Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bars and Stripes...Days 3 and 4

After finishing the two inner "light colored" bars, I pieced the outer one that goes on the left. This, after I folded up most of the lighter fabrics and got them out of the way, and selected out the darker ones.

Here they are all piled up on my sewing tale. You can see I have two ironing surfaces, one to the left and one to the right of my sewing machine (the one to the left is that small square below the cutting mat.) I sew standing up too....this arrangement is the most efficient for me. The muslin foundation for the bar is just to the left of the sewing machine.

As I piece along, sometimes I know what fabric I want, but I don't know the shape.

So I'll sew on a chunk.....

....flip it and press it....

...and then trim it to size.

Every once in awhile I pin the bar up on the design wall to see how things are looking...

..and decided that the center of this flower was too light and stood out too much, so I knocked it back with a fabric marker. Then back up it goes so I can check again...

It was better!

I'm standing on a very sturdy step ladder, by the way.

My son Max made it in 9th grade shop class. I use it every day and it makes me think of him!
My other son is often just on the other side of the design wall...

Chad is here watching and listening to a YouTube cover of the song "Waterfall" which is really, really good.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzTmoqkCueY
(Better on headphones, though.) I love it when Chad plays "DJ" while I am working...

So now I have three bars pieced and will work on the fourth one today.

I like the darker value on the outside! *whew!*

I'm playing around a bit with the "Stripes" sections and know that those have quite a bit of evolution ahead of them.

My big question is whether to embellish this at all or just quilt it. Hand stitching would look so nice and I would love doing it, and yet I might get over my phobia of machine quilting if I just went for that on this project...decisions, decisions...


17 comments :

Vicki W said...

It's looking fabulous! I think you should machine quilt it. Make this your machine quilting sampler.

Gerry Krueger said...

would love to be there when you are piecing.. It ends up so fabulous and I haven't the foggiest of how you do it so random like that... Gerry K.

Maureen said...

Quite a production you have there! I'd machine quilt it if I were you or should I say if you were me you'd machine quilt it! Very pretty Allie.

Debra said...

If you plan to use it, I would go the machine quilting route too.

Suztats said...

Marvelous! As a relative newbie to CQing, I am in awe of your work, and your speed. It took me days just to piece an 12" square!

Summerset said...

It's looking good. Since this is a going to be a functional bed quilt, I'd machine quilt it. I think it would look good and would be a neat contrast between the traditional crazy piecing the modern machine quilting.

Mary said...

I vote for machine quilting.

ARLENE said...

I, too, am in awe of your speed...and on such a "monster" piece. As a relative newcomer to CQing, I labor over my piecing. I just finished a CQ wallhanging using machine embroidery/embellishments. It's not for me, but it's certainly more durable than hand embellishing. I would have to vote with the majority, though, and say I think this would be even more spectacular if you quilted it.

Elizabeth said...

I really like tha darker strip on the outside as well!! I love seeing that you are altering your fabrics with a fabric marker rather than ripping it out and trying to find something else!!!Thanks for all of the tips!!!

so-crazy said...

It looks fabulous so far I am a big fan of your work I'm in agreement with the others you should machine quilt it just do a random stippling it would look great. Linda

Rachel said...

It's looking great so far!

Possibilities, Etc. said...

Oh please no machine quilting!! I love your hand embellishing - more "art" in that for your kind of work. However, it is a very large piece - and if you intend to use it rather than just hang it, I suppose machine quilting is good. It does need, at least, a bit of handwork (embroidery) on the seams somehow or somewhere.

Irish Kathi said...

That is a great beginning to awesomeness!
I say why choose either or....do some of both!
Machine first, then add your handiwork where needed!

Barbara C said...

Yes, the dark colors on the outside looks nice.

How fun to have Chad in your workspace. My kids run screaming from the room when I start machine sewing.

Margaret said...

Okay...so I just pop in every once in a while -- and you're onto a grand new project! I went back and read your blogs from Day 1 of Bars and Stripes, and I really like how it's coming together. I am wondering if that pink in the first dark bar is as bright in 'real' life as it is in the photo? It really pops! But all in all, I like the dark bars on the outside -- and that central strip (The Co-ordinator) is stunning!

Looking forward to seeing more as this progresses...

Plays with Needles said...

Well...isn't this LOVELY! I love the outside strip...But what amazes me the most is that, from this distance *snicker*, I would never know that you are piecing exclusively with cottons. Because of your fabric selection, there appears to be the sheen, the briliance and luminosity of SILKS and not cottons.

I think you're onto something here. Plus, it really is so true to you Allie. You can tell how much you love piecing...it shows in your final result.

I'd vote to continue with your original challenge...machine quilt it...but find a way to put an "Allie" stamp on it. Don't JUST machine quilt it...in the same way, that you don't JUST PIECE your quilts either, now do you?

With admiration, Susan

Marty52 said...

Since it is going to be a bed quilt, I think maybe the "machine quilting" is the way to go. But do put your own stamp on it... I think I would work my way down each strip, embellishing random seams with some of the great stitches built into your sewing machine. Didn't you win a really cool one? Doing that would take away the worry of washing and pulling on the hand-embroidered seams. Just my 2 cents!