March 28, 2012

Golden Dragons

Several months ago, I found the most gorgeous purple-and-gold calico at one of my favorite shops. It has a Chinese design of gold dragons whipping around a purple sky. I fell in love with it instantly and bought a meter so that I'd have it. It's been in my UFO closet since then.

I still don't have a design for it, but today was back in that same shop and found a couple of coordinating fabrics that look great with it. I bought a meter of each. Here's a photo of all 4 pieces, with the original dragon print on the right:

All four fabrics have shiny gold on them. My camera's flash wiped out the gold print (second from the left), but here's a closeup photo showing the design on that one:

Still no design, but I'm happy now that I've got a well-marrying purple to go with the dragon print, plus a couple of complimentary prints in gold/copper.

March 21, 2012

Quilt 11: "Trees" - first, the tree trunks

So here we go: the "Trees" quilt. Here's the design (from my quilt design software program):

First, I"ll assemble the tree trunks blocks. Those are simple - just strips of brown calico. Here are 2 blocks, showing the back (left) and front (right):

And then I can stack them together:

Of course, it makes more sense, visually, to turn them on their ends, and you can see the trunk forming here:

Ah...! Finally... I'm off and running with this one.

I'm not stitching the blocks together just yet, not entirely sure how I want to approach that. At the moment, I'm thinking I'll assemble the blocks for the top row (the leaves, trunk, sky) and stitch the blocks together horizontally to start...

March 14, 2012

Back to My Future (Quilt 11- Trees)

I'm still working on the "Forbidden Palace" quilt - it's slow going, but I have hope that I'll finish it before the end of this month. With that in mind, I need to look ahead and think about getting another quilt top done so that when I do finish "Forbidden Palace", there's another project waiting in the wings.

I opened up my UFO closet and pulled out this bin:

It has the fabric for my queen-sized spread design I'm calling "Trees" (a quilt that I designed last year, but hadn't made much headway on). I'm looking forward to getting into this one; it involves leaf-blocks, a kind of block I've not done before.

So Quilt 11, here we go!

March 7, 2012

There are three kinds of stores that I simply can't go into without buying something: plant stores, fabric stores, and book stores. I dropped into the Belgrave Book Barn to see how my book was selling, and of course ended up walking out with a book - on this occasion, a quilting book.

"Patchwork: 200 Q&A" by Jake Finch (a man wrote a quilting book?) is just about perfect for me at this stage of my development as a quilter.

It's arranged in colour-coded sections, each section covering a different aspect of quilting. There are illustrations showing of a nice selection of block types - but not so many as to be overwhelming. I'm especially pleased that so many of the blocks shown in the book use straight lines (I'm not into curvy stuff just yet). In addition to showing sample blocks, illustrations are included to show their assembly. The narrative is well written, but quite a bit can be gleaned just from glancing at the pictures.

There are sections on colour selection, labelling, machine vs hand quilting, binding techniques, computer design software, and so on. Although it's not an exhaustive "everything you need to know" book, it certainly does cover the topic well.

A beginner could use this book to learn basic techniques, but should be warned that the book isn't arranged to show the sequence of steps someone might go through. The information is there, just not in "step-by-step from beginning-to-end" form. It's really more for someone like me, who's done a couple of quilts and now wants to learn a bit more.

The ringed binding makes the book lie flat, which is EXACTLY what you want if you are going to try to use the book while you are working.