The Real NeckTie Pattern

Ah, finally, I have come up with a pattern I really like for the necktie quilt.  It meets all criteria:  It is straight lines only (for my first silk-piecing adventure), has good graphic impact  (without too many small fiddly pieces), and is planned to allow me to trim each large square with the Accuquilt cutter prior to piecing them together.  The first version is this:

Random Color Version

Random Color Version

This one is the random color distribution version.  I’ve used the lighter colors for the larger pieces, and the darker colors for the stars and the whirling squares.  But the warm and cool light colors are randomly laid out.  Then I thought perhaps having either the cool colors or the warm colors concentrated in the border/center might be cool.

NeckTie Warm Border

NeckTie Cool Border

The top one of these two has warm colors in the border, cools in the center.  The second of these two has cool colors in the border and warms in the center.  Do you prefer either of these to the first version?

My next task is to trial ironing very lightweight stabilizer to the silk.  I have found all sorts of brand recommendations, some of which are very expensive when I consider using it on the entirety of a 48″ x 48″ quilt.  I’ve decided to start with Pellon fusible interfacing (left over from another project, which is 20″ wide and only $US0.99 per yard.

I’m heading for the drawing board!!

LongArm Quilting Learning Curve

I am loving this longarm quilting- it is such a pleasure to be moving the machine rather than the fabric.  Quilting on a domestic sewing machine is more like writing a letter by moving the paper under a fixed pencil.  With the LongArm, I’m back to moving the pencil, which is going to give me so much more fluency in making stitched designs!

I’m catching up on a backlog of pieced tops-  I’ve always dreaded the quilting part- and now it’s becoming one of my favorite parts!  Here’s what I’ve got on my machine today:

Argyle Blue Rhapsody

Argyle Blue Rhapsody

This is the Argyle Blue Rhapsody.  I’m quilting it mostly in straight lines as I learn to control the machine.  Most of the lines, however, are diagonal, which adds a whole other dimension to controlling the quilting line!


And here’s a real close-up of the quilting lines:


You seem some of the water-soluble aqua marking pen-  I was considering small feathers for the solid diamonds, but decided I still needed more practice on my straight lines first.  The print diamonds have a sunburst pattern, and the diamonds with the black argyle line get a diamond crosshatch.  It’s really exciting seeing the three-dimensionality of this quilt come alive!


Skinny Nine-Patch


I’ve been thinking about another 9-patch design for a while.  Today I got started on it.  As usual, I start with colors first.  I pull fabrics I like together, modifying, adding, rearranging until the colors and patterns are singing to me:

Blog-KHH_0084-750L-201412I like these kind-of odd mustard-y/tangerine-y/citron colors together.  The solids around the perimeter are the ones I am planning on trying with the various prints.  I set myself the challenge of using one solid and one print for each 9-patch.  Here are my first two test patches:

Blog-KHH_0086-750L-201412The ‘Skinny’ part of the title description is the center part of the nine-patch.  The center and the cross pieces are narrower than the 4 corner quadrants.   My next task is to make another 15-20 of these squares in various fabric combos, then put them up on my design wall and start to see how they want to be used together.  All of these squares will end up 4 1/2″ per side.  Do I want them all this size?  Should I make some larger?  or even smaller?  Do I want some squares or rectangles of all one fabric? Shall I introduce some triangle, or even some curves?  This is where the fun comes in with an improv quilt- you take a start idea- in this case, the fabric color selection and the idea of a skinny 9-patch- and start running!