10 January 2010

Books on a Shelf

I don’t think of working on multiple quilts at the same time as having “balls in the air.”  Because it is not a pressure situation for me, I’m not juggling them, I’m just enjoying them.  No, it is more like having multiple books on a shelf and I can read whichever I please whenever I want.  It makes me happy.  I have limited space and limited storage, so I naturally max out on quilts-in-progress space and have to finish a quilt to start a new one

Since I’ve started dyeing and discharging fabric I find that having multiple things going makes more and more sense.  I’ve got a big dye project that will be ongoing for quite some time (the Kalka Quilt), but I can dye blocks for that quilt a great variety of colors, so when I made some a pea-soup-colored dye bath in order to alter some fabric for the Herds and Birds Quilt, I put in some blocks for the Kalka, too.  Thus, things get done, bit by bit.

This week, I pieced  a few more blocks for the Herds and Birds Quilt.
I’ve got 12 of these blocks now.  I’m aiming for 25.
Can you see the pea-soup-colored pieces in that block?  A couple are solid and one is made with a pollex-shaped resist.  That's one of the newer shapes in my shop and I've been having a lot of fun with it.
Pollex is another word for thumb, which was the original inspiration for this shape.  I also think this shape could be used to great effect for dying houses and doors, especially if overdyed on commercial prints.  I may have to do that soon.  : )

Herd and Birds is such a tossed salad of awesomeness--I'm mixing my dyed stuff with indie fabrics, with mass-produced prints, and lots of solids, too. It's a lot of fun and each block surprises me.

This week,  I also pieced the backs for two quilts and then drove the quilts over to my friendly local long arm quilter to do (I’ll share once they come back!) 

In other news, I’m planning for a quilt based on this book cover:
I call this the Methods Quilt (after the title of the book). It is being done in mostly shot cottons and chambrays, which I’ve been slowly acquiring.
You’ll notice that I don’t have an off-white color in the stack yet. That’s because I had figured out how much of each color I needed, but never calculated for the white color (it is trickier as it is in a bunch of pieces, all chopped up.) Yesterday I was feeling mathy, so I sat down and remapped the book cover into a grid that would make the quilt twin size.  And then figured out how much off white fabric I needed.The white is shown in gray here, with darker gray designating places that I will be doing some piecing with white and a color to emulate the text fields on the book cover.
Now I’m ready to shop.  But first, I’ll need to make a pie and watch the Packers game.


  1. The book cover quilt is going to be amazing! What program are you using to map it all out?

  2. britt: It's Microsoft Excel, set so that the cells are square. Excel doesn't do any of the work for you, but it's easier than graph paper because you can revise with ease.

  3. I absolutely love the idea of sketching in Excel. Love it. More things to do when I am supposed to be working.

  4. such great ideas! love the thumb (though I see "sideways tombstone"), herds and birds, and your methods project... can't wait to watch them take shape.

  5. Ha! Someone else that designs in excel! How do you turn it into a jpeg though?!?

  6. I turned it into a jpg by using the "snipping tool" that comes with Windows 7. In Mac you could use "grab." On older PCs, try "print screen" and then paste into a photoshop or paint.

  7. Rossie ... thanks so much for the tip!


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