanted.

      He tracked down and ordered the period reproduction hardware.  I love the lines of it. 

  A single shelf behind the door, and beautiful drawers on glides for easy closing. 

  Please notice the drawers are flush to face of the cabinet.  And there is a very nice, even reveal around each one.  I had a lesson or two about the difficulty of attaining this.  Pennies were used to ensure the spacing was exactly even. 

  I figured that if he could endure lessons on matching points and even stitches, I could learn about flush drawers and those details. :)

Perfectionist that he is, even the inside of the drawers get a sanding and finish. 
  Of course, that makes it all the better for me when loading or overloading them!  And no cheap plywood here....he uses a very costly baltic birch  for the drawers.  It does not warp or twist.

This photo is a truer color of the wood.  It is such a beautiful golden honey tone.  With exposure to daylight, it will darken and age to a deeper tone.   The appearance will be pure vintage Mission style in a few months. 

  I spent the afternoon gathering place mats, and table runners from the far corners of the house.  All the seasonal runners and mats went into the long bottom drawer.  Behind closed doors went the many place mats and runners for daily use. A smaller drawer for mug rugs too.  And the top drawers for extra cutlery and serving pieces. 
  This is the heirloom piece of his workshop.    I may need to add extra insurance to cover his work! 

  The rain has arrived and it is so nice to hear the splatter and drips out side.  We have been so dry for almost 3 weeks.  Good day for some stitching.....happy stitching. 

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