Grey & Yellow II

Here’s where I left off yesterday – with the darker, busier yellows in the center – too heavy, not enough gradation from center outward.

Where I left off Saturday

Where I left off Saturday

So I began playing some more. The first thing I did was add two more rows to the bottom. It just so happened I cut twice as many blocks (the size of charms – 5″ squares) of both the greys and the yellows than I needed so I had lots of squares to work with.

Next, I dug out an even lighter grey from the stash to use in the centre. I matched it up with some of the stronger yellows. Then worked my way through the other blocks swapping out those with the most detail in the pattern for more clearly yellow fabrics.

So here’s where I am today:

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Grey & Yellow – v. IV

The yellow is more uniform – I suppose I could have done this with just 7 shades of yellow fabric from a strong yellow to pale – just didn’t think of it! (The yellow gradient likely would have worked better – oh well, this will also be interesting once it’s completely sewn and quilted.)

I also think the inner very light grey “square/diamond” could use something as an accent – I tried a circle using the darkest grey fabric (neah…), next I found a flower on a dark grey background, fussy cut it and auditioned it (neah…), for the moment I’m placeholding with the golden circle with dots – but looking at the photo I think “circle” is probably the wrong shape – I still have one square left of that fabric – I think I’ll give that a try as soon as I have the top completely sewn together.

So far today I’ve managed to assemble the bottom border and five rows – hope to do the rest tomorrow.

Convergence Quilt #1 – Top Completed

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So here is the top completed. The original convergence block is the center of the quilt, with triangles matching one of the predominant colours on each side. Those triangles were difficult – in the end, I laid the sewn convergence block on the floor, laid paper under one side, then drew a triangle – the base of the triangle was the length of the block side, 45° angles to form what is an isosceles triangle! Where the two sides met created the apex of the triangle (which I made sure was a 90° angle). (I remembered to add seam allowances to each side of the triangle.)

I didn’t have enough fabric left to create the triangles in a single piece although overall there was enough fabric – if I made two smaller right angled triangles, stitched them together on what would become the diagonal of the overall block. Then I had enough width to accommodate the edge of the convergence block.

Once the triangles were attached, I added a 3/4″ sashing piece for stability – the sides of the triangles on the outer edge were all on the bias and needed to have something attached that would retain the overall shape. I cut the sashing on the length of fabric (since I had just enough length of the Kona solid I used). Then added a 4 1/4″ border from a fifth fabric that I’d bought as part of the set with the other four fabrics.

Now I have a 54″ square top. I need to think about what to do with the second side (back). I bought another 1/2 m. of each fabric, as well as 2 1/2 m of the dots fabric for the back. Flying geese? Half square triangles? Strips? Crazy quilt? Lots of possibilities. I’ll wake up with something in mind, I’m sure. That’s how these things seem to work themselves out for me.

Convergence Quilt #1

Yesterday I drove to Parrsboro to retrieve my quilts from the Art Lab Exhibit. No sales – wasn’t expecting any. Lots of nice comments in the guest book, though.

When we were hanging the quilts three weeks ago, Michael asked me if I’d ever tried a quilt using the Fibonacci Sequence of numbers (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21…). I never have but I googled Fibonacci Quilts and found a gazillion examples!

Turns out that modern quilters began playing with this idea quite some time ago. One of the earlier quilters to explore intersecting graduated, spliced fabrics in two directions was Ricky Tims. He used a slightly different sequence of numbers but the effect is similar. His book: Ricky Tims Convergence Quilts offers a variety of ways to play with this idea.

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Book Cover

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Example from the book

Quilts called out to me today. I put the shirt/jacket to one side (I have to take the back princess seams apart and reduce the fullness of the side back panel to smooth out the fit of the back of the garment – I’ll get back to it likely tomorrow because once I solve the back fit problem the assembly of the garment will go very quickly!).

I went to my fabric stash and chose four complementary fabrics – two with strong patterns, two more muted. I had 1/2 m of each fabric – I cut 20″ blocks from each, pressed and starched them. Lined them up, trimmed them, sewed two together, folded them right sides together, then cut the following strips from each pair: 1″, 1.5″ 2″, 3″, 4.5″, and 7.25″ (that used up most of the width of the fabrics).

I interleaved the strips, then stitched each set together giving me two graduated panels. Here they are with the strips assembled in one direction:

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The second step is to cut the panels again, with the fabric rotated 90°. I laid the two pieced fabrics right sides together, strips horizontal, then cut vertical strips again, using the same dimensions, then interleaved them once more. This produces a single panel with the four colour blocks converging into one another:

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My “convergence” panel #1

My finished panel is 34″ x 34″ – now I need to do something with borders to extend the quilt top so I have a lap size quilt (~ 45″ x 60″). That means asymmetrical border elements so I end up with a top that is longer than wide. I’m thinking I might want to use this panel on point, making the strips diagonals… something like this example below – I’d want to offset the panel somewhat more than this one so I could then add more asymmetrical borders to the enlarged square. 

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Convergence block on point…

I’ll work on this some more tomorrow. Tims calls these “mystery quilts” – he’s right! It’s hard to anticipate how the spliced, interleaved fabrics will look. I’m happy with this first attempt – I’ll want to play with it some more using strong coloured fabrics with more muted patterns to see how that might turn out. I can see I might be engaged in this cutting, sewing, cutting, sewing for quite a while – there’s lots to learn here… 

Shadow Quilt – Quilt Back


I started this insert for the Shadow Quilt back by cutting 2 1/2″ strips of the fabrics used on the top and sewing two strips together. At that point I wasn’t sure what I would do with the double strips. I ended up cutting equilateral triangles, sewing pairs into diamonds, then compiling four diamonds into a larger one.


This large diamond gave me 9″ for the start of what I intend to be a 14″ strip.

I aligned five large diamonds end to end: 75″ – long enough for the quilt back but I wanted to fill in where the points touched. I added single small diamonds on each side in the space. That still left ten half-diamonds needed on each side. The easiest way to figure out the dimensions for these half-diamonds was to place a sheet of paper beneath the diamond layout and draw in the missing half-diamond (I added a 1/4″ to each angled side to be sure there would be adequate seam allowances).


I did the same for the 1/4 diamonds needed to complete the ends as well.

Now diamonds are pieced in diagonal lines. Because I was improvising as I went along, I already had the large 4-part diamonds sewn which complicated the process somewhat. In the end I laid out the pieces and assembled the strip section by section.

Width so far: 9 1/4″ – so I’ve cut strips for each side:


The borders: 1″ red, 1/2″ dark grey, 2 1/2″ light grey on the outside. The strip will be inserted into the darker grey fabric with vertical pale lines and dots.

I’ll add the borders tomorrow.

Charms Quilt II

Just finished – the second charms quilt. The goal here was to use up more of the leftover charms from the first charms quilt. I had to add some strong batik 5″ blocks to those I was able to select from the charms packs because I didn’t have enough strong coloured ones otherwise. The strips came from my scrap boxes I didn’t need a lot of fabric (I chose all darker colours) – 1″ x 5″ strips  (70 in all). The blocks were easy to assemble, deciding on an arrangement took a couple of days, first auditioning all 140 on the floor then tweaking the placement over a few days.IMG_7297

The big decision was whether to border the quilt in the off white fabric or to use the darker grey – I obviously chose the darker grey. Glad I did although the quilt would also be interesting with the background fabric as border – in which case, looking at the quilt now, I can see if I had done that I could have stuck one or two triangles in the border along with a couple of strips! Didn’t think of that at the time. Something to keep in mind for my next quilt.

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The back uses some more charm pieces to make “flying geese” blocks. My pinterest feed had instructions for making the blocks – since I’d never tried them I though this a good opportunity to have a go at some. In the photo you can’t really see the teal colour in the backing fabric but there is some. That was the reason I decided to border the strip with a strong turquoise. It does bring out blue in the backing.

My backing was wide enough that I was able to salvage almost enough fabric for 2 1/2″ binding strips (I had a bit of backing leftover which I also used and incorporated one orphan strip to complete the binding. It blends rather well with the whole).

That’s two completed quilts in four weeks. Now on to a quilted jacket/coat that I want to take to San Francisco in a couple of weeks.

Charm Quilt I – Finished

Just done. Label and all. I’m pleased with how the quilt turned out. I like the contrast between the two muted background fabrics and the individual swatches – each is strong and colourful, yet they blend well.

I wasn’t sure about the bold batik I used for the back – whether it complemented the insertion or not, but now that the quilt is completed I’m happy with the result.

This quilt I think has found a home in my living room- it fits in better than the quilt I had there.

“Charm” Quilts

One of the things I wanted the ladies in the quilting class to learn was how to look at pictures of quilts and deconstruct them. So I hunted for quilts I thought would be relatively easy to analyze. Among the photos I sent them was a charm quilt. “Charms” if you don’t know are precut pieces of fabric 5″ square. I had several charm packs (a charm pack is 40 of these 5″ pieces) in my stash and thought I should give the quilt a try. The original photo sashed and bordered the charms in alternating darker and lighter grey. I took my charms to the fabric store to see what would work with the charms I’d selected. Dark and light grey for the sashing was going to make those small coloured blocks pop. So I cut the strips I needed and quickly assembled the quilt top. What I particularly like are the vertical strips from one row to the next linking the rows.

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I made a few more bordered blocks, cut half of them in half to assemble a strip for the backing.

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The quilt sandwich is pinned and ready to be quilted.

However I still had a large number of charms not used in this quilt so I thought I’d have a go at another quilt idea based on two blocks: half-square triangles and strips. The quilt I had in mind would need 140 4 1/2″ blocks. So I made 70 half-square triangles and 70 blocks with 1/2″ strips down the middle.

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Here are the blocks laid out on my office floor. I’m still auditioning them – trying to find what for me is the most pleasing arrangement. That’ll take a day or two of coming back to look at the layout and tweeking it a bit more. Once sewn together, I intend to border the quilt with the darker grey fabric I used in the first quilt, backing and binding – I don’t know yet.