Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pump Up the Volume

For September, "A Focus Through the Prism Project Quilting" challenge focused on Flying Geese.  Initially, I sketched up ideas incorporating flying geese into a glowing sun--but never really liked any of the designs.  While searching for various triangle images on Pinterest, I found inspiration in a very unlike source:  painted finger nail designs creating the play, rewind and fast forward buttons.  I immediately recognized the flying geese shapes in these buttons and was able to draft up these shapes easily enough in EQ7 for some foundation piecing.  
Rewind, Play, Pause and Fast Forward
Classic 80s!!

I had thought about creating a SONY Walkman (as I still have the color yellow left to tackle), but got stuck on composition.  But then I thought of the iconic 80's boombox!!  Think of John Cusack holding up the big ole boombox in Say Anything...or hip hop fans/musicans carrying a ginormous boombox on their shoulders.  Yes, I am totally a child of the 80s!!  Blue/teal fabric was selected for that glowing green/blue often used in electronics.

So next up was to create my cassette tape (or the portion that would be visible through the tape deck).  Using an image for inspiration, I set out to recreate my own free-form cassette using various fabrics that gave the illusion of the reels, tape and label design, along with a micron pen and some simple stitching to add some embellishments to the cassette label.
My cassette tape remixed using fabric and embellishments
With these two design hurdles complete, the rest of the quilt top came together easily adding units to represent the speaker panels, radio, handles, etc.  As always I had some fun with the quilting.  For the first time, I tried adding some trapunto in each of the speakers.  While machine appliquing on the speakers, I included an extra layer of batting on the backside.  Once done stitching, I carefully trimmed away the extra batting.  This extra loft combined with surrounding dense zig zag stippling really helped add extra volume and loft to make the speakers pop...I love it!!  Two large buttons were added for radio/volume dials. 
Quilt top before and after Trapunto and quilting
And no boombox is complete without some music...so I chose this musical print for the quilt back.  
Complete with Music!!
What do my two adoring fans think?!?  It's like totally radical and awesome!  Rock on!!
"Pump Up the Volume" 20"x20"

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Quilting This Month: More Flying Geese!!!

While I love my new job, it has put a bit of a damper on my studio time.  I don't have any new finishes to show, but I've been making some progress on a few projects...many of which seem to be involving the Flying Geese block...

This month's "Focus Through the Prism" Project Quilting challenge features the Flying Geese block and I am going back in time to the 1980's!  The design/composition is top-secret (even to myself as I work out the details) but let's just say the research phase was a lot of fun as I relived some of the crazy trends from that decade...gotta love the 80's!!  It's due at the end of the month and I am hoping to get started on the construction this weekend.  It will finish at 20" square, so let's hope it goes together quickly...
Fabrics for my top secret 1980's inspired quilt...
While I sorted out the 1980's inspired quilt...I took a little break to catch up on my monthly installation of the Meadow Mist Midnight Mystery Quilt Along.  First up was trimming up my Flying Geese units, followed by assembling Square in a Square units.  I am now caught up, at least until the new October instructions are posted!  I am most curious how these will all come together...
August's Flying Geese Unit and September's Square in a Square Unit

Monday, September 7, 2015

Everything Old is New Again Block Challenge #2: Snail's Trail

The Modern Quilts Unlimited/Michael Miller Fabrics "Everything Old Is New Again" block challenge for September was to do a modern makeover on the traditional block "Snail's Trail."  I turned to EQ7 to draft up a few block ideas.  After a few dead end designs, I started over again with a basic Snail's Trail block.  This time, I added four lines to the design along the horizontal and vertical axes and from corner to corner.  I continued the same Cotton Couture color palette used for the previous block entry "North, South, Geese, West":  Marine, Acid, Clay and Bright White.  Each was paired with a different value to create some contrast, sparkle and interest.  Additional Cotton Couture yardage in Seafoam, Limeade, Fog and Green Tea were ordered.     
Snails Trail Progression:  Basic Block + 4 Extra Lines + Pops of Color = WOW!
While I procrastinated at a snail's pace, the actual paper pieced construction went together super fast.  Online voting will start September 11th.  Facebook account is required to vote...hint-hint!  
Snips & Snails Trail will finish at 12" square