Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fractured Grinch

I love The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.  It has been my favorite Christmas program for decades and I love his little, bright green self and crooked smile to pieces.   So it was not surprising when I walked into one of my LQS and saw a whole row of the Robert Kaufman line of Grinch fabric, that I had to buy some.  

I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but I HAD TO HAVE IT!

It sat here for a couple of weeks while I pondered and thought, and thought and pondered.  Oh, no, no regular patch for the Grinch.  And then I spied these postings by Exuberant Color using the Fractured quilt pattern.

The more I looked,
The more I spied,
This was the one,
I could not deny!

And to make it a go, the pattern is by Kathy Doughty of Material Obsessions and I had the book already!

So (forgetting to take pictures BEFORE I started cutting up the fabric), I cut out my blocks yesterday afternoon and starting piecing my "Fractured Grinch".  It won't be a full size quilt (unless I can't resist and get more fabric), but it will be a fun quilt. 

(Please note the glass of iced tea to the left.  It is also a "must" for the sewing room.)

Some of the fractured squares waiting to be turned into blocks.

With all the cutting and hacking, hacking and cutting, I managed to get three blocks completed.  There are 4 blocks to this quilt, A, B, C, and D (very Seuss-like, don't you think) and I have 3 of the 4 Block A's done.

My lighting for the blocks is not the greatest in the basement.  But they are BRIGHT!  And wonky!  I am so excited about doing this quilt because, so far, it is coming together like I pictured a Seuss quilt would be.  Texter is going to be my assistant in laying out the blocks.  However, she has some definite ideas about how the fabrics should be combined, so there might be an issue here in the future, we will see.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

One Block Wonder Started

Quilter in the Closet

With Texter's help, I picked out some fabric for my first attempt at the One-Block Wonder.  Jen at Quilter in the Closet is leading a QAL for this method of piecing (and is doing a tremendous job).  I selected by fabric, but I wasn't really "thrilled" at the choice and came home with doubts as to it's workability, especially after seeing some of the selections on our Flickr group.

It has colors I liked (purple and green).  It has movement.  It is a nice size motif.  But then, like I said, after I bought it, I started having doubts.  I kept thinking I wanted a large, bold, colorful pattern.  But Texter told me to go with this.

So I have enough not only for a quilt top, but to probably do some strip piecing on the back of the quilt.  But that lingering doubt was there and I couldn't get to it for about a week.

The book is correct, the initial 'set-up' is fiddly, lining up the pattern, all 6 layers of it.  But once you get that set it is pretty straight forward.  Still doubting the outcome, I only did three strips.  I figured I didn't want to waste the fabric if it wasn't going to work.

I cut my triangles out and put them in my box (my attempt to be organized) and carried them into the sewing room and sat down to see how big of a mistake I had made with my fabric selection.  It didn't take long for me to get into a rhythm and I felt a bit like Noah's Ark, 2 x 2.  

I would sew 2 sets of 2 triangles together and lay them with the third set of 2 unsewn triangles, do a bunch, take them over and press the seams open, and then come back and sew the third triangle on to each set of 2 to form my half-hex.  Then I would press that seam open and put them on my new design board. 

And much to my surprise, this is what turned out.....


Of course, Texter is in the background with a smug expression on her face, going "I told you so!"

I am seeing some blocks that are very similar (if not identical).  But the movement is there and it is hitting all the right notes on my 'kaleidoscope nerve'.

So I am going to continue.  What is on the design board now is about 3/4 of the 3 strips I cut out earlier.  I am thinking now of some of the additional design elements Maxine Rosenthal mentions in her books. I have some purple batiks I am thinking of adding...we will see.  

Once I get my half-hexes sewn, I am then suppose to separate them out into dominant color.   What I am seeing so far isn't so much 'color', but value - light and dark.  I can see the quilt going from dark to light with some solid batiks included also going from dark to light.

This quilt was an 'experiment' in the method and so far I am pleased with how it is coming out.  However, I do still want to go with a bigger, bolder color combination, so I can see this will not be my only One-Block Wonder quilt I will be doing.