Thursday, May 31, 2012

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pandemonium Quilt Tutorial # 3 - The Pond & The Fountain

Hello Everyone,

Thank you for doing the comments on the last post, I also learnt a few things!
I was going to do a longer tutorial  today but I'm on another computer and this one is really, really really slow, I'm hoping it will upload itself because there is a photo below.

Have you noticed there is now a link to the tutorials? It is above the banner picture up the top. Thank you Janet!

I thought I'd go over the The Pond block first then the Fountain later.

When I start a new quilt, I need to "get into it" first, because usually it would have been some months since I've touched the fabrics in the baskets and I can't remember what each fabric offers in terms of components for the different bits of the applique.
I would usually choose a block that has a lot of little shapes in it with no major parts that I need to watch out for. The Pond fills this bill really well, it has many small shapes which will make me rummage my tidied baskets mercilessly.
The first thing I did was to do the actual pond itself. Trace the design onto the pond background fabric, number the shapes ( see tutorial # 1) and choose the fabrics, iron the freezer paper templates on to the prints and cut and place them on the pond fabric so that you can see how your colours are going. Choose the  fabrics for the swans first - need body and wings and the head plume. I would use a textured fabric that reads solid and a contrasting print for the wing and something solid for the head plume that goes with the body. if you go to the GloriousColor website, look at the following fabrics for what I call "textured fabrics that read solid":
KF " Rosette" - there are a lot of colours here but if you look at the flowers individually, I can see a bird's body there, when you iron the template for the body, you're going to see only that colour and it looks solid but has texture in it. I hope I'm describing this right, really hard to put into words, wish this is a real class!
PJ "Shell Montage", " Scallops" and "Feathers" have areas that read solid & textured.
BM " Shell Scapes", " Aurora", "Babble" & " Shingles" - these are more geometric but there are areas where the effect is solid. It all depends on how big the shape of the applique is.
The next things you'll be choosing are the ducks, fish and frogs combinations of fabrics. Work from the swans outwards and you'll be watching the colours develop. When the animals are done, use the plants to increase the colours, see if you need more greens or reds or yellows or whatever. I did some minor embroidery for the water lilies stalks.
Go back to the background of the block, you'll see that you need to applique the reeds first along the top edge of the pond. These are made using the Clover bias strips maker 1/4".  Now, applique the pond onto the background. This will make it easier or you to decide on the colours for the other shapes.
Next, I would choose the fabrics for the trees, I used the PJ " Floralburst" and "Lacy" ( I think this is the name for it), other suggestions for the trees:
KF " Cabbage Patch", Diagonal Stripe"
BM " Petra" , " Plaids", "Pythons", " Sand Dollar", "Dancing Paisley" in green & pink - these are my fave colours and "Rings". I also love " Gone Fishing", there are large fish area that might be interesting to use as trees. I don't think it would matter if you go out to the other area of the fabric if your tree is bigger than the fish! I bet by now you've found lots of fabrics with useful parts.
The cats are next - I love the PJ "shell" and "scallop" fabrics for these but check out the new "feathers" - some beauties there.
Now that you can see a lot more colours sitting on the background fabric, choose fabrics for the 5 standard tree pots. I find these to be quite fun. Choose the lollypop tree, then the centres of the pots, then a coordinating print to go with centre and then the round things for the planter feet and the circles up the top. To name a few, look at the following fabrics for the trees: " Big Blooms", " Radiation" , " Parasols", " Shell", " Scallops", " Feathers", " Petunias", " Suzani", " Iris & Peony".  If you examine the big florals, you'll find a lot of things that might be suitable for the pot's centres - things like the centre of flowers or the smaller secondary motifs in the fabrics. Look at "ombres", "aboriginal dots" for the contrast outside area of the pots. Use a solid for the round things - in a colour that is in the pot.
Choose the fabrics for the birds feeding on the trees. Choose colours that might be missing from the whole picture or something that coordinate with the trees. I would pick a colour that appears in the standard tree and then choose something that is a contrast to it.
Below the pond, choose fabrics for the turtles, find a feature area in a fabric, might be centre of flower in the fabric, its not a big area, but it needs to be quite distinctive, also look in the " feather" fabric. Choose the lower bird's fabric, look at the Coleous, Feathers, Shells, I'm sure by now you've found lots of things for the birds.
Now that you've got most of the fabrics chosen sitting on the background fabric, fill up the missing colours in the flowers/ leaves around the pond.
Lastly, fill up the berries on the trees using a mixture of  strong reds, pinks and a sprinkling of other strong colours, these berries are used to add colours. Not hard is it? I did some outline embroidery around the pond, I think it is called " stem" stitch.

The Fountain.

The first item you need to choose is the arbour tree, I've used the "ombre" because you can make the tree go from one colour to another from the bottom to the top. " Ombre" comes in many colourways, choose one that you love, then choose the fabric for the fountain. This block is really easy as far as for choosing the fabrics. The hard part is the very many circles to sew ( what was I thinking?)
When I cut out the little circles for the fountain, I numbered it according to the "squirt" - so,  "squirt" # 1 has 5 circles and this would be numbered 1/1,1/2, 1/3 etc and I would put these in a separate little ziplock. I then gathered a collection of blue/turquoise shot cottons and use these for the water droplets. Iron the circles to the different blues and re - bag these before they get lost. Later,I would applique these circles with the freezer paper templates still on top ( save myself from marking them)
I love fountains, real ones as well as the applique variety. I did mine in " shell scapes" but I could have easily done in other fabrics, " Shingles" came into mind, also some stripe fabric like the "Serape"  or "Python" might be interesting.Choose a fabric that will go with your rose arbour.
Choose the fabrics for the 4 birds, I should have chosen something with a bit more contrast to the trees I think, mine kind of "merged" a bit! The pots shouldn't be  problem, put whatever takes your fancy. Don't forget the star in the middle of the fountain. If you've chosen a fabric with a feature motif that you can centre where the star is, you'll save yourself from having to do the star - or you can skip the star!
Now, the " roses" circles. As the tree have changed colour from the bottom up, you might like to keep an eye for the colours of the circles. In mine, some of the red circles are too close in colour to the tree branches, I think I should have put some green or strong yellows next to the orangey part of tree.

Till next time, happy stitching! I'll go over the Kitchen Garden and the Folly and perhaps some basic handpiecing ( I do mostly hand piecing). I'm not good at machine piecing but I think I can do some step by step tutorial for the easy blocks like the star and pinwheels. Or is this going to be too simple for most of you? Cheers, Kim McL

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

top lollipops DONE

Hi every one,

So, not only did I finish my top a while back, but yesterday I managed to sandwich it, ready to start the quilting in october or so when it's getting colder again. I prefer to quilt when it's cold and rainy. But for now spring finally got here.

As you can see I finished the outer border with rectangles instead of the 'required' squares. That's to give me some ease in quilting and to have enough under the binding. I like having a little extra in the last border, gives me something to cut off.

I like my quilt a whole lot but I am very pleased I didn't do the 16 blocks, since it is huge as it is.

To Jan, from 'bemused' : how is yours coming along on your red background?

See you, have a great summer in the north (or winter in the south),

Back to the Garden!

It's been so long since I have posted here. Hello Everyone. I have been so inspired by Kim's latest and greatest incredible pattern Pandemonium (which I now have in my possession thank you Liza!). But before I will allow myself to even take a glance at that and begin planning fabrics to use and which blocks I will make, I am going to finish making my garden!

I am only making up five of the six gorgeous long flower panels in the centre of Kim's Flower Garden pattern, and I won't make the border, so really I only have two long panels to go, not much really, right?

I have enjoyed making my backgrounds blocks using various fabrics in stripes, I think I will need sunglasses to look at this when it is finished!

Once again I am reminded why I adore creating from Kim's patterns, her instructions are wonderful and those applique shapes are just so addictive!

Cabbage Quilts xo

Monday, May 21, 2012

My first Pandemonium block

I am not a photographer and only have my phone to take pix which don't do anything for the truly awesome colors on this quilt.
Well, I finally finished the first block of Pandemonium and one of my first total applique pieces. 
I usually have done much smaller, less complex pieces. But what a joy!!!! I learned a lot Some of what I learned.

l. I had to zigzag around the block because it was beginning to ravel a lot on me.....and I still have enough to cut it off rather than have to rip it out.

2. I tried to use the "droplets" in one of Kaffe's fabrics for the fountain water instead of the smaller plain circles and discovered I really think I will re-do them at a later date to look more like the pattern. I kind of thought I would like the "folk art" look of the droplets, but as of yet, am undecided.........

3. Circles are really HARD for a beginner. I used Karen Buckley's perfect circles, a drafter's circle stencil ,and then scrapbooking punches on double freezer paper with starch etc. The last way worked best for me, but I haven't quite figured out the coordination to iron around little circles and use the stiletto at the same time........looks like I will have lots of opportunities to practice and can only hope I get better.

4. I reversed my transparent plastic and ended up inadvertently making the same planter on both sides of the fountain. But I like it so.........

But I am loving the pattern, and fabrics and am going to use this quilt as my GROWING project. The tutorials have been so helpful.

posted by janet for a guest blogger

Word verification

I've taken off that ##***! awful word verification when commenting on this blog. I can't stand it, I know I'm not a robot but does blogger think I have super distorted reading powers?
Have a nice day, Janet

Friday, May 18, 2012

My Stars and Sprigs update

completed 4 more

I did finish 4 more blocks. The picture below shows a 5th block finished but not washed yet. The one on the right has only the steams and is ready for some leaves. I have a few more blocks to go. I am still enjoying this quilt. I love these little blocks. Border number 4 is half done ^-^

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Springing Basket Blocks

Two seasons have come and gone since my last post, but I have been working away at Roseville along with some other projects.  You can see I still have two gaps before the center section will be finished, but everything else is done except the borders.  it gave me an unexpected thrill to see these blocks again on the design wall.

Here are close ups of some of the blocks so you can see the fabric choices a little better.  I hope some of them illustrate Kim's tutorial on finding just the right bits for leaves and vases.

A few months hence, perhaps I will have time to begin some of the Pandemonium blocks.  I LOVE the new pattern and am already wearing it out with study.

Pandemonium Quilt tutorial #2 - fabrics, double circle blocks

Hello Everyone!

Thank you for the feed back on the tutorial # 1 - glad that you are getting something out of it.

I thought I'll rabbit on a bit about fabrics, the most important thing is to look at fabrics as a source of components for the various bits of the applique shapes. Quite a lot of fabrics in the Kaffe Collectives are rather busy and usually I can find lots of things in it to use for appplique. When I open my fabric package from GloriousColor, I pull each fabric to it's full width and look  for the interesting areas to use.

take the " Coleus" fabric below, those leaf veins are great for bird's tails for example, or a little tree?

and the bit below might be good for the body of the bird or a fruit or a vase - with the lines going horizontal. The leaf shape next to it, is also interesting, for a flower perhaps? Move your freezer paper templates around the fabric and see! Don't look at the fabric as a whole, find the components, you'll be surprised how many useful portions there are in a fabric.

Here is another great fabric, " Scallops" - I used this for the dog's body in the quilt. I can see quite a few different  animal bodies with this fabric. If  you look at the other colourways you'll find even more useful items.

Still the " Scalops" fabric - can you see a tree?

Or with this one - you can use this for the cat's face if you include some of the lighter area below it. Or - if you position the tree template half on the 3rd layer and the other half on the lower layer, the tree will be more interesting than a plain green fabric, don't you agree?

This one would make a great tail or a vase?

This " Shell Montage" fabric is one of my favourite - in all colourways! I've used this for a lot of bird parts and flowers, again move your templates around and see what you can find.

I've used this portion as the standard tree in the " Pond" block.

This " Feathers" fabric is fantastic, can you see a lot of use for this one?

Or this bit?

This is the " Brassica" - it is all yummyness. Trees, flowers, bird wings, leaves?

I love this fabric " Mirage" , used it a lot in the " Roseville Album"  - it would be great for one of the biggish tree, then you can put a lot of different colour circles for the fruits. 

And this is the " Ombre", my favourite, it comes in 2 new colours. I used it in the " Fountain" block, I love the way the " arbour" changes colour. 

I also love stripes, very useful for vases or planters or building structures. Also in pieced blocks, see the " Wheel" in the quilt.

This fabric is great for the big pieces as well as for the small animal parts. I've used it in the
 " Disc"  block. I can see bird wings here!

I've used this fabric a lot, not sure of the name but if you go to the GloriousColors website you'll find it there. Great for the larger trees, as the colour moves from red to pink with touches of greens. 

And this one " Floral Burst" I think it is called. If you use this for the bigger trees, the tree will have quite a few colours in it.

In a real class, it is much easier to show useful fabrics. I hope you get the idea with the few examples above. The only thing is that I very rarely do classes these days as I have a day job!

I am due to teach in New Zealand though, in July 2013 at the Taupo Quilt Symposium for 3 days. Love to see you if you are in that part of the world!

The next item I'm going to move on to, is the " Double Circle" blocks that form the borders and sashings. For these blocks, I have these nifty gadgets which I purchased at quilt shows. These circle template stacks are made by a company called " Victorian Textiles " but they they are wholesalers. I've checked with Kathy at " Material Obsession" and she has these in stock if you think you might need them. They come in 3 different packs, one is in 1" - 5" diameter, the next is 5 1/2" to 8" and 8 1/2" - 10" and they come in 1/2" increments. They look like the photo below. Each circle has cross hairs on it so you can line them up.

If you read the instruction, for these double circle blocks, you are asked to cut 5" square for the background ( the green) and 4" square for the outer circle ( the yellow ) and an interesting 2" circle for the focal circle ( the purple)  You can also buy the stack of squares!

Press the squares so that you can see their midlines.

I've lined up the 2" circle on top of the 3" one and drew the circle on it. I'm going to use this as a guide later.

 I've used the 2" circle to mark the area, also mark with pencil the centres - I've put the pins there show you in case you can't see the pen marks.

Now, line up those marks on the purple fabric with the creased centre lines on the yellow fabric.

When done, put the 3" circle with the drawn in 2" on top and line it up with the appliqued circle and the pressed midlines. You'll have below.

Place the marked yellow fabric on the green and line up the creased line and applique the circle.

When done, turn it and onto the wrong side, you need to mark the 4" square. I've also drawn in the 3" circle inside the 4" square. This is the sewing line of the block. If you are going sew using the machine later on, mark the 3" circle inside a 4 1/2" square.

And cut away the excess fabric using the 4 1/2" square, see below.

 Finished block - easy, right!

Now, a little bit about which applique block to do first - you might like to think about this. I'll go through each applique block in more detail in the future tutorials.

I don't know about you, but the first block always seems to be the hardest to crack. I think it is because you need to " get into it". I know writers, painters who need to do a trial run first each time they sit down to do some work. I think you need to get the hang of the fabrics in your stash. So, I'll choose a block where you don't need to do a " major" decision - eg the Folly or the House blocks where you have to decide what the roof and building structures would need.
I did the Pond block first - the actual pond itself. I did all the applique of the pond's animals, press and would use the completed piece in the block. By using this as an entree, you'll break the ice. You'll  loosen up. 

The other block which would serve as an entree is the Fountain. Not too many decisions here. 

I'll try to do another tutorial soon, depends if I can get through the day job faster! Cheers, Kim McL