Friday, 10 May 2013

Friday Quilters, and Carl's Quilt

Today was one of my regular sewing days with the Friday Quilters.  As soon as everyone had gathered, we started the day with handing over Joan's Round Robin quilt, as she had not been able to come to the Retreat with us.

This is what Joan started with in May last year:

Seeing her quilt for the first time in a year.

Happy grin

And here it is.  There is some truly awesome piecing in that!  Just take a look at the 2" squares sewn into strips and set on point on the edges!  I didn't work on this quilt, so I can't really talk about the work that went into it.

Once the excitement of the handover had died down, it was time to get stuck into some serious sewing.  I had finished the piecing on the quilt I started at the retreat, so this morning in preparation, had I ratted through my (enormous) stack of UFOs to see what I could find to do.  I came up with Carl's Quilt, which I had started some time around September or October last year.

Carl is the son of my cousin, and about the middle of last year, I decided to make him and his sister Natalia each a quilt for Christmas.  Well Natalia's quilt got done, but things got a bit hot towards the end of last year, and this was the first time I had managed to find time to pick it up to work on it, since around September I think.

This is how I found it this morning.  Although Carl is still a child, I thought that being on the verge of teenage years, he was far too old to have a quilt with cowboys or cars, or other traditionally "boy" things.  As there is a lot of work involved in making a quilt, I figured he should have an "adult" one that will see him through his teens and well into young manhood.
So I had chosen dusky blues and reds, with a splash of brown, and a variety of light fabrics for contrast.  It helped that I just love those colours!  I cut the fabrics into squares & manufactured a heap of HSTs which finished at 5.5" and then set them on point.  I found a wonderful Japanese fabric to use as the setting triangles and for the border, so the HSTs seem to "float" on the blue border.
However, most of my quilt designs are organic.  I start with an idea, and the quilt just grows.  I add a bit here and then a bit there, and somehow or other it all comes together.  I almost never design the quilts I make on paper or on electronic media, I'm just too impatient, and equally, I rarely have a plan for the whole quilt.  So this morning, when I picked it up, I had of course forgotten where I was going with this one.  LOL.  I had obviously intended to do more HSTs because there were heaps of squares cut at 5 7/8" in the parcel with all the rest of the fabrics.  But what I had intended to do with them was completely gone.

Corner detail
As it was obvious that I had meant to construct more HSTs I got on with that, and by the end of the morning the pile had grown.

But when I got home with it and took it out to work on this afternoon, I began to mull over what to do next.  I had a brainwave - perhaps I should make some little hourglass blocks to add a bit of interest.  So I made two to try out....... 

If I do that, I will need to make at least 2, possibly 3 rows of hour glass blocks in order to make them effective, and also in order to extend the quilt to be longer.  It is much too small at the moment.
But then I laid out the HSTs in two rows, to see what that looked like.........

Two rows makes up a nice pinwheel design.  So now I don't know what to do.  I have put it aside for now to mull over and think about. 
Anyone want to leave me a comment on what they think??
Til next time...... Keep on stitching

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Round Robin Journey - In the beginning

Early in 2012 my quilt group, Friday Quilters, decided that a good challenge for the coming year would be to have a Round Robin.  None of us had participated in one before, so it was a bit of a learning experience for all of us.  Our brief was simple - prepare a block to use as the centre in time for our annual Retreat in May.  The Round Robin would have 6 rounds, and the first round would begin at the Retreat.  A journal was included in the pack so that each person could write a bit about the border they created, and the Big Reveal would be one year later at our Retreat in 2013.  There were 10 of us participating.

I deliberated for ages, as to what I wanted to do for the centre.  Eventually I found one of Bronwyn Hayes gorgeous stitcheries on Red Brolly called "True Friends and Simple Pleasures" as a free download.  I just adore Bronwyn's designs, and have several of her books, so I was absolutely delighted to have found this one.   It is in her "Catalicious" range of designs, and reminds me of my Tibby when she drapes herself across my knees, which is whenever I sit down.  LOL.  Here is what I produced:

But!  Being perverse, I decided at the last minute that I really didn't want to use a stitchery in the centre of a quilt.  So what to do?  Then inspiration hit me.  I had actually left a lot of fabric to the right of the stitchery, so why not use this as the quilt lable instead? 

Good idea, but having abandoned the idea of using the stitchery as my centre panel, I was stuck for inspiration.  More pondering, and, as I love Civil War reproduction fabrics, I thought I would dig into them for my block.   That was evil of me (grin) as only one other person in our group is into Civil War fabrics.  It was fitting to choose a block from the book "Civil War Love Letter Quilt" by Rosemary Youngs, to showcase my Civil War fabrics. 

You can read all about the book here.  Doubly fitting as I had bought the book at Quiltsmith on a shopping trip our group did a while back.

I chose the block called "Hospital Arrangements" inspired by a letter by David Coon to one of his sons (unnamed) on 3 April 1864.

I made 4 x 6" blocks by foundation piecing them onto paper, then setting them into a 4 patch and sewing a 2" border  around it and corner stones in the four corners.  Love the block!


Til next time....... keep on stitching