Monday, August 25, 2014

Interwoven - Progress, Problems and Challenges

 After a couple of months of sewing I have something to show you.  Sometimes I never know where I'm going to end up when I start a project and that leads to extra challenges and some sleepless nights! 

June 2014
 In June I posted about how I was string piecing scraps into 3 inch blocks. (Dory's 'song' Keep on Sewing was my mantra, lol.) I made a bunch of these blocks... a BUNCH and then organized them.  The lighter values were arranged at the top, darkest to the bottom though there isn't all that much difference.

I thought I had an original idea with these 'woven' blocks... I couldn't have been more wrong. 

But, I digress.  Here is an in progress shot...

Thankfully, I have a computer software program which allowed me to cut and paste various blocks so I didn't have to keep physically moving everything from place to place. I arranged them one time, played with adjustments on my computer and then came back to the quilt top to arrange the blocks into their final position.
In progess

Piecing is done
 I finally finished the piecing (I used a tear-away foundation so it went very fast) and discovered that my so called 'original' block idea had been done before. Many. Times. Before.
Foggy Interweave by Mriam Nathan Robert, circa 1984

Jinny Beyer created this for McCall's magazine in 2010. She calls it Woven Ribbons

Valerie Yeaton made one...

Robert Kaufman designed one

Tracy Brookshire...  this version she calls Interweave Mist
 Naturally I was dismayed.  No, I didn't think up something which hadn't been done before!

BUT, I began thinking of the whole concept of being interwoven.  All summer as I had been sewing those little blocks I was singing to myself a variation of an old Christian hymn. The hymn was called "Leaning on His Everlasting Arms".  I was singing "weaving in His everlasting arms" and thinking about how God wove our world together at creation.

When I found out the pattern was called "Interweave" this sparked something in me and I began to think about how interwoven I am with God, with the beauty of the earth around me and with quilting.  

Time for a new idea... how can I express this in this quilt?

This is what I'm working on now.

These are the layouts I began playing with. I've since decided on #1 and have shrunk the woman a bit.  These are photoshopped by the way, I just added the images on top of the photo of my pieced quilt.  I liked the depth of the first one.

Interwoven layout possibilities 

Tree Pattern

 I created the tree in the same way I did the tree in Watchman. (Watchman) I had a life size paper pattern and put a fusible knit interfacing sticky side up over the paper and used a marker to trace the pattern onto the interfacing.  Then I began laying fabrics over the pattern and fusing them in place.

Once they are fused, I just lifted up the interfacing and cut out the branches - trimming away all the excess fabric. 

Tree progress
 I used dark values, but not too much black.  I want the tree to be more tied to the quilt top/landscape behind it and felt that an all black tree would float too much.  I used some black, but mostly blues and purples.

When the tree was done, I coated the edges and the back of the branches with a Liquid Thread and water mix and pressed it with a fiber glass pressing sheet. Why? Because it is fusible so I can fuse the tree to the quilt top, it won't be stiff and the liquid thread helps prevent frayed edges.

Finished tree - it looks a bit neon, but that is only the camera...
And this is where I am now...
Tree/quilt top

In 4 days I leave for 3 weeks to teach in Tucson, AZ and hubby and I are combining it with a camping trip. Alas, I'll get no more work done on it until I'm back in late September and the quilt has to be totally done by November in order for me to enter it into a particular contest...  I'll be a happening quilter in October I'll tell you what!

Have a good time with your quilting adventures. Comments welcome.  See you in the fall!


  1. Love every bit of this quilt! Have fun on vacation!

  2. Cathy, this is going to be such a special quilt! I love it even without the figure and tree. Have a great time in Tucson.

    1. Thanks! I hope it will turn out well... I never quite know for sure until they are done. I've heard nice things about Tucson and the quilting community there and I'm looking forward to the big trip. (Spent the last couple of days baking and cooking stuff for the camping part... we'll be eating a lot of whole wheat zucchini bread since I have so much zucchini. Lol.)

  3. Very Nice!!!!! I found your blog :)

    1. Hi Coreen! I found yours too! Since you are one of the contributing artists in my new book, I should blog about some of your quilts - what do you think? I'm leaving town soon, but when I get back we can talk about this. Safe travels!

  4. By all means- I have already posted about your new book coming out on mine:) and will continue once it is available!
    Have a good trip!

  5. Hello, My name is Todd DuBay. I made this 'Woven Ribbons'quilt too! I LOVE your approach to this design!!! I made a little time lapse video about the construction of this quilt, if your're interested;

    1. Cool Beans! I just shared it on FB - hope that is ok! I like the music to the video, too. I'm sure your quilt went together faster as I just cut up random widths of scrap fabric as I went. Plus I tend to work a bit in my sewing room and then play quite a bit elsewhere, lol. NOT that I'm ADHD, lol.
      Thanks for introducing yourself!