Monday 31 December 2018

2018 - a round up

The first thing I do before I write my round up of the year is to go to my 'quilty goals' post and see if I have accomplished what I have set out for myself.

Well, I didn't have much of a productive year I have to admit. One reason was our move in March this year, which took a long time and parts of my sewing space are still not completely finished. I still need a proper design wall, and I'm also trying to find a solution of how to hang my large quilts to a wall.

But I did finish two quilts that are very dear to my heart.
One of them is 'Purple Haze' (proper photos and blog post to follow). With the quilt top I've won my first ever prize: 1st in the international entries of 'quilt top only' of the 2018 Pantone Quilt Challenge. Everything about this quilt is so outside my comfort zone: the colour scheme, the curvy piecing and having to block the quilt due to heavy distortion after quilting. You can read more about it here.
Purple Haze is on its way to QuiltCon in Nashville already, I'm so happy that it got accepted to be in the show.

The second quilt is 'Four' with which I was part of the 'What shade are you' blog hop hosted by RJR Fabrics.
Four was a very challenging project with the use of 13 solids and an improvisationally pieced method. I love the soft colours and the play with different values. It looks so much better in real life and I think this might be the reason why it got rejected from being accepted into QuiltCon because the photos just don't do it justice. Anyhow, I'll try again next year, it still is a beautiful quilt whether it's at QuiltCon or not.

Talking about QuiltCon - obviously my second visit to QuiltCon in Pasadena was even more excitign than the first one, because I had my quilt 'Splinter' in the show!

I love this photo so much because that expression is like: OMG, is this really happening??? Pasadena was special because my husband was with me and experienced what this community is all about along hundreds of beautiful quilts and many quilty friends.

I also made two mini quilts this year:
One was 'Three', a mini quilt that I gave to Anne Sullivan at QuiltCon in Pasadena, and that eventually led to the design of 'Four'.

And 'Connected' which was a 15" small mini quilt made in line with the prompt by the Curated Quilts Magazine.

This year was all about exploring lines and finding an improv style I suppose.

I also made super fun table runner as part of a spring blog hop, I really love these fresh colours!

There was this zipper pouch as well as a gift for my colleague:

And there were two projects I made from the left overs and scraps from 'Purple Haze': One was this boxy pouch, which is so big and so handy:

And another project is this pillow:

I've just realised that I didn't write a blog post about it yet...

Another reason that I wasn't that productive was the extremely hot summer we had here and that I rather went on walks with my husband and our dog Biene than sewing.
But I started an adventure quilt that documents the adventure we have with Biene. These blocks are so much fun, it's a slow process but it continues to grow.

Here she is with a selection of the different blocks. I have no idea how to put that quilt together but I'm sure it will be a fun quilt once it's finished!

And of course my bee blocks I made for my 'Quilty Circle of Bees'. We are very reduced in numbers and I've realised I don't have photos of the blocks I made for Magda but here's a small overview of the other ones:

And I have finally started my Christmas quilt:

I made most of the blocks at my first ever Quilt retreat in November, which was so much fun and a great experience being with quilty friends not doing anything else than sewing for an entire extended weekend!

I'm very pleased with my projects and also excited what 2019 brings!

Linking to Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs and the Best of 2018 Link - Up!

Friday 14 December 2018

What shade are you? Blog Hop 2018 - Four

I am so excited to be part in the RJR Fabrics 'What shade are you?' blog hop today. I have admired these beautiful cotton supreme solids and quilts made from them for a long time.
And I was always wondering how can I be considered to take part? Well, in my case I was not approached by RJR Fabrics themselves, I just wrote them an email. So, if you would like to be considered, just ask.

I had a hard time selecting colours. Because when I think of what shade I am then I don't really have an answer. I like a lot of colours and shades, there is no particular colour I use in all my quilts or I have a favour for. 
What I noticed recently is that I am drawn to soft tones rather than very bright colours. So I selected three main colours: blue, red and green and picked soft tones and different values of the same colour.

I have finally settled on these beauties:
Nile Green
Optical White
Rose Colored Glasses
Fairy Princess
Notting Hill
Proud as a Peacock

I knew I wanted to make an improvisationally pieced project. Following the principle from a mini quilt I made earlier this year I grouped the different values of the three main colours together and started to piece strips. 

 I was aiming for a light centre to the quilt and wanted the darker values radiate from there.

There was a lot of editing and rearranging on the design wall until I've settled on a final design.

I really like the contrast of subtle colour and value change horizontally and rather drastic vertically. I think it lets the eyes moving and it creates a lot of interest. I also turned direction of strips or have them in a smaller scale. I like to make rules and then intentionally break them.

I quilted more or less horizontal straight lines that vary in direction and density.

The more I quilted the better I liked it, the space between quilting lines vary from 0" to 1.5" and I also used eight different coloured thread.

I used faced binding and I really like the way it looks. I had the feeling that a normal binding would distract from the actual look of the quilt.

I like the crisp edges and the way the quilting seams just run to the very end of the quilt.

I used all remaining fabrics for the back and applied the same design principle here: light centre and radiating values towards the edges. The faced binding at the back though is a little too big for my taste. I followed a tutorial but I might reapply the binding and make it smaller since the back of the quilt is also really nice.

The dense quilting is very visible at the large solids areas and despite the density of the quilting lines the quilt is still very soft.

This is such a nice texture, it almost is too cuddly to hang the quilt up but that's what I'm planning to do.

I am very happy how this quilt turned out. Using only solids, and 13 of them, was a challenge for me but the improv method I started with the mini quilt turned out beautifully in a bigger scale. The mini quilt was called 'Three' so the continuation of it is 'Four' and so the name was a logical decision.
'Four' finishes at 55 x 62".

Thank you so much RJR Fabrics, for the opportunity and the generous fabric supply!

Here's the link to the RJR Blog 'Quilt with Love' where you can see all of the beautiful quilts made from their cotton supreme solids.