Sunday, January 24, 2010

Week #3 - 2010 Quilt Project

I chose a crazy quilt pattern for week 3, to reflect the chaos I'm feeling in my life at the moment. I feel like my life is a bit turned on its head, and I'm getting sucked into the whirlpool without a paddle. The red swirl represents my heart...and that it keeps on beating in the midst of the stress and chaos. I still have hope and heart. However, whereas I typically prefer symmetry and balanced design, I purposely chose to put the red off intensify the chaos that is around me. In creating this block, I mirrored what I typically do in life: I was trying to create a pattern and make sense of the randomness rather than just going with the flow and seeing what turns out. I was trying to control the pattern, rather than let it come to life naturally.

As with each week, I want to try something new. I used fabrics from my stash. I have never done a crazy quilt, and I used several of the decorative stitching choices on my sewing machine. Instead of binding the edge, I chose to try a zig-zag stitch to finish it up. I need to work on making my stitches more uniform, and testing the length and width of the stitches on a scrap piece before applying it to the finished block.

Week #2 - 2010 Quilt Project

Yes...I'm a week late, but with good reason! For week 2 of this project, I was in Virginia and Washington D.C. Therefore, upon my return, I had to play a little catch up and create week 2 and 3 at the same time.

For week 2, I was inspired by my trip to the east coast. Visiting so many historical locations - from the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, to the Berkeley Plantation, to battlefields, museums, and Washington D.C. I saw it all. On many of the tours like at Monticello or Colonial Williamsburg, I paid attention to the fabrics of the day. I also noticed that so much of D.C. is built from beautiful white stone - Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, the Capitol building, and of course...the WHITE HOUSE. My trip concluded with my first visit to an east coast beach and touching the Atlantic Ocean.

So for this week's quilt square, I dug into my scrap pieces of whites and creams with small floral prints that felt more "period" compared to the typical fabrics that I use. The pattern is reminiscent of all the stone structures that I enjoyed during my travels.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Week #1 - 2010 Quilt Project

As promised, this is my first week's quilt square for my 2010 Quilt Project. The goal is to create one 5" quilt square a week, based on how I'm feeling or what is happening in my life at the time.

For the first week, I challenged myself with the following rules:
1. Use only items in my stash
2. Try to do beading for the first time

My original design was going to be a starburst made entirely of beads. I sketched out what I wanted after having picked out the deep, dark blue fabric from my stash. I had some gold and copper beads - the only ones I had - so I had to pick something that would go with that bead color, and I felt a star would work well.

Then, I got sick. REALLY sick. I have been sick for 9 days now, and I wasn't sure I'd get this done. But I promised myself I would, and I didn't want to back out on my first week! I had picked out the fabric and made the square over the New Year's weekend, and then I just thought about the pattern. Actually...I was nervous. I had never done any beading before. I read up on it, and still wasn't sure if what I wanted would turn out like I had pictured in my head. So....I waited. And was sick. And miserable. And quilting something happy like a star just wasn't what I could do with how miserable I was feeling.

This weekend, I decided I had to complete the block. So, without thinking too much about it, I began quilting. And I ended up quilting a sun pattern with yellow and brown thread. I must be feeling better, because a sun is rather cheerful! Once I did that, picking out the binding fabric was easy, and it matches the brown thread and copper beading nicely. And the beading just came naturally after that. I tried not to think about it too much or analyze the pattern....I just beaded where it felt right.

I then added some bright yellow embroidery floss to the lower left hand corner to provide an anchor to the piece. I am happy with the way it turned out (although my photo is a little blurry).

I am beginning to feel better today, and was able to complete the block.

Green and Purple X-Block Lap Quilt

I made this lap quilt for a friend of mine. I have had the X-Blocks template for sometime now and have wanted to use it for a quilt. When I picked out these colors to go with my friend's living room, I decided this would be the perfect combination to test out the X-Block template.

It was really easy! It is basically 2 different 9-patch blocks (6" each) that, when you cut the edges using the X-Block template tool, you get a slightly diagonal looking block. To make it more complex, I created a lattice work of the 2 purples with them interweaving with one another, using the bright lime green as the background.

Originally I was going to use the polka-dot material for the outer border, but it muted the entire quilt and took away from the interior design, so I included a fabric with some white and brown to break it up and create a more contemporary feel to it.

I am really happy with how this one turned out! It is some of the best cutting and matching of corners I have done to date.

The final quilting was done by someone else using a "bubble meandering" pattern.

I haven't finished hand-sewing the binding on yet, but couldn't wait to post my first quilt of the new year!