Thursday, May 23, 2019

A Lattice with a Cultural Fusion Quilt!

This past February immediately after completing the Overlapping Octagon challenge for the UANDUQAL, I grabbed Sujata Shah’s book “Cultural Fusion Quilts” and was inspired to jump in and make my first quilt from her instructions. Some of the quilts in here have been on my bucket list for a long time! I love it when suddenly it becomes clear to me what I NEED to sew next....that point when nothing else crowds in front waving its colorful promise and begging to be first, you know?

Lattice Quilt - 64" x 76"

The Lattice quilt took its place at the front of the had long been on my “to do” list and its time had come. I began making blocks.....LOVING the freehand cut curves for the lattice. As usual I made a ton of blocks.....when piecing blocks for a “block” quilt, I find that I ALWAYS make many more than I need. I can’t really tell how everything is going to play together until I actually see it up on the wall and I like plenty of choices without having to return to the sewing machine every five minutes! Even so, it's a continuous process of "yes, no" and "make some more". Often what I think will be perfect as I collect a pile of fabrics....just isn’t.

For example, the yellow/green (below) seemed to be too stark....and it needed to exit the premises. I liked the darker leafy green but only had a limited amount so I had to piece a few 9 inch blocks before cutting the lattice strip from the middle....but no problem there. I began with different reds and had to jettison them, but rather late in the game the orange/red fabric showed up and I felt it to be perfect. Yay for a touch of Orange!

Happily I found that I could cut 7.5 inch squares instead of 6.5 inch squares (per instructions) from the pieced units (which began with a 9 inch square) so I was able to make a slightly bigger quilt from my efforts with less fabric loss. Win Win. Sewing the curves was FUN!

I also ironed my seams open when joining the seemed to help with more accuracy at the join.

Witness my rather large pile of leftover blocks.....a few of my originally chosen 'reds' and 'greens' didn't make the any rate, there is another quilt somewhere in here I suspect....but it will wait for another day.

This quilt was machine quilted by me in an irregular cross-hatch. A great deal of the fun of machine quilting my own quilts is traveling across all the fabrics and enjoying them all over again while they are playing nicely with each other in a unified whole! I’m sure the same is true for hand quilting. We’re doubling our pleasure, right?!

 Pieced Lattice Quilt Back

And there's my first finished quilt from Sujata Shah's book!

~Edith Yoder Schmitt

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Lattice Quilt Intrepretation

This is the quilt that I ended up with as the answer to the #UANDUQAL. I adore riffing off of quilts in the Unconventional and Unexpected book by Roderick Kiracofe. Trying to keep with the same look/feel/vibe of these quilts while using more modern day fabrics never gets old.
The Lattice Quilt in red
It was quite the challenge in many ways and I wrote quite a bit about the journey over at my personal blog.  I also combined this challenge with another one over at AHIQ blog, the #AHIQRED challenge where Red is considered a Neutral.
Original Inspiration quilt
There are several more quilts in the book that I have bookmarked for future interpretation attempts. So much joy in these charmingly make-do look quilts. It often makes me think that we could take our quilt-making attempts a little too seriously at times! Thanks Sujata for the great QAL! You gave me the perfect excuse to try making yet another quilt in the book!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Overlapping Octagons and Y-seams

For the UandUQAL organised by Sujata Shah I am reproducing the Overlapping Octagons quilt from Roderick Kirakofe's book, "Unconventional and Unexpected". I haven't done much to it over the last few months; this is the present state of this lap quilt.

I have made octagons with red centres surrounded by predominantly dark blue strings.  With this choice I aimed to use up most of my blue and red Civil War reproduction fabrics, and with the red I succeeded and have added more modern reds, but the blue were all so dark I soon started introducing flashes of other colours.

At present they're not overlapping, but I have more red squares cut, and here I've positioned them where red squares will go in the final design.

I am pleased that the overlapping octagons have now emerged.

The octagon blocks have Y-seams at each corner, and inserting the second set of red centre blocks will involve more Y-seams. I wasn't happy about this at the beginning, and so tried making hourglass blocks in the corners, as shown here:

This is one of two hourglass blocks I retained, before I gave up on them. At each of  the corners of this hourglass block five fabrics come together making very bulky seams which I couldn't get to lie flat.

Doing Y-seams, however, means joining only three, which will lie much more easily, especially if the last string in the side panel continues into the corner triangle, as here below.

Sorry about the fuzziness!
In this corner above, one of the four string sets ends in a separate triangle; this is one of the string sets I originally joined to an hourglass block. I rejected that method because of the lack of continuity between the string set and its triangular ending as well as the bulkiness of the join.

There was only one thing for it: Y-seams. I dreaded the thought! Now I'm becoming an expert! Practice makes perfect, they say, and I've had a lot of practice! The secret lies in:
  1. starting sewing the seam at the opposite end to the Y-join,
  2. stopping two stitches before the point of the join and backtracking a couple of stitches. That unsewn space gives you some room to manoeuvre.
  3. starting each seam four stitch lengths further than the join, stitching back two stitches to fix the seam and then stitching the seam further until two stitch lengths before the point and backtracking two to fix the seam.
The mistake I made when I first tried Y-seams was to start at the point where everything came together. It's very crowded there! Much easier to keep your distance from everyone else at the party. Approach slowly and stand still when you're close enough. After following a tutorial from Mary Huey on sewing tumbling blocks, it was plain sailing for me! Mary illustrates the process with lots of excellent, clear photos.

Happy sewing


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Progress on UandU Quilt

It has been a very busy few months. With all that is going on I am considering my UandU inspired quilt as a very slow cooking project.

I have managed to make enough of these foundation pieced blocks to make a large enough bed quilt but the question is when will I be able to cut the center squares and actually make the quilt top.

I will work on lot of hand projects this year. Who knows? I may even come back to this to hand stitch the blocks.

What are you working on today?