Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tips & Tricks

Hi fellow quilt lovers! Here's the latest on the Ocean Waves 2009/2010 Opportunity Quilt...
Except for the Bougainvillea block, all the piece and parts have been handed out to the team of volunteers. Yippee! I have received several emails regarding color choices so I wanted to write a few lines on that topic and hopefully put everyone at ease.
As you stitch on your block, the guiding principle is "Go with what you like and what is pleasing to you." Of course I think this is good advice no matter what you are stitching. Otherwise, the joy just seems to get sucked right out of a project. Now that I think about it, this probably translates to many aspects of our life. For example, I LIKE Dairy Queen Ice Cream Sundae’s (I’m lying I really LOVE them). They are definitely pleasing to me. AND, when I can’t have them it definitely sucks…you get the point.

Anyway, back to quilting. A few guidelines (the only hard rule is that there are no rules)

1. In general use “greyer” or “duller” versions of a color for shapes located furthest back from the viewer. For example, make the back petals of a flower from a duller pink fabric and make the front petals from a brighter pink fabric.

2. To add visual interest, change the value of the fabric color as you move around an element or a block. An example would be to make flowers or leaves in the center of a block darker (or lighter) in value and make the surrounding shapes lighter (or darker).

3. You do not need to use 8 completely different fabrics for a flower with 8 petals. You can use a single mottled fabric and fussy cut lighter & darker areas from it. Or, you can repeat 2 or 3 fabrics.

4. The key to a realistic flower or leaf is to stay in the same color family when selecting fabrics for each shape, i.e. either cool or warm tones. In a single flower I would not mix a blue pink with a peach pink unless that is how it occurs in nature. Even in something like a pansy which can have deep purple petals and yellow petals I would try to select a purple and a yellow that shares similar characteristics – i.e. bright & clear, OR soft & muted, OR pastel. I would NOT choose a bright & clear yellow and then a muted pastel purple.

I hope these tips help and everyone is having fun stitching!

Here are some photos my husband took of me while I was drafting the final versions of the patterns.

As you can imagine, I went through quite a few erasers! Before I knew it I had quite a pile of eraser crumbs beneath my feet. But when I quit drawing for the evening I decided I was too tired and would not sweep them up until the next day. Well, the next day I decided to iron some fabric before I sat down to draw. Do you see this coming??? Of course I knocked the hot iron on the floor, face down on the eraser crumbs. They melted instantly and stuck to the iron. Good news - I didn't have to sweep. And, viola! When the iron cooled down I just peeled melted eraser off the sole plate of the iron. If it hadn't stunk up the whole first floor of the house I would consider sending it in as a tip to Fons & Porter under the heading "how to avoid sweeping".
Until next time, happy stitching!
Mercy in Ft. Lauderdale

Aka The Savage Quilter
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Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Saga of the Background continues...

Or "As the Needle Turns" (get needle turn applique? I crack myself up.)

Does this ever happen to you? I don't know how I manage to get myself into these situations! All I had to do was find a color I liked and buy about 5 yards of it for a simple BOM class at my local quilt shop. I am sure this is how many of us end up surrounded by yard and yards of fabric and taking an oath to never, ever, under any circumstances buy another piece of cloth!!! I'm still in shock.

As my blog readers may know I ordered several yards of custom hand-dyed Cherrywood fabric, in the perfect color, for my BAQ background. As soon as I had confirmation of the order, I received an email notifying me of a sale at one of my favorite online shops. Following the links I discovered the Moda version of the same PERFECT color in the $3 bargain bin in one of the shops! It was the original "perfect color" and now it's $3!! I had to order it!!! So before the month is out I will have altogether 12-15 yards of the medium aqua blue fabric , enough to do my BAQ on point, and enough for the setting triangles, borders, matching pillow case to store it, and a slip cover for a tractor trailer.

Don't forget I also have 10 yards of the original "Perfect" color that I decided was not appropriate for this project.

I swear, I am not buying another piece of fabric, never! ever! until I go to Quilt Scene on Saturday morning!

Until next time – happy stitching!

Mercy in Ft. Lauderdale Aka The Savage Quilter

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Baltimore Album Quilt with a Tropical Twist

I finally finished drafting the patterns for the Opportunity Quilt! Woohoo! In the final draft a I did make a few minor modifications. For example, when I drew out the Hibiscus Border I liked it so much I eliminated the Pineapple Border. So now all four borders are the same pattern. I also simplified the Fancy Vase in the center medallion to balance the composition. All in all I think the group will like it and the volunteers will enjoy stitching on their blocks/borders.

I stopped at Kinko's yesterday and made the copies. The background fabric has been washed, cut, and serged (to prevent raveling). I prepared small packets of "Bow" fabric for the 4 blocks that have a bow in the design. And, I already gave LaVerne the Vase fabric that coordinates with the Bow fabric. SOOOO, I think we are all set to begin. For those of you that cannot wait until OW meeting to begin stitching, I will be at Quilt Scene on Saturday morning for a class. If you let me know you are coming to pick up your pattern and background fabric I will bring it along and meet you after class (12:30 PM). Otherwise I will see you at Ocean Waves on 9/13/2008.

Until next time – happy stitching!

Mercy in Ft. Lauderdale Aka The Savage Quilter

Join the applique journey

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Baltimore Album BOM - the background fabric

Well I finally found the PERFECT background fabric for my Baltimore Album BOM!!! It's an a medium light, aqua blue. I know you are all thinking "huh?" "Aqua BLUE???" "Perfect??" What makes it a PERFECT background??? I'm so glad you asked! In my mind, the perfect color is the one that sets off all the colors you put on top of it. On Friday night I pulled samples all the colors I love from my stash and hit my favorite quilt shop early Saturday morning. Then I played! Aqua blue is the compliment (spelling) of Red so it really makes all the batiks in the red, pink, purple, burgundy family pop! The blue-ish greens blend beautifully. The "Ick" greens don't go but I reserve those for my reproduction quilts anyway. And the royal blues are gorgeous on it - perfect for the vases, birds, bows, etc. that adorne BAQ blocks.

Of course, all is not well in paradise. I couldn't find enough of this color all in one fabric - that would just be too easy. I have 1 yard in a Cherrywood hand-dye, and 3 yards in a Moda floral, tone on tone. I was able to get 9 blocks from the Moda. And if I'm REALLY careful I may be able to get 4 from the Cherrywood. However, I would have to cut it to finished size and be be extremely careful I get NO shrinkage at all when I applique. I'm no too worried about that because the beauty of the Template Free applique method is that everything comes out perfectly flat with almost no shrinkage.

I did try to find more of the Moda fabric online. But, the few sources I could find where sold out. So I had no choice but to go online and order several more yards of the my favorite Cherrywood hand-dye. Unfortunately, it's all in 2 yard increments - the only thing I really DO NOT like about Cherrywood - which means I will have to piece my borders - something else I really DO NOT like to do.

Oh well, I will suffer on.

Until next time – happy stitching!
Mercy in Ft. Lauderdale Aka The Savage Quilter
Join the applique journey

P.S. - I'm having lunch with Marcia this week and will let you know the latest on her affair with the milkman!