I am still pondering how to proceed with an interrupted block swap that I have been doing with my friends, Ola and Mary. They are awesome piecers and I was assigned to do the applique blocks. I guess they did not want pieced blocks with cut off points, etc.
I have them on my design wall. For the first few swaps, I used 6-inch applique block designs by Lori Smith for my offerings. Then I tried drafting my own.
I love the pieced blocks thus far, but with my parents' accident and the move to Alabama, the swap seems interrupted and probably finished.
I really enjoyed coming up with the applique designs, then making three of them.
1) Remember I had a block published a Quiltmaker 100 Blocks magazine in the last year or so? I was thinking about doing that block in repro fabrics (here's the version that was in the magazine...lots of bright yellow, pink, red and orange). Definitely NOT reproduction fabrics...
This block is in the possession of Quiltmaker Magazine...I wonder what they do with all of them? Maybe they make a quilt from the 100 blocks for each edition of the magazine (this block was in Edition #10), set 10 x 10 blocks. They wanted us to sign the blocks...they must have had something in mind.
Wait a minute! I think I prepped one of these blocks in repro fabrics that I never stitched down. I took a picture...now where did I tuck the actual block during the move...hmm...
I remember putting it somewhere "safe." That means I won't find it for a while.
It is a little Christmas-y looking in the red and green...I may prep another one, which may be easier than finding the missing block...I KNOW where to find the pattern sketch.
2) I was thinking of drafting something antique-looking, maybe a little Phoebe-ish. This is the center of a Phoebe quilt, if you aren't familiar with it.
Something like that would be very pastoral and traditional...
3) I have some sketches I drew of our family when I was working on my "Civil War Bride" quilt. I ended up replacing 10 of the 20 blocks from Corliss Searcy's pattern to make the quilt more my own. I used this family "portrait" block in that quilt. But there are others...
4) And then there is this block I drew of a flower vase...it doesn't have a lot of personality, but it might fit the bill. I have been prepping the flower motifs to stitch together before stitching it to the background (so I can cut the background away later, if I choose).
The larger rose blossom is almost as big as one entire little 6-inch block that I've been working on recently. This block will finish about 16 inches, so, as Bernie says, it seems YUGE! (as compared to my recent output...)
It is a real challenge to make anything more complicated than folk art pictures with reproduction fabrics. The designs are distracting, most have a design that is too large-scale for subtle shading and little pieces, and the colors seem dull and lifeless.
I messed around for two hours before deciding on the fabrics for this 15-piece rose (plus the six leaves)! Thank goodness I had true reds, dark reds, orange reds, pinkish reds, and brick reds in my stash.
It is unfortunate to spend time drawing a complicated rose only to have the fabric choices all "read" as the same red and just make the whole thing look like a big red blob!
Maybe that is why so many intricate, antique red/green applique quilts have fairly simple flower blossoms. They had so few fabric choices 'back then' to distinguish each flower petal...so why bother?
I think I am leaning toward this block. At any rate, I will make it then put it all up on a design wall and ponder the results. I will be in and out for a few days, so I hope to get it all glue-basted to the background today or tonight.
I have a few more LITTLE TREASURES 6-inch blocks glue-basted and ready for some serious hand-applique stitching time (and embroidery stitching) as well...
Thank you for your hugs and prayers this week...I felt every one!