Sunday, July 27, 2014

Book, bargain, biting the bullet and border!

Alliteration....when a series of words begin with the same sound or consonant.Today I have a bevy of B words share with you! Beauty, eh?

I got myself a new book, Minimal Quiltmaking by Gwen Marston. Gwen is known for her liberated quiltmaking techniques so her books are about methods rather than providing patterns although there are a couple of pattern in her newest book. I am a huge fan of her work....she has a wonderful colour sense. To those of you not familiar with her methods you should know that liberated quiltmaking does not mean sloppy work. It is just a more liberated method of quilt making. If a point gets cut a triangle it isn't the end of the world. Reading her book Liberated Medallion Quilts was a wonderful eyeopener for me!

In Gwen's latest book the focus is on larger pieces of fabric in solid colours and the real star of the quilts is the quilting either by hand or machine. I've not had time to sit down and read the book but it is in the "to be read" pile. But what I've read so far is interesting, inspirational and it makes me want to sew, sew, sew! Here are some examples of my work that was inspired by the likes of Gwen Marston, Rayna Gillman and Jean Wells. The pieces in my quilts tend to get small and then smaller as you can see in the pictures below. My goal is to one day make a quilt that is comprised of larger pieces with some fabulous quilting!

Jack by Karen H 2013

Darlington by Karen H 2012

Green Beans Several Ways by Karen H 2012

2 Knives, No Fork by Karen H 2014 (not yet quilted)

I got some new fabric from Connecting Threads. I had signed up for their newsletter and sale notices. A couple of weeks back they sent a coupon - buy one yard of their fabric and get a second yard for free. They sell their own fabrics so you won't see them anywhere else and the prices are excellent. The other critical factor for me is that the shipping to Canada is very reasonable. So I decided to take advantage and ordered a yard, got a free yard, ordered two half yard pieces and there were some solids on sale for $3/yd so I bought a one yard length of two oranges!

Biting the Bullet!
I don't know about you but when I get new fabric I want to touch it and admire it. The longer I do that the harder it is to cut it but once you do it somehow gets easier. So I had this lovely new Connecting Threads fabric and decided to bite the bullet. I cut six pieces and made a hexagon rosette that will be a centre for one of the blocks in my quilt Lozagons. If I had fussy cut the patches it would have been a very interesting block!

Although I'm not finished quilting the centre panel in 81 I wanted to try out the thread that I've selected for the inner border. I had two to chose from, a grey with a hint of blue or a dusty navy with a hint of grey. I did a test bit of quilting in the border (big stitches that were FMQed) with each of the two threads and settled on the grey thread with the hint of blue. I removed the test quilting before getting stared on the quilting. I like to do an actual test on the quilt to get a truer picture of how the thread will look. I wrote how and why I do this here. Here's a little sneak peak of how the quilting looks with the grey thread!

Close-up of quilting in 81 The Giant Monstrosity

I was worried that the the thread might look dark on the light stripe and light on the dark stripe but it worked out just fine! I decided to continue with the free form (doodle) quilting motifs in the border.

That's it for today! Until I post again (and in keeping with the B theme), happy sewing and bye bye!
Karen H


  1. That brown and grey hand dye in "Jack" is amazing! Looove that. I admire those improvised quilts, but somehow I don't feel motivated to try it yet. But I certainly would love to get my FMQ to look half as good as yours! It's looking good!

  2. love your liberated quilts, connecting threads is a good company I usually buy their batting when its on sale and I have lots of their threads

  3. i was surprised when i first saw your liberated quilts on your Flickr page, LOVE your green beans so much. I often find myself wishing connecting threads post internaionally,and cannot understand why they don't. Their prices on Fabric and thread are unbeatable especially when compared to our Aussie prices

  4. Phenomenal artisty! You have such a knack at 'reading' others works and learning what makes them exceptional and then using what you have learned in your own way. Amazing, really. I've met Gwen and Jean. Gwen has a dry wit that is remarkable but also a depth of kindness. Jean does not but such talent in that woman! But her sister, who is also a quilter and artist does a lot of animal quilts (horses etc.) is a wonderful speaker as well as quilter and has quite a sharp sense of humor (usually against Jean..Oh, I am being naughty, today! Rayna and I carried on a long email correspondence a few years ago and I almost met her at the Sisters Quilt Show when she was teaching their a few years ago. She seems like someone you could learn and learn and learn from. But then so do you!!!! Your fabrics were an excellent purchase! Love coming here as always. When I read on my phone, I can't comment. When I come early in the morning and haven't had my coffee yet, the gremlins come out of the computer ;-)

  5. Love that Darlington quilt! Its totally, totally amazing!
    the new book sounds interesting and obviously liberation is to be recommended, judging by your quilts lol

  6. Gwen is my hero!! Your improv quilts are wonderful! Beautiful sense of composition and I love the smaller bits that are in them. Your Giant Monstrosity quilt is beautiful too, The quilting is perfect, it looks as though the butterfly wings are creating feathery ripples in the air.

  7. Your liberated quilts are surprising compared to everything else you've been sharing on your blog since the first of the year -- more to you than meets the eye?

  8. I really enjoyed seeing your liberated quilts. As I would have suspected your knack for colour and details, shine through. I love that you do a lot of different styles.

  9. I have been on a quiltmaking hiatus for about 1/2 year but your thoughts on Gwen's books have motivated me to pull out a book or two and see if i can't find inspiration... Love your green beans! There is sometthing quite compelling about it!