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

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Robin Round Three - The Stars Look Very Different Today...

Puppilalla, Wombat Quilts, Round Robin Quilt, Applique, Foundation Paper Stars, Universe Quilt, Star Quilt, Improv Stars

Starry, Starry Night…

There is a whole lot of freedom that comes when working on a quilt, whose design elements just float in space like the stars in Karin’s starry skies do. The request was simply to create beautiful colourful stars, gas clouds, planet rings and other space related features against the background material Karin provided for her project. I briefly asked Karin if she had preferences for the continuation of her quilt top colour wise as I was a bit stuck and she gave me a few pointers to set me a course.

Puppilalla, Wombat Quilts, Round Robin Quilt, Applique, Foundation Paper Stars, Universe Quilt, Star Quilt, Improv Stars

I had to hold back not to go crazy choosing an inordinate amount of foundation paper pieced stars I could imagine adorning Karin’s nightly skies. Especially, since the main feature of my addition was to be a partially visible planet that was circled by a satellite (Earth calling Sputnik =). The other stars were to be supporting actors for the main event. Furthermore, Karin had dropped hints that she liked moon phases as well and I wanted to include another celestial body that was partially covered in the shadow of a fellow nearby planet to create that all familiar moon shape. The latter did get cut from the final project planning stage as there is such a thing called 'too much'.

My Project Plan

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Applique, Foundation Paper Stars, Universe Quilt, Star Quilt, Improv Stars

Generally, I had bitten off more than I could chew. Had I managed to do all that I put down on paper in my preliminary sketch, I would have added more than three participants before me taken together. Hence Anita, who comes after me has her work space cut out for her (Sorry Anita) and will have to actually sew on my addition once her's is in place.  

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Applique, Foundation Paper Stars, Universe Quilt, Star Quilt, Improv Stars

I only noticed afterwards but I seem to have a penchant for four pointed stars. All my additions belong to the four-point-family, all except for the repetition of Rachel’s five pointed star of course, which I added to tie my additions back to the design elements that had previously been introduced. I am after all going on about cohesion all the time.

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Applique, Foundation Paper Stars, Universe Quilt, Star Quilt, Improv Stars

How did it go? I love foundation paper piecing, so that was easy and enjoyable. I researched other ‘universe’, ‘night sky’ and ‘planet’ themed quilts to get an idea how to go about crating the impression of a round body in space. I reasoned that using only one fabric would make the piece look flat and I wanted to see light and shadow and curvature. Working out the gradual fabric change was the difficult part. I also did not want my addition to completely overwhelm what had come before. That was a difficult balance to strike.

Puppilalla, The Rakish Needle Robin, Round Robin Quilt, Applique, Foundation Paper Stars, Universe Quilt, Star Quilt, Improv Stars

My planet was initially bigger than what I ended up putting down as applique but when I showed Karin pictures of my intended addition, she asked for the planet to be made smaller. Yes, that is right, for the first time during this round robin, I went back to the owner of the piece to get clearance for my project plan. My addition would have changed the character of the piece significantly and I wanted to make sure that Karin was OK with that.

Most of my addition was completed at a Fall Retreat sewing weekend away, where there were fabulous backdrops to shoot quilty pictures against. Don't the mushrooms in the above picture all look like space ships?  =)

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Applique, Foundation Paper Stars, Universe Quilt, Star Quilt, Improv Stars

Once I had stitched the planet down, I commenced working on the satellite. I chose fabric with technical drawings and language to signify intelligent life expolring space. I lost perspective of how long the individual rods of the satellite ought to have been but only noticed at the very end when all was done and finshed, where I went wrong. Ah well. A lesson to take away for the next time I happen to work on planet orbiting satellites. 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Applique, Foundation Paper Stars, Universe Quilt, Star Quilt, Improv Stars, The Rakish Needle Robin

In the end was very pleased with how close my addition came to what I had put down on paper as project plan. This was a very enjoyable round. And the spare stars I had pieced? I sent them along to Anita to include ... or not.  =)

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The Rakish Needle - Round 2 Progress

I think it is high time that I wrote a little up-date on how our round robin is currently faring. Round three is almost complete and I have not yet even told you how round two went. So giving in to reader demands (yes, you Karin! =)  here now a quick write-up of the progress so far.

Firstly, I have to say that the round robin is as much fun as I always suspected it might be. Yes, it takes much longer than I thought and that is due to a few factors. We do not enforce strict deadlines, as this would not suit this group and the living circumstances of the participants at all. We also did not decide in advance how much or how many inches roughly everyone was to add each round. Had we done that, matters would progress more orderly and potentially faster. As it is, the quilt tops grow unevenly in seize and everyone adds as much as they feel inspired to. It works as everyone is relaxed and I never seize to be amazed at what everyone comes up with. If you want to remind yourself of where we left of the last time, hop here.

Karin's Quilt Top 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Dresden Plate Block, The Rakish Needle, Star Quilt, Universe Quilt

Look what happened here! The night sky just got a whole lot more exciting. Ileana added amazing colours and stars and dancing planets to compliment Rachel's lovely five pointed stars. The planets were done in reverse appliqué, a technique I have yet to try. I love the movement in the piece and think it needs many many more stars. Luckily I get to work with the top next. (Mur har har har!!! - memo to self - no manic laughter on blog posts!) 

Rachel's Quilt Top 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Modern Quilting with solids, The Rakish Needle, Ombre Effect Quilt,

I received Rachel's to from Ileana and boy was that exciting. Ileana did wonderful work and I decided to adopt some of the elements she brought in to repeat in my addition. Can you spy them? Yes, that's right, more triangles and the colourful barber pole candy stripes. I have written a blog post here if you want to read more about my work and thought process. Suffice to say here that I wanted to bring in a solid body of colour for the quilters after me to build upon. Rachel wishes for borders with lots of movement and I felt before you could add those, you had to have a solid basis.

Anita's Quilt Top 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing, The Rakish Needle, Arrow Quilt

Anita had wished expressly that her quilt should not be a medallion quilt, therefore Karin had to put her thinking cap on to steer her addition away from that direction. I love how much attention Karin gave to getting the colours just right adopting them from the starter block and Maja's addition, which came before hers. Karin also added more fun feathers and arrows, although piecing the latter may or may not have caused headaches and cursing in the sewing room, as I have heard. =) Karin did the right thing in granting breathing space to her elements. This quilt top looks very cohesive and has the potential to become something really visually interesting.

Maja's Quilt Top 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Star Quilt, The Rakish Needle, Modern Quilting

Well will you look at that. Maja's quilt top is just as busy as Ileana's piecing wise but so so different in style and feel. Look what Rachel added to Karin's extension. I did not see that coming. This is fabulous. The 'background' in strips of different shades of grey and these beautifully coloured stars that seem randomly placed, although we all know, they never are. A lot of thought went into making that addition. There is just the right balance to tone done the business but keeping it interesting. The strips of grey in that last border somehow make the piece more elegant and provide rest to the eye after all the triangles that have come before. I love this.

Ileana's Quilt Top 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Crazy Barn Quilt, The Rakish Needle, Modern Quilting

Anita is the fasted participant of the group. She must have a stash of magic needles or a pocket universe of extra time because she will have worked her magic before you can even blink an eye. You can see that Anita had fun with Ileana's top. The wacky hen and the flower and improve blocks, all done in strong bold colours interspersed with black and white make for a very graphic piece. She also kindly put the extra dark green tree in the right hand corner of my addition, as requested, as it really needed more contrast. There is already so much to discover after only round two. I hope Ileana feels adventurous because this quilt one is going down the rabbit hole fast and furiously and who knows what we will get to discover along the way. Cohesion might become an issue or not if we manage to tie it all together with enough black and white.

Katrin's Quilt Top 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Ocean Quilt, The Rakish Needle, Modern Quilting, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing

My top just looks happy, like Summer all sewn into a quilt top. Maja had received the piece from Anita and added some fun anchors to Anita's critters. What is not to like there? I hear Karin might add a ship next. I am already very curious to see if she will. Ahoi! - until next time.

I only wish all progress pictures were taken in daylight, oh well. 

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.