Here it is, all quilted and ready for its debut in the Berkeley Public Library (main branch) Quilt show, opening May 1. It will be up until June 4, so there’s lots of time to see the show. It will be on the second floor, above the reference desk, and in the original lobby. Ask at the reference desk to borrow the catalog. Otherwise you won’t know who made the quilts, because the quilts only have a number.
I wanted to audition quilting options for the quilt I’ve been working on. So I made a nine-patch version of the quilt. It just happened to be 12.5″ x 12.5″. So, after trimming it would be perfect for my 12 x 12 group, which meets in two weeks. That’s a good thing, because I might not have time to make another one.
I tried both free motion quilting and walking foot, and three different thread colors. I decided to use the walking foot with a dark yellow thread. The quilt is now quilted, but it’s too dark to get a good photo of it now. I’ll try to post one tomorrow.
Here it is, quilted, but you can’t really see the quilting lines in the photo above. Here’s a detail:
I’ve only been working on this for two days, but it’s now ready for quilting.
I inserted a 3/4 inch black strip, and decided it was done. First I tried a red strip, but didn’t like how it stole the focus from the one little blue square.
At my small quilt group/bee we were going through the group’s stash, and getting rid of fabric we were unlikely to use in the group’s projects. I took home a bag which included many pieced black and white strips. You could call them piano keys. They are leftovers from a quilt the group made of a cello. Here’s a not very good photo of it.
Here’s my pile of black and white strips.
I thought that I would make postcards out of them, but that was too small a format. Then I realized that April is almost here and I haven’t started my 12 x 12 yet. The black and white strips seemed to need some red.
I really like these thin red strips. They are only 3/4 of an inch wide.
I added the little blue and red squares, but it needed something else.
I sliced it diagonally and offset the two pieces.
It’s now sewn together. It was rather tricky because some squares got turned around, and I had to rip them out and do them over. I started at the top and sewed four-patches, then sewed the four-patches together. But it’s nine squares across so each row had an extra square.
I might call it Flying Birds of Paradise. I’m still thinking about names for it. I’m also thinking about how to quilt it.
Here are some detail shots. I love the unexpected yellow triangles.
I finally quilted the background. It now looks as if the background is pieced, but it’s not. I might sew some seed beads on this one, but otherwise it’s finished! Instead of a binding this one has a facing on the back. I’ve been so busy with the improv star that I haven’t even started my 12 x 12 for April.
I’m almost finished with the layout for this quilt. Any day now I’m going to start sewing the squares together. I’m having a great time adding more little triangles, but I think I should stop really soon.
I’m wondering what to name this quilt, since I already have one called “Improv Star.” Looking at it last night, I saw the stars as either flying birds or as the flower, bird of paradise. Maybe I should call it “Birds? Of Paradise.” Leave me a comment if you have a name for this quilt.
I read somewhere, maybe from Kaffe Fassett that when designing a quilt, you should make up some rules to follow for that quilt. Then, to add surprise and make it more interesting, every so often, you should break the rules! For this quilt one of my rules is that the triangles are orange or red, and not the background yellow colors. I’m now breaking that rule in a few places. It’s pretty subtle, but definitely will make the quilt more interesting to look at. Yesterday I started breaking a different rule: that each square has no more than one triangle added to it. And then there’s the rule I’ve been breaking all along, that the background squares are yellow. I’ve been adding light orange background squares here and there from the beginning.
I got more time to work on this today than I thought I would. See how much I accomplished!
I wanted to mention that one of the reasons why I don’t cut out all the squares at the beginning of a quilt is that my idea of which colors belong keeps changing. I also have no idea how many squares I will actually need, since I’m not working from a pattern. I enjoy making artistic decisions all throughout the quilting process. I almost never design a quilt on paper or on the computer and then make exactly that quilt. I would find that really boring, although I know people who do it that way.