Sunday, July 10, 2005

WIP: It's a Puzzlement

WIP note: SE4 continues as previously reported. I've got about 2 inches of leg for the first sock done so far.

In other fiber craft news, I recently watched an episode of Simply Quilts on HGTV. No, I've never been a quilter, but as a general crafter, I had sufficient understanding to appreciate techniques they talked about, and of course, we get our personal inspirations from every source.

This day was a little different; the subject was Patchwork Puzzle Balls, as shown in this book by Jinny Beyer. Jinny was the guest, and demonstrated the construction steps for a simple ball.

I was hooked. I could already begin to see possibilities for modifying the shape and patterns to create different objects. And the small project size fits my coat-pocket studio here in my living room.

I've got the book on the way from Amazon already. Meanwhile, Gryphon and I have been visiting quilt shops and fabric stores, getting me enough supplies to start with the ball shown on tv.

The best quilt shop find of the day turned out to be also ridiculously close to where I live - just about 1.8 miles up Whiting Hill Rd. from the Wilton Town Hall, you'll find The Bunkhouse Quilt Shop. (166 Perham Corner Rd., Lyndeborough, NH 03082. Phone (603) 654-6734; Fax (603)654-6585. mailto:wonzi@tellink.net.) Located in the finished basement of a home on a nice piece of former farmland, this is a fully-equipped shop. K. Wanda Makela, the owner (Wanda), has a huge selection of fabrics of all types, lots of books, and all the supplies, patterns, templates, and more that any one needs. Add her friendly demeanor with customers, and I can heartily recommend The Bunkhouse Quilt Shop as worth a visit, whether you live near or far. Be sure to call for directions; the location is well off of main roads, and can be tricky to find if you're not familiar with the neighborhood.

Between remnants and fat quarters from all these places, I've got a selection of about 15 fabrics to pick from already.
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See the little fat quarters, all in a row

I picked five to work with for the first ball.
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Quilting Experiment #1: The Fabric Selection

And then I changed my mind about that yellow batik at the right end.
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Quilting Experiment #1: Fabric, Take Two

The color replacing the previous, bold yellow is a soft print blending yellow and pink dots. It kind of looks like it's randomly sprayed with a spraypaint.

Here are the pieces all cut and laid out in the order they'll be in the ball:
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QE1: Hexagons and Squares

The two marbled purple-looking hexes that stick out at the top and bottom are actually overprinted with a gold metallic marbling that doesn't show in the picture. I found this in the remnant bin at WalMart.

That's where this WIP currently stands. I'm really liking my choices of fabrics and colors. I think I hit the right mix of light, medium, and dark. The hexagons are all in more random patterns, ranging from batiks to small random all-over repeats, and the squares, for contrast, are in a more formal purple-on-purple floral stripe. I expect that I'll be picking up the pieces in the next day or two, and stitching them together by hand while I watch TV. It's going to be fun watching this one come together. I'll be sure to report here about it!