Monday, September 29, 2014

Stretching my Boundaries

One of the best things that quilting offers is the "first". So many projects require a new skill that we have many firsts in our lives. After quilting for 14+ years, I had a first this summer. I belong to The Applique Society, aka TAS and our fearless leader Jan volunteered the Bellingham, WA chapters for the annual quilt giveaway.  Every year the organization has a chapter volunteer  to make a quilt top and it is given away to one member every year.  It started with a line drawing.

I've never worked from a plain line drawing with no pictures to refer to for color.  I've also not worked with applique blocks that are being done by 8 other people and have to all be cohesive in one top.  When I offered to help, I thought I could be the long arm quilter, but oh, no.  They look after all that at corporate level.  Great.  We had a group meeting and some people brought some fabrics to swap out, I got a green and a pink.  We all are using some of the green for some of the leaves.  I looked at this blank piece of navy fabric for about 6 weeks and was paralyzed. 

Then I saw a finished block and I really knew I was in trouble.  Way over my head!  Yikes, how could I even think that my block could be in the same quilt as Patty M.'s. That prompted me to fill a bag with fabric choices and bring them to our August meeting.  Throw out stacks of fabric and ask for opinions at a table full of quilters and just watch the inspiration and creativity start flowing. 

I'm left with a little bit of embroidery and French knots for the flowers on both sides of the basket.  I also shared some the purple metallic fabric that I used for the big Iris with another member.  Now my fear was what will it look like with some of the other blocks.  My guy told me the yellow stuck out, but I was sure someone else would be using yellow and explained the plan. 

Then I saw C.O.'s block at our Sept meeting and yes!, there was some yellow in her block.  She still has to add another flower that is going to be shades of pinks.
Here they are side by side.  I think mine will hold it's own in the completed top.  I'm thrilled that I signed up for this challenge and once I got going on it, things seemed to flow.  It was the start that I had issues with.
Here is a piece that C.O. was working on at our Sept meeting.  The prep work is for a Sue Spargo class being offered at Quilt Fest in La Conner, WA Oct. 3 - 5th. There are more flowers and a few birds to land on this luscious piece.  Don't you just love that lime green wool background.  I don't know if you can enlarge the picture, but C used a lovely batik for the stems.  At class she will start all the embellishing and learn some new tips and tricks.  I can't wait to see what she shows at our Oct meeting.

What have you done that has stretched your quilting boundaries in 2014?  Please share, you might inspire me to try something new in 2015.



Karen said...

The applique blocks are beautiful, yours included. Working with a group for a quilt can be challenging but in this case, the nudge and help from fellow members pushed you to something new and exciting and good.

Lori said...

I remember seeing the other ladies block when I was at Two Thimbles! I'm sure yours is as amazing as hers was. It looks fantastic!

Louise said...

Having seen both blocks I can only compliment you both.don't underestimate yourself Sharon your work is always lovely. Cheryl's work is always stunning!! Thank you for sharing the two blocks with us. If anyone is over their head in our TAS group it is most certainly myself.

Janet O. said...

You've done gorgeous work, and those two blocks together are stunning!