Monday, January 1, 2018

Circles and Squares


Happy New Year Everyone! 

I feel like 2017 whizzed by. Personally, it was a better year then 2016, which had been a rather tough one. In comparison, 2017 was more like sailing calm waters, albeit with often cloudy skies. Those cloudy skies were what I saw when looking out into the larger picture of world events and knowing how those events effect us all. Anyone familiar with me knows how I feel politically so I will leave it at that... (what more can one say when one has spent a year voicing disbelief, and hurling profanities at the TV everyday as she watches the news unfold until her voice actually grew hoarse?) Sigh.

So about this post... I realized that I have a few end of 2017 projects that I haven't posted yet here on the old blog and wanted to share them with you. Two wall quilts, (one of them at the top of the post) and two punch-needle embroidered pillows to be specific. (I also have some more "Objects of Curiosity" items to share, but will do them in another post soon.)

Let's start with  the quilts... 


Here's that one pictured at the top. My guidelines as I set about making this were that
I wanted to work with small 9-patch blocks and I wanted everything to be hand cut. When I say hand cut, that could be with scissors or rotary-cutter, but no straight edge, no measuring, (outside of eye-balling it) no truing up... you get the point. The purpose is a desire to keep things more organic. It's an expansion on improv/no-pattern quilt making.

I selected these really pretty fabrics which I had in my stash for a few years. Oh yeah, 2017 was also about trying to use materials that I already had.... did great until the very last 2 weeks when I buckled while looking for curtain fabric. But I digress... I separated the fabrics into piles containing the ones that read as the darkest, the lightest and the middle of the road ones, and used those piles to make sure I had a good balance going on in each block.

Then I hand cut the squares and pieced them into the 9-patch blocks using slight curve piecing techniques following the hand cut lines of the fabric edges. Joined the completed blocks in the same manner. Finished by using my faced binding tutorial, but wanting to keep the wonkiness of the slightly curving boarder edges, I used 3" strips instead of 2" strips. This allowed me the extra leeway to cut into the strips where the curves were.

I wanted this quilt to be highly textured, so I machine quilted it with stippled stitching and machine washed and dried it for lots of crinkle texture. I wanted more hand-work to it so I added some horizontal and vertical rows of hand quilting. Trouble is they don't show up that well.

I decided to make another similar quilt, slightly larger, (22.5" x 27" to the 17.5" x 21.5" dimensions of the first one) and this time just did some vertical/horizontal machine stitching and then added more vertical/horizontal hand quilting, which is a favorite quilting style of mine...


(My apologies for the not so great photo here... different day and dimmer lighting conditions. I really do need to get a more professional photo set up. Hey... new 2018 goal!) When I have time I will re-shoot and hopefully get a sharper image as this one is really not up to snuff. Will also try to get some close-ups so you can see the quilting details. Not sure where my head was when I shot these quilt photos.

Okay... I have yammered on enough about the quilts. Now we move away from squares and venture into circles, and brighter colors.... and punch needle!


It has felt like ages since I did any punch needle embroidery and it was lots of fun to bring out the yarns and make a couple of little accent pillows to brighten things up a bit! I decided to keep playing with organic, free-form shapes and designs but added some circles into the mix.


And I really let my circular freak flag fly with this one...


I do wish though it wasn't so time-consuming making these though. Such a little pillow is this round one, (only 8") and it took 16 hours to punch! Didn't keep time on the first, but guessing similar time spent on it.


But I do like the orange... such a happy color! One of my favorites, I think, (if it's the right shade). And speaking of color... I think I need a constant mix of very earthy and muted, along with splashes of bright color in my life. Too much of one and I can go from calm to too down, too much of the other and I can go from happy to agitated. I really marvel at all the people I see on Instagram that seem to be able to stick with a color theme. Their feeds look so pretty and uniform. I feel like they are color purebreds and I am some sort of color mutt. But we are what we are and if I am a color mutt, so be it!

And on that odd note I will end this ramble of a post, saying goodbye to 2017 and hello to 2018. May it bring peace, kindness and goodwill to all. May sanity and compassion reign. May creativity flourish. And may you and yours be blessed. xo



16 comments:

Judy Martin said...

Happy new year! That first photo is so beautiful. xo

Angela said...

The quilts are beautiful, but the pillows are gorgeous!
Happy and creative New Year! Let's make it happen!

Laura said...

Color mutt. Love it! (Me too.)

Shasta Matova said...

I love the colors you selected for both of your punch needle projects. I guess I am a color mutt too, and proud of it! Happy New Year!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Your comment about color purebreds and color mutts made me giggle - I'm more of a mutt myself. Wonderful post and may the blessings you suggested for all of us return to you ten-fold in the coming year.

Joy said...

Gosh I love those pillows, especially the square one. I can just feel it's texture. I also like the idea of not being so 'straight' with the quilts. Throw out the rules.

Jackie said...

A very happy 2018 to you and your family. Whatever you do, you inspire me by presenting lovely ideas.
X

cauchy09 said...

These are wonderfully delightful projects! And happy 2018! Hoping it's gonna be super better for everyone.

Linda at Roscoe's Ma said...

Guess I am a mutt too! Glad to not be the only one. Your pieces are beautiful!

KrisR said...

"Color Mutt"...describes me to a T. I often wish I could stick to a particular color palette or style but I just can't. I jump all over the place.

Love your pillows. I could never get the hang of needle punch - but I guess I only tried it once. I'm into embroidery right now.

Nifty Quilts said...

Happy new year to you too! I love all of your projects. Thank you for showing them and inspiring us along the way.

Kathleen Scott said...

Here's to all the color mutts of the world! Love variety but I do have to guard against the "mishmash" look.

May sanity, compassion and creativity return to our world! Love the Orange!

patty a. said...

The quilts are gorgeous and the pillow are so pretty! I am a color mutt too. I spent much of November and December trying to use up the pinks in my stash for baby quilts. After finishing 5 quilts and two tops I am all pinked out and need a change. I am now hitting the blues until I get sick of looking at blue. Have a Happy New Year! I wish you all the best!

Wendy said...

so lovely to see your punch needle! I hardly ever see punch needle work on blogs. I did some once, I must give it another go as I really enjoyed it. did you make up the designs?

Jennifer said...

The organic wall quilt in that first photo is simple, beautiful and calming. You are an inspiration!

Victoria said...

Thanks so much to each of you for your lovely comments and warm New Year wishes!
(And nice to know that there are so many other color mutts out there!)