Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's WIP Wednesday already? Really??

How can it already be time for WIP Wednesday?  I caught a summer cold just under a week ago, which I suppose has distorted my sense of time more than usual.  Plus, it's actually still late Tuesday night here in the Pacific Northwest.  Anyway, I did finish my lattice quilt top, and I got it basted as well:


I think the quilt is shaping up nicely, but in making the top, I've learned that I don't particularly like working with a single designer fabric line.  The colors seem too coordinated, and I'm missing the spontaneity that comes from picking through my stash and putting unexpected fabrics together.  The issue didn't bother me last year when I worked with the Kaffe Fassett woven stripes, perhaps because stripes are such a basic design element, or maybe because that line offers such a wide variety of colorways.  In this case, though, the fabric choices feel too obvious, at least to me, although I do like the overall quilt design, with the lattice work on top of the diamond-in-a-square background.

It was much more interesting to decide on the fabrics for the border:

     
I pulled about eight fabrics from my stash--different blues, some solid, some stripes, some patterned.  In the end, I settled on a thicker dark indigo blue fabric with lighter blue threads woven through it for the inner border.  I can't remember where I got this fabric (Spool of Thread, maybe?), but it's wonderful, and I wish I had much more of it.  For the outer border, to my surprise, a crisp, lightweight Japanese yukata fabric did the trick.

For added visual interest, I also decided it would be fun to miter just two of the corners, and do a straight finish in the other two corners.  Here's a close-up of one of the latter:


I've started the quilting and will post new photos in next week's WIP Wednesday.  Until then!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lattice Quilt: WIP Wednesday

The weather in Vancouver has been gorgeous of late, so I haven't felt the need to work with the bright colors of the "Echino Spring" quilt that I started back in March.  Instead, I pulled out my recently purchased fabrics from Moda's "Kasuri" line and started a new lattice quilt.  The piecing is almost done, although I noticed a couple of misplaced strips in the lower left that I will need to redo, so the seam ripper will be coming out soon.



I've mentioned before that I often enjoy working with single repeated blocks that form more intricate patterns when lined up side-by-side.  I came up with the block pattern for the lattice quilt back in 1994, as a way to experiment with color gradations and illusions of depth that I hoped to produce by overlaying a seemingly interlaced grid over a background.  I don't know that the basic block is original, since the idea seems so simple that I can't imagine no one has tried it before, but at the very least, I developed it independently when I made my "Autumn Lattice" quilt nearly twenty years ago.

I always thought I would work in series with the lattice design, but it took me 17 years to return to it, when I made "Lattice II" for VMQG's Kona challenge two years ago.  The current quilt is the third in the series, and I hope I'll keep working at it over the next few years.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Travels: Munich

I was on the road for most of the past few months, which explains the radio silence here.  Most of my travel was work-related, but DH and I enjoyed a few days of relaxation in Munich, where I had time for a little photography.

I enjoyed the colors and textures of the Viktualienmarkt in the Altstadt, the old town center.  This lively outdoor market offers all manner of tempting produce and prepared food:




I also found a lovely quilt shop, Quilt Et Textilkunst:


The shop includes a gallery in the back, and for 1.50 Euros, I saw a wonderful exhibit of quilts by Lucia Schm├╝cking.  I didn't buy much fabric, since most of the shop's selection consists of quilting cottons readily available in Canada and the U.S., but I couldn't resist a gorgeous half-meter piece of Japanese fabric, as well as a couple of spools of variegated Valdana thread.  I though the thread was something different and not readily available at home, but it turns out that Valdana is a Canadian company!  Oh, well.

The woman at the counter didn't speak English, so I had fun working on my admittedly limited German.  I wasn't sure of the fiber content of the Japanese fabric I was buying, so I tried to indicate my feeling that it might be a mix: "Es ist nicht 
nur Bauwolle, ja?" (It's not just cotton, yes?)  The response--"Doch, es ist Baumwolle" (Yes indeed, it's cotton)--offered a perfect lesson in the use of "doch," a German word that doesn't have a direct English equivalent, but indicates insistence and correction/contradiction.

Quilt und Textilkunst had some of FVMQG member Cynthia Frenette's Kona Modern Quilt fabric displayed prominently right through the front door:




Where other people take pictures of beautiful architectural structures, I'm often aiming my lens at the patterns on the floor.  Here's the mosaic pattern in the Dianatempel at the Hofgarten:



If you've followed international news recently, you know that southern Germany suffered from terrible flooding earlier this month.  Munich, fortunately, was largely spared, although the Isar River was running fast and furious.  We arrived in time for the tail end of the rain, but after one gloomy day, we had three days of glorious sunny weather.  On our final evening, the light towards sunset cast a gorgeous glow on the city.  I tried to capture some of the special golden gleam in this photo of the clock at the Deutsches Museum:



By that time, the water was starting to recede, and I spotted a beaver happily working his way down the Isar:


The water also had turned a wonderful shade of jade green and white:


Now I'm home and sewing again.  I've got a new quilt top approaching completion: more photos soon!