Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Robin Round One - Freddy Moran Style

Welcome back to the 'Rakish Needle Round Robin'. The first round has come and gone. I have worked on Ileana's starter block and now want to share a bit of the process here. Ileana, having been flooded out of her house twice (truly awful!), is currently hunting a new house to make home. As this is a big matter on her mind, she translated it into her starter block with the request to us to grow it 'Freddy Moran' style.

Browsing Freddy Moran’s work is fascinating to me. Her work is so colourful and warm and somehow life affirming. Normally, crazy colourful quilts make my eyes water and frazzle my brain but Freddy manages to strike a balance that keeps her work from being utterly overwhelming. I still would not want one of those quilts for myself but they are fascinating to study.

I am also quite pleased to firstly have been introduced to her work via this round robin and secondly have been afforded the chance to try my hand at piecing in her style. The latter is not as easy as it may sound. I am one of the quilters that always wants negative space to calm down a piece. I tend to shy away from placing colourful popping pieces right next to each other.

Thinking back, I so far always used a reduced colour palette, low volumes and/or white. The only exception are my ‘Double Square Stars’ that count as WIP and are currently on the backburner. Even there though the colours adhere to a pre-defined colour palette.

Ileana's House Hunt

Ileana on the other hand says, literally any fabric goes as long as you do not forget to include black and white along the way. In her starter block I made out the three primary colours Blue, Red and Yellow also often used by Freddy. Therefore, I decided to work from that basis. What else did I spy? Triangle shapes that led right to my ‘Flying Geese’ blocks. Ileana also asks for 'wonky-ish traditional blocks' and I decided to include off kilter ‘Churn Dash Blocks’ that would morph into flowers, which also can often be found in Freddy’s work. Here they were done in raw edge appliqué.

‘Churn Dash Blocks’ I had not done before. Also trying raw edge appliqué for the first time filled me with trepidation as, so far, I always had tucked the edges in and under. Phew! We live and learn. And my – what an amount of work appliqué is. =)

Cohesion how?

Generally, I aimed at maintaining cohesion of the overall piece, whilst introducing new elements my fellow sewists can pick up on.Please note the repetition of triangle shapes echoing the colour values of the starter on the left side. I also maintained the blue – lime green colour flow as introduced in Ileana’s starter block across the entire panel. Ileana's starter block worked with pictorial elements, which I re-introduced on the far right. I like how it looks.

    For the last side panel on the far right, I would have needed much darker greens but alas my stash is pretty much void of true blues, greens and reds. I have already asked the remaining robin members to add a smaller dark green tree applique on top of the first one to create more contrast.

    Freddy Moran, Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Raw Edge Applique, Rakish Needle Round Robin, Quilt Panel, Modern Quilting

    So what do you think? Does it work for you? Has the panel the potential to look a little ‘Freddy Moran’ like? I immensely enjoyed working on the piece combining traditional blocks with liberated quilting ideas. It is all a bit off-centre.  =)

    Freddy Moran, Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Raw Edge Applique, Rakish Needle Round Robin, Quilt Panel, Modern Quilting

    All that remains is to send the piece to Norway for Anita to take over.
    I link up with 'Let's Bee Social'.

    Monday, 8 May 2017

    Stash Bee 2017 - May Block - Converging Corners

    May Queen Bethany asked us to make yet another log cabin variation =) This is the third 'Log Cabin' style block in 5 months within this quilting bee hive (merely an observation =) The blocks are all rather different of course and always fun and easy to piece, so let's have a look at what was requested this month.

    Queen Bethany asked for coral and purple blocks she intends to assemble into a 'Converging Corners' quilt as seen @Film in the Fridge, who also kindly provided a tutorial for the blocks.

    Converging Corners, Film in the fridge, Puppilalla, log cabin block, Quilting bee, Patchwork

    Still I would not mind piecing another block design next month =) Incidentally, I know we will. The June Queen who already participated last year, will ask us to make more of the pinapple blocks she requested last year. Yes,  I was naughty and had a sneaky peek at her tutorial, which has already been scheduled. 

    Monday, 1 May 2017

    Meet Uncle Mischka - Pattern Testing

    Sometimes opportunity comes knocking. For a while now I have seen pretty projects created with @unicornharts patterns popping up on Instagram. Joanne seems a fountain of ideas and her foundation paper patterns are a lot of fun to look at.

    Foundation Paper Piecing, Barmy Bear, Unicornharts, Puppilalla, Pattern Testing, Patchwork, Quilting

    You might have seen her ‘Bull Betty’ pattern around IG? I love it! It is my favourite pattern of Jo’s so far. (And yes, that was apparently a deliberate name choice! That makes me love it even more. Food for thought isn’t? As what and who do we self-identify then? And how accepting are we of those individual choices in others? A bull named Betty, why ever not? =) 

    unicornharts pattern, Betty Bull, foundation paper piecing, patchwork, quilting

    Anyway, I came across Jo’s test block for her new ‘Barmy Bear’ pattern that is about to be released and it was sweet and a bit sad looking and I liked it at first sight. Bears were the protagonists of many of my childhood stories and a bear is the heraldic animal of my hometown Berlin. As you can see there was plenty to associate with so I commented on a whim that I would be happy to test the pattern once Jo reached that stage. 

    Bummi; Geschichten für das ganze Jahr; Das Schneemädchen

    Not long after Jo got in contact and asked if I was still available and that she looked for the block to be finished by the 30th of April. That gave me about a week worth of time and was terribly timed. Of all weeks this one was almost booked solid with after work activities. Apart from the usual swimming session at a local pool and the weekly Ukulele evening, friends were in town and I myself intended to travel over the weekend, which left me effectively with one evening to do this.

    Yet, I work best under pressure, the bee block of the month was long gone and the next one not due for a week and my round robin round was well underway and in a good place completion wise and I really wanted to do this. So I said I would.

    Foundation Paper Piecing, Barmy Bear, Unicornharts, Puppilalla, Pattern Testing, Patchwork, Quilting

    Jo’s pattern was well written and all the pieces very accurate. It took me about five hours to complete from start to finish and I would recommend it for confident beginners. Jo will offer it in two sizes. My block finished 15x15 inches. I used four different yellow solids, two AGF prints and a Robert Kaufmann print for the background. The latter, being a directional print was a bit of a challenge to keep oriented.

    So meet Mischka who will turn into a pillowcase, yes another one, for my friend Jens who deserves a pretty surprise gift just because.

    Tuesday, 25 April 2017

    Stash Bee 2017 - Crashing Hive 3 - Windmill Pluses

    Queen Lisa asked for a ‘Windmill’ meets ‘Plus Sign’ block in cool denim style blues combined with a blue tinted grey and/or red. I am happy to oblige. Incidentally, Lisa is not per se my Queen but such details don’t bother me at all. =) 

    So here is my block, a denim blue combined with a red cool blender, which played utter havoc with my phone’s camera. My phone’s camera always goes into meltdown mode when it is being confronted with vibrant reds or pinks or oranges. It simply cannot cope. So let’s call this an approximation of my block’s colours and be done with it.

    This one was very quick and easy to make. No bother at all. I expect the resulting quilt to look like that piece you always had or was it your parent’s? Some designs and colour combinations are simply timeless and the denim blue – cool red is such a combination. As always, I am looking forward to a group shot.