Friday, September 6, 2013

Cherish is the Word

American Patchwork and Quilting recently sponsored a Pinterest contest featuring their 20 favorite pillowcase patterns from the One Million Pillowcase Challenge. This pillowcase with a train appliqué received the most pins — and was the winner of the contest. Here’s a link to the pattern if you want to make your own version.

As one of the sponsors of the one million pillowcase challenge, Handi Quilter (where I work) was challenged to make our own version of the winning pillowcase. My main contribution was the polka dot fabric and cutting the appliqué pieces with the Accuquilt Go! fabric cutter.

Here's the Handi Quilter version of the pillowcase (which we quilted, of course).

That got me thinking about the quilt I made using that polka dot fabric. It's called Cherish is the Word and, like the other quilts in my book, there are three variations for the quilt. The polka dot version is the simplest of the three to make. I appliquéd each quadrant of the block onto a background square and then stitched them together like a four-patch.

The next version of Cherish had a couple changes. Besides the scalloped border, the appliqué piece in each quadrant of the block is appliquéd to a half-square triangle (giving the background of the block a little more interest). (I think this is my favorite variation of this quilt.)

But this quilt design started with the most complex version (which was much more involved). Hence the simpler versions above. This one used Amy Butler fabrics and has a more blended look -- which was my intent, but the extra detail kind of got lost because of the blended fabric choices.

Here's a close-up of one of the blocks (out of EQ7). As you can see below, there are small arc pieces on the two outside edges of the hourglass blocks.

I will probably make this version of the quilt again some day, but will use fabrics that better show off the details of the design. After all, if I'm going to go to all of that extra work, it better show up! Actually, looking at the block scaled larger like the quilt photos, it would be an interesting "big block" quilt featurong some large-print fabric. What d'ya think?

Have a great day -- and don't worry, be scrappy.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Latest Project

I was happy to be able to do some serious sewing on Labor Day. It had been ages since I'd spent more than an hour at a time in my studio.

So on Monday I was able to get about two thirds of the blocks done for a scrappy Ohio Star quilt, set with some alternate blocks in a unique setting. Then yesterday evening I was able to finish the rest of the blocks.

Here are the blocks laid out on my "design floor".

It always amazes me how looking at a photo always highlights where I need to make some changes. For example, the Ohio Star block at the far right of the 4th row needs a different center square that isn't so light in value. And the bottom-right star needs a center square with more contrast. But those will be easy fixes.

Next step is obviously sewing the blocks together to finish the quilt center, then gotta figure out what I'll do for the borders. I'm toying with a narrow red border (matching the 4-patches in the big "x") and then doing a pieced border that echoes the "x" as well.  I just need to make sure I have enough of the red and brown fabrics.

Have a great day!



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