Summer 2021 Watercolors Image size: 9″H x 4.5″W
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.
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
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.
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.
Highlights from our day at the Quilt In with the Cedar Grove Quilters
Step One cut 3 inch stripes of black and white. Sew them together in two patterns. White Black White and Black White Black.
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!
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.
Finished on June 24th in 2019
The Blue and Yellow color scheme is a favorite of mine these days. After an inventory purging and reorganization of my quilting scrapes I am ready to start. I have come up with a pattern and I think I can pull it off with Four different string blocks. I am using a paper piecing technique.
Sorting and Ironing String Scraps
What a process.
all my blue and yellow fabric scraps
Fabric Scraps to be ironed
I have been ripping some of the scraps so that the process goes faster.
I like to use tissue paper for paper piecing strings because it tears off easily
My sketch of the pattern and the number of squares I think I will need: 16 yellow patches, 76 blue and yellow patches, 12 light value (pale) patches, and 28 dark blue patches. These numbers will change I am sure!
**If you look at the quilt you will see that I did not use any of the yellow squares. It was a nice idea but I came to the conclusion that since the room was yellow–the all yellow patches would be too much.
The only yellow square is in the center and is made up of 4 yellow-blue squares.
for sketching and figuring graph paper works well
As you can see I like to design as I go. This sketch today will help me to make some more adjustments while I am making the squares. At the present I have made 21 squares. I have enough to layout the center section and I can see that some adjustments are in order.
The corner where you see the B’s I will add the light blue strips. So I need to make 8 light+dark blue squares. This will provide a nice border in both the inner and the outer bands.
I have now added the dark blue and yellow string blocks which surround the lighter blue string blocks. Next I think I will add another row of lighter blue blocks.
The blue border I added did not work so well this time. It stretched during the sewing and did not lay flat. It was on a roll and I inherited it and have had it a long time. I think it is time to give it to the scrap exchange. It was trouble!
I Hand quilted this by myself and it took me over a month and then I finished it off with a yellow ochre print binding.
Final stitches on June 24th 2019