Thursday, November 12, 2009

Work-in-Progress on Wet Windy Day

Gone are the golden, balmy autumn days with clear blue skies...thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Ida, the trees are blowing, the wind chimes are clanging, and we have had buckets of rain the past few days.

I have taken advantage of the rainy weather to unearth one of my oldest UFO's- that's UnFinished Object for you non-quilters. I won thirteen of these nine-patch flowers in a Block Party drawing at Capital Quilters Guild, probably back in the late eighties or early nineties.
They are ten-inch squares. I always thought the flowers did not look right in proportion to the stem and leaves. The fabric in the block above was out-dated even when I won the blocks, but at the time I thought most of the others had beautiful new fabric unlike any I owned. But now, they all looked a little tired and sad. Wouldn't you be if you had been stowed away in a closet for fifteen or twenty years?

One of my favorite ways to perk up a boring quilt is to add a crisp black and white print. So, I started out adding "coping strips" to the flower blocks in black prints and batiks. Then I tried them out against a Moda floral print called Seaside Rose, which I have gobs of for some reason. (I think I was planning to make Dave and Emily's wedding quilt using these fabrics until she requested an all-white quilt...thus I have about ten yard of this floral, which I am still fond of!) The print echoes the color scheme of the blocks, which all include a yellow center and some sort of pinkish-purplish flower.

What is a "coping strip" you ask? When you get blocks made by many people, the chances of them all being exactly the right size are slim indeed. Coping strips help you even up the block sizes and tie together all the color combinations.

That looked okay, but I thought it needed some additional patchwork. I added a second coping strip next to the black, using new perky and whimsical fabric in more vivid colors than the original fabrics.
Now the blocks were getting more interesting and updated, but they still needed something to tie them together. I strip-pieced a variety of green fabrics, mostly botanical and of varying hues and values. Then I cut the strips into sashings the same width as the flower blocks. Here they are pinned to the design wall.

I needed a way to tie the black coping strips in with the quilt, so I added corner posts of black fabric. There were so many square and linear shapes in this quilt, that I looked for circular and floral shapes in my black and white fabrics and fussy-cut these for the posts. You should see my poor Mark Lipinski circular print- it looks like Swiss cheese!
Anyway, I like the updated look of these old blocks, and will try to finish the top today. Rainy days are good sewing days!


Cathie said...

Yes indeed they are!! ("rainy days are good sewing days..")
Enjoy working on your ufo. Today - I'm trying to teach myself how to knit !@*#$&!#@$&!@#$& socks!!

Vicki W said...

What a great day for a sewing day! It's still pouring here too but my brother in Chesapeake is getting it much worse than we are!