31 January 2012

Savannah Kiss

I finished the giraffe quilt just in time for the Stitch Modern quilt show organized by the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild. I've posted about piecing and assembling this quilt here and here.
The quilt was inspired by Carol Walker photograph of a mother giraffe craning down to nuzzle her newborn calf.
I ended up quilting quite densely in the green areas. When I planned this project I envisioned larger pieces in the green area, and less quilting. But I decided on finer detail as the progress progressed. And I have to say that made the project progress more slowly. Wow, the quilting took a long time.
I love the way the quilting styles in the positive and negative space are similar and distinct.
I'm satisfied with the organic line quilting in the leafy background, even though it took days and days.
At the EBMQG we're such a rag-tag disorganized Berkeley bunch. I have to admit I'm a bit surprised we pulled this together. Just about all the credit goes to Birgit Hottenrott, who suggested the idea, secured the venue, and took care of a million details, plus all the things that never crossed my mind. Kim Anderson made a wonderful logo and postcard announcement, and our fearless leader Stacey kept us all on track. And thanks to the EBMQG crew for letting me hang my quilts, even if the aren't exactly capital-M modern.
There are scads of great quilts to see, including a glorious Project Modern challenge winner by Alison Schmidt (not pictured).
My Orange Lizard is also hanging.

Won't you come take a look?

19 January 2012

Stitch Modern: The East Bay Modern Quilt Guild Quilt Show

Open to the public February 1- 12, 2012, on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays from 12 noon – 3pm with a special opening reception on Saturday, February 4, from 6:30-8:30 pm, at the Piedmont Center for the Arts801 Magnolia Avenue, Piedmont, CA.

Come see some great quilts made by local Modern Quilt Guild Members. My Orange Lizard will be hanging, and I might even sneak in a few giraffes, time and space permitting.

17 January 2012

Let there be giraffes

I finished the patchwork for the reverse applique of my new stencil quilt yesterday. It's mostly half square triangle units, a bit less than 2.75" finished size.
 I find it easier to line up the reverse appplique with the quilt top if I square it off, rather than try to trace the shape of the pattern. Here I've used a yellow and brown print (on the left side and a few other places) that I'm unlikely to use anytime soon. The print is in a bunch of the triangles, too. It's lovely, but this is clearly the project it's meant for.

I spray basted the applique patchwork to the top, then the two layers to the batting.
And finally the back.

I transferred my design to the quilt top using Saral transfer paper, then sewed around the edge of the design several times using my free motion quilting presser foot. And finally it was time to start cutting away the green background to reveal the giraffes.
 First the mother.
And then the baby.

It won't be done until it's quilted, bound and washed. The green raw edges will fray and pull back a bit more in the washer. I can't wait to see it!

13 January 2012

Coming together

I made some more progress on my new quilt project yesterday.
I pieced 88 half-square triangle four patches, giving me a 65" x 47" field of random yellows and browns. That's half of what I need for the reverse applique. The yellow and brown will peek out through the field of green. A lot of the triangles will remain hidden behind the green. It's always so exciting for me to see what bits show through. I'm sure there's some way I could plan exactly how the triangles filled the stencil, but I'm certain I'm not interested.
I also pieced the back in large horizontal stripes of dark green and Kaufman Carolina Chambray in gold. Near the center I inset a 24" scrappy circle, built from trimmings from the quilt top background.
I love the mustardy gold chambray (a crossweave of yellow and brown) next to all the shades of green.

I won't be able to work on this again for a couple days as the weekend will be quite busy. Hope you're having as much fun as we are!

11 January 2012

Field of green

Thank you so much for all the warm birthday wishes two weeks ago. I was truly moved by so many comments and I hope to reply to them soon.

I finished piecing the background for a new stencil quilt today. I pieced with improvisational curves by laying swaths of green fabric atop one another, cutting long wavy lines through the whole stack, then sewing different fabrics together along matching edges. Then re-stack and repeat. Slivers of orange and blue pop through here and there to keep it lively.
It will be my largest quilt using this reverse-applique technique, probably 72"x92" before washing. I've been missing my Green Stag quilt something fierce, so this will be another big animal.
The image set into the lush green background will be made of these half square triangles. My fingers are crossed that there will be sufficient contrast in color and geometry to make the animal stand out. If not, I'll insist I was trying to capture natural camouflage, or something like that.