Every watercolor I work on is an exercise in capturing the flickering light that is experienced in nature. I try to combine that light with colorful elements that flash before me while I move through an area. I love spending time in the mountains in the summer because I can get outside and hike around to experience these elements easily.
Fantasy Mountain Garden
Here are some photo notes I took yesterday on a walk.
Machine pieced Monkey Wrench Pattern using triangles and squares to form the 10″ Squares. This quilt was started in May 2019 and finished in August 2020.
A friend from quilting mentioned that she wanted to do a monkey wrench quilt but all she had was directions for a twelve inch block. Thinking about it I had always wanted to do one too so I got busy and figured out how to make a 10″ block. Here is the preliminary drawing that maps out the shapes in light and dark that form the pattern. 4 shapes are used in this design.
Below are the Templates I cut. I made them out of cardboard. They can be used in cutting out the shapes of fabric to form the pattern. I wanted to make this very scrappy
Templates for pieces of the monkey wrench pattern
I have included the Math notes figuring the size of squares that the triangles can be cut from if you choose not to use the template. When cutting diagonals out of squares It is important to consider which sides are cut on the diagonal as that side will stretch. Diagonals should not form the outside edge of the larger square. Also triangles need to be cut at least 5/8 of an inch bigger than the finished shape so that points don’t get cut off where seams meet. One quarter inch for seam allowances for the small squares. That is figured into these measurements.
Layout of pieces that make up the Monkey Wrench pattern, interlocking of lights and darks
Cut Shapes are laid out to form the pattern
Shapes are sewed together and pressed starting with the small light and dark squares. I put all my squares together two opposing ways. An equal amount of each.
I have laid out the 11 squares I have with the odd square in the center. This pretty print presented itself at this time as I was pondering over how to lay it out. I inherited it from my mother or my great Aunt. It seems to me that it might serve as an anchor to hold the thing together since it has a lot of colors. It is light and airy even though it is dark and it has a fresh painterly flow about it. The floral pattern will keep the palette from going to far into that autumn and fall look. I plan to quilt the interlocking shapes into the whole cloth pieces.
I am going to make 10 more squares and then see how it looks. Those 10 squares will go down the sides and make it square. At that point I will decide if my plan is working and if that is the case I will sew it together.
Machine pieced interlocking squares and triangles form the Monkey Wrench pattern
I have determined that there are not enough square and that the large squares of fabric do not make an interesting design. I have to make more and I go at that for awhile and later determine I need 32 squares for the thing to work out nicely. Months pass and Covid 19 quarantine-stay at home starts up. I finally get them completed.! 2nd layout is on points. This design suits me the best. The first layout on square I did not like as much.
An assembly of 32 blocks on a square format. Below the layout is on point.
Pursuing a new direction is always tough. Stepping out of the comfort zone and finding the time to work on new ideas is also a challenge. I managed to do some works this winter that I had been thinking about for while. I am not sure where it will take me.
Step One cut 3 inch stripes of black and white. Sew them together in two patterns. White Black White and Black White Black.
Cutting the 3 inch stripe sheets into three inch blocks
Black White Black and White Black White strips ready for sewing into the checkerboard pattern
Marion sews the checks together
A section of the checkerboard border is complete and laid against the existing body of the quilt top
It took quite a while to assemble this border and then attach it to the quilt. Once it was complete I took it to show it to the Cedar Grove Quilters. They invited me to have it quilted at a much faster rate than I could do on my own. It is very exciting for me to see it finished this spring. Who knows how long it would have taken me working by my self. Group quilting or “the Quilting Bee” is so much fun and interchange of ideas is invigorating. So much knowledge and experience is passed back and forth. It is a great experience!
“Harbor Lights” Machine Pieced and Hand Quilted 94″H x 102″W
The Cedar Grove Quilters are helping me quilt this piece. When we stretched it out in the quilt frames the checked border did not lay down properly. It was bunched up in places. Before we could start quilting I had to work on the quilt top and do some repairs. I had to take seams apart and then fold the seams inward so that each square fit better. Some of the square are now varying in size but at a glance it is not that noticeable and the quilting details make it work much better.