Opal #4: hanging about

It has taken for-evvvveeerrrr, but it’s done.

The blasted eye is so blurry that I could only work for half an hour at a time, in good light. Half an hour at a time was enough in the end, though. It’s up and I think it looks great. I bought a length of 16mm dowel from Bunnings, together with a pack of jumbo Command® hooks. The pieces are not heavy, so the hooks were sufficient and I didn’t need to drill into the wall.

So that’s another one ticked off the list. Now I can crack on with my big project.

Once the eye is sorted out, of course.

Opal 3: change of plan

The blocks are all quilted.

I went with the wavy lines, surprise surprise…

I made the lines a little further apart than usual; despite the slight extra firmness this pattern creates, it’s still my favourite freehand quilting design, and I’m hoping the extra spacing will still allow it to drape nicely. Once they were all done, I offered up a sample strip of the black/ grey/ white floral print to see how it would look as sashing.

Um, nope.

I just didn’t like it.

It seemed to fracture the soft, gentle waves of colour which were unified by the grey, rather than separated. Too hard, too sudden. The back of the quilt is a mixture of pale pinkish-lilac-berry shot cotton and the same sort of blue as the back of the hatbox quilt, but a flat colour rather than a shot cotton. I have enough of the blue, I think, to do the sashing strips on the front. I did a test, and it’s much better. It blends with the grey, it’s the same tonal value and the overall effect is unified.

The next step is to join it all up. Not a very fascinating thing to post about, so I’ll hold off till it’s done. Another UFO approaching completion!  What’ll I do when they’re all done…? Not to worry, I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon…

Back soon 🙂

 

 

Opal 2: framing

So, here’s where I’m up to.

In my stash there were oddments of grey and white Christmas fabrics. Now, I never use seasonal fabrics as a rule, but I bought them as a stack of eight FQs, having only seen the top spotty one clearly and the other patterns as little snippets on the edge of each folded fat quarter. At the time, I had visions of starting a grey and white quilt, but realising what the designs looked like, I abandoned it, using only bits and pieces where the cutting made the designs disappear. To me, those remainders are scraps, since I’ll never make anything from them, but they’re useful…

I think they work pretty well as the frames for the pastel scrappy blocks of Opal. The busy randomness of the scrappy blocks distracts from the Christmasy themes, and that particular shade of warm grey is muted enough not to distract too much from all the lovely colour.

Sandwiching each block and then quilting comes next. So, wiggly lines or cross-hatching? Wiggly lines make the quilt a bit stiffer, because the quilting’s denser. On the other hand, while cross-hatching is softer and less dense, it does need to be marked, but wiggly lines can be done freehand. Oh, the decisions. Still, there’s time.

Sandwiching will take a couple of days for cutting the backing and batting and then putting everything together. Must check I have enough 505 basting spray. How terrible to have to visit my LQS…

And for the joining strips/sashing, I’ll be using a black, dark grey and white splashy floral print left over from making the Lime & Soda porch curtain. It’s not a design I’ll want to use in a quilt, I think, but it will make a great narrow sashing for this quilt, or that’s what I’m thinking right now.

I may change my mind later!

 

So… what’s next?

There’s a slight feeling of anticlimax in my sewing room.

After the much-anticipated finish of the Hatbox quilt, I’m looking around and wondering what I’m going to work on next. There are plenty of options, but there’s also a slight sense of needing something undemanding. I have the perfect project!

Do you remember the $11 Rainbow Quilt? I made a whole load of scrappy blocks, but when it came down to the wire, some were strong, bright colours and others were pale and pastel. In the end, I made the $11R quilt out of the brights, but that left me with a pile of pretty pastels, 2 each of pink, blue, teal, red, yellow, green, lilac and brown.

Here’s how they’re looking. Now, the plan is to frame the blocks in pale grey and white fabrics, make pastel sashing using the same method as I did for the other quilt (ie, pieced onto till roll paper), and back the blocks with… something. I have some pale mulberry shot fabric, but I’m not totally sure there’s enough, I’ll have to check. Otherwise, I’ll have to mix it with other fabric, which would be in the scrappy spirit, so I’m not too fussed about that.

Hmm. We need a name for it, too. I’m thinking Opal works; it has all the pale milky colours of Australia’s classic gemstone.

Ahhh. That feels better. There’s a plan, and a project!

Oh, and by the way, Happy WP Anniversary to me. Yesterday, it’s been six years since I started blogging. SIX!! How did that go by so quickly…?