Thursday, January 18, 2018

Jacob's Ladder Series-Drawing #5

     In this drawing all of the blocks are the same. There is no B block, and they are rotated so that they are all pointing in the same direction. I am still using 9" blocks for a quilt that will measure 81" by 99". I have begun to change a couple of patches to the accent color, but I have kept that consistent in every block.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

One Back from the Quilter, One on it's Way to the Quilter, and a New Beginning

     I always love looking out over the rooftops from my upstairs "sewing nest" in the winter, but it is even more sweet when there is a dusting of snow. A rare and lovely treat here in the south.

     I am so excited. My red Jacob's Ladder quilt came back from the quilters yesterday, and is ready to bind.You can see that I have already made the binding. I have also made the label. I am calling this quilt "Kalina" which I found online on a baby name website, Kalina is a polish name, meaning flower, so I thought that was appropriate for this quilt since I had a rose garden in mind when I chose the colors.

     My Lightning Strikes quilt top is pieced. I just need the backing fabric to get here so I can send it to Regina.

     Last weekend my Tidewater quilt found a new home.

     Since I use this as a sample for my A Maze Zing class, I got right to work, planning a replacement. But I don't want to make the same quilt again, so I am going a totally different direction with the colorway. Below is my plan for my next A Maze Zing quilt. I wanted something kind of masculine this time. This photo does not do the richness of the colors justice. I have tried several times, but it keeps washing out on me. I will be able to get better lighting together when I get started.

     So that is what I am up to lately. Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Jacob's Ladder Series-Drawing #4

     The next thing I wanted to try, was to add a third color. You can see that I just played around with putting a navy accent in a couple of places. The blocks in this drawing are the same size as the blocks in the last drawing. There are 12" A and B blocks, and 14" Bear Paw blocks.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Jacob's Ladder Series-Drawing #3

     When I see this drawing, I am reminded that when I was started on working with these drawing, I was asked for a custom quilt in 2 solid colors.Naturally, my mind immediately went to this Jacob's Ladder quilt. Again, I am using 12" A blocks and B blocks in the Jacob's Ladder sections, and 14" Bear Paw blocks. My customer was very interested in the Bear Paw block, so I did a bit of experimenting with combining the two blocks in a composition.

     Jacob's Ladder is a nine patch, and Bear Paw is based on more of a seven patch layout, so they don't fit together very smoothly, mathematically, but you know I had to give it a try anyway.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

New Year. New Projects

     So What have I been doing with the first part of the year? The main thing I have been doing is not so photogenic I am afraid. I have been spending a lot of time on working and trying to learn how to do new things on the computer. 

     For instance, learning how to watermark and upload drawings for the Jacob's Ladder series I started earlier this week. I ordered some fabric for a quilt back, some sashing,  and a retreat door prize. Can't wait for retreat! I uploaded the new EQ version, and need to spend some time further familiarizing myself with it. There are a couple of things I want to arrange on the blog, social media buttons, etc. I have several patterns that need writing. It's enough to make me wonder if I will ever see my beloved sewing machine again!

     One thing I have been meaning to do for a long time is add photos of work from classes to the Class and My Designs Made by Others boards on my Pintrest site. I am always taking photos in classes I teach, and asking people to send me photos of their finished work, but I fear I am shamefully slow in getting them posted. Often, because I am not proficient at all when it comes to learning how to do these things, and once I learn, it changes! I hope I am not sounding whiny, and that I am not the only one who struggles with these things. The other bloggers make it all look so easy, don't they?

     The bottom line is that if you would like to see some class work, or finished quilts made with my Southern Winter Pattern, Let's Polka, and A Maze Zing patterns, there is plenty of new photos posted. Here are two of my favorites from the Let's Polka class I have been meaning to post for ages.

     This is Angie. She took my Let's Polka class at A Scarlet Thread in McDonough, GA. I thought she was so brave to use all hand dyed effect solids, but look how beautiful her quilt came out! She was so creative in the way she arranged the blocks to make bigger blocks! I see more cool relationships on this quilt every time I look at it.

     Speaking of creative block placement, look what Debbie did with her layout! It is so cool to see others take these blocks and do things I never thought of with them! Debbie took this class with The Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild in Franklin NC.

     When I do get near my sewing machine, I have been working on sewing these blocks together.

     This is the quilt that I bought the back fabric for.

     I couldn't resist playing around and doing some auditioning with a new quilt idea. This is the same block as the above quilt, just with sashing and the colors arranged differently. I wanted to decide which color I wanted to make my inner sashing before I made that online order, so I could get that on the same shipment. I decided on the red on the lower right hand block. I think this is going to be my next "project status" quilt.

     So that is what I have been up to. I hope you are starting out the new year with some fun and exciting projects too. 

     Stay tuned to this space. Tomorrow there will be another Jacob's Ladder Series drawing planned.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Jacob's Ladder Series-Drawing #2

     So I will start out slowly, since that is the way I did in real life.

     The original motivation to embark on this journey came from a wedding quilt I needed to make. I had always loved the quilt I showed in the first post of this series, and I thought this wedding gift was a good opportunity give this block a try. That way, If I didn't manage to come up with something very original, it didn't really matter, I still had a wedding gift. Back then, I had no idea where this was going to lead me, because I had very few ideas of how to make this block my own. 

     The bride's mother told me that the bedroom was to be turquoise, brown, and beige. The first thing I wanted to try was adding third color to this 2 color composition. The most obvious way to try that was to choose a motif in the quilt, and make it a third color. Don' ask why I started working with red and blue. It must have been laziness, and the original quilt was red and white. So this is where I started.

      This quilt uses A and B 12" blocks alternating, like the original quilt did. The quilt measures 84" by 96". I think its fascinating how it kind of looks like this quilt is set on point, but it really isn't.

     I am planning to post drawing at least once or twice a week, and gather them under a tab under the blog header so they will be easy to reference.

     I hope this will inspire you to try and see what you can do with this block. I would love to see what you come up with!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Jacobs Ladder Series-Original Drawing

This is a series I have wanted to start for a long time. 

It all started when I saw a photo of this quilt.

Underground Railroad
c. 1870 USA 90x90
Museum Quilts Gallery, London, England

      Here is the cover of the book it came from.

     Ljiljanna Baird writes that: 
     The resonance of the bitter debate on slavery is felt in the naming of this quilt. The "Underground Railroad" was an organization of individuals who helped spirit black fugitives to the safety of the North. It's pre-Civil War name was Jacob's Ladder, and in other parts of America it is variously known as Stepping Stones, The Tale of Benjamin's Kite, Trail of the Covered Wagon, and Wagon Tracks. 

     This two-color quilt is a rather simple nine-patch construction of thirty-six blocks. However, the finished appearance is one of considerable complexity.The overwhelmingly strong diagonal thrust dominates it's square construction and requires the viewers concentration to "see" the nine-patch block.

     I was fascinated with the simple graphic beauty of this quilt, but anyone who has seem my quilts would never believe that I would have the self control to make a quilt a  with only 2 solid colors. I began to play with what I could do with this block in EQ. I ended up with over 200 drawings, more quilts that I will ever be able to make, given of course that not only is that an awful lot of quilts, but I do have interests in other design ideas as well. So I thought it would be fun to share some of the drawings with you. I hope this will inspire you to see what you can do with this block and with other basic traditional blocks. I hope you will share with me, and the rest of us, what you come up with.

     This is the first drawing, of the original quilt.  

     Notice, this layout has an A block and a B block and that they are oriented in different directions. These are elements that we can play with to make different designs.

     This quilt measures 84" by 96" and is made from 12" blocks.

     Let me know what you think! 

A Block

B Block