07 December 2011

Crazy Quilt Ideas

Progress on the Crazy Quilt that I am making to do my TAST stitching on.

I have eventually found the blue/teal colour that I was looking for, and I was in such a hurry to photograph it that I haven't even washed or ironed it yet.

I have played with arrangement ideas and colour schemes in my digital program and come up with the following ideas that I am happy to continue with refining until I get the modern/contemporary look for my traditionally stitched CQ blocks.

12 blocks in 4 x 4 arrangement joined edge to edge around a large square in centre for extra embellishments.
The centre could also be another CQ block or applique focal point.

Same arrangement of 12 blocks 4 x 4, but with sashing between blocks, and a black border on centre square and black binding around whole wall hanging.

Almost the same as above, but with a solid black square centre piece. Plenty of scope for TAST embroidery on that black square.

3 x 5 arrangement around a large central rectangle. I rather like the wide black border too.
Now this is more what I am looking for and I'm starting to feel that I'm getting somewhere with the designing.

Change the orientation and add WELCOME to the middle (I might not really add this to the final work), and my wall hanging is just right for the wall in my entrance hall that is right opposite the front door.

So much for my earlier thoughts that I definitely wanted a square wall hanging.

The blue/teal coloured areas in any of my designs above could also be made up of CQ strips and blocks in similar colours, tones and shades to that lovely fabric I have found. 

No more prevarication, digital or otherwise.
I'm ready for the needle and thread.

04 December 2011

Planning my CQ project

Planning my CQ project.

 Over the last couple of days I have been pondering on my CQ colour scheme because I have not worked with this particular combination of colours before.

I have a very clear picture in my head of how the wall-hanging will look (will someone please invent a camera to take pics of my imagination).
Anyway, I need my CQ to be predominantly black and white (achromatic) with hints of teal/blue for highlights.

It has to have very straight lines, be extremely modern, and contemporary at the same time.
Therefore I challenged myself to only using brand new fashions cotton fabrics from the quilt shop.
I do not want any texture or shine in the fabrics. All the texture will be created with the stitching and embellishments, and I think I might only use buttons as embellishments
Clear lines throughout. Organized and boxy. No lacy bits or frills (that is going to be a challenge for me to stick to).

Then I started to wonder how I am going to work with this "new-to-me" colour scheme. In the past I have always used bright colours, happy colours, warm colours in everything I've done. How am I going to stick with my achromatic scheme for a whole year?

Panic set in.

What if I don't like it? What if I give up because I can't work with these colours?

Here is a pic of the colours I have bought so far. A fat-quarter, or a fat-eighth of each at the moment. To be added to with subsequent trips to my favourite store.


The black and blue butterfly fabric in the middle was the first piece I chose, as it has the right colour blue/teal (although it looks quite a bit darker in the photo than it does IRL)
I have added beige/gold to my achromatic scheme as it is the same colour that outlines the butterflies and ties in nicely with the lotus plant Egyptian(ish) pattern in the same colours.

To cut a long story short (oops, too late) I decided to make up a test piece as a trial to see how I cope with the blacks and lack of brights.
I worked on this test piece in varying amounts of daylight and night light to see if I would have trouble with the dark fabric.
Sample is just under 8"

This sample has given me a better idea of how best to use the colours (or how NOT to use them). 

I started off ok with the dark's in the middle, but then I "sort of" lost it a bit before working out that I needed to get the white/lights on the outside. And I'm not sure that those beige/golds really work, or maybe I just have to use them sparingly.

The setting I envisage for my wall-hanging will definitely be square. Each block will be 8" and sewn directly to the next 8" block (no sashing). So it will either be set 3 x 3 blocks, or 4 x 4. I don't mind having to make 16 blocks if I do the 4 x 4. But if I do the 3 x 3, then I would like to make up the extra 3 blocks (so I have total of 12 for CQJP) as a table runner for the hall table near where my wallhanging will be hung.

I usually leave everything to chance when quilt-making, so planning ahead like this is a totally different way of working for me. And for me to actually make a test piece has never happened before.

I'm looking forward to seeing this project progress.

2012 TAST & CQJP project

2012 TAST & CQJP project.

I have signed up for both the TAST and the CQJP challenges for 2012. 
TAST (Take A Stitch Tuesday) is an embroidery stitching challenge run by SharonB of Pintangles. Aim -  to focus on one particular stitch (one a week for the whole year) with an emphasis on advancing personal stitching skills.
 CQJP (Crazy Quilt Journal Project) is to create 12 Crazy Quilt blocks (one a month for the whole year). Aim -  to increase awareness of crazy quilting internationally and to provide a central location for the public to view examples of crazy quilt projects in progress and completed. Details here.
Both these challenges complement each other and I shall be using some of the TAST stitches as embellishment on a CQ wall hanging in a particular colour scheme that I have never used before (that is an extra challenge to myself). I also envisage using the TAST challenge stitches on another piece that will, hopefully, satisfy my “free form” and mixed media yearning. I am, predominantly, a hand-stitcher by choice, so I can see these challenges taking up quite a bit of my time.