Showing posts with label Round Robin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Round Robin. Show all posts

Monday, 21 August 2017

Robin Round Two - Solid Teal-ometry

Round Robin Quilt, Puppilalla, Solids, Modern Quilt Design, Starter Block, Color Wheel, Patchwork, Foundation Paper Piecing

Welcome back to the Rakish Needle Round Robin. I cannot wait to show you what I have been working on. 

This round I got to work with Rachel’s starter block that had already been expanded upon beautifully by Ileana. (see below =) Rachel was looking for geometrical shapes and solids / tone-in-tone fabrics that read as solids. She also provided inspiring and fun sample pictures of quilt borders she liked. The aspect Rachel liked the most was the sense of movement that those borders conveyed. I though about that but decided that you needed a solid foundation before you could start adding this style of borders. True to that decision a whole yard of a teal solid went into making my additions. =)

Round Robin Quilt, Puppilalla, Solids, Modern Quilt Design, Starter Block, Color Wheel, Patchwork, Foundation Paper Piecing

The Inspiration Piece...

Checking my Instagram feed, I came across this picture of a #decohexpattern project, which sparked a ‘I-can-do-something-with-this’ reaction immediately. I bookmarked the entry and from there it took me 10 minutes to hash out what I wanted to do with Rachel’s top. I sat down with pen and paper to draw up my idea as a paper piecing template. It looked like hot mess but worked just fine. 

Round Robin Quilt, Puppilalla, Solids, Modern Quilt Design, Starter Block, Color Wheel, Patchwork, Foundation Paper Piecing

A New Block Design...

Round Robin Quilt, Puppilalla, Solids, Modern Quilt Design, Starter Block, Color Wheel, Patchwork, Foundation Paper Piecing

I designed a new block. What do you think? What shall we call it? Suggestions please. =)
I like how it looks and maybe I ought to add 'drawing it up as a template proper' to my ever-growing-never-ending to-do list for the future.

I then used the hexie blocks as ‘corner stones’ of my addition. I build on the idea of geometrical shapes but tried to keep it fun. I love how it looks even if some of the pieces turned out more wonky than I would have liked. 

Round Robin Quilt, Puppilalla, Solids, Modern Quilt Design, Starter Block, Color Wheel, Patchwork, Foundation Paper Piecing

Cohesion, cohesion, cohesion

Cohesion was easy to maintain this round. I just adopted colours from the colour wheel of the starter block, namely teal, yellow and purple and worked away with those. I also incorporated some colour graduation - or ombre effect if you prefer that term – with the different shades of purple and with the hexagons that have echoes in different shades of teal. So colour graduation too ties right back to the starter block. Very thoughtful right? =)

As soon as I had seen what Ileana had done before me, I wanted to retain the colourful barber pole candy stripes, so I made sure to add some as well. I think the quilt top so far overall really still looks as if one person had created the entire piece.

The Rakish Needle Robin, Round Robin Quilt, Puppilalla, Solids, Modern Quilt Design, Starter Block, Color Wheel, Patchwork, Foundation Paper Piecing

I had anticipated that we would need about six weeks for each of the initial robin rounds with the view to gradually extend the time frames. I had hoped to wrap up the round robin by end of November. That schedule is way out of the window. This second round robin round needed 3 months to be completed! As always there are some super fast participants and then some, whose life circumstances do not afford them the amount of time they ideally would like to dedicate to their sewing projects. 

And then there is the question of sewing mojo. I for example had a serious slump of motivation those past few weeks. Not because of this project, which I love and remain super excited about, but because of the beginning of Summer (or what wished to pass for it here in Berlin, rain, rain, rain – meh). I knew I would be tempted away from my sewing machine once the weather begged you to come outside and play. I suppose as long as everyone is still enjoying the round robin, the sedate pace should not be a problem. I am just secretly worried though that some members might get bored while others get stressed because they feel pressured. Yes, I tend to worry.

Back to this lovely piece. Unfortunately, Rachel quite likes how it looks, so I do not get to keep it - the more's the pity. =)

Next up I will be working with Karin's nightly firmament. Incidentally, Karin will be working on my piece at the same time. I guess we could hold each other to ransom to try to get a word in design wise - ha ha.

Monday, 5 June 2017

The Rakish Needle - Round 1 Progress

Well, round one has come and gone and it was fun. I was amazed to see in what directions the participants took the starter blocks they had received. If you want to see all starter blocks once more, hop here. So how did it go? Everyone had fun and mostly everyone panicked. The round robin is made up from first time robin members, thus everyone was understandably nervous. So five out of six sewists were incredibly worried that their additions might be disliked or inadequate or unsuitable or insufficient or... In the end it was all fine of course. Smiles and 'ohhhs' and 'aahhhs' all around. I think it is fair to say that everyone starts very motivated into the second round.

I get the slight sense that people, in the worry of not doing enough, might try to overcompensate by trying to do too much. I hope that after this successful first round, everyone goes into the second one reassured and with new confidence.

Rachel's quilt top

Puppilalla, round robin quilt, modern quilt, quilt borders

Ileana got to work with Rachel's starter block and my - she took it unexpected places - at least for me. I very much like what Ileana did. The red works fabulously in the context and the HSTs form a fun graphic border. To put the starter block on point was an inspired idea. I am working with the piece next and already buckled down with pen and paper to plan the next additions. All I am saying is - teal. Wait for it =)

Anita's quilt top

Puppilalla, round robin quilt, modern quilt, quilt borders, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing

Maja added to Anita's starter block and surrounded it with a bold border herself. She kept the small dark strips and added bright playful feathers.

I like the movement that border creates. I know she also had made another border strip of 'Flying Geese' but did not in the end add it, as the result would have been too overwhelming. I hope she sent the border strip along to the next person, so it may be edited in at a later stage. As Anita specified that she wishes for a rectangular quilt, it will fall to Karin to take it into that direction next - maybe.

Maja's quilt top

Puppilalla, round robin quilt, modern quilt, quilt borders, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing

Karin added wonderful borders to Maja's block after a tiny initial crisis just because it was big step to take on a sewing project so fundamentally different from one's own tastes. Maja had also sent some extra blocks along with her starter block and from one of those, Karin then drew her inspiration.

Puppilalla, round robin quilt, modern quilt, quilt borders, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing

It was easy as pie once she had decided in what direction she wanted to take the additions. The border works wonderfully and kind of almost introduces a secondary pattern. I am looking forward to how it is going to be resolved at a later stage.

Ileana's quilt top

Puppilalla, round robin quilt, modern quilt, Freddy Moran, Liberated Quilting, wonky quilt blocks

Ileana decided to leave the decision whether it would be a medallion quilt, strip quilt, free form block assembly to us. As I got to work with her block first, I made the fateful decision and thus forever decided the direction the quilt was to take. I think it safe to assume that in the end it is not now going to be a medallion quilt.

When I saw Ileana's starter block I immediately though of making it into a triptych by adding side panels. However, merely adding more pictorial panels in the same style seemed boring so I tried to take the idea further.

The left panel mirrors the background fabrics but goes abstract rather than pictorial with wonky 'Flying Geese' reading across the colour values of the starter. The triptych is completed by the right hand pictorial tree panel, again I kept the background colours the same and added a tree and bird to compliment the starter block.

In-between however, I added the red panel with adding classic 'Churn Dash' blocks and a profusion of flowers. The panel is now about 50 something inches long. I guess it might be grown further by adding borders in both directions. You can read more of my round one experience here.

Karin's quilt top

Puppilalla, round robin quilt, modern quilt, Dresen Plate Block, Star Quilt, Star Quilt Block

Karin's starter was added to in a gentle and thoughtful manner. Rachel added stars and left enough breathing space as not to suffocate the 'Dresden Plate' sun in the middle. This is however not how Rachel left the piece. She also added some appliqué stars but we have not yet seen those. Rachel keeps the suspense and we cannot wait to see more. Karin really likes the low key additions as in - less is more sometimes.

Katrin's quilt top

Puppilalla, round robin quilt, modern quilt, quilt borders, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing

Anita made this oh-so-fun assortment of critters and added them to my, admittedly huge, starter block. Anita actually measured it and it was 32 x 32 inches to begin with. Hem - moving swiftly along.The additions look so much fun. Anita wrote about her round 1 experience too and you can hop here to read about it. She even showed the piece off at a show-and-tell of her guild meeting, where it was appropriately appreciated. Who ever ends up adding more to the blocks Anita made, hopefully includes lots of negative space so the critters can breathe.

Puppilalla, round robin quilt, modern quilt, quilt borders, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing

So this is it for round one. I think we did well.
What did you want to know? How I got all the pictures? Courtesy of the ladies mailing them or sharing them in our WhatsApp group.


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. And finally, the repetition of fabrics. If you look carefully, you will notice that many of the flowers on the red ground already appear to the left in the triangles and the berry coloured border separating the starter block from the 'Flying Geese'.

    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'.

    Tuesday, 11 April 2017

    The Rakish Needle - The Starter Block Parade

    Welcome to the Rakish Needle Starter Block Parade. Not all of our round robin participants use social media outlets to communicate with the wider interest affiliated world. Therefore, I decided to blog not only about my own sewing progress but about the group's progress on the whole. Let's see how that will pan out. I also put the idea of guest blogging out there but only heard crickets so far.  =)

    The group agreed to roughly work towards throw size quilt tops, although a little smaller or bigger would be OK too. Thus, rectangular quilt tops should end up around 65 x 50 inches and square quilt tops at around 55 x 55 inches.

    Dauntingly, the girls have not yet revealed whether they wish to grow their quilt into a rectangle or square in our common communication channel. Likewise, I do not know for the most part yet, whether we are looking at future medallion quilts or not. I love this project already. The prospect of developing these quilt tops together is endlessly thrilling to me.

    Starter blocks on parade

    The blocks have all got various sizes and incidentally all ended up being squares. I do not know the size of each block as the sewists did not say and therefore, I shall wait and see until I get to see them in person.

    Rachel's Block - Colour Play

    Puppilalla, Round Robin, Starter Block, Curved Piecing, Patchwork, Quilting, The Rakish Needle

    Rachel said that she initially was not sure what the theme of her quilt ought to be and thus went for preferred colours instead. She made this fabulous circle in mostly teal, purple and yellow. This opens up the field for all kinds of modern interpretations. I think adding accents in black paired with the afore mentioned colours would be nice. And next? More circles, semi-circles or quartered circles? Other geometrical objects? We’ll see. =)

    Anita's Block - Arrows

    Puppilalla, Round Robin, Starter Block, The Rakish Needle, Patchwork, Quilting, Arrow Block

    Anita asks for her quilt top-to-be constructed free style. She does not want a classic medallion quilt with border being added upon border. I am with her on that, as I too wish for free from construction of my quilt top. Her starter block shows arrows and alluringly thin strips and a limited colour palette. There is plenty we can do with that. She also showed us a picture of a sample quilt that illustrates nicely, how a free form constructed arrow quilt could look like.


    Maja's Block - Scrappy Stars

    Round Robin, Starter Block, Paper Piecing, Patchwork, Quilting, The Rakish Needle, scrappy star, Puppilalla

    Maja pieced that lovely bright and scrappy star and already announced that she expected us to provide her with many more. She also pieced some extra stars that we are to add in at a later stage. This is looking to become a bright and happy quilt with lots of scrappy negative space added. Can one ever go wrong with stars? I should not think so. Luckily, there is an abundance of free resources for constructing interesting stars to chose from. I can’t wait.

    Ileana's Block - House Hunting

    Freddy Moran, Round Robin, Starter Block, Puppilalla, Patchwork, Quilting, The Rakish Needle

    Ileana made this wonderful House Block to start her quilt. If the association 'Freddy Moran' just popped into your head, you are dead on track. This is the direction we were asked to continue in.  And I get to work on this baby first. Yay! I have tons of ideas already and am currently drawing little sketches while fabric piles litter my sewing space. Lot's of primary colours and of course the ever present black and white prints to rest the eye. Some applique maybe. Such a fun task. 

    Karin's Block - Starry Starry Night

    Round Robin, Starter Block, Dresden Plate Block, Puppilalla, Patchwork, Quilting, The Rakish Needle

    Karin is asking us to create a starry firmament for her. To that effect she has sent along the background fabric she would like us to use for the entire quilt top. This first block is the sun and the stars are to follow (though technically of course, all suns are stars rather than planets and ... I digress =)

    Karin's block seems the most enigmatic to me. It is so self-contained that it seems to say 'I'm not telling you where to go from here'. All other blocks kind of sparked a 'Oh yeah, let's retain this element and repeat this shape...' reaction in me but this little Dresden Plate Sun just does not give me anything (in a good way that is). Mysterious little bugger. Others will work with this block before I do and I am curious to see what they will come up with.
    Feeling mischievous however, I felt sorely tempted to piece a 'Dr. Who Tardis' block and smuggle it in among the stars - but Karin is not famliar with 'Dr Who'. Hmmm... What else lurks among the stars... I know ...Cthulhu! =)

    My Block - Adventures at Sea

    Round Robin, Starter Block, Paper Piecing, Patchwork, Quilting, The Rakish Needle, Mariner's Compass Quilt Block

    You can read all about my starter block here. I envision jewelled adventure galore on a low volume background. What unknown lands will we discover, what weird creatures and which magical myths? Anita, who got to work on my project first, designed her own block even. This is already the best project ever  - (this year! - ha ha  =)

    Monday, 27 March 2017

    The Rakish Needle - My Compass Rose Starter Block

    Puppilalla, round robin quilt, New York Beauty Block, BOM, Patchwork, Compass Rose block, wind rose, mariner's compass

    Well, what do you think? It is a bit on the whimsical side isn't it? Also fairly colourful. The inspiration for my compass rose came from Jennifer @ ‘Never Just Jennifer’, who made a compass rose starter block for the 'Round Trip Quilts' Round Robin she participated in. So yes, the blocks look very similar but then again not.

    Puppilalla, round robin quilt, New York Beauty Block, BOM, Patchwork, Compass Rose block, wind rose, mariner's compass

    Like Jennifer, I used some of the free ‘New York Beauty’ BOM block templates to make that wind rose. It was my first ever foray into curved piecing. The result is OK, I managed to preserve most of the points but the actual piecing of curves on foundation paper was not exactly easy. I regularily fell short and had to somehow gimick in add-ons to make the piece go around the other piece all the way. Subsequently, the blocks turned out wonky and had to be trimmed to shape, which in turn led to the loss of some of the acurate paper piecing. There you go, not exactly an odyssey but also not easy as pie.

    I had initially meant for three of the four compass points of the wind rose to be removed from the starter block with the space in-between to be filled with ‘Adventure at Sea’ ideas by my fellow sewists but then changed my mind. I then felt that to block would have lost cohesion had I gone through with that.

    Puppilalla, round robin quilt, Quilting, Patchwork, Applique shapes, Alphabet Applique, letter

    I did not have any templates to foundation paper piece the letters for the compass points but when in doubt have applique come to the rescue. I cut letters from old-fashioned cardboard and used a water soluble glue stick to affix the shapes to the fabric. Afterwards, I used needle and thread to pull the edges around the shapes and baste them into place. Anything with curves works like a charm. The letters 'W' and 'N' were a bummer though, too many points and sharp angles. These present a problem when you try to press the shapes to get sharp edges for the applique that is to follow. As I am not too fond of blanket and zigzag stitches on my applique shapes, I try to tug the edges in and under and just go around with with an unobtrusive straight stitch.

    Puppilalla, round robin quilt, New York Beauty Block, BOM, Patchwork, Compass Rose block, wind rose, mariner's compass

    Add some yellow compass needles and the block is good to go. By the way 'East' translates as 'Osten' in German, which is why there is the letter 'O' rather than the 'E' in the block.

    So this is what went into my starter kit to Ileana. The starter block, a fish block to be added at some point, extra fabric, the quilting journal and chocolate. Of course chocolate. I said it was mandatory after all. =)

    Next up

    While my starter block is travelling to grow into a quilt top, I am thinking of piecing the cutest seahorse and wonder how to go about translating the below atmospheric picture into a quilt block. I have an idea for the ship. If all fails I will just draw the ship with a permanent fabric pen right onto the background but how to go about the whale is a conundrum. Any suggestions welcome, cause I have no idea. Layers of applique from dark to bright?

    Doesn't the picture look dramatic? It would make the most awesome side panel addition to my quilt top.

    Monday, 20 March 2017

    The Rakish Needle Round Robin - Prep and Planning

    With the ‘Blithe’ Blog Tour safely out of the way, I finally turned my attention to the exciting prospect of the ‘Rakish Needle Round Robin’.

    I am so excited. Yes, I am aware that I have said as much in every last blog post for a few months now. =) It is still true though. Our group of six is already busy exchanging progress pictures on WhatsApp and I think everyone is as excited as I am.

    I have already seen two starter blocks and I can promise that this is going to be a challenging and amazing round robin year. The starter blocks are meant to go into the mail around the 20th of March, so I am busy getting my act together. As Anita, who will receive my starter kit, is currently travelling ,I have an extended grace period to complete my starter block. =)

    My quilt theme is:

    Adventures at Sea...

    Puppilalla, Rakish Needle, Round Robin, Quilt Journal

    I have prepared a little inspirational collage and glued into the little journal that is to travel with the quilt. I even wrote a little story, which I hope will set the mood for my fellow sewists.

    Puppilalla, Rakish Needle, Round Robin, Fabric Pull, Patchwork, Fabric Stash
    My fabric selection consists of jewelled tones in contrast with gray on white, white on white and discreet low volume background fabrics.

    Puppilalla, Rakish Needle, Round Robin, Fabric Pull, Patchwork, Fabric Stash, low volume fabric

    I will of course send a selection of fabrics travelling with the starter block to help out those participants that might not have many jewelled tones in their stash, as well as to illustrate what kind of fabrics to look for.

    Puppilalla, Rakish Needle, Round Robin, Foundation Paper Piecing, New Yourk Beauty BOM, Patchwork

    I admit, I fell in love with Jennifer’s starter block which was a wind rose. Thus, I will shamelessly steal that idea and make it my own. As Jennifer of ‘Never Just Jennifer’, I will use some of the free ‘New York Beauty’ BOM block templates to make that wind rose. I am already furiously piecing away.

    Imrov block, Patchwork, Improvisation quilt, folksy fish, Puppilalla, round robin quilt, quilting
    I also made this little ‘Folksy Fish’ inspired fish block to send as an extra. I really like these funny and happy looking fish by Sarah Elizabeth. There is a paper piecing pattern now available too but as I just wanted one little fish at this point, I improvised it. I will ask my group to insert it along with their own contributions at some stage. It poses an interesting question of scale. So how big or tiny exactly are fish and mermaid then? =)

    There is something nautical going on...

    As you might have already guessed, I am not looking for a traditional round robin quilt top, where border upon border is added each round but instead for a more free style, add blocks and pieces as you go, kind of piecing.

    Three of the four compass points of the wind rose will be removed form the starter block and I will invite my fellow sewists to fill the space in-between with their ‘Adventure at Sea’ ideas.

    In the spirit of less talking and more doing I will be off to my sewing machine again.

    Happy stitching everyone.