Saturday, March 26, 2011

Better late than never

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:

Civil War QAL #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:

Civil War QAL #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 appliqu├ęd 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!


Leanne said...

These are very good! I like your new fabrics!

Rebecca said...

I do, too! They're from here. The colours are all darker and richer in person than in the pictures there.

Eileen said...

My initial response was "Wow, look how well she thought out the seam allowances!" HA.

Anyway, I agree: very nice. I especially like the blue; if you end up with lots of leftovers, they could be a great summer blouse-type item.

Rebecca said...

YES. Some of the fabrics are a little too solemn to be a blouse I'd like, but that blue ripply one would be great. There are a couple of great lavender fabrics that I haven't gotten to yet but am now wishing were big enough pieces to turn into shirts.