Tag Archives: quilting

Experimental quilting- work in progress

Noelle Olpin

An experiment in every way.

I’ve had this idea rolling around in my head and in my dreams for a while now. With a bit of stolen time each day, I started dyeing fabric with coffee and tea, cutting without a straight edge, stitching blocks and washing fabrics and then arranging blocks.

Noelle Olpin

Then, making up the design and mapping all the blocks together.

No Rules Quilting, as I’ve come to think of it, is harder than you might think. It’s experimental quilting and you can’t do anything wrong, ever. Which is a relief and also a burden.

When there isn’t any one telling you what to do, no rules or steps to follow, the process can be exhausting. A constant mental battle on what you’ve been taught and know to be accepted (no exposed edges or uncut thread ends) within in the quilting/sewing communities and the beauty of irregularity, imperfection and what some might think of as a big mess.

Noelle Olpin

I like the result so much, I’m willing to toss all the rules aside and see what shakes down.

noelle olpin

At this point, the project slows down. The piecing work has been done on a sewing machine so far. I have plans for slow stitching- hand stitching the finish work. I love the look of Kantha quilting, so a lot of that look will be involved.

Noelle Olpin Noelle Olpin Noelle OlpinI’ve been attempting to let the ideas flow for finishing the edges on this experimental quilt. The project isn’t very big, a wall hanging size in fact (22″ x24″).

Perhaps a traditional binding, maybe not? A frame with the quilt stretched across the inside like an animal skin? Hung from a stick with loops? Stapled to the wall?  We shall see…

Now, I carry this project with me wherever I go. Because the beauty of hand stitching is that you can do it anywhere and everywhere. And that’s what audiobooks are for…

Have a wonderful day!

 

Big Rock Candy Mountain Quilt- quilt piecing triangles

photo 2Here is my fabric interpretation of the painting ‘Big Rock Candy Mountain’ by Colt Bowden. We’ve been locked into an artist trade for years and I’m finally coming through on my end of the bargain.
big rock candy mountain by Colt BowdenHere is the original painting and inspiration- Big Rock Candy Mountain by Colt Bowden, painted for Summit in Eden Utah.  In case you’re not aware, Summit is a residential artists community designed with the vision of creating an epicenter of innovation in the heart of the Wasatch Mountains.

photo 1It’s been a very experimental and frustrating piecing process, in quilt piecing triangles, I’ve been making it up as I go along. But like any challenge, if you keep working at it, it becomes easier as you go and hopefully you learn something along the way.

triangle mountain quiltHere is the mountain, finally all pieced, with a faint chalk outline of where to cut out for the final mountain shape. It’s about 5 feet tall and 34 inches wide at the bottom.

triangles from the backYou can see the freestyle, experimental piecework from the back, some seams match and have a small edge and other seams have quite a bit of extra on the back. For the most part, this doesn’t matter. When a dark fabric could be seen through onto the right side of a light colored fabric, I made sure to trim the darker fabric in the back.

mountain quilt top detailThe snow capped top of the mountain was challenging to put together. Mainly because it took reversing the triangles from facing inward in ‘starburst’ patterns method to a new method of triangles facing downward with their pointy ends, I wasn’t sure I would pull it off at first. After picking out many seams as I went along, I finally got the snow angles right.

photo 3I don’t think I could have finished this mountain if I didn’t love it so much. It’s been so inspiring. I feel like it’s opened up a whole new world of thinking when it comes to colors, solid fabrics and even the piecing of triangles of fabric in such a unconventional way.
photo 4The background is underway, here’s a possibility. Plain fabrics in solid colors, like the ones in the mountain, set in gradation, to follow the layout of the painting. I do like the dark colors as a background, it helps the mountain stand out in the foreground. But, as I searched for background fabrics, I think I found a better idea:

mountain quiltThese fabrics are mainly solid in color, but with a slightly variegated aspect to them. All the colors I needed were available- bonus.

photo 2The subtle difference in the solids of the mountain fabrics and the ‘shadow play’ background fabrics should be small but significant to the end result.  I can’t wait to see the background in place. Stay tuned.

Take a look at the finished quilt here.

all together now- scrap quilting ideas

confetti scrap quilt, scrap quilting ideasHere is an excellent idea in the scrap quilting ideas category- the Confetti quilt. Take a look and see what you think…

Got the Confetti quilt top all sewn together, now onto the next step of getting it all quilted. It needs to make a plane for delivery to Costa Rica with a friend in a few weeks so I’m under the gun. Having a deadline has been a good thing and given me a sense of accomplishment. I feel less guilty, lazy and slovenly about all the unfinished projects that sit around me yet to be completed (or even started).

confetti quilt, scrap quilting ideasLittle friends helping- we’re fighting the wind here, but enjoying the beautiful spring day.

close up squares, scrap quilting ideasThis quilt is for my daughter’s host family, she’s currently on a foreign exchange in Costa Rica. They own a flower business and beautiful greenhouses surround their house (so I’ve been told) so I spread the ‘seed package’ fabric throughout the quilt. Too bad it’s not written in Spanish.

random fabrics, scrap quilting ideasAnd because I love the colorful Costa Rican colones and the sea creatures pictured on the bills, I threw in some underwater creature fabric. There aren’t any sharks on the fabric, but there is a section with a dolphin, and fishes in the mix. Unfortunately, I didn’t have sloth fabric at my disposal- I might have had to dream that up myself at Spoonflower

costa rican money, colones

quilt top backside, foundation piecing, scrap quilting ideasJust for reference, here’s what the back of the quilt top looks like, all of the foundations and their triangle companions all sewn together.

scrap quilting ideasHere’s the full frontal view on the yellow hibernating-until-just-last-week lawn.  The fabrics were literally all scraps (my favorite part, my frugal self is continually haunted by scraps), I ran out of specific fabrics as I went along but there were 2 or 3 fabrics I had enough of to include in every block and achieve some continuity.

FYI- I sewed the vertical rows together first (10 in this case) then the 10 sections together, pressing with an iron in between.

For the full tutorial on foundation piecing and making this quilt look here.