Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Not Really Flaky (Maybe)

So I started this blog thinking I just had a couple of short projects to get out of the way and I could start on this block project. Yeah, right. The short projects aren't as short as I was hoping they would be.  I have finally completed one of those projects - assembling the blocks for our church's auction quilt.

I have to say that I was surprised at how much longer it took me to assemble the 7 1/2" blocks and their borders into a king/queen sized quilt than it usually takes me to assemble 12" blocks into a queen sized quilt. I don't think I should have been surprised, but I was.

All the time that I was sewing the blocks together, I was worrying about whether or not anyone would like this quilt once we have finished it. I must say that I do this every year - or at least every year that I have been in charge of the quilt project. But this year was a little more stressful because the outside border fabric is a bit wild and the other batiks used are pretty bright, and this is the least traditional looking quilt we've ever made.

Let me show you what I mean. Below is the last of the quilts that were designed and project managed by the older women who used to do it. It is a pretty traditional pattern, a Nine Patch and Hour Glass.

The following year, it suddenly became my job. Being something of a quilting rookie, we chose a Repeating Crosses pattern (if I'd only known then what I know now about bias seams!) and did it in batik fabrics, as you can see.

The next year that I was in charge, we went a little more traditional with a Double Irish Chain.

Last year, we made a Log Cabin and Stars quilt. As I was assembling the quilt, I swore to myself that never again would we make a quilt that had 16 seams, because with all the different women (many of whom are not quilters) sewing blocks, there was a wide variety in the sizes of the blocks (some of which needed to be redone a bit). But it looked nice in the end, even though we didn't use colors I would have chosen for myself. (Another fun part of this one was that we asked the church to bring in fat quarters in various shades of beiges, browns and greens! It was a lot of fun to see what people brought, and there are all different types of fabrics in this quilt.)

Now this year's quilt is truly a quilt I would love to own. Yes, I chose the colors for the Repeating Crosses quilt, but that was only two colors and very popular! This one was chosen to go with the very wild batik border fabric. I fell in love with that fabric and the rest of the fabrics were chosen to go with it - but it is not a tame quilt. The blocks are Hour Glass, Hour Glass in a Square, plain fabric square and Square Within a Square, pretty traditional blocks. The quilt doesn't look traditional though. The pattern is from the book Batik Gems by Laurie Shifrin. So, without further ado, here is this year's quilt top. 

This is not the clearest picture, but it is hard to take a picture of a quilt laid out on the living room floor and there was nowhere for me to hang it!

Now, back to the subject at hand, those 120 blocks. I actually made a decision on what kind of fabric to start with. I was pondering scraps or batiks, but I think I will go an entirely different direction - Christmas fabric. It struck me today as I was standing in the quilt store buying the backing for this quilt. Now I can collect the fabrics and maybe actually cut out the first couple of blocks! 

Of course, I do need to make some project on a couple of more things too, so they don't become UFOs. But I will. 

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