Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sewing Again

I've been AWOS the past month (absent with out sewing) - as I worked on the renovations of my sewing room.  I still have a few tweaks to go before I post the "before and afore" pictures (Munchkin's vocabulary - makes sense to me) but the GOOD news is that I am back up and sewing again.

I put my good machine in the shop for routine service during the renovations -and she's not back yet - so I am working with my older machine.  I was hoping she'd do the job on a "quilt as you go" quilt assembly, but she was struggling.

So on a whim the other evening - I started playing with an idea I had seen somewhere off a lattice like "eye spy" quilt using rail fence type blocks and solid blocks.  I did some calculations and figured out a 12.5" block using 2.5" strips and 6.5" squares.  GASP - I even made a test block!!!!

Then I started digging in my stash.  I have wanted to make a quilt using some of the orientals that Toshi and Miyuki brought me from Japan last Christmas.  I also had some other orientals that people have given me over the years - and a few that I won in blogger giveaways.  Funny thing is that I don't make a whole lot of oriental style/oriental themed things - but I do have this great stash of fabrics.

At first I thought I would make this "eye spy" style with different focus squares in each block, and a consistent neutral square, but then I found the fabrics that "clicked" and decided the "rail fence" blocks would be semi scrappy (5 different fabrics in the entire quilt) and the focus squares would all come from the same fabric.

Taa Daa!  Here they are ready to be pieced together.  The neutral is a creamy tone on tone and the subtle pattern in it looks like rice grains!

The wave fabrics were 3 FQ's, and I actually 'ran out' before I was able to get all my strips cut.  I mulled it over for an evening and a day, trying to figure out how to continue without unsewing (did I mention that this was one of those "wild whim" quilts where I was flying without a complete plan in place???)  Luckily I had enough "scraps" to be able to piece a few rectangles as needed, and was able to finish up the pattern as envisioned.

I did do a sketch up of the entire quilt - although the coloring is a bit different from what I actually did - and will post a photo after the top is assembled.  My quilting plans involve some rectangles and squares, and some Japanese family crests -and will require the FMQ capabilities of my other machine - so this one will have to go into the UFO stack for a while.

I like the simplicity of this - and the large blocks do well to show off the large scale of many of the oriental fabrics.  This one has a really masculine feel to it - perhaps it is the darker "rails" and the dragons??  But with some florals or other motifs, this is a quick and easy pattern that could go either way.

I am also contemplating this with smaller proportions - like 3" squares?  It would be more delicate -but would be a good scrap buster!!!

Anyway - it feels good to be sewing again!


Barb said...

So glad that you are back to sewing again...and what you are doing is going to be awesome...can't wait to see it.

Jennifer said...

The blocks look great, and do does the overall pattern.

Marj said...

Love your mockup and will be back to see the finished quilt. It looks like a great quilt to teach at the LQS, what do you think? Also good to use for charity quilts. I have three sizes of strips in my scrap bins. I may have to play with some scraps tomorrow.I need another

Marj said...

I played with some strips...
2" strips = 5" squares
2 1/2" strips = 6 1/2" squares
1 1/2" strips = 3 1/2" squares

jillquilts said...

Looks great!! And I bet it's awesome to be back at the machine. I need to get back to mine.... sigh