I am jumping in to Barbara Brackman's 2011 Civil War Quiltalong, two and a half months late. I am armed with a rainbow of excellent reproduction fabrics (red yellow olive greyblue indigo violet lavender) and some exceptionally substantial muslin. There are many small pieces involved in this endeavour—each block is just 8"—so I am anticipating a certain amount of difficulty and frustration (and learning and growth and the triumph of achievement).
An extra-special bonus challenge I am setting for myself is to piece every block by hand. This is partly because I want to learn to do it and I want a lot of practice, and partly because I want at least one quilting project that is portable and quiet. The pace of the quiltalong is one block each week, so I'm hoping not to be too terribly overwhelmed, at least not once I've caught up.
Here is block #1:
(I told you I was late; the post with the block instructions is dated January 1!)
This block is sort of dynamic—a pinwheel inside a pinwheel!—so I picked a medium blue with lots of movement in it for the medium fabric. I think those tiny things in the dark fabric are supposed to be flower buds (though they look a bit like apples halved pole to pole).
And here is block #2:
I thought that this combination of fabrics looks a bit like a sunflower. The one in the centre is the lightest of my olives.
So far I am liking this muslin as an all-purpose generic background lightness. I was a bit worried that the rainbow would be too bright, or too busy; having a single solid thing common to all or most of the blocks is my emulsification strategy. We'll see if it works (and I hope that it does). My beginner's thoughts on hand piecing are that it is not as slow as I'd worried, and that it is actually pretty fun to draw lines on the backs of all my pieces before the sewing begins, and that it is a pretty great way to get very pointy points on the triangles.
Block #3 is seven tiny appliquéd stars, and I am not feeling up to that task this morning, though otherwise I intend to do a lot of making up for lost time this weekend. Onward to #4!