As 2016 was coming to a close, I was rushing to finish my annual quilt projects. With two projects completed and one nearing the finish line I present my creative journeys of wandering around the quilt block for 2016.
My largest project, begun at the end of 2015 and continuing to the very end of 2016 was my Home Garden quilt. This was a log cabin quilt with alternating flower blocks. As mentioned in a previous post, I did have to take it off the quilt frame and complete it using a 12 inch hoop when I realized the leaders were reversed on the frame. The quilt design was a simple flower in the log cabin blocks and an 8 pointed flower resembling a fleur de lis in the floral blocks. I used a leaf stencil to create a chain in the orange border and finished up with butterflies along the outer border. I created the binding using the remaining yellow and red fabrics from the floral blocks.
Next up, my daughter and I collaborated on a baby quilt for a nephew and his wife who greeted their first daughter in October. My daughter already had the Under the Sea panel, so we brain-stormed on a block design for the border then contributed fabric from our individual fabric collections. Once a pattern was designed we each contributed 10 fish blocks (Hmm. Looking at the finished product now, I just noticed that there is an extra fish, so someone completed 11 blocks). My daughter has a much better artistic view of things than I do, so she assembled the quilt and completed it on her longarm machine using an overall sea grass and bubble design.
Finally, my challenge quilt. I normally restrict myself to squares, rectangles and half or quarter square triangles in creating my quilts. But this year someone kept challenging me to do something with curves so I found a leaf design that seemed to fit the bill. I have completed the piecing for the quilt and I must say, I am not sure that I would do curves again. I did have quilters tell me after I had created stencils for cutting out the pieces, that things would have been easier if I had a curved ruler and a tiny rotary cutter for cutting out the pieces (right tool for the job and all of that) but I don’t know how much that would have helped. I discovered 3 problems with doing curves. The first was in piecing the curves; no matter how many pins I used and how slow I ran my machine to keep the pieces against my ¼ inch seam foot, my seams ran from a quarter inch to almost non-existent. The second problem was a problem I also have with triangles; when too many seams meet in one place there is just too much bulk for the machine needle to easily go through all the layers. This also prevents the block from lying flat. Finally there was the block assembly with each block consisting of four leaf blocks. One would expect that when you sew two squares together the finished product would be an even rectangle but some of my rectangles came out looking a little more like a “V”. My only fix at that point was to trim or square the finished block for final assemble. As a result some of the edges of the leaves were clipped a bit. I finished the piecing and put together a back for quilt using a brown fabric and a yellow / orange starburst fabric before the close of December. Hopefully by the end of January or February I will have completed the quilting of outlining the leaves and adding vein lines to the leaves. So yes, I took up the challenge and the quilt doesn’t look that bad for a first attempt but unless I can either find a class on curved piecing or have someone show me how to do it or give me pointers, I am not sure I would attempt another.