Monday, September 13, 2021

African fabrics

I ended up with another bag of fabric from my friend Bonnie Keller.  She served in the Peace Corps in Africa when she was in her twenties.  She's had this African and African inspired fabric for quite a while and hasn't been able to bring herself into cutting it and making a quilt with it.  I'm not sure if some of it was from 50 years ago, or if she purchased it more recently.  Anyway, she asked me if I was ready to tackle it.   I felt like this was a monumental request, and I really put my thinking cap on for a design.  Here are her fabrics and some that I collected to go with her African fabrics.  The darkest piece is a very dark blue batik, which coordinates with the blue in the African pieces.

I liked the idea randomly piecing blocks and setting the quilt off into 4 unequal quadrants.  Here is my sketch:

I started with the square within a square blocks and mostly cut the center pieces at 8-1/2" x 8-1/2". A couple of them got trimmed to 6-1/2" x 6-1/2".   I tried to vary the size of the square blocks by adding different width of strips, improv style.  Here they are in place on the design wall:

Then I started cutting strips between 1" and 3" wide.  Here's the pile of the strips:

I sewed these together with wonky seams so that I would end up with a big pile of strip sets.  From these, I cut the strip blocks.  Here they are on the design wall with the square blocks.

The next thing that I sewed was the triangle sets.  I pieced these together on freezer paper to keep the diagonal sides from stretching.  Here they are on the design wall along with the other pieces.  

The piecing from there on was pretty straight forward, since I had designed the quilt in 4 quadrants.  Here is the top all sewn together.  It measures 66" W " x 78" L".  It's a tad too big for the size the charity group usually likes, but this is just how big it ended up being by the time I added borders.

I hope you like it.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Geometric scrap quilt

I saw this pattern on Pinterest and decided to make it with fabric that was donated to me by Bonnie Keller, as well as some fabrics from my stash and a lot of plain black.  The previous geometric quilt tops that had a similar look got me excited about doing one a little more complicated.

The one that I made used her yellow, yellow-green, and green fabrics.  I added some blue and turquoise and olive green fabrics from my stash.  I changed the pattern up a bit and made the squares really small.  As in 3" finished size.  This one was a real puzzle. (I love puzzles and geometry!)  I don't think I could have made it without a design wall. 

I first made a bunch of half square triangle pieces, pairing the like colors with each other; yellow with yellow; blue with blue, etc.  Starting with 4" squares and trimming to 3.5" after sewing and pressing.  I placed them up on the design wall.  When there was a layout that I liked, I cut 3.5" wide black strips, to place in-between the colored rows.  I really polished my ability to multiply by 3 (6, 9, 12, etc.) to cut the strips to length. After enough of the pieces were sewn together, I placed a black ribbon around the edges so that I could see when I needed to add or stop with the blocks.  Here's a picture of the quilt top after it was all sewn together.

I decided to go ahead and quilt this top with my sit down longarm, and used thread to match the fabrics.  The black was all quilted with straight lines 1/2" apart; the colors were done in stones and marbles.

It ended up being 70" x 58". It will be gifted to my brother-in-law and his wife after it is exhibited in the Clark County Quilters show in October. 

I hope you like it!