Thursday, January 29, 2015

3 Things

After sharing last week about my experience with wool batting bearding, I thought I'd report back. Fact is, there was quite a convo on Instagram about it, and I don't think I was the only one who learned something. Like the fact that some battings (not all) have a right and wrong side. Of course I don't know which side of my batt was up, and even so, I wouldn't want bearding on the wrong side any more than the front. But according to Melissa/ weshallsew, '[some] batting is "needle-punched", and one side has texture, the other does not. Find the side with texture and that should be the side that goes up, behind the quilt top. The non-textured side should go to the backing. That should cut down on your bearding.' Also, Krista/poppyprint pointed out that seams pressed open 'maximizes bearding due to all the holes between stitches.' Hmm.

I did also notify the manufacturer, and was told the following:
"Our goods are not resin (chemically) bonded, but thermally (heat) bonded, which can allow a small amount of bearding to occur.   However, bearding to the extent you described would be quite unusual.  My best deduction is that the goods used in this quilt must have had an area that may not have been bonded properly. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing exactly why this occurred.  In addition,  darker fabrics could be making the bearding appear even worse.   The Wool Batting does not have a right or wrong side.   We have made up some samples with yardage in our warehouse and washed and dried them and could not re-create this issue. Please keep in mind for the future that if you use thermal bonded wool again be sure to wash on a gentle cycle, using only cool water and a cool dryer. This should help prevent bearding." 
For the record, I was offered a 'replacement' wool batting but I graciously declined. I think I'll stick to what I know for a while. And while I'm not glad I had this experience, I definitely am coming away with new information, which is almost always a good thing.

On to another issue . . . that ole CAPTCHA word verification ordeal that appeared out of nowhere in many of our blogger comment sections a while back. I wasn't able to figure out how to remove it until Kathy/Kwilty Pleasures showed me the way. Check out her post if the "I'm not a robot" routine has gotten old for you too.

And last but certainly not least, it's time for the 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala! Adrianne/On The Windy Side and Anne/Play Crafts are co-hosting the challenge this year (read their posts here and here). This will be my 4th year participating, and you probably noticed that Marsala and I are getting along just fine. Whether you love it or have kept it at arm's length, I encourage you to explore the deets in Adrianne and Anne's posts and consider joining in. I predict we'll all be impressed when it's all said and done.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sipping Marsala

Marsala, the Pantone Color of the Year, was met with a pretty chilly reception around blogland when it was announced, yet I was kind of anxious to play with it a bit. I had gathered a few fabrics as possibilities and was mulling over what to do with them when I flipped through Alex Ledgerwood/teaginny Designs new book, Improvising Tradition: 18 Quilted Projects Using Strips, Slices, and Strata, and saw IT. That being her En Pointe Wall Hanging, with its slashed blocks reminiscent of a traditional rail fence.

The fabrics I ended up using were Essex Linen in Natural, Kona Sienna and Brick (the closest I've come to my Pantone Marsala swatch), and 2 luscious Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons, a Terra Cotta and a Multi Stripe "Parma".

There's something about these blocks that is low-stress and satisfying, not something I can say about all improv. Here they are on my gray design wall, nighttime lighting and all.
I really would be happy just making more blocks, but decided I'd stop here and see what I could come up with. The first layout below is most like Alex's, but I rearranged my blocks a bit just to see if there was anything else I liked as well.


I may do something totally different, we'll see, but so far this little dalliance has been invigorating. Not quite what you'd expect from reddish brown, is it? {wink}

Linking up with W.i.P. Wednesday.