Friday, March 28, 2014

It's Been a Long Winter

I think we can all agree that IT’S BEEN A LONG WINTER.  At the end of another long winter, I was so starved for color that I gravitated to bright colored fabrics.  The start of this quilt was a block swap among a group of internet quilters.  The requirements were to make Cake Stand blocks using black for the background and bright batiks for the baskets.  After I received the blocks, they languished in my UFO pile for a while. 

 Then I had a customer bring me a quilt top to hand quilt for her (I don’t hand quilt any more, by the way) and as I sat there for several hours a day looking at the lovely hand dyed fabrics and the urn with flowers design, ideas began to percolate for my Cake Stand blocks.  I knew that I didn’t have enough blocks to make a large quilt without adding more, and I wanted something a little “more”.  So I started playing around with layouts, and finally decided to place an urn full of flowers in the center of the pieced blocks.

Now I’m not a dedicated applique person, and for the most part have avoided it, but as with anything, the more you do it, the more comfortable you become with it.  It was really fun to design some different flowers for my bouquet, and I even played around with some 3-dimensional effects for some of them.  

At the time I made this quilt, I was also doing a lot of backart, so I couldn’t just go with a plain piece of fabric on the back.  New York Beauty quilts were pretty popular then, so being inspired by that, I put a large New York Beauty block on back, with the added bonus of shopping from my stash and using up smaller pieces of fabric.  No need for a visit to the quilt shop.


The quilting was done on my Janome 6500 with Superior Threads Rainbow thread in a random, “make it up as you go” filler design around the applique, and a 1/2" grid over the pieced blocks.

The binding has a flat piping added to bring another spark of color to the edge of the quilt.  By the time I had it finished, spring had arrived.  I titled the quilt “It’s Been a Long Winter” as that is how I spent part of the winter, bringing some color into an otherwise white world.
How do you beat the “winter blues” with your quilting?