Sunday, August 12, 2012

Welcome and Kaleidoscoping Outer Space

By Kaelyn Angelfoot
Welcome to the House of Baline Project Corner, where members of Baline can post their creative endeavors. If you are interested, please contact me, I'll get the ball rolling, but I hope to soon have several members sending in content for this blog. 

I finally have my very own craft room, largely thanks to my wonderful husband who insisted that we buy a house instead of renting an apartment. I believe he will on some level come to regret this because I seem to be spending more and more time sequestered with my various projects.

One of the things I desperately wanted was a counter height table on which to do my cutting and sewing. However, our budget is severely limited! Here is the solution I came up with: an inexpensive but sturdy second hand-table on bed risers (found those at Walmart for $8). Its not pretty but it is gosh-darn functional. The table was free - trash picked after a yard sale closed.

The organization of my craft room is far from complete, but that hasn't prevented me from starting several projects, including two quilts and new Dagorhir garb.

I'm working on a new ladies surcoat to go over a short dress. The combination will hopefully be functional, allowing me to move freely in battle, and light enough to wear in the summer. And it has to look wicked-cool.   I've pieced together the front of the surcoat. It will have a skirt, made out of the purple moleskin, that falls to the bottom of the dress.  The purple dress was a full length princess-cut dress pattern purchased commercially that I shortened to make a long fitted women's tunic, approximately knee-length.

My next project, one that I have been working obsessively on since this past Thursday, is a Kaleidoscope quilt. The best tutorial on this I've found is at Connecting Threads which also has a couple great videos on how to cut the fabric and lay out the blocks.

The basics of a Kaleidoscope quilt are this: the fabric is layered in such a way that the pattern of the fabric is lined up and identical on every layer. The quilt pieces are cut from from these layers, resulting in 4-8 identical pieces, which are then arranged into a square, hexagon, or octagon. I choose a finished size of six inches for my hexagon.

Here are some lessons learned from this project:

Original fabric next to some half-blocks
 1. Measure the repeating pattern of the fabric in the store and purchase enough yardage (plus extra for potential errors) for the number of layers you want.

2. My fabric had a large repeating pattern, so I was required to buy 4 yards of fabric to get six layers. This produced approximately 80 usable blocks. That estimation is on the low side, as I cut my first set wrong and had to discard those initial blocks. This will give me a four-foot by five-foot quilt before borders are added. If you want to make a much larger quilt, you will need a lot more fabric.

Completed Half-Hexagon Blocks

Close-up of some completed blocks
 I think I am going to split these into two smaller quilts and use extra fabric to create a geometric border, resulting in two lap quilts. I still need to settle on a final arrangement of blocks. I have purchased black fabric to use in the border and the backing.

I am experimenting with quilt-design software to set up a good layout. However, the demo versions do not allow me to save or print my designs! If anyone knows of a good, full access time-limited demo version of a quilt software I can test out, I'd love to hear about it.

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