Evening in the Garden Quilts

Adventures in Fabric Art


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Beach Quilt VI

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This week I finished Beach Quilt VI.  See the other Beach Quilts or links here, if you care.  This wasn’t on my list for this month, but the last one sold quickly, and I was dying to use up these scraps.  And I have just about done that.  I’ll have to go in a different direction with the next one.

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I expected to frame the scrap blocks with aqua and khaki solids, but that didn’t work, and I like the low-volume results from these fabrics.  I might like this better than the last one, but I’m not sure.

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The quilting is all free-motion “waves” in Superior’s Living Colors (507) with very little marking.  I think this kind of linear quilting is much harder than working on one area of the quilt at a time.  I studied the quilt for a while, wondering if I would like some kind of motif in each block, but I really like the wave effect, so I bit the bullet.  Every time I reposition my hands, there is the risk of a weird stitch that spoils the smooth lines.  The harder I tried to hold the quilt still as I started up, the worse it was.  I found if I kept my hands lightly on the quilt, or lifted them completely, it worked better.  Good practice, and it turned out well.

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We talked some on Twitter about whether it is necessary to stitch in the ditch to stabilize the quilt before doing more elaborate quilting.  I almost always do.  I started years ago with Harriet Hargrave’s Heirloom Machine Quilting (1995!),  and she told me to stitch between all the blocks first, so I do.  I really think that first, “behind the scenes” quilting gives the quilt structure and allows me to focus on the quilting design without worrying about shifting or wrinkles.  Had I not done this first,  I’m pretty sure this diagonal quilting would have stretched and wonked this quilt into a mess.  I use fine thread that really disappears into the ditch, usually Superior’s Bottom Line (50 wt.).  I guess this is similar to Aurifil’s 50 wt.?  I use my walking foot.  On this one, I went back and free-motioned in the ditch in the corners inside the frames where the wave stitching didn’t catch them.  All this “structural quilting” enabled me to make it look like the only quilting was the widely space groups of waves in the showy thread, yet it’s still all tidy and tight.

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I’ve also used water-soluble thread when I didn’t want to spoil a secondary design with stitches between the blocks.  I did that on Disappearing Pinwheels.  It controlled the puffiness while I quilted, and then didn’t break up those diamonds after it washed out.

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Krissi assisted with this photo shoot.  We’re linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

 


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Beach Quilt V

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This week I made the latest in the Beach Quilt series.  This might be my favorite one yet.  The fabrics are like sand and sea glass, and the top went together effortlessly, as the warm early summer breezes blew in.

 

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I always change up the stitching a little.  This time I tried using free motion to quilt the wavy lines.  They are not as even as the ones I do with the walking foot, but it was much easier on my shoulders not moving the quilt around as much.  I did all the stitching in Superior’s Living Colors poly thread, with aqua Bottom Line on the back.  It looks like metalic gold, but it is just a golden color, 506.  The backing is a beautiful awning stripe.

 

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What did you finish this week?

 

I’m linking up with Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

 


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Progress on Tops

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I made the first block for the Slow Quilt.  Yes, it’s a modified Storm at Sea block.  It turned out fine.  The only slightly dicey parts were the long triangles (scalene!), but they were okay.  Now to make some more color decisions and do some more cutting.

 

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Meanwhile, my last Beach Quilt sold, so I put together more scraps for another one.  I love to make this pattern!  It practically puts itself together while I think my thoughts.  Also, the fabrics are great.  I will be sad when I am truely out of them.  Maybe one more, scrappier top…  This top is finished, the back is pieced (one seam), now I need to piece the batting, and I hope to sandwich it today.

 

What are you working on?

 

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I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


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The Beach Quilt is a Success

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Yuri and I are pretty satisfied with this quilt, finally.  I set out to throw some fabrics together for a carefree day at the shore (metaphorically), and it turned into two days of editing, and left me with another pile of fabrics to make into yet another quilt… it never ends.  Fortunately, I ran out and took pictures during the few minutes of dry weather we’ve had lately.

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My two favorite things  about this are the embroidered shell batik with gold accents, and the wavy blue quilting.  The shells do have a tendency to come unraveled, so, happily, the blue waves cover them pretty thoroughly and will control that, I think.  The straight lines are in light brown Living Colors thread (40 wt.) from Superior, and the turquoise waves are their New Brites (30 wt.).  I did everything with my walking foot.

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My next favorite thing is the back, where I used up some more strings in seven blocks to make a ten inch strip through the tan flower and stem print.  To me this print looked like waving beach grasses, even though there are flowers.

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My last favorite is that I had a blue and brown awning stripe that made the perfect binding.

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Yuri’s favorite thing is that it makes a great tent when you drape it over an Adirondack chair.

This will be my last finish for a while, as we are heading out Sunday, traveling to New Jersey and Lancaster, PA for the next week.  I look forward to seeing yours instead.

We’re linking up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.


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Design Wall Monday: Editing

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My design wall has gotten a workout these last few days.  I took a collection of leftover fabrics from a successful beach themed quilt from a couple years ago and set out to make a different one.  I considered them all to be neutral fabrics, and I made some contrasting rail fence blocks to go with them.  I felt I was on the right track when my DH observed, “That’s not very colorful.”

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Unfortunately, there wasn’t much contrast between the rails and the background.  Time to go more neutral.

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Hmmm.   More neutral.

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Hmmm.  Well.

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Here is my finished top.  Obviously, I have quite a pile of rejected patches.  They will need to become something.  This is why we’re never finished making quilts.

I hope you’re playing with fabric today.

I’m linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.


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My Quilt in Southern Weddings Magazine

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One of the exciting things that happened to me in 2012 was having a quilt selected to appear in Volume Five of Southern Weddings Magazine.  This is Hot Summer Cabins.  It was inspired by a charm pack of warm toned batiks that I used for the oversized center “chimneys”.  I kind of thought of it as a beach sunset.

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See if you can find the quilt here, right in the center.

 

The editor spotted it in my Etsy shop, and now that we can see the color scheme for the wedding shoot, it makes a lot of sense.  The colors sure are great together.  Unfortunately, that lovely tall bride stood right in front of it….  I hope it shows up better in another shot.

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Lara Casey just let me know today that all three quilts in that photo are being given away on the web site today.  I can’t tell how long the giveaway will be open.  A few of the commenters are saying nice things about my quilt and requesting it as their prize.

Hot Summer chair 1500So, I’d like my next brush with fame to be a little more prominent, but this was still fun.  If you’re looking for wedding ideas, Southern Weddings is a very enjoyable and inspiring magazine.