Steady Progress

Not much to report today.  I am making steady progress on the God Speaks quilt, or the red quilt as I call it for short.  I am really starting to like it now.  The circle of spirals over the abstract squares is more stylized than I originally envisioned, but I like it.  There are a few more spirals to fill in, but I started working on the grid because I knew it was going to be a lot of boring quilting.  I don’t mind boring for a while.  But at this stage in a quilt, I am done.  I had the idea, I played with the colors.  Time to move along…

Having a goal of making 20 of these housetop quilts by October is good for me.  It keeps me working steadily on them until they are finished instead of moving on to the NEXT.  FUN.  PROJECT…

Spirals and Steady Progress

So I actually had an idea about how I wanted to quilt this before I even started piecing it.

It started with this little doodle on my “practice sandwich.”

Ooh.  That was fun.  I like doing spirals.  So I did some more.  I definitely like doing spirals.

Has anybody noticed how the spiral is a repetitive pattern that God uses in his creation?  I have.  So using these spirals on the quilt with the theme “God Speaks” seems like a natural choice.

I knew how I wanted to quilt the large white outer border–with a large spiral all the way around it, which would include all the words that God was speaking.  But then the quilting would be very dense in the center and very loose on the outer edges, and I knew that wouldn’t work.  I consulted my BFF, and she suggested putting a grid around the border, and then quilting the spiral as loosely as I wanted on top of that.  Perfect!!  (I like doing grids too.)

(the blue line is just a mark for where I want to stop doing the small spirals.)  I love those blue disappearing pens.  So far I haven’t had any trouble with them disappearing completely.

Layer Upon Layer

I’ve been working steadily on the ‘Angels’ quilt.  Its interesting to me how this quilt has evolved.  Originally it was just an experiment with geometric squares and textures.

Then I machine quilted it in an off-kilter grid.

After I machine quilted the whole thing, I added the straight lines of perle cotton.

After that, I added the squares of wool that were zig-zag stitched on top.  And stitched some more with the perle cotton.  At this point, that was as far as I was going to go with this quilt.

And then I took it with me to Paducah and thought ‘what if…?’  And that’s when I started adding the stitched circles on top of everything else.  Usually a wool square was the center of the circle.

Not sure why I love this perle cotton and these circles so much, but I do.  I keep my stitch choices extremely simple, as you can see.  When I refer to ‘kantha embroidery’ that is the concentric running stitches.

I was trying to do something a little different, and I came up with this little design.

I liked it so much that I repeated it in a different colorway.

I was finally finished with all the circles today, and ready to add the lettering.  So you know how you kind of have an idea, but then you think–what if I ruin the whole thing by adding that???  So I drew out a rough sketch of the quilt, and figured out what angel words I wanted to add, and drew them in on the sketch, and then drew the lines (using one of those disappearing blue pens) around the circles and started stitching in the words.  And it looks just like I wanted it to!  Visible, but not overwhelming.  I like it when the words I add do not distract from the overall design, and people have to search a bit if they want to read what is written.

And now, its back to the chair, for a little more stitching and a little lap time for the doggies!

Back to the Housetop

Last week, before I went out of town, I started a new “housetop” quilt.  I had the idea of making random patches of color, and machine quilting concentric circles on top of the square shapes.  The title is “God Speaks,” as in “God spoke from the whirlwind.”

So I started with a wonderful bundle of Robert Kaufman Kona Cottons in all shades of red.  I got this at Hancock’s during my trip to Paducah.  It looked so pretty like that, it was kind of hard to take it apart.

This is where I left off last week.

And this is the organized pile of strips and squares that was waiting for me.

I worked pretty steadily all day, and finished up by 4pm.  Just in time for my afternoon coffee and snack!  I am not 100% sure I like this quilt.  There is a lot of blank space for quilting, and I do have a lot of ideas about what I want to include on it, so we will see.

When I work on these quilts, I do no measuring, and I just cut the strips with scissors.  This makes for some interesting joins, but it is a very fun and freeing way to work.  You might notice that I used some prints in this quilt.  I have only been using solids in the housetop quilts.  I think I like the solids better.

And now, lap time with the doggies, and a little more stitching with the perle cotton!!

Better Pictures

Better pictures of  the quilt featured in yesterday’s post.  BTW, this is a small quilt, about 24″ X 30″.  I went outside and draped the quilt over a planter to get these close-ups.  You can really see the sheen of the silk and the texture of the wool in these pics.=


Inside, on my design wall.  It is interesting to me to see how the circles are much less prominent from a distance.  Not sure that is a good thing, as they do take a lot of work.

And now I am off to finally get some work done on this quilt.  I have not had my hands on any handwork all day long, and I am itching to get at it!


Where to Start?

Well, when I last posted on this blog I was getting ready for a trip to the big quilt show in Paducah!  So much has happened since then (quilting-wise) that it seems overwhelming to try to go back and report on it all.  So I decided I will just start from where I am today.  I really would like to make a habit of posting my latest quilting adventures as they happen.  By quilting adventures, I mean “what I am working on today.”

This is a close-up of a quilt I started embellishing when I was in Kentucky.  It started as a mish-mash of odd sized squares of linen, silk, cotton, and wool, all pieced together.  Somewhere I got the idea of putting the kantha stitch embroidery circles on top of it.  It is moving along quite nicely.  The pictures I took at night all came out too yellow, so I will try to post more photos tomorrow.

Anyway, I do like doing this kind of simple embroidery.  I find it very relaxing, even though it is time consuming.  I love picking out the colors of perle cotton that I will use for the next set of circles.

The name of the quilt is “And the Angels Sang.”  I plan to outline the circles with some of the angel’s songs found in the Bible, using white perle cotton.

So.  I have a lot of perle cotton.  Here is some of the ways I store it.  Somewhere on the blogs  I saw this suggestion–hanging loose threads on large rings.  Works perfectly!  And pretty to look at.

A wooden box I found at a thrift store.  Wish I could find more!

And a couple of plastic boxes.  I particularly like the one with the purple handle.  They are in the tool department at Walmart.  Very nice sturdy box, and a very good price compared to some of the expensive craft boxes found at Joann’s and Michaels.

And that’s the report for today.  I hope to have more to report tomorrow!