Friday, August 22, 2014

A Friday Finish!

I finished the X-plus quilt!

The recipient specified her love of bright colors, and the rest was up to me. I have been wanting to do a Japanese X-plus quilt ever since that design started showing up on Pinterest (such a great tool for concrete inspiration! here's my patchwork Pinterest board), so here is my first in that vein.

I was pleased that it was not necessary to have the same saturation degree for all of my colors, and still to have it "work". Perhaps it even worked better because--for instance--my orange was not a true orange, but a slightly less aggressive "carrot" (on sale for $3.48 at Connecting Threads). Perhaps the less intense colors make the quilt more live-able.

This quilt required row-by-row piecing of blocks to ensure the background block colors. The basic block has the "plus" in the middle, so, for instance the one gold-background block in the middle zone is actually the intersection of four block corners.

from Portland Modern Quilt Guild
It was long-arm quilted by my dear friend Judy Robey, of Waukee, who took time out from her busy sewing schedule for me. The back is an orange "Quilters Showcase" print I found at Jo-Ann's: in fact I had to go to two separate Jo-Ann's stores to have enough for the back--and I finished off both stores' bolts! Jo-Ann's prices have shot up for the "designer prints"--as high as $12.99 per yard!--but this line of nice modern calicos is always reasonably priced.

Can't wait to get back into the studio next week. My next project involves strip- and possibly crazy-piecing the mounds of scraps in my bins, like this maybe? 
Heartspun Quilts - Pam Buda
...then pairing the strips with large solid blocks. Meanwhile, I'll see if my friend Liz's long-arm is ready for use again, so I can finish up my Paducah 9-patch and send it off to my exceedingly patient cousin in Arizona.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Six Weeks Later...

What a July it was!
Our July started, technically, on June 28, when my stepson Justus and his beautiful bride Kelli were married. My hub's family swarmed our house and garden (they're tons of fun), and my mother was present, too, with her ever-helpful hands and her artist's eye: "Tell me about that beautiful quilt underneath the one with that awful squirrel!" She actually thought they were different quilts! (okay, she didn't say  "awful", but that's what I heard.)

She was right, as she always is. Over the weekend we hopped over to a friend's vintage quilt shop, where I found several fabrics salvaged from the "Laura Ashley '80s" in the soft sea/sage green I had needed, but had not been able to find among today's fabric lines. Shortly after the wedding hoopla had become a happy memory, I had ripped out that panel and whipped up a bunch more squares for my Paducah Nine-Patch. Here is the result:

July was also packed with volunteering at a special summer school program for "at-risk" kids (grades 3-4) in our community. After 3 weeks, I was sad to say goodbye, and wanted to make quilts for all of them! (which is silly. What I really wanted was to spend more time with them).

Instead, I have been planning a quilt for another bride, the daughter of some friends at church who bought my silent auction item, "make a queen size quilt, $300" as a wedding gift. I directed the bride-to-be to Pinterest, and she shared her admiration for this amazing spiderweb quilt. My, what good taste she has. This is one of the most stunning quilts of the highly accomplished modern quilt artist who blogs at Nifty Quilts!
She said it was the bright, cheerful colors she was attracted to. I chose the Japanese X-plus pattern, (instructions here) and dug into my scrap bins:

I hope she likes turquoise! Her wedding is next weekend. I've got some sewing to do!