This time next week Ms C and I will be on our way to Birmingham for the Festival of Quilts. Woohoo!!! It seems to have come round really quickly, and I’m so looking forward to it! But with only a week to go, I really need to get my backside in gear and start on the pre-work for my Colourful Quilt class.
After my last post, and the comments about my fabric selection, I made a few changes and I’m pretty much there now – well, I think this is about as good as I’m going to get it, in any case. I took out the darkest green and the darkest blue fabric and replaced them with lighter options, not only to balance out the distribution of colour value so that the darks wouldn’t dominate, but also so that there would be enough contrast between the 24 colours I had chosen and the background fabrics.
And here is the new round-up…
… with the background fabrics at the bottom of the pile
On the whole, I like it better; I think it’s more balanced, and much better reflects my initial thoughts of creating undulating curves in beautiful greeny-blue sea tones. Mmmmmmm!
Sadly (!) I had to break my fabric fast to get the fabric line-up how I wanted. I ordered a couple of half yards of solid fabric to replace the darks I wanted to remove, but while I was at it, I took the opportunity to fill up the Flat Rate envelope with some other fabric lovelies to make the shipping cost worthwhile. Well, it would have been rude not to!
In my defence, they were all in the sale section, this was my first ‘splurge’ all year, and, what’s more, the whole lot came in under the 62CHF limit allowed by Swiss customs before they tax the heck out of anything you want to import!
3 half yards of Simply Style
Half yard bundle of Theodore and Izzy
3 yards of Hello Tokyo
Judicious fabric purchasing – that’s the name of the game 🙂
In the meantime, an 11 page document detailing our preliminary cutting instructions has arrived by email. Yes, that’s right – 11 pages! And that’s only the cutting we need to do before the class! It’s mind-bendingly complicated, and all colour-coded too, if you please!
Crikey! It made my head hurt just thinking about it, so I took the sensible and adult approach to the problem. I printed off the instructions, and stuck them in the box with the fabric and shoved it away at the back of my sewing room. And there they will remain until the lovely Ms C, my partner in crime in all things quilty, gets back from sunny Spain later this week. At which point we can hopefully get together for a good old chinwag, before trying and work out what the heck it is we’re meant to be doing before we get on the plane next week.
Well, we did book the class because we wanted a challenge – bring it on!
Well I never, another finish!
Actually, I finished this quilt ages ago, but never quite got round to taking any photos of it. But a timely reminder last week that the Q1 Finish-Along is about to, well, finish, reminded me that this had been on my To Do list. So I whipped out the camera, hopped onto the balcony, and got to it!
I started this quilt back in September last year, when I took a class with Marti Michell at the Carrefour Européen du Patchwork in Ste Marie-aux-Mines. I’ve loved the look of the Kaleidoscope block for a long time, and the chance to take this class with such a well-known teacher, and in ENGLISH too, was way too good to pass up. Now my French is certainly good enough that I can follow when I take classes here, but, well, they can be quite exhausting! I always have to concentrate really hard to make sure I’ve totally understood what I need to do, and then there’s all the having to translate cm into inches, which makes them somewhat challenging at times. A class in English for a change – well, hooray!
According to the pre-course information, highly contrasting colours work the best for this quilt. So I chose black and white, with a pop of yellow.
The quilt top itself was actually finished on the day of the class – which is an absolute first for me. I’m not a super-speedy quilter like my friends Ms JJ or Ms C, and I’m pretty much always one of the last people to finish any given project. But this time I was the first – probably because it was all in English!
Then I came home, and the quilt languished in the back of the cupboard while I tried to decide how to quilt it.
Back in January, I decided enough was enough, and added it to my list for the Q1 Finish Along and the projects I wanted to finish during my fabric fast. And I got stuck in. I started off quilting in the ditch around the distinct Kaleidoscope circles, hoping that this would make them stand out. But it didn’t have the effect I wanted. So I then quilted every seam in the ditch, thinking that this would show up the contrast between black and white.
Now this worked a little better, but it still didn’t have the effect I was after. I wanted to highlight the circular nature of the Kaleidoscope. And given that the fabric had circular motifs and dots on it, I decided to try quilting some circles.
The design then evolved to contain concentric and interlocking circles in the quilt centre, and overlapping circles in the outer border.
It’s easier to see the quilting design from the back of the quilt – and yes, it really is that bright a yellow, one of the many perils of choosing fabric online…
I finished the quilting back in January, and it was one of my first finishes of 2014. And I’m really pleased with it. It’s only quite small (measures 33″ x 33″) so it wasn’t too daunting to quilt. In fact, it was a great confidence boost for me, as I am always petrified that I’ll ruin my beautiful quilt tops with inexpert quilting or a badly chosen design. This time I just went with it, and let the quilting design evolve organically. And I think that it works. Maybe I should have more faith in myself!
So even though I’ve only just got around to sharing this quilt, I’m linking it up with the Q1 Finish Along Finish Party. Why not pop over and have a peep at some of the other beautiful finishes out there?
Back in the summer, I went into my local quilt shop and saw a sample for a class they were running this autumn. I was fascinated by the different sized blocks and how they all fitted together so neatly.
The class was already full, so I asked to be put on the waiting list. And promptly forgot all about it, figuring that there was next to no chance of getting onto the course this time around, and that I’d have to wait for it to be re-run in the spring.
Then last Wednesday afternoon I had a call to say they had a last-minute drop-out, and was I interested in filling the spot. First session – Friday, 2 days away. Wow! Well, yes, I certainly was interested, and after a little diary re-jigging I was happily able to make it. Cue frantic stash raiding on Thursday to try and find the necessary fabrics – a selection of 10-15 different fabrics from the same colour family, but with a range of different values. Ok.
Eschewing my favourite pinks and purples for a change, I decided to work with the blue/green spectrum – from pale aqua, through turquoise and teal to dark blue. I never thought I had much in the way of this colour family – until I went looking through my stash and scrap bin. Hmmm. It seems I have plenty (and this is just the scraps and fat quarters….)
The couse itself was excellent.The teacher, the lovely Judy, is a quilty friend of mine, and once she’d explained the principle behind constructing the quilt top, I got stuck right in. A new departure for me, this course uses centimentres rather than inches – now, while I can spot a scant 1/4″ seam at 10 paces, and can estimate the remaining yardage on a bolt with a reasonable degree of accuracy, I have no idea when it comes to metric measurements. Although, upon reflection, this could easily be made using inches, I bought myself a 31.5 cm square ruler (12 1/2″), and got measuring, cutting and sewing. And here are the blocks I’ve made so far, although I’ll need a fair few more to make a decent lap sized quilt
The next class is at the start of November, so I’m going to be kept busy over the next few weeks constructing these pretty blocks. Their extreme squareness appeals to my quilter’s OCD, and the fabrics I’ve chosen remind me of the ocean. This is one of the few things I miss about England, living here in land-locked Switzerland. The lakes are undeniably beautiful, but we Brits are an island race, and I really do miss the smell, taste and sound of the sea…
Linking on up to Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.