Squared Away Is.

Here is my Squared Away quilt top! 45965127_10215548800767685_2041166830713700352_n

Thanks are in order to Mari, of  Academic Quilter and Angela of soscrappy  for the Squared Away BOM program. The blocks were fun to make, the directions were clear and accurate, and there were lots of useful tips. The first Saturday of each month, I’d check for the new block choice, and it was always there, with a little historical background. Such a treat! A thousand thank yous, ladies!

The blocks were made from my scraps, which added to the challenge and the fun. Each month, I would think, “But I have no (insert colour) scraps!”. Then I’d dig through the bag, check my leftover charm squares, look at my daughter’s donations, and all of a sudden, I’d have choices to make. Animals and boats and all manner of colours would appear in the blocks, and I would love them. And try to take pictures of them.

There was a misadventure, but that only added to the fun. No blocks were permanently harmed in the photographic process. 37245040_10214704300335702_3464150003377766400_n

Then came the setting challenge. I love Mari’s on point setting, but I had many figures that would look like they’d been drinking if I did that. And who wants to look at a drunken hippo? Straight setting it was. Sashing? Yes. I wanted to define the blocks. And just when I was thinking “white”, I read a post talking about value variation being necessary for a dynamic quilt. I auditioned several dark fabrics and decided on navy with green polka dot. I tried to have a line of polka dots centered in each sash, with mixed success, and cut the pieces a little less than 1 1/2 inches.

When I put the top together, I found it a bit small and decided to add a border. I started a pieced one, but it just didn’t work. 46022125_10215548073749510_4627553062137888768_nThen I tried piano keys. Nope. While the quilt as a whole is multicolour, each block reads as only one colour, and the bright, mixed, border scraps screamed for attention. After further contemplation, I decided the proportion of background light to feature colour was the key. Eureka! “I have fabric from Cameroon, that might work!”

I love this quilt. It is very busy, especially when hanging on the line on a windy day. No, seriously.  Each block is busy, due to the multiple fabrics and some patterned backgrounds. The sashing is patterned. The border is unusual and drags the very conventional, structured, design of the quilt out of its classic constraints, and into a global context. And makes it SO much more interesting. What do you thing? A lesson to live by for all of us?45902486_10215548800887688_6857150222775091200_n

Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Beth at Cooking Up Quilts,  Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts, and Dione at Clever Chameleon






A Tale of One Wall

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… It was a story known only to quilters. Certainly, Dickens would never have written a tale like this.

Back on May 30, my basement, including my sewing room, flooded. It’s contents were evacuated, the floor and bottom couple feet of gyproc removed, and there followed months of frustration when I could easily access neither my sewing belongings, nor much of the upstairs, that was crowded with “stuff” from below. Fast forward to this weekend, and I am finally almost back to normal. In fact, now that the mess is almost gone, some things are better than before, with new lights in my sewing room and over the cutting table, fresh paint and flooring, and even some new furniture. I decided it was time for the old dollar store plastic table cloth to be replaced by a proper design wall

After studying several tutorials about such things, I knew I needed insulation and white flannel. I bought these, had the insulation cut so it might fit in my car, and headed home. I should add, I headed home with my trunk open and one hand clutching the styrofoam so it didn’t fly away as I sped down the highway. Thank goodness I had just traded in my standard for an automatic, and had a free hand. And the store was only a few minutes from my house.

There was a thin grey film on the insulation, which peeled off. Sort of. I couldn’t pick off the grey residue, so I decided to paint it. I went down to my paint stash for some ceiling white but found this Tremclad spray. Sticks to plastic, wood, metal, and other things. Perfect. 45374048_10215492446478863_2876260811251122176_n Not so much.

The paint dissolved bits of the styrofoam, leaving trenches. The good news is that it is clearly a great solvent, because the remaining grey plastic peeled right off. Time to break out some batting and glue.

After the batting was glued in place and trimmed, the white flannel was stapled down on the back, and the masterpiece screwed to the wall. Sadly, the imperfections can be seen in the photo. They’re not quite as obvious in person.

Truth be told, I don’t really care. When the blocks go up, it looks perfect. I love it!45275107_10215492444158805_3240765941109227520_nNow that my mountain of boxes has been sorted, it’s time to sew again!