Susan 5-22-09:  More mandala play.  [Click on images for a larger view]

  Susan O 517color9quilt 

Susan 5-28-09: In designing my “swirly” there is one place in one wedge where I need to change colors across the opposing corners, i.e., split one wedge in half. Is this permitted? I really need to do it to get a smooth curve. I don’t mind the piecing/positioning that this will entail.

RaNae:  Yes, one of the things about Baravelle spirals is that you sometimes need a sashing or a modification of the outside triangle to connect them smoothly.  You have hit on the correct solution for this situation.  Go ahead and do what you propose.  Not only will it make your design work, it will be a good example for me to use in the book!  🙂

Susan 5-29-09:  Do you have any opinions on coloring for “Swirly”? I’m attaching the two that are in the running. Do you have suggestions or a preference?

Susan O 517color9quilt  Susan O 517color22quilt

RaNae:  Well, personally I’m not a big fan of orange, so maybe I’m the wrong person to ask, but I think I would go for the orange and purple as opposed to the orange and green.  Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Susan 6-20-09: I’ve been trying to come up with fabrics for this quilt and have been having trouble. Here’s today’s attempt with some Kaffe fabrics. What do you think?

Susan O swirlykaffeIf I went with the stripes I’d have to work them around. BTW, I need to get more fabric for the Sunrise and am playing with ideas for the borders. It will probably be percolating for a while on the design wall. 

RaNae:  Susan, what a change from the last couple of colorings!  It’s so interesting to see what different fabrics can do.  When I look at this, I like the flashes of red that are echoed in the border.  I also like the slight yellow glow around them at the center.  The speckly blue is really striking with the white surrounding it.  The only suggestion that popped into my mind as I looked at this is that in those large white diamonds outside of the swirly spiral how about fussy-cutting a four-part mirrored design (since you have four pieces meeting there) from a border print or mirror-image print that would act as “jewelry” in this empty space?  If it picked up a small bit of that same red that appears in other places it would help tie all the parts of the design together.  You could also do something similar in the turquoise parts between the white diamonds, though since it is a smaller, darker space I would use a smaller fussy-cut pattern so as not to crowd the one in the white.

Susan 8-2-09:  I’m just back from vacation (was in White Plains the night you had the big thunderstorm). Before I left I had worked on the two quilts below. Some history…

The first quilt is my swirly (yet to be renamed). I loved these fabrics and it made just the effect I wanted.   [Click on images for larger view]

Susan O blue-pink IMG_2814 

Unfortunately (?) when I went fabric shopping I found another set I liked just as much so decided to make the quilt twice!

Susan O Green-pink IMG_2815

As you can see, when I put it all together after furious sewing, I discovered that I had done the outside spirals backwards.  It doesn’t do what I wanted it to but at least it’s different from the first one!  I don’t have enough fabric to do all the outside over again so if this doesn’t work I’ll probably have to just finish it as it is and not submit it for the book.  Once again, the middle design is still to be determined.

I am now trying to come up with a center and despite many drawings I’m thinking that the best center might be the pink stripe fussy cut and matched into the whole 6 pointed star center. What do you think? I don’t have enough fabric left to make more than one center so want to make sure I’ve got the right idea before cutting.

 Baravelles are SO much easier to sew than nesting – no long skinny points to mess up on.  I actually enjoyed making these (I didn’t enjoy Tequila Sunrise) .  Oh yes, TS is still on the design wall but I have some ideas on how to finish it and it should be well on its way soon.

RaNae:  Susan, why not use one of the spiral centers in your drawings above?  (A piece of advice: use Nesting spirals, or at least do the outer ring as a Nesting spiral, to minimize the number of seams that come together in the center.)  And if you do spirals, you might have enough of that pink stripe to share with both quilts….

Susan 8-6-09: Well I’ve finished the top of the first one and will start to work next on the quilting for Tequila Sunrise. I’ll save the second swirly for when I’m in withdrawal from the first two!  I don’t think I’ll put any border on it and will just face it. How’s that sound to you? Name still TBD but it will probably have blueberries or sundaes in the title.

Susan O Blue Swirly done

RaNae: Yay! SO cool — love the hearts in the center. If you’re just going to face it, how about a wide-ish blue binding? Maybe the stripes need a little something to hold the edge….what do you think?

Susan 8-7-09: I was wondering about that but thought the blue might be too strong? I’ll start auditioning things tomorrow. It would be a lot easier to just bind it.

Susan 8-11-09:  Blueberry Swirl Sundae is finished!

Susan O Blueberry Swirl Sundae

RaNae:  Susan, the blue binding is perfect — what a refreshing, cool effect on this hot summer day!  Congratulations on another beautiful mandala!


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