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.
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.
We are our own worst critics. So often I begin a project with fabrics that look well together when laying alongside one another and only after the quilt is finished do I wonder “what was I thinking”? Honestly, this happens with every quilt with the exception of 2. You cant go wrong with a 2 color quilt.. The other, the whole time I was piecing it my nose was curled and I questioned myself. It was only after the top was completed that I truly appreciated the colors and placement.
If fabric choices arent tough enough, what about piecing? Perhaps the lines dont exactly meet, we have all had this happen. One of my sisters will tell me, “if you didnt point it out I wouldnt have noticed or no one will notice but you”. That is reasuring as long as it takes my husband to walk into the room. He has an eye for noticing those little mistakes that “no one will notice”, lol. He has noticed things that I as the assembler did not see.
We have all at one point fudged a seam. We have either neatly puckered or stretched a seamline to make the points meet. Ideally we dont want to do that but the thought of ripping out all those stitches is so depressing. More often than not the problem isnt with the piece you are stitching, it may be several seams ago or several blocks ago and when you start ripping seams you may undo more than half of what you have completed before you find the issue. Two words, paper piecing. With traditional piecing there is very liitle room for error. With paper piecing, as long as you position your fabrics correctly, stitch on the line and match your points when joining blocks you will spend your time stitching instead of ripping. With paper piecing you can see where you went wrong before it’s too late.
Remember Elmers washable school glue? Turns out it is good for more than coating your fingers to watch it dry and peel off so you can admire your fingerprints. If you place a tiny dot of glue inside the 1/4″ seam allowance then dry with an iron you will discover you have fewer shifting pieces. The number of dots to place really depends on the length of the seam you are stitching. For a patch that is 3″ long you could get by with 2 dots. Stay at least 1/2″ away from corners and within the 1/4″ seam allowance. The size of the dot…well grab a sharpie fine tip permanent marker and lightly place a dot on a piece of paper. Thats about the amount of glue, A little bit larger than a period on this page. If you are paper piecing and the paper gets stuck to the fabric, keep a damp rag nearby. Touch just the glued area with your rag and the paper will be released.
Things to always keep in mind if using the glue.
1. Always stay at least 1/2″ away from corners. The glue does add some extra bulk and you will want to avoid seams that will go from 2 layers of fabric to 4 or more layers. Your longarmer will not like you or you will not like yourself when you hit one of these already thick seams made bulkier by glue. 2 layers of fabrc with a tiny dot of glue will not bog down or stop the quilting machine.
2. Always apply the glue within the seam allowance and a very small dot. You will know if you applied too much glue when you are turing your pieces. The glue will spread out and too much will run into your stitch line. A damp rag will release the glue or if its not a lot you can gently pull the fabrick apart.
3. Make sure the glue is dry before running thru your machine. If it is not dry and you have not kept it within your seam allowance it will get on and dry on the needle. If the glue is dry it will not gum up your needle.
When my sister in law Sandy saw an unfinished Quiltworx feathered star top she said my nephew would love it with all of the colors. So last weekend I finally pulled it out of the closet, fixed a mistake and loaded it on the frame.
This prompted me to start pulling other tops out and get them quilted. Since this one, I have completed 1 and loaded another on the frame today.
See, I told you I love flying geese. The geese blocks are 1 seam flying geese and tree everlasting are traditional pieced. My quilting skills aren’t as advanced as my piecing skills. Vertical and horizontal lines are easy, its the diagonal lines that I am struggling with. Really, how do you quilt this many triangles with half the quilt being 3d blocks. You can’t quilt over these flying geese, you’d just be defeating the purpose of the block. After some thought, I decided a vertical line alongside the flying geese would be the way to go and as it turns out the geese look like they are coming off the top. The rest of it I’m just stitching curly q’s which go pretty quick, it will be done tomorrow. I can’t wait to hang it in the natural light…hope it’s not raining.
The name may be a little confusing to non-quilters but give me a few minutes of your time and you will understand. First of all I am not a bird lover, I am a quilter and that is what this blog is about.
Due to the lack of complete quilt patterns with flying geese or patterns with instructions that were more complex than the actual piecing I began penciling quilt layouts on graph paper.
My red and white medallion quilt was born.
The requests for a pattern was so overwhelming after I posted it on Facebook and a quilting group I belong to. Unfortunately I hadn’t kept a diary on fabric yardages, sashing dimensions or tips. It was a lot of work and going back to start from the beginning was not something I was ready to do at the time. Perhaps there is a blue and white medallion in my future?
In all honesty, other than the center medallion that I drafted, anyone can recreate this quilt or one similar. All of the blocks used are common blocks found all over the internet for free.
Flying geese, I love them. They are versatile and there is just something about the clean straight lines on a finished block that draws my attention. If pieced properly the top point is almost magnified, it glows, it demands and draws my attention. It doesn’t matter if they are pieced traditionally, paper pieced, speed pieced or 1 seam (3d) flying geese, I love them and want them. They are incorporated into almost every quilt I make.
So on with my quest to find that perfect quilt pattern with A LOT of flying geese and of course I wanted a circle of geese but not just 1 circle and it must be straight piecing. NO CURVED PIECING. Because I was successful with the circling geese in the red and white quilt, (no curved piecing) I expanded on that pattern. First I pieced a sample quilt with scraps. Other than a few errors on my part with color placement it went together well. So I started keeping a diary for fabric requirements and instructions. The pattern “For the love of geese” will be for sale soon.
There is no curved piecing and no Y seams. With a little math and your favorite blocks you could easily expand this quilt. You could use it as a medallion on point/straight or place your favorite blocks around the circling geese center prior to sewing on the border.
Stay tuned, I’ve been working on expanding this pattern.