Monday, February 13, 2012

Tips: Getting Parts Ready: Spikes

I'm finally starting to get ready for my workshop with Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran.

I have had several of their books here (checked out from the library) - and have been exchanging emails with one of the ladies who is attending the workshop too.  She received 100 pieces of fabric (scraps and fat quarters) in Freddy colors from one of her friends and started by washing and ironing.  So I did that too - only I had to buy fabric but that was okay.  I thought I was clever as I cut a 2 inch strip from each piece of fabric....

What I didn't remember was that I should have been cutting a variety of width strips....

I re-read the books and looked on line to see how to quickly do some of the parts - and what size people cut their strips and pieces.

I decided the spike part was what I would start with as Gwen suggests starting with 2" x 6" pieces - I figured I could use the strips I already had made.

Spikes made by other attendee.  Notice
she has same theme fabric or black and white in all.
Then I had to decide what colors to use.  I'm going to bring the log cabin blocks I won in the Block Lotto - they were to be made with blue, green, purple and then black & white or white & black or white and black.  Rereading the directions and looking at the blocks I can also see grey - and sometimes orange or pink.  The eye really goes to the different colors - unfortunately they aren't always the best looking fabrics - but at least a I had something to work on.  My new friend made all her spikes with either a red or black and white on one side and then an assortment of colors on the other.  I decided to make mine so they were blue, green or purple one side and black or white on the other.  I hope there will be enough variety - some of my purple is sort of pinkish so it's really more than just the three colors. I suspect many of the attendees will be coming with red and I'd like my project to look a little different..... But oh the colors she picked look so rich - especially compared with my colors below.....

Now I spent a ton of time looking at the pattern.  I didn't like the way it seemed so much fabric would be wasted.  Why couldn't I just put the fabric together, draw a  line and sew?  Seemed then I would get two spikes.  Maybe the second one would be oriented the other way so I could just save them for another project.

I found some scraps and tested my plan - it would not work.  Doing that there are two wide pieces at the bottom and it sort of forms a V...

My Untrimmed spikes
So I thought I'd cut the fabric, move the fabric and still sew both pieces up - still thinking I'd have to save one set for another project.  But it turns out that it results with two spikes!  I've relooking at Gwen's books and it doesn't not clearly say you will end up with two pieces - no wasted fabric.  So I'm letting anyone reading this know it will result in two usable spikes!

The books does say to be sure to cut the fabric in the same orientation - it doesn't say to not put the fabrics good sides together as usual - but one has to be sure to cut the individual or the groups of fabric so it's all facing the same direction.  I messed up on one piece (most of my fabric does not have a right or wrong side).

These pieces are ending up being very small...  Looking at the examples I can understand why the spikes are put in as accents not as something that goes along the full quilt.  I've done a bunch doing the pretty much 2" x 6" pieces - I'll have to cut these down so they are useable....  In one of the books Gwen says they will be 4.5" inches wide so that is what I will shoot for.

And I just relooked at the class list and spikes aren't even on the list of parts to premake.... Ugh!

A non-example of using too many varieties.....
I decided to pick some that are the nearer to being the same length already and to pair them up - so I have several done now.

I'm thinking I made a mistake and should have used less variety for the background parts.  I was so pleased that I had so many pieces of black and white/ white and black.  I think I should have only used black or black on white - the spikes are not showing up as much I thought they would.

Hmm I'll have to think of how to proceed...
Purple spikes

Green spikes
Blue spikes
My husband and son came back so I asked their advice.  They both agree that there is too much variety.  They thought I should try doing them with just two colors/fabrics.  I thought that might be a good thing to try - but asked myself what I was going to do with the pieces.  After cracking his 'jokes' - Aren't there quilting classes for blind people you could give them too? - Isn't it a tradition that they end the quilting class with a bonfire? - he did have the idea to put all the blues together, the purples together, the greens together - so I did that and actually it does make the points stand out....

My color confidence is gone though now - I have only a few days before I leave for the workshop.  I need more parts done before the class meets to make best use of the time.

If I didn't have the log cabin blocks my colors would be yellow, orange, and black or brown - maybe some green and blue in the background a little.  I don't think I have time to prepare parts in all these colors though.....





1 comment:

  1. Hi, I realize I am commenting on an older post, but I want to put an improvised spiked border on a quilt and found your blog. However, I am not quite sure what you mean in the following paragraph:

    "So I thought I'd cut the fabric, move the fabric and still sew both pieces up - still thinking I'd have to save one set for another project. But it turns out that it results with two spikes! I've relooking at Gwen's books and it doesn't not clearly say you will end up with two pieces - no wasted fabric. So I'm letting anyone reading this know it will result in two usable spikes!"

    When you have a chance, can you clarify what you mean by 'cut the fabric, move the fabric'? I would certainly appreciate it!

    Love looking over your blog!!! You have made some great stuff.....

    Deb

    ReplyDelete

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