Saturday, October 12, 2013

31 Days - Day 12: Stormy weather

Considering that this particular wall quilt was thrown together out of scrap fabric and tiny paper pieced orphan blocks from a class, it turned out quite nicely. It's also one of the wall quilts that were made for me, rather than as a gift.

There's a bit of a story behind why I took the class (paper piecing is a bit too fussy for me, even though some of the finished blocks are darling), but first the quilt.

Wisconsin weather - if you don't like it, wait a day or two
and it will change (often dramatically!)
Year: Around 2004-05
Size: 36 x 36
Pattern: Paper pieced barns as the center of a log cabin block, set 3 x 3
Fabrics: 100% cotton scraps from my stash and scrap bin
Quilting: Freehand machine quilted, each block representing a different type of weather/nature

Back in 1997, I finally caved and signed up for a machine quilting class. While I had dabbled in a bit of it, I wanted to gain proficiency and increase my library of patterns.

Not to mention I wanted to finish more than one quilt every six months or so.

The teacher for the class not only taught quilting, but had been an engineer before she started teaching full time. That particular combination turned out to be magic for me.

She led us through increasingly complex motifs, clearly explaining not only the moves, but the reasons things were done the way they were. She broke down her rationale for choosing quilting designs on the dozen or so quilts she brought along. In other words, her own background and teaching methods meshed perfectly with my own accountant/creative quilter learning needs.

That's why, when she returned to the shop to teach a paper piecing class several years later, I signed up for the class; what better way to show my appreciation than making sure her class was full?

During the class, I managed to piece five of the small barns. When I finally picked up the project again, I had a quilt rack hung in the kitchen for which I  needed another small wall quilt. Only four more blocks were needed to finish this in the right size.

It's the quilting that sets this little quilt apart. What do you with log cabin blocks other than quilt in the ditch? The center square (the pieced barn) is only 3" square; there isn't enough room there to do any fancy quilting.

Tornado on the farm
In the end, I settled on weather. Each block depicts a different type of weather, including, as you see here, a tornado. No real planning went into it, I just put the quilt under the needle and started.

One block shows a driving rain storm. Another shows a sunny day, but the barn is covered in kudzu. In another, corn reaches for a blazing July sun.

I would show some of the other blocks, but for the life of me, I can't find the quilt. Never fear, it is in the house; I think it may be one of the layers still swaddling the fine china in the two dish boxes I've yet to unpack. (I have nowhere to go with the fine china; the old place had the typical Milwaukee bungalow built in buffet and china cabinets, the new place has none. I'm getting closer to buying a new dining room set, which will include a hutch capable of holding the china. Then, I'm sure, the quilt will show up.)

1 comment:

melissa said...

Those details are what make this one so magical. :