Friday, September 7, 2012

Block 1 - no more sneaking around...the gradual reveal...



I am going to FINALLY share what I've been quietly working on for the past few months...even though this is a work in progress, I've been able to secure block copyrights and I've learned how to watermark photos (certainly am glad I married a computer geek...).  I'm still a little nervous about sharing it before it is all finished, but I may have a gray beard by the time I finish all the quilts I want to make with these blocks!  Also, the whole reason I started blogging was to share what I was working on!  It feels weird to be working so much "off line" and have nothing else to share on the blog.

In addition to studying chemistry in college, I studied music.  It has always bugged me that there were few quilts, quilt patterns, or block patterns that had anything to do with music.  Then, when I find one, often the music notation or instruments depicted are incorrectly/incompletely/poorly drafted.  Music notes with the "flags" (stems) drawn incorrectly is one one my big pet peeves!

With my love of music, applique, and Baltimore Album style quilts, I had a real head-slap sort of moment when I realized that I could combine the three elements and draft my own blocks.



 So, even though I'm not much of an artist, I've been drafting blocks and having the time of my life!  The name of the project is "Baltimore Rhapsody" (Teresa Rawson © 2012)



By definition, a rhapsody is "a composition in free form, particularly popular in the nineteenth century."  That's the perfect definition for what I am doing...these blocks are definitely free form and Baltimore album quilts were popular near this time in history.


I have a pile of drafted fifteen inch blocks (about 30 so far) that feature individual instruments combined with the traditional elements of Baltimore album quilts...flowers, fruits, veg, birds, animals, etc....PLUS introducing some non-traditional, more folk art elements (my journey of making and completing "The Civil War Bride" quilt encouraged me to be creative and think outside the box).


For those math-letes out there trying to figure out the dimensions of an album quilt consisting of 30 fifteen inch blocks, not to mention possible sashing and outer borders, you are right...that would be HUGE!  It is my hope that by having so many possibilities, one could choose favorite instrument block(s), and then set them (it) with the borders I'm drafting and come up with LOTS of possibilities for finished projects...either a one block wall hanging or quilts set 2 x 2, 2 x 3, 3 x 3, 3 x 4, 4 x 4...or whatever.


So now, I am madly making blocks!  The first sixteen that I am making have to do with the instruments of a symphony orchestra plus a couple of general music blocks (clarinet, flute, oboe, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, strings, harp, piano, timpani, G clef, F clef, conductor, notes).  Those 16 will be combined with sashing and outer appliqued borders to make a tradition-looking album quilt.  Since I love all kinds of music, I've also drafted blocks from instruments used in country, pop, folk, jazz, and church music (guitar, dulcimer, mandolin, banjo, handbells, less known woodwinds, string bass, cello, viola, antique metronome, organ, saxophones, opera singer, various percussion, general music symbols, etc.).  Smaller quilts I want to draft would be groupings of blocks...like woodwinds, brass, strings, percussion, instruments used in church (organ, handbells, etc.), and others.


Individual blocks could be worked into wall hangings as a gift for a person who plays a particular instrument.

Being a musician, I know musicians that I have wanted to make gifts for...these blocks are what I have yearned to find for my own use for a long time.  I figured that if I was going to the trouble of drafting them for my own use, maybe other music lovers would appreciate them as well.  In addition to the fruity, flowery 15-inch blocks, I am drafting just instruments, alone, larger, all different sized blocks (some guys...and gals...don't want all those fruits and flowers).  

In order to make instruments fit in 15 inch blocks, some are tiny, tiny!  Some instruments come in inconvenient sizes and shapes!  The larger sized blocks will be easier for both hand and machine applique.  I will make multiple settings that will incorporate pieced filler blocks and strips.   Then, I also have some drafts of music "scene" projects planned.  There is no end to where I want to go with all this!
  
Eventually, when I have good pictures of finished blocks, I want to self-publish them as full-sized pattern sheets, either individually or in small sets, along with different-sized appliqued border options.  That way people can pick and choose the one or few blocks they are interested in making.  (My nerdy husband is making me a web site to make this possible.)


Block one is a wreath-style invention made from "G clef" symbols, cone flowers and hyacinths.  I made it using the glue stick (turned-under edge) method of hand applique.  It can be made using any method of applique.  The G-clef is also known as the treble clef (tiny piano students know it as the "right hand" clef).

I'm very excited about this project and will show block 2 very soon.

In stitches (and finally out of the quilting closet),
Teresa  :o)

37 comments:

  1. What a wonderful idea and I love your G Clef block! I think you are onto something great. Of course, for me, there must be a block with a saxophone - that was my instrument. :D
    Thanks for sharing your progress and your ideas. Looking forward to seeing more.

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  2. Lovely lovely lovely! I am so envious that you are doing what I've always wanted to do and that is to make quilts from my imagination, not someone else's. And then, I buy a bunch of fabric, an expensive pattern, or a kit and feel like I need to use up what I have. You have given me inspiration to go out on my own. Your colors are delightful, your theme is (like you say) neglected in the quilt world. The first block is wonderful. You go girll!!!

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  3. I was blog hopping this morning. A thumbnail of the G-clef block flashed by my eyes... I went back for a look. Has to be Teresa's. Yes, it is! So you're letting people see it. Can't wait to see the whole quilt finished. It'll be another winner at a quilt show.

    Since we're not meeting this morning (as far as I know) I will work in the garden. I abandoned it when the weather got hot, and now I need a machete to reach the edible parts of the veggie garden. Oh well, it's bio-mass for the compost pile. ;-P

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  4. My mother will love these! She was a pianist and taught piano for many yrs. And an avid applique'r!

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  5. Brilliant and beautiful -- good for you! Jan

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  6. What an exciting project!!! It's gonna be gorgeous, of course. You don't make things any other way. Can't wait to see the progress. Congratulations!!!

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  7. Lovely! Thanks for sharing your creativity!

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  8. What an exciting project Teresa; and one you have really got your teeth into - I look forward to seeing more of your blocks.

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  9. Yeah, I am going to have to learn to appliqué.

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  10. I am so glad you finally revealed your project. Block 1 is beautiful! I love your idea, your colors and your fabrics and cannot wait to see the next one.

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  11. So looking forward to the pattern for this first block.....my grand daughter has the voice of an angel and sings in a local choir. She has just started playing the cello in middle school. I would love to make a wall hanging for her room with this block. Any idea when it will be available.......in time for Christmas?

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  12. Gorgeous. I may have to learn to like applique.

    "often the music notation or instruments depicted are incorrectly/incompletely/poorly drafted." My husband's complaint as well. That's why I included a piece of his own music in his music quilt.

    I can't wait to see more.

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  13. Love it! I agree- there aren't enough music pattern or music fabric out there! Keep going!

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  14. Oh, this is exciting. I'm so looking forward to seeing some more of your blocks! This glimpse promises something quite spectacular. And I love your idea of flexibility in your design.

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  15. What a unique idea! I love all the variations. Good luck with your new endeavour.

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  16. Very nice. I look forward to seeing more. I left music behind when I graduated from university. It might be fun to make a quilt with all the instruments I used to play. That would be piano, all the clarinets, bass and tenor sax, flute, bassoon, guitar. I'm a member of the Baltimore Applique Society so a Baltimore music quilt couldn't be more appropriate. Wishing you the best for your endeavor.

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  17. I always like the blocks you added / modified in your Civil War Brides Quilt - especially the trumpet musical themed block and I'm sure your new designs will be equally as lovely!!!! Can't wait to see the project unfold :)

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  18. Teresa,
    again, your talent and great work blow me away. I am looking forward to seeing your other music blocks. Looks like the beginning of a great quilting book! Can't wait to see the web page your DH is doing for you.
    I always look to your blog for inspiration!
    hugs from South Louisiana
    beebee

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  19. Teresa this is beautiful. Wonderful idea to work your love of music into it. I am going to enjoy watching for your posts and following your progress.
    This is going to be fun!
    Happy Stitching,
    Cheri

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  20. Wonderful!! I agree with the music notations being depicted wrong. Looking forward to what patterns you offer. I am sure they will be fabulous.

    Judy

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  21. Wow! I made a banjo block for my son's banjo teacher and I used silver metallic threat to sew in the strings. I used my son's banjo as a model but I would just love to see your instrument blocks.
    April

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  22. Amazing! Wow! Beautiful!! How fun to work on such a personal project all of your own design!!

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  23. I know my local quilt shop used to stock all the music type fabrics they could get in--because there are a lot of music lovers/musicians who love quilts. It was hard to make up designs though, because the fabrics were produced by different companies & didn't have the same colors/styles/shapes to the motifs on the fabric. This should be a big hit with that group. To be able to make someone's instrument will also be great--really personal. Glad you have a sweet husband, who is willing to set up everything on a website for you--a rare gift in this world!!

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  24. I'm so happy for you that you thought of combining all those things in your life that you love! Must give a real sense of accomplishment!

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  25. Love your "head slap" remark --happy that you've found a way to incorporate so many elements of your life into something that is obviously bringing you joy. And here's to 'nerdy husbands' who help us realize our dreams!

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  26. That is amazing. You are so talented. Love your designs. Can't wait for the patterns to become available.

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  27. Very exciting. I'm anxious to see more blocks.

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  28. Oh, my goodness! Teresa, I have just seen these three blocks. YOur attention to detail is phenomenal! Congrats on a fabulous creation. can't wait to see the rest.

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  29. Un trabajo precioso! yo estudié química y mi hija estudia música, sería una colcha perfecta para ella.
    Felicidades!

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  30. So maybe I won't show my husband.....this would make a wonderful gift for him. I will now follow your blog & watch as your designs unfold. Will you be selling this pattern?

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  31. I love it. I started looking at block 3-Trumpet. I too am trying to get te blog thing working in my life. I love how flowing your vines and flowers are. Great idea for a baltimore style quilt. Thank you for showing in progress pictures.

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  32. What a wonderful collection of quilt blocks we have to look forward to. I love your idea of more musically inclined blocks for the music lovers out there. Hope you start publishing sooner rather than later. The world is waiting to make you a star or familiar name at the major shows!! I'm happy for you and wish you much success.

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  33. What a wonderful and inspired project! Having seen your previous work, I know this one will be wonderful. Perhaps the blocks, once drafted, can be reduced on a copier to make smaller blocks for a full quilt.

    However you approach it, start writing your manuscript as well, this one is ripe for a book proposal! Good luck and have fun!

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  34. Teresa, These blocks are absolutely wonderful. I love the latest one. I have a question--what type of applique do you prefer and why. I am in a challenge group and we are doing a flower block and I can't decide which method would be best to try. We are all doing the same block, but different fabrics, techniques, and embellishments. Thanks for your advice. I really love your work and maybe if Applique agrees with me, I'll be able to do some of your blocks when you get them published. I am so slow though, it may be in my next lifetime.!!

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  35. Wonderful project and worthy subject matter! I agree that there are few patterns out there featuring music motifs and your's is a winner--just wonderful. You will be very successful in marketing this pattern, I guarantee it! Bravo!

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  36. By the way, your conductor reminds me of my conductor husband, except that he doesn't wear it long like that, but it was same chestnut colored hair until just recently. Now he's the silver-haired conductor you mentioned in your explanation. He better not catch the eye of his female players, though, he's very taken and has been for 32 years!

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