Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mulling it Over

I've spent the last few days walking past the design wall. I don't have much to show, but I'll show it anyway while I mull over the sashes for the Deconstructed Coin Quilt. I started out with bits and pieces (leftover from cuttings) divided by skinny strips and squares.

Here's how they look from far:

Thinking that was maybe a little too choppy, I subbed in longer pieces

and added skinny pieces to those

plus the little squares.

I tried fragmenting things a bit

and then a bit more.

Here's a close up:

This is a little closer to what I was imagining. I think maybe a combination of longer and shorter pieces, some of those skinny strips with little squares and some other bigger squares. Maybe a few more longer pieces than what are here. We'll see. I'm thinking it's starting to have just the barest hint of Piet Mondrian--even some of his early colors, which is fine with me. I have lots more playing around to go. I think my next step is to cut some long pieces of each color and lay those out and start whittling them down a bit from there. My goal is to have something interesting without overwhelming the printed coins. 

In the meantime, I've been working on the Painted Daisy Quilt. Since my last post about it, I tried out various threads for Big Stitch quilting. 

I was hoping to use Perle Cotton #8, but I couldn't find any locally. Well I finally did, and it was beautiful, but an expensive brand and not in the colors I wanted. I didn't want to order any, so I tried out some threads I had on hand. The yellow line of stitches above is Perle Cotton #5. I liked how it looked, but it was a lot of work to pull through the fabric (especially the knots). The next line (dark green) is four strands of embroidery thread, and the rest are various greens done with three strands. I decided that doing Big Stitch with four strands of thread and a big embroidery needle was good enough for me for this project. I bought a few more skeins of thread and did another sample to try them out on the various fabrics of the quilt. 

I tried out four shades of green and then one row of stitches with all four shades (one strand of each).Then two shades each of pink and red and one row of stitches with all four of those shades (one strand of each) on the pink and red fabrics. This little test showed me that there's not a lot of difference between different shades and that there really needs to be a lot of contrast (either much lighter or much darker) for a thread to really show up. Oh well, embroidery thread is cheap so it was an inexpensive lesson. 

After I made my little samples, we took off to my daughter and son-in-law for a week to do daycare while their usual daycare provider was on vacation. We had a blast!! Spending extended time, both day and night, with the Grands is such a treat. They were so sweet to take care of and play with. I took my little quilt along to work on in the evenings, but didn't really expect to spend much time with it. I did do a little outlining on the flower, and I have finished that part since I've come back home. 

This piece is so small that I've found it's easiest to do without a hoop. I used threads that matched the fabrics most closely to do the outlining. I also did some cross hatching in the center. I think next I'll add some veins in the petals, maybe with more contrasting thread, and then I'll have to figure out the rest of the background. I'm enjoying it well enough, and it will be a nice little diversion when I need some handwork, but so far I'm not enjoying it as much as my usual hand quilting with regular quilting thread. It's hard for me to think of it as quilting and not embroidery. Maybe I'd enjoy it more with Perle cotton #8. 

Here's a close-up:

The temperatures are in the 80s this week, so I've been sidetracked from quilting to plant flowers. Two weeks earlier than I usually do!! The "rule" where I live is no planting until Memorial Day to ensure no danger from frost, but it's just too nice out to wait. Here are some pansies and violas I planted just before we left to do daycare:
Blue flowers make me swoon!
There was frost predicted for while we were gone, but my husband moved the pots up against the house and the flowers came through just fine. Not much else is blooming in the perennial garden, except the candy tuft

and some of the columbine.

We also have iris ready to pop. Eventually the other flowers will find their way into this blog. For now, I'll keep walking past that design wall and experimenting with fabric pieces for my sashings. And maybe I'll also sit out on the deck with my hand quilting so I can enjoy my fabric flower and my real flowers at the same time. 

I'm linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social this week. I hope you are having a beautiful spring/fall. Keep quilting!


  1. Our design walls are our drive-bys - I had to chuckle over you changing out the "scenery" to see what works best. I had to look up Piet Mondrian, but yes I see what you mean. Whatever you decide, it is going to be an awesome quilt.
    Your stitching experiments are fun to watch, and your flowers are just gorgeous!

  2. I like the direction you're going with the improv piece! The solids are a good foil for the pretty prints. Glad you had such a good time with your grandkids :)

  3. Such a delightfully newsy post! I've really enjoyed watching your quilt come together! It has grown leaps and bounds! That would be a good name for it! Enjoy your pretty flowers!