Friday, May 1, 2015

...but wait, there's more!

     Since you ALL know I love working with other people's scraps, you'll also know I'm ecstatic to finally have an idea for this group of fabrics. I refer to them as WWJW, what would June (Cleaver) wear?- because they remind me of 1960 shirtdress fabrics, and can't you just hear Eddie Haskell telling Mrs. Cleaver the blue in her dress matches her eyes?
     Now that we've officially established the fact that I'm older than dirt, just like these fabrics, stay tuned to see what I plan on doing with them. There will be hexagons, and this will be the second of my "Faux Moderne" quilts.

     These are actually fewer than half the fabrics in the original batch I won several years ago from my guild's Ways and Means. The pieces are pinked around the edges, and all measure 11" x 17". I suspect they may have been fabric samples, possibly from an area textile mill.
     I sorted the fabrics into three batches, cool colors (above), warm colors, and oddball pieces. The oddballs went into my scrap bin, but the warm colors were quickly pieced into the Strip Twist lap quilt pictured below, a great free pattern from Bonnie Hunter. I was one piece short of being able to have enough pieces for the last block, so I improvised with the appliqu├ęd center. The green borders were another vintage Ways and Means treasure. I've been hand quilting this on and off for a few years in an allover (and what was I thinking???) Baptist fan pattern. Bonnie saw the unfinished quilt top when she visited my guild; I WILL have it done before she comes back next year!

A Tale of Two Jelly Rolls

    A while back, a friend sent me a box of fabric, which included three Moda Jelly Rolls. This immediately got the creative juices flowing- how easy it would be to come up with three new patterns, each using one Jelly Roll.
   Wrong! It was harder than I thought, and it took me a while to come up with even one design. But, that one quilt top is done and a picture will be forthcoming when I finally quilt it.
    The remaining two Jelly Rolls are identical- an older line called "Wildflower Serenade". Very traditional, nothing really wrong with that, but do I really want TWO quilts made from the same fabrics? Suddenly it clicked. Each Jelly Roll has 40 different fabrics. If I could split each roll into two sets of 20 fabrics each, separating by color, I would have two new (totally different) colorways to work with. Here is what I did:

    I took out all the red strips, the dark blue strips, and all but two of the ecru strips. I'm not sure what I'm doing with this strip set yet, so it will go back in a box. I used a flash- the colors are darker than pictured here.

     That left me with an unusual variety of colors- lighter blue, black, dark purple, the two darkest ecru from each roll, and dark green. My pattern (a tessellating star design) will have stars from each strip tessellating with a common background fabric. I decided against an off-white in favor of a light color, and this soft golden yellow fit the bill.  There will also be a narrow inner border of this so the darker stars will appear to float. I had originally put the dark blue strips in this pile and the green with the red and ecru, but thought the red/green/ecru combo would look too Christmasy. When I swapped the dark blue and green I was happier with both combos.
     I chose a lighter green subtle vine print for the outer border, but in going through my stash, I found a couple yards of this great border stripe fabric I had bought on clearance a couple years ago- perfection!
     After the craziness of the past few weeks, it's lovely to have time to work on new projects.
     I had almost back-to-back trunk shows/lectures at two guilds in Massachusetts, and was frantically working on getting my newest pattern ready to come along with me. Of course I ran out of pattern envelopes and my laminating machine (an old freebie I got from a former co-worker) died. That's par for the course, but I WAS able to pick up the pattern covers at the printers on time and they came out lovely, if I do say so myself, considering I only took a couple of photos, not my usual eight or nine.

      So, I was able to debut the pattern as planned; this is "Critterville", a "large" version of a miniature quilt I made years ago. This came about as a result of a workshop I teach called "Sixty Degrees of Separation", in which I show you how to use the 60 degree marking on your ruler to make triangles, diamonds and hexagons of any size. I generally don't use single lines of fabric, but "Under the Sea" by Quilting Treasures was so doggoned cute I couldn't resist. It is up on my web site, and is also available as an e-pattern on Craftsy, if you need instant gratification.