Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Boy's Nonsense tutorial - part 1

Boy's Nonsense

Before we get started I would love to give credit where credit is due by linking you to the quilt that inspired my design, but for some reason the link is no longer working! It was inspired by a detail shot from a Tokyo Quilt Festival quilt - sorry, I don't know who made it.
The block design is a variation on Boy's Nonsense  I loved the name so I kept it, it's as simple as that ;)
Fabrics used are Field Study by Anna Maria Horner, Kona cotton solids and a few Art Gallery prints.

Today we'll cover fabric requirements and cutting instructions.
The fabric requirements are based on one fabric used for light value (A) one for medium (B) and one for dark (C)
In reality I used fat quarters of different fabrics for my dark and medium values and two shades of Kona white for the background. If you plan on adding borders or making your quilt larger you will need to adjust the fabric requirements accordingly.

Finished block size 10" x 10" 

You will need:
  • Fabric A - 5\8 yard
  • Fabric B - 7\8 yard
  • Fabric C - 3\4 yard
  • Backing fabric - 1 1\2 yard
  • Binding fabric - 1\2 yard
  • Batting
  • Sewing supplies (rotary cutter, thread, scissors etc.)
I ended up making a smaller quilt than I had intended, 4 x 5 blocks. My fabric got lost in the mail, time was running out my border fabric didn't work...well lots of things went wrong!
You can make your quilt larger by adding more blocks or a border. If you are planning on making this quilt I would like you to consider adding a border, I think it would look great with this pattern!

  • From fabric A cut 40 3"x 3" squares, cut on the diagonal to make 80 half square triangles.
  • From fabric A cut 20 4 1\2" x 4 1\2" squares, cut on the diagonal to make 40 half square corner triangles.
  • From fabric B cut 20 5 1\2" x 5 1\2" centre squares.
  • From fabric B cut  20 4 1\2" x 4 1\2" squares, cut on the diagonal to make 40 half square corner triangles.
  • From fabric C cut 80 2 1\2" x 5 1\2" rectangles.

My quilt consists of 10 blocks with light value corner triangles and 10 blocks with relative medium or dark value corner triangles.
Light corner triangles.

Dark corner triangles.

You could choose to make all blocks the same (medium centre square, dark rectangles for instance) or if you are like me and find it difficult to stick to just one block repeat mix it up a bit. The value repeat of the blocks with light corners provides enough contrast for a little freedom to play around with the other blocks.

Alternating dark and light value corner triangles.
Same value pattern repeated.

Alternating, light and dark value rows.
 These are just a few examples of how you can use this block to create different rhythmic value layouts. Feel free to come up with your own variations, it's fun to play around with the layout!

Value Added
Next up, the block tutorial.

x Leila

    Tuesday, 23 October 2012

    Understanding Value

    Today's post is the first of our series of informative posts on value as part of Value Added QAL. I will do my best to start us off nice and easy with the basics of understanding the value aspect of colour.

    Value Added

    Value simply put is the relative lightness or darkness of colour, measured by the amount of white, grey and black the colour contains.
    Value can be used in many ways in your quilt design, from simply making certain pattern repeats pop to creating mind blowing optical illusions and anything in between.

    Contrasting values make a pattern appear to have depth as dark colours recede from they eye first where light colours appear to remain on the foreground. When using colours with minimal value differences the pattern will appear to be a lot flatter, this can be used for example to create a blended effect.

    When we look at difference in value it's usually easiest to distinguish within one colour group as colour value is always relative. To demonstrate this I picked a shade of green, lets call it 'grass green' and placed it in a box surrounded by a different shade of green.

    First, next to the lighter 'bamboo green' the grass green shows up as darker in value.

    But when put next to a dark 'hunter green' the grass green is lighter in value.

    Easy enough right!

    Most of our quilts however are made up of different colours and prints and that is where distinguishing value differences can become less obvious.

    There are a few different ways to determine value. One is to squint when looking at your fabric choices. Squinting dims out the colours which makes it easier to distinguish light and dark. Remember darker colours disappear first from sight, lighter colours remain visible the longest. So when you slowly close your eyes whilst looking at your fabrics whichever one is the lightest will be the last one you'll still be able to see.

    There are also monochromatic value finders on the market which are usually a piece of red plastic or glass. When placed over a fabric swatch the value finder transforms all colour into different shades of red which allows you to see the difference in value.

    These tricks come in handy when deciding between two or three fabric swatches but when you are planning a quilt and pulled half your stash out for audition you will need something better than squinting and quicker than examining swatches with a value finder. This is where the camera trick will come in handy.

    Start by arranging your fabrics as you think they should be light to dark and take a picture. If your camera has the option to take a black and white photo you can save yourself a step. No worries if you can't take a black and white photo it's a quick edit in any of the free photo editing sites available online. I like to use PicMonkey for quick editing jobs it's easy to use, simply upload your photo click the 'effects' tab scroll down, click 'black and white' and save to your computer.

    I didn't quite get it right here but that's the point really, just arrange and rearrange until you find the right order.

    Without the distraction of colour you can more clearly see the differences in light and dark. It becomes a lot easier to determine which fabrics to use next to each other in your block design to make that one shape really pop or which ones will blend nicely into the background.

    Short recap:
    • Value is the relative lightness - darkness of colour.
    • Dark colour recedes from the eye first, light colour remains visible the longest
    • Distinguishing value differences is easiest within one colour group
    • Distinguishing differences in value is easiest when you dim out the colour either by squinting, using a value finder or taking a black and white photo.

    Do stop by Amy at Badskirt tomorrow for her post on value leading the eye. She really knows her stuff and will take us that step further in understanding value and how to apply this to our fabric stash!

    We will be talking value all week, here's a reminder of our schedule:
    Wednesday 24th - Leading the Eye -with Amy @ Badskirt
    Thursday 25th - Value Patterns  -with Rachel @ Stitched in Color
    Friday 26th - Value Dynamics -with Jolene Blue @ Elephant Stitches

    If you have any questions or thoughts you would like to add, come chat with us in our Flickr group here we'd love to hear from you!

    x Leila

    Monday, 22 October 2012

    Value Added Quilt Along

    Welcome to the Value Added Quilt Along!!
    Amy, Jolene, Rachel and I have emerged ourselves into the subject of value quilts and we are ready to share our ideas and creations with you all.

    Boy's Nonsense

    Our QAL will start off with a series of informative posts covering different aspects of value. The following week we will share our individual quilt designs and tutorials on our blogs. We hope to inspire you to explore value in quilting with us! Please join our Flickr group where we will be available to chat with you about colour value and help you along the way. Feel free to add any previous value projects you have made to the group pool. This quilt along is not limited to our quilt designs only we encourage you to come up with your own creations and share them with us on Flickr and in our linky party.

    The Value Added QAL schedule is as follows:

    Tuesday 23rd - Understanding Value -with Leila @ Where the Orchids Grow
    Wednesday 24th - Leading the Eye -with Amy @ Badskirt
    Thursday 25th - Value Patterns  -with Rachel @ Stitched in Color
    Friday 26th - Value Dynamics -with Jolene Blue @ Elephant Stitches
    Starting October the 29th quilt tutorials on our individual blogs.
    November the 30th link up party here @ Where the Orchids Grow
    I have learned lots of new things in preparing for the QAL. If like me, you have not given much thought to colour value in quilting before I think you are in for a treat! I really hope you will take something away from this QAL, be it a fun new quilt design, a fresh look at your fabric stash or how to improve your block designs. There is so much more to value than water colour quilts and tumbling blocks (not that there is anything wrong with those of course!)
    I am very excited about the amazing quilt designs Amy, Jolene and Rachel came up with and I can't wait to get started on them!

    So are you ready to talk value with us? Please do join our Flickr group, grab a button and enjoy!

    Value Added
    <div align="center"><a href="" title="Value Added"><img src="" alt="Value Added" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

    x Leila

    Sunday, 21 October 2012

    Give Away winner!!

    I am happy to announce the winner of the Wiksten tank pattern courtesy of Kollabora.
    Mr. Random Number Generator has declared comment #11 to be the winner

    Which was Nicke who said:

    Congratulations Nicke!!! I know you will do great things with this pattern! A big thank you to all of you for your kind comments and playing along!

    In other news our Value Added quilt along will kick off tomorrow - yay!!
    Value Added
    <div align="center"><a href="" title="Value Added"><img src="" alt="Value Added" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

     Rachel, Amy, Jolene and I have emerged ourselves in value quilting over the past couple of weeks and we are very excited to finally be able to share our thoughts and creations with you all! So please check in with us tomorrow to find out what we have in store for you :)

    x Leila

    Monday, 8 October 2012

    Wiksten Tank Dress

    Hope you all had a lovely weekend. I am so happy that I finally have something finished that I can share today! Oh, and if you manage to read all the way through this post there may be something in it for you....just sayin' ;)

    A little while back I was contacted by the kind folks of Kollabora and asked if I would be interested in making something from one of their sewing kits to help promote the launch of the new website. In their own words; 'Kollabora is a brand new fashion and design forward DIY community, connecting makers with inspiring projects, tutorials and the best hard-to-find supplies.'
    If like me, you enjoy the occasional venture into dressmaking, knitting, embroidery and other techniques you may enjoy this website as well. What I like about the site is the community aspect, you can find tips and video tutorials on different techniques, post a question, share your own projects or just shop for patterns and pretty fabrics.

    wiksten dress

    I chose to make the Wiksten tank project as I adore Jenny's patterns. They are simple and stylish with lovely details and they fit me well, what more could a girl want! I received this beautiful Vera Wang silk courtesy of Mood Fabrics to make my dress, it is lush! Honestly it was such a treat to be allowed to pick something out at Mood, they have lots of fantastic fabrics available it took me forever to narrow my choice down. 

    Sewing the slippery silk was a little challenging for me having grown used to the ease of sewing with quilting cottons. I needed to take frequent short breaks from trying to control the slipping and sliding whilst cutting, pinning and sewing. It was hard on my hands and shoulders, I kept tensing them up for fear of messing up my entire project!

    wiksten 1
    Hand on hip, it's my one and only pose!

    The Wiksten tank is definitely a beginner friendly pattern but depending on sewing skills and the type of fabric can have it's little challenges. Especially the bottom hem and the neck and arm binding can be a little tricky. 

     When I made my first top I had trouble with gaping at the back of the neckline. Rae has a good solution for this here, if you have enough ease this will definitely work. But I was worried I would not have enough ease in the armscye so I simply lowered the back neckline which solved the issue nicely. First tricky part tackled, no more gaping -excellent!

    wiksten tank dress 2

    On to the binding, one thing that is not mentioned in the instructions but I find quite helpful is clipping the curves before pressing the binding seams open. I also made the binding slightly wider than the pattern calls for just to make my life a little easier when tucking under those raw edges.

    I could not iron my fabric too hot so the binding was not laying as flat as I would have liked but I found a solution for this. After ironing my seams open I pressed them towards the binding side and stitched a second seam very close to the first one. This line of stitching is not visible from the outside of the garment so it does not interfere with the look of the finished dress. What it does is to help set the seam so it falls neatly towards the inside and helps the binding to lay flat.

    wiksten binding
    The line of stitching right at the top, that's the one I'm talking about!
    For the hem I sewed a row of basting stitches just shy of 3\4" all the way along the hem this helped a little in getting a neater hem finish. I had to do the bottom hem twice and still it's not exactly perfect. There is some excess fabric in the curve that would not behave and the corners needed lots of clipping to prevent them from pulling. The bottom hem could definitely be better!

    All in all I love my new dress, it's simple but the luxurious shiny silk makes it so special! I would definitely wear this on a night out or to a party.

    You made it all the way down here that means it's Give Away time!!
    The Kollabora kit I received came with a copy of the Wiksten tank pattern which I already own so we thought it would be nice to give it to one of you!

    Comments are now closed
    • If you would like a chance to win a copy of the Wiksten tank pattern, simply leave one comment on this post. 
    • Anyone anywhere can enter, this is a simple give away- no hoops.  But of course the people of Kollabora would love it if you paid a visit to their website, follow them on Twitter and Facebook 
    • If you are a follower of my blog, new or old, you may up your chances by entering twice. Just leave one separate comment on this post. 
    • Entries will close October 19th at midnight. Mr Random Number Generator will pick a winner to be announced later that weekend. 
    • Last but not least please make sure there is a way for us to contact you should you win, this means you will need to make sure your profile is set to include your email address or leave an email address in your comment. If we can't contact you you can't win.

      Good luck!!
    x Leila