I joined another quilt a long late last month with Jessica Skultety and am very excited about the journey thus far. The quilt is a multi color star quilt with highlights on color value. Perfect for me to learn more about color!
Buying the fabrics for this quilt, while easy in theory, was very difficult for someone (ala me) who likes everything to match to my eye. The idea is to have fabrics that contrast against the other fabrics in the design. Jess provides a great post on color and value on her site so run over there for great visuals and perspective from someone who knows her color! I hemmed and hawed until I came up with a color line up I felt comfortable with. Who knew coral could pair with bright orange and be ok from a value perspective. And who know how fun this could be to step outside of my box when it comes to seeing color in a new way. I mean really, the only color I get consistently at the nail salon is Kennebunkport, unless my 7 year old is there to pick a wild color other than red.
I wanted a range of sky colors. You know, the sky has that muddled gray, almost purple to black tone at night. Yellow/white stars with a smidgeon of orange twinkling down at us. Blues at the right time of night (or wee hours of the morning). The above palette didn’t get me there. In addition, the grays didn’t provide the contrast I was looking for. So back to the drawing board.
One benefit of being a new quilter is I have no stash of fabric to speak of. One disadvantage of being a new quilter is I have no stash to pick from. Alas, shopping time each time I change my mind or when I plan to make a quilt. So back to the fabric store since online shopping for this much fabric was over whelming, despite a number of great on line quilt shops available! For the most part, the above fabric ends up in my throw away pile (well to the beginnings of a true “stash” drawer).
Second round got me closer…
The grays have too much white in them for me. In the following photo, I can see that there still is not enough contrast in the dark and light grays for the look I want in the gray range.
Ok, round 3. I’ve now become best friends with The Intrepid Thread, The Fat Quarter Shop and Missouri Star Quilt Co. All great on line shops.
Final picks, relief! I can see that the color sets will come together nicely, when placed together.
This week the cutting instructions were posted. Now the selection of fabric really comes together. I am starting to pair sets together in the pattern provided. Here are a few of the sample pairs I am working with this week to decide on before I cut. I am super excited to pair the grays after I get through a few more of my Pixie Summer Tree Blocks!
August 1, 2016
Piecing the large stars started this week and it was fun to get through the first one before vacation. The instructions Jessica provided allowed for perfect points, always a nice quilter’s touch!
August 21, 2016
What’s a girl to do on vacation? Bring the project along of course. I made great progress on trimming the HSTs I cut before I left (no pictures of the pile to post!). But I had the cutest box, small cutting mat and rotary cutter to get me through the main piecing.
When I returned, I finished both large and small star piecing and have just begun playing with layouts. This is the first layout I put down; now back at home I’ll use the design wall to make moving the stars around a bit easier. The orange star stayed at home while we were on vacation so now I get to play with the full set.
And look how pretty the backs look. Had to snap a picture of this!
September 13, 2016
Life has been busy with unexpected surprises, though I’ve carved time out to wrestle through the unknown of preparing for machine quilting my first large quilt. I was so excited to assemble the quilt top (photo with my rockstar helper Sam) and realized I never shot a picture of the final layout.
I shall have to remedy that, but after sewing the blocks together, it took me another week to motivate myself to sandwich the back.
With my previous (3, small numbers here) that I have sent out to be quilted with a long arm, I always shoot a picture of the binding, top and backing before sending away. I did the same this time, only now I was going to gain the experience of sandwiching the quilt top.
I read each of the links that Jessica suggested here: SLSD Quilt a long and concluded for myself that running to pick up the 505 spray would be the best way to get me going (bonus was I picked up some very fun quilting thread). So I ran out, and voila, in less than a couple of hours, I had a sandwiched spray basted quilt top ready to go. Here’s a picture of the in progress taping down and adding batting process. It really was easy and mentally got me over the hurdle that I would be working with a larger quilt size than I’ve tried before.
I totally forgot to take a picture of the finished top so waiting until it is fully quilted now for a proper picture. I am first practicing on a small sandwich swatch to make sure my machine settings are properly adjusted and it is harder than I hoped. When other quilters said you need to adjust your tension they were not kidding! Rome wasn’t built in a day; I am imagining this will take some time to complete.
September 29, 2016
After a machine snafu with a new walking foot, I decided to upgrade my 30 year old machine to a Necchi. I am having a great time quilting the top with such a fun machine. Quilting on a domestic machine is new to me, and requires patience and time. I elected mostly straight line quilting with a walking foot thus far, in order to get as much possible before life’s other distractions take over.
Here is the sandwiched quilt, with progress on the quilting itself to be updated soon.