Sunday, February 23, 2014

Dear Jane, the Obsession Continues

All week I just wanted to hurry home and work on my Dear Jane, and I managed to get four blocks done.  I took Hunter's Moon to Shreveport last weekend since applique travels better than paper piecing.  I hadn't done applique in several years, so I just had to wing it.

The batik for Courtney's Stethoscope is part of my purple color-way batiks.  I had to edit out massive amounts of grey in the fabric. Enough grey remained to make this the most darkly "mysterious" block in the row so far.  I'm really enjoying the contrasting batiks in my stash.

Cathy's Campfire came next with some nice, straight-forward paper-piecing.  After fiddling to get my melons placed just so in Hunter's Moon, and fussy cutting Courtney's Stethoscope, I was ready for something simple.

I was looking forward to the super simple Uncle Homer.  For some reason unknown to man, I decided to paper-piece this ultra simple block.  I did spend lots of time getting the widely spaced batik "blobs" placed right where I wanted them, and I was very pleased with how this one turned out.

I can't believe I'm already working on the middle block in Row A. Of course, none of these first few blocks were particularly tricky. (Would anyone ever make a Dear Jane row by row if Papa's Star was the  very first block?  lol)  Still, I'm going to keep pressing forward while the obsession is hot; this quilt will need all the prioritization possible to ever get completed.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dear Jane Revisited

I restarted my Dear Jane journey with a lovely new bolt of white muslin and my existing stash of batiks.  I spent way too much time on my last DJ, all 9 blocks of it, deciding which block to do next. This time I'm tackling the blocks first a row, then a column at a time.  I selected and pre-washed fabric for the entire first row, then got started. Here is Block A-1, Pinwheel Gone Awry. 

I've decided to rotary cut whenever possible, so A-1 was done that way.  Paper piecing was a better choice for block A-2 called "One, Two Buckle My Shoe".

I'm making my DJ a trip around the world in seven colors, with lots of variation planned in value, hue and tint. I probably already have 50% or more of the batiks I'll need, but except for the upcoming Dallas Quilt Celebration next month, I'm not planning to load up on more right away.  I think by doing first a row, then a column (including the triangles) my current subset of batiks will get widely spaced in the quilt.

I went through my entire stash, pulling all the true batiks.  I was amazed by how many lovely batik prints I have.  I'm not using the the print batiks though, not because I'm a purist, but because true batiks are reversible.  I can just see myself noticing at the very end of completing a 40+ piece block that one of the tiny pieces has been reversed.  Argh!  Sticking with true batiks removes this complication completely.  As Forrest Gump would say, "One less thing."

It was fun selecting 15 batiks for row A.  Who knows if I'll even finish row A, much less the whole quilt, but I know I'll never finish it if I don't at least start it!  I promised myself that if I do finish this DJ I will have earned the right to a long-arm machine if I still want one.  I told my DH this quilt was my quilting Master's Degree.  He said it was more like a PhD, but I told him doctoral projects had to be original, and this is as derivative as it gets.  lol

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Blanketeer Challenge Fabric Quilt Top Completed

The Blanketeers selected the Alzheimer's puzzle fabric as our challenge fabric last spring.  (As I recall it took 7 ballots to select the challenge fabric; there was a strong floral faction. - lol)   We made blocks using a new paper-piecing technique taught by Virginia.  We ended up with 25 6-inch pieced blocks.

I assumed the task of putting it all together since I only made one block.  The pieced patterns were chosen randomly, so I ignored pattern completely, and concentrated on giving the colors a pleasing balance.  

I wanted to use up the leftover puzzle fabric, but I thought a visual break was needed between the blocks and the border.  Nothing stops the eye like red, so a bright red inner border was born.

There's my lone card trick block in the bottom row - took forever! Others liked this particular paper-piecing method, but I was not a fan.  It did, however, give nice results.

Everyone did a terrific job on their blocks, and I don't think we've ever created a more colorful quilt!

Some little kid is going to really love this bright, cheery quilt!