Now the top is finished it’s time to decide how to quilt it. It has been suggested that I send it away to a more experienced quilter for custom quilting. Of course that is an option however I think this will stay in house. If I pay for custom quilting I wont want to give it away and I could never recover my time and expense selling it. Neither have been considered at this point.
The background fabric is Quilters Choice muslin, the blue, red and green are Moda solids. The entire quilt was paper pieced and the best part, NO CURVED PIECING. The medallion, all geese and the maltese crosses were drawn on paper, graph paper. I love the way the first geese border surrounds the medallion.
Ignore the wrinkles. It was warm and humid yesterday morning when I carried it to the shed to take a photo. I had to hang it around my neck and the humidity took quick action on the cotton. Quilting suggestions welcome if you have any.
My wind rose is almost complete, 2 borders and a sashing is all that remains. I’m really glad I stayed true to the original and added a white border to the points. The rest of the blocks for the quilt are done I just have to sew them all together and add them to the quilt. The outside border blocks, well I am up in the air about them. They are pieced and sewn in halves, I just cant decide if I want full blocks or half blocks. I’m really glad I decided to trim the compass with the curved flying geese, I love the way it frames the compass.
When I began drawing this I started thinking about different ways to quilt it. In the beginning I thought I would quilt straight lines to resemble a Portolan Chart. Now I am not so sure.
My medallion is almost complete. Its laid out in pieces just so I could finally see my work. Its a little haphazard right now but so far so good. The background fabric is my favorite muslin, I used white as a highlighter behind the red and blue points on the outside circle. It was also used as points for the inside circle. The white will be more clear once it is all sewn together.
The block will be set on point in the quilt with the blue needle in the center row pointing north. To square the block there will be stretched flying geese to form the triangles for all 4 sides. This too will be more clear once its sewn together. When I reach this point in any quilt I start getting excited , I took this photo a couple hours ago and I am still grinning ear to ear. I’ve made other compasses but in my opinion, this is the most wonderful wind rose I have created. I can only hope I did it justice. Colors, why I chose them. If you look at the actual map i pulled it from, you will see I tried to duplicate the colors. With a little less gray. The colors to me seem to create dimension to the medallion.
Courtesy of Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
121 Wall Street | New Haven, CT 06511
You can click on this link, Yale University and see this map and others. It will also allow you to zoom. You have to let me know if you view the map, does my Wind Rose resemble Jorge Aguair map, his is the 3rd one down?
Fall weather has now arrived here in Southern Illinois and I admit I am pleased. There’s nothing better that opening the windows during the day and the smell of all of natures wonders blowing in my windows. I’m weird but I love the smell of decaying leaves in the woods. Sleeping is more restful with the windows open a couple inches and the crisp night air blowing in. Cuddling under a couple quilts made by my own hands, reaching up and touching your nose knowing if you were in front of a mirror the tip would be red. When the weather is hot and humid I am like a hermit. A few years ago I was borderline of suffering a heat stroke while stacking wood. Now adays I stay out of the heat as much as possible. Owning my own business and working at home has its advantages in the warm months, the best advantage would be not leaving my home to head off to work in the morning and returning to my hot closed up car for the trip back home. I take that back, the best advantage is working in my jammies if I so choose.
Enzo spends his days laying on a bench in front of the window and his evening in his chair while I sew. So with the cooler weather the last couple of weeks I have quit sewing about a half hour early to go on a daily walk up the driveway before dark. Our driveway is 2/10th of a mile long and uphill on the way to the road and downhill coming back to the house. They say its good exercise walking on hilly terrain. Well we’ll see if Enzo and I start dropping lbs
No exciting news this week on the quilt front. Down to the final 3 templates of my current quilt and wondering if I should add an alternating block instead of the repeating block I had planned around the outside border. We will see, adding a new block… well I should still have it completed by the end of the weekend.
The flying geese blocks (to the left) piece pretty quick and easy. Currently my toughest decision is whether I should add red sashing or blue. Either way, it should be lovely. When I started out I though perhaps I would create a quilt pattern to place here for sale. It wouldn’t be for the faint of heart since there are so many pieces involved. The directions would be a book in its self. Nope, this one I am keeping for me. I cant wait to share it with you all next week on Bee Social. I’m sure I will have to post it prior to then, the excitement will get the better of me if I don’t.
As of last night I have 10 templates (photo to the right)with 18 patches each to complete on my wind rose quilt. Each template takes me about 20 minutes to complete. It feels so good to be nearing the end, the last couple of weeks this day seemed so much further off. Will I have it done by Oct 24 or 25, it will be close. Hopefully I am not as disappointed in the completed quilt as I usually am. I also drew an anchor block to add to the quilt, its up in the air if I will include it. Putting it all together will go fast since it’s all repeating blocks. I cant think of any other quilt that has taken me this long to finish or how accurately I calculated the yardage.
EQ8 will be released on Oct.23. I’m considering that investment. It’s supposed to calculate the yardage for you which would be a tremendous advantage. What other benefits could it provide? How many block patterns are included with the program? What are its limitations? These are things I would like answered prior to purchasing but I’ve not had the time to actually read through the docs. Layout is the single most quilt related thing I struggle with. Graph paper is great for deciding on a layout and pencil lines are erasable. Deciding dimensions and marking them on the graph paper are time consuming. Even so, the biggest drawback is not seeing your quilt blocks in place until piecing is complete. This is not good and potentially creates more work for you. When I create a block now I end up using 3 different computer programs to construct it before I ever print it out, this would be another advantage of using EQ. I could spend less time with pencil, paper and on the computer and more time to do what I love.
Its just a matter of days until I am done with this top and I cant wait to share it.
First let me say that I visit everyone blog that links up and I enjoy reading them and love the photos. Unfortunately I cannot always leave a comment due to an OpenId error. I’ve yet to find a fix for this by googling.
Well…much like last week and the week before I am working on the same quilt. If I had a photo of the finished quilt I would attach it here, unfortunately you only get a stack of finished blocks. What a mess huh? I started it Sept 24th with 3,179 pcs and as of yesterday evening I am now down to 1,446 pcs. I told a customer I would have it completed in a month, there’s 13 days left in my self inflicted deadline. This is definitely the quilt with the most number of pieces I have done, it IS a jigsaw puzzle. At this point I’m unsure if I will produce a for sale pattern for this quilt but I will use the block patterns I drew in other projects.
I’m already looking ahead to my next couple of quilts. First I think I will expand on For the love of geese to make it a full size bed quilt. I have the first 2 sample quilts draped over my fabric box staring at me daily. The first one I completed with scraps to make sure it would go together as planned and I may use it to drape over an antique drop leaf table. The second (photo on left) was going to be The quilt until I realized I made an oops on the placement of one of the color patches and I wasn’t real happy with the outside border. Because I wasn’t certain how many strips I would need to complete the quilt I had purchased a total of 5 jelly rolls. Because of all the strips I used for this one there isn’t enough to start another quilt but there is enough to make this a full sized quilt.
The next quilt will only happen if I can collect enough ruler ribbons off of moda jelly rolls because they are an important part of the quilt. I have 12 so far and its going to take a lot more to do what I am planning. Fact is, I don’t buy jelly rolls frequently so it will take a while to collect what I need.
Well on my way through the next set of blocks and I have to say it was right on time. As much as I love and am glad I made the wind rose (or compass) it was getting a little boring. Because of all the little pieces crammed into such a small space I felt like I was never going to reach the bottom of that pile. It took 20 minutes to piece each template. As I progressed I found myself thinking how badly I needed to clean my closest. I thought about my previous post and how spot on I was, did you read my last post ? There was light at the end of this tunnel.
These flying geese sections are much larger and I am able to use strips to piece them. Even so, I have a lot more waste than other quilts I have pieced with strips. Because of their size I am able to put these together in half the time of the wind rose sections. Stretching the geese adds movement to the quilt that previously could only be accomplished through quilting if you knew what you were doing. Seriously, how do you add movement to the quilt with quilting? I’ve not figured that out yet. Adding depth or dimension through quilting I understand. Adding movement to a quilt through fabric design and color placement I also understand. Maybe, the more I quilt I will eventually understand what they mean by adding movement through quilting.
When applique was my craft of choice I made mostly Sam and Sue quilt blocks. Once I made a block of Sam running (see below) from a dog with a sling shot in his back pocket. With that block creating movement was easy. You could see he was running, the dog was running after him and the sling shot was flailing behind. Apologies for the poor photo. A few squiggly lines behind either or both would have shown movement. Creating movement thru stitching on a quilt is quite different and something I doubt I will fret over.
When searching for a medallion for my current project I stumbled across this file at Yale University and knew I had it. The Wind Rose would be included in my current quilt. Just think , this map is from 1492, just imagine the hands it has passed and the eyes that have viewed it, where it has been, Answering those questions creates a story of its own.
If you cannot enlarge this enough to take in the full beauty of this map and the rare information it provided for its time you should visit the:
Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University. You can view the map online in an exploded view to see the details it holds. I’ve limited my quilt to only reproducing the wind rose . I do plan to take the file and have the map printed out to use as wall art. I’ve never considered myself a fan of antique maps or cartography until I viewed this map. Since my initial viewing I have read everything available I could find regarding it, very interesting,
2,555 of 3,179 pieces of fabric to go. When I think of it in pieces of fabric the completed quilt feels like Christmas morning that’s never going to come when I was 10. One of my customers told me it would take me a year to complete, I laughed and told him I would have it done in a month or less. Had I not started all over to change the color on the medallion I would be much further along. But I am glad I decided to swap out the color on the scallops for blue. Since I opened my big mouth and said I would have it completed in a month or less I created a time line that I have to meet to save face. Wish me luck.
All of the templates for the medallion are completed so after some cleanup this evening I’ll start on the outside blocks. They will piece fairly quick because they aren’t as complex as the medallion, with the exception of an anchor block. Cheers to the person who created paper piecing. Can you imagine trying to applique or hand piece the blocks in the photo above? If discouragement didn’t get to you first, frustration would set in very quickly and it would be yet another ufo in a box. Other than un-quilted tops, I only have 1 ufo quilt. To be honest, I will never finish it, its destined to be a cushion cover for Enzo. Even dogs like nice things.
How to avoid ufo’s. Don’t start another project until you have finished what you are working on. That’s the best advice but we all know its not always possible since babies and wedding happen. But what about those quilts we start then somewhere along the way we lose interest, get frustrated or discouraged because its more difficult than we thought? Most of us will choose to start on the easiest aspect of the quilt and save the hardest for last. Starting with the easiest we create an avoidance, begin to dread the hardest section, and in the back of our mind we know as we progress we are getting closer to the end. Sometimes we give up before we are half way there because we’ve created this negative idea in our mind that the most difficult section is a beast. We have convinced ourselves before we reach that part there are going to be major issues piecing it or maybe convince ourselves we lack the skills needed to complete it. By nature we avoid negative things. The best way to prevent this scenario…start with the hardest first. When you get a pattern look it over well and just because the designer says start here and complete in this order, doesn’t mean you have to do exactly that. There are no pattern police waiting to break down your door. By beginning with the most difficult, you are starting with strong motivation. You know there is light instead of darkness at the end of the tunnel. And then when your reach those easy blocks, they are like a well deserved reward.
Another thing I have learned, some patterns just ” don’t make sense “. I have purchased patterns that the instructions were more complex than the design and I wondered if anyone short of a PhD could actually follow them. That is when I grab a highlighter pen and sit down in a quiet room. I begin reading the directions and highlight what I cannot change or pattern specific useful information such as, you must stitch templates A and B together before stitching template D to template A. Or, piece these sections with your light fabric and those sections with dark fabric. So…if you purchase a pattern and open the directions and get that voice in your head saying you cant do this, STOP! Look at each template, do they look easy or do they look like a headache waiting to happen? Grab a highlighter and with no distractions start reading. If you’ve paper pieced before YOU CAN DO THIS. If you still are not sure and are worried you will destroy your paper templates, pack up the templates and head off to your local office store or print shop. Copy the templates and try piecing with your scrap stash first. If all goes well you still have your original templates to begin again, if it doesn’t you still have the full pattern. What’s the alternative, will you place the pattern on a shelf with other patterns to save for another day that will never come?