Thursday, February 19, 2009

Improvisational Quilts 2

Update - hand quilted and finished 2013
to see it - to here


Where do you get an idea from?

I had 2 bundles of fat quarters, a library book
- The Quilts of Gee's Bend and spotted a book
on my shelf by Jenny Beyer - Quiltmaking by Hand.
On pg. 7 Jenny says "...generations of quilters made do
with minimal supplies ... All it took was a needle and
thread, a thimble, a pair of sharp scissor, cardboard..."

Hmm, I thought about that for awhile.

The rotary cutter was created for quilters in 1979.
I wondered if I could manage to make a small quilt not
using a rotary cutter and piecing it by hand.

No ruler, just a large piece of cardboard and pencil
to draw my squares and strips.
I also wanted to experiment with colors - using colors
together that I never tried, instead of gravitating to my
old favorites. This was really a challenge for me. At
first I thought I couldn't stand to see certain colors next
to one another but I kept persisting.

I started by cutting out a square piece of fabric and
using that size as my template; I did the same for my strips.
Using my cardboard and pencil; I found that the sizes varied!
Part of the charm of some of the Gee's Bend is that not all of
the seams are perfect and the some fabrics don't match
- that to me adds to their beauty and uniqueness.

Surprisingly, it doesn't take long to hand sew all of the
pieces together. Using a running stitch; I made a couple of
squares in no time. I was tempted to draw a 1/4 " seam allowance
but I decided to just "wing" it. After all I don't want it to be perfect
- that's the point.

After all of my squares were sewn together; I have to
admit I couldn't stand it anymore and broke down
and got out my mat, cutter and ruler! I had to add the border
and I wanted it to be straight. You have to give credit to
the women who made quilts without these conveniences
that we have today.
I also wanted to add a piano like border - those were
cut with the rotary cutter BUT they were all hand sewn
also - 1 1/2" x 5" abt. 166 pieces! I must be nuts!

I'm very satisfied with the way it turned out.

Only I think it will be a long time before I hand piece another quilt top!