I have never done a quilt with such an absence of color. I’ve been struggling with the monochromatic palette that I committed to in the Project Modern Challenge. I love color! That said, committing to entering something has been a motivator to keep going.
The Process Pledge has also been helpful though I don’t know that you readers really truly want to know how much second guessing has been done here (and on everything I do.) If you like it, keep reading…if you don’t thanks for your forbearance.
So…here we are. The Kaleidoscopes have morphed into snowflakes of a sort. I think they’ll be sewn into a white ground, so how it’s looking on the design wall is about how it might end up looking. This picture has the snowflakes running off the edge (I cropped) to see if I like that look. I’m not sure. I’m also still wondering if I should make yet another small snowflake/kaleidoscope for one of the empty spaces.
I might leave this a day or two and come back to it with a head clearer and less obsessed with kaleidoscopes. I’m pretty sure between Co-Q and I we will have rearranged things a time or two by the time you’ve even read this.
Some Additional Lessons Learned:
- I commented that sewing the strata with a close stitch is a good idea. It still is. But….sew the pieces together with less of a close stitch. Don’t go crazy and make the stitch basting-big, but mistakes and ripping out is a bummer with a tiny stitch on bias fabric.
- Use a sharp (new) needle on the sewing machine. Yeah, I know that all quilting books say that, but I’m bizarrely cheap about needles and cutting blades and don’t change them as often as I should. (Oh, and a sharp cutting blade is a good and dangerous thing. But back to the needle. ) It’s more important than usual because little pointy bits and shards of things are being sewn together. Pointier pieces than are usually sewn here. These little bits get ground into the machine if the needle is not sharp and pushes the fabric (not good) vs. pierces (which it is supposed to do)
- It is possible to sequentially piece without cutting thread after each piece. Ricky Tims doesn’t advise this, but I like to live on the edge. Work from outer pieces towards the inner ones. Either deal with two or three wedges at a time (I tried this first and it worked ok), or in concentric circles (all the #5 pieces to #4 sewn together, and so on) I found the latter to work the fastest and best for me. Pin the pieces together at the seam as you’re removing them from the design wall so you don’t get confused because there are mirror image pieces. Then press each round as you finish sewing.
- Ricky Tims has the strata sewn with a little less than 1/4″. He moves the needle to the side setting and sews at the 1/4″ mark. I did that with Kaleidoscope #1 and #2 (because #2 was largely cut from scraps of #1) but for #3 I went back to 1/4″ seams. It was much easier to deal with seams and ironing and keeping things pressed to the right direction with the true 1/4″ seam. I know we’re talking a bit more than a hair, but I’m just sayin.
I really like the three snowflakes together in one quilt and I like your cropping idea. But I also think it’s a good idea with a project like this to look at it for a few days before proceeding. Sometimes I even like to look at the design wall in very different light–like when it’s getting dark–to get a different perspective. Thanks for all the tips. I already realize how hard it is to rip out smaller stitches 🙂 but I’m glad to hear your advice about the 1/4″ seam allowance.
Thanks! Yah, I’m gonna work on some other stuff. I have a baby quilt to start (and finish!) and it’s good to get a little distance and get perspective.
I’m not quite sure why Ricky Tims recommended that the strata be sewn with a little less than a 1/4″ seam allowance in this case. I just worked better for me with the full amount. Maybe old habits die hard.
You are really zooming right along on this quilt! I love the 3 different looks all put together into one quilt.
I’m at the point where I’m trying to choose a background color. I need to decide before I can start putting the wedges together.
Good advice on the new sewing needle. I was thinking of using a Microtex needle. I never used one before, but I’ve heard that they are sharper than the Universal needle. I’m going to do a test drive and see if I notice any difference.
I use a Microtex needle. In fact, it’s a Schmetz Sharp 130/75 H-M 90/14. I just copied that from the package, but I am not sure what all the numbers mean.
It works great for free motion quilting and for piecing for me.
The black and white fabrics are so effective! I would have never though of using them in a kaleidoscope design. Well done.