29 October 2011

Auditioning backgrounds - part 2

Well, after all the song-and-dance on this blog about what background to choose for my Sunflowers, I bit the bullet, and now I have two options, none of which have been shown before.

Option 1 : Lots of different blues.

Option 2 : A fabric bought the weekend before last, which actually has all the nuances of greens that I use in the flowers proper, and a few more, plus some yellows and blues too, and a big leaves pattern, which will probably be unrecognizable when cut into pieces.

I think I'll go with Option 2, the fabric of the many greens, for the main quilt, and with Option 1 for the 'Reject' quilt.
And no, they are not properly rejected blocks. As was the case with the Passacaglia, there will be blocks that doesn't work with the rest, and the ones that stick out the most will be getting a multiple-blue background and will - eventually - form a quilt of its own ... hopefully a quilt smaller than the one with greens in the background :-)

26 October 2011

All things bright ...

Well, this one certainly is bright.
Sunflower # 15, for your perusal and (hopefully) enjoyment. The fabric I've used for the outer diamonds doesn't work too well, but ... it stays !

22 October 2011

Gorgeous Hexagons

This past week-end, I spent a wonderful couple of days in a vicarage in Jutland (Louns if you want to look up the place on Google Maps or the like).One of the things we did was getting DFreind to the point where she can finish her second quilt-top. Yes. Her second.
It is made using the 1" shapes from Inklingo Collection # 1 (a sold-out CD), and is looking spectacular. And yes, you can still get most of the shapes here in downloadable collections, viz. the 1" hexagon collection and the 1" diamond collection. The only shape used here, which is no longer available (unless you have Collection 1) is the 1" elongated hexagon.

The picture does not do the colours justice, just so you know. It is far more vibrant in real life than it is here. I can hardly wait for it to be a finished top, so we can send it off to a quilter :-)

19 October 2011

Still shining

Sunflower # 14.
And I'm still enjoying myself hugely. And I like the colour grading from pink, via orange to yellow. Would love to have the individual shapes show up more clearly, but ... you can't have both a gradation (?) and a clear difference.

I do fear, however, that I need to start printing and adding the backgrounds soon, just to get a better impression of what the finished article will look like.

... but I think I'll make just one more Sunflower before doing so :-D

15 October 2011

Auditioning backgrounds

Well, "That Perfect Background" hasn't worked out. Can't find more of it anywhere in the world, so I'm looking into alternatives. And this is where a digital camera is a true blessing, because one can place the blocks, take a picture, and move on to the next suggestion.

Here's a fabric that I just got in. Ordered it ... just because. I will need to order more (and hurry up about it) if I want this.

And this is the fabric I ordered, because it looked close to "That Perfect Fabric" while on the monitor. Unfortunately, it turned out to be much lighter in real life than it was on the picture on the screen. It doesn't happen often, but it happens. Looks ... ok, I guess, but rather light. The good thing about it is, that I have enough of this fabric :

And then something completely different : What about a bright, warm, yellow background ? If this is what I end up deciding upon, I need to order more, and - again - need to hurry up about it.

I'm holding out a bit, though. I'm going with a DFreind to a place which never has a sale, but has a warehouse full of fabrics tomorrow. She might have something. I hope so. If not ... I'll just have to make an executive decision and stay with it.

12 October 2011

A Baker's Dozen of Sunflowers

Another attempt at 'doing something' with the huge centre of the 12" Sunflower block
This time, I've dug out some patterns I made ... what ... 8-10 years ago. Applique. Some of them are actually perfect (and the perfect size) to use as Sunflower centres.

And I like this one.

What I did was :
Print the Sunflower circle on the yellow fabric.
Draw the applique-pattern on the back of the green fabric (and since it is a batik, the 'back-front' thing is not an issue. At all).
Layer so the yellow fabric is on top of the green; both with right sides up, and so the printed circle aligns with the drafted circle (a light-box or a window with day-light on the outside are great helps here).
Baste from the back.
Applique !

Stitch the Sunflower as usual.


I like this one. I'll dig through my old designs again. I know there are at least two more circular designs in there, that might, just might, be appropriate to use for a Sunflower center.

08 October 2011

Printing with too little fabric

Occasionally (frequently), I find myself just short of the desired size of fabric when I want to print something with Inklingo.

Example : I want to make some small Broken Dishes blocks. For that, I need HST.
What is more, I would love to have them finish at 3", because then I can make them work with the 6" format that I mostly use for my block-experiments.
Now, to print a total of 8 HST, each 1.5" with Inklingo, I need a piece of fabric which is 5.25 x 5.5", BUT, I would so much like to use some (prewashed) 5" charms (which, after washing, are then more like 4.75 x 5").

Here's what I do :
Cut the freezer-paper 5.5" square.
Set the printer's Custom-size to 5.5" square

On the plastic-side of the freezer-paper, print the desired shape. In this case, 1.5" HST in Layout 1. Print it with colour 00. It really doesn't matter if you can see the actual print here. What is important is, that you can see the rulers that are on top of and to the left of the print proper.

(click on picture to see more clearly ... and yes, I can barely see the 00-colour print on this sheet of paper. I can, however, see the ruler-lines fairly clearly).

Take the 5" square.
Position it so that it just (barely) covers the straight line of the printed (and visible) ruler. (again, click on picture if you have trouble seeing what I mean)
Iron in place.

IF your iron gets slightly gunky from this exercise, take a brown paper-bag (or another uncoloured piece of scrap-paper), place it over the edge of your ironing-board, and run the sole of your iron over the edge a few times. This will do away with most gunk on the sole of your iron (trick learned in clothes-construction class; it works when you want to remove remnants of fusibles like vlieseline or steam-a-seam from the sole of your iron).

Print normally ! staying with the 5.5" user-defined / custom-size of setting.

As you can see, the fabric just (just !) covers enough of the print to give me both cutting- and stitching-lines for all 8 HST.

The general principle can be used with any (custom) size paper. Set your setting to the size paper you need, and you can (just) make do with a piece of fabric which is up to 0.5" smaller on one or both sides.
It is a particularly useful trick to do, when you - like the case is in this example - have a certain size pre-cut, and need just that teeny little bit more fabric to make it really work.

... oh, and my printed 5" charms ?
They are made into Broken Dishes and Pinwheel blocks, and I'm doing them as Leaders-Enders (thank you for the term, Bonnie Hunter)
And yes, in the fullness of time, there will be enough for a quilt :-)

... in the fullness of time :-)

05 October 2011

Nicely Neutral Sunflower

Or : Sunflower # 12.
I know I have 'always' said, that fuchsia and chartreuse are neutrals. So here it is. The nicely neutral Sunflower, using (from the outside and in) : chartreuse / lime, orange/pink, fuchsia, turquoise, and orange!
And with a fussy-printed centre too :-)

There is one full sun left on the F/4 of Sun-fabric used in the centre here, I think I *need* to make another one, with the fussy-printed centre, but with light-yellow inner triangles, to match the light-yellow rays of the sun on the fabric ... and even though this block seriously kicks ... donkey. It kicks donkey, the turquoise really stands out up there on the wall.
... but I might just return to it anyway :-)

01 October 2011

Knitting in a foreign language

And so it is October, the weather is getting colder, and I'm knitting again.

I've started Susan Pandorf's 'Evenstar' shawl. And I blame Martha. (Martha carries the blame for many beautiful and wondrous things that are in my life, so I'm sure she'll shoulder this one too).

Lace-knitting without a multitude of reapeats is a challenge on its own. To do lace-knitting, where the pattern is written in a foreign language adds a new dimension to the challenge (and yes, to me English is a foreign language). There are some of her abbreviations that I can simply not wrap my head around, and have spent quite some time on Ravelry and google to try and find out what they were.

Thank God for YouTube, and generous people who share how to do things. Seeing a stitch is essential when you cannot understand the written directions.

ANYway, the Evenstar shawl is well started, using silk-thread (from Blue Moon Fiber arts for which the pattern is written), in a lovely variegated blue. Silk isn't very forgiving to knit, and since the project has just been started, it isn't in any way blocked yet. I hope you can still see a bit of the loveliness.

The pink thread (you can see it clearly on the small picture to the right), is a life-line. Amazing concept when knitting lace in the round :-) And again, thank god for YouTube :-)

And yes, I know one usually doesn't blame someone for that which is good, but since many of the good things Martha has brought into my life are quite addictive, I think that blame is a good word :-)