Something new

My good friend R had her birthday earlier this month, and I wanted to make her a little something as a memento. However, she is quite an amazing quilt artist, so I struggled to imagine what I could make her that she hadn’t already made herself, and probably done a better job of. Then it occurred to me that she is a traditional quilter… so I could make her something modern-inspired.

I came up with this little piece, which I called “Stormy Spring”. The leaf blocks are improv pieced using the cut-and-splice-in method. I took a square of the green leaf-patterned fabric, and made some improv branching cuts, then spliced in dark brown fabric to create the branches.

I almost messed up on the first leaf! I made the cuts, started piecing in the brown strips, then got a couple pieces turned around and couldn’t figure out how to put them back together again. Fortunately, I was able to use the print itself to decode what went where, and finally reassembled the block. Afterward, I was careful to piece the remaining blocks slowly and methodically! I used a pale blue background fabric, and then quilted in gusting lines with a blue thread, to represent the cool and sometimes rainy winds that bluster around in March and April.

R seemed pleased with it. I’m certain that she is more accustomed to giving away quilts than receiving them, so I hope she enjoyed being the recipient for a change, even though this was just a little piece.

Okay, off to finish the binding on my Values quilt!

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Candy Stix is finished!

Glad to have finally finished this one, about a year after I’d started it!

I put off the quilting of the piece forever, because I wasn’t sure what to do about the back of the quilt, and I didn’t know what sort of quilting would suit the design.

I finally decided to make the back of the quilt look like an oversized version of the blocks on the front – my husband’s idea, actually. I used some bright, cheerful Amy Butler prints, that I hoped would capture the whimsy of the scrappy piecing on the front. That solved the first problem. But how to quilt it?

I have been trying to thinking about having the quilting reflect the design of the quilt, to complement it, not just be a generic meander that holds it together.

I finally decided to do an off-kilter spiralling square, the middle of which is stitched to look like one of the blocks on the quilt front. I used a colourful variegated thread to try to pick up the bright colours in the scrappy candy-coloured bars… but I found that the colour really didn’t show much. Especially not on the front. I also discoverd that the spiralling square was tricky, particularly when I wanted to turn the corners. So the execution is imperfect.

But it was a good learning experience, and I had fun with it. And – I’m glad to be finished another UFO!