Friday, January 1, 2016

New Project in the New Year

Earlier this year I saw a quilt pattern collection on a blog I was reading and I really liked it. I realized a week later that I was still thinking about it so I checked it out.

Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet designed the blocks for this collection, Farm Girl Vintage. Some of them are original. Some of them are tweaks of traditional patterns. All of them are done in a scrappy way. (Why use one green fabric when you can use five?)

I usually don't like sampler quilts, but something about this farm girl theme (I was a farm girl after all) and the sweet colours it was done in really appealed to me.

I decided to make this quilt in 2016 and my sister has decided to join me. There are 45 blocks and we are planning to do one each week. (You'll notice we've built in some leeway there!)

And, um, this is our quilt-along and our rules, so if I miss a week, I'm not going to sweat it and neither are you. And if I do two in one week because that's how things work out, then that's how things are going to work out. I suspect some weeks I'll show you some of the progress and some weeks I'll just show you the final block. (And some weeks I'll forget or neglect the posting but we'll all get there in the end.)

There are several arrangements and different projects in the book, but we are (mostly) making the quilt on the cover (shown above). It is done with 6" blocks but all of the patterns are written for 6" or 12". Both my sister and I are planning to do a few blocks in the 12" size and will worry about the layout later. The quilt is a little small so it could stand to be made larger. If the blocks don't work out to an exact rectangle, I can fill in with plain squares or can make duplicates of some of the designs (or put any extras on the back if it doesn't all fit on the front).

When my sister and I got together last week at our mom's, we shared what we each had put together so far. Here are some of the fabrics that she is using:
She is going for "muted" tones. Not really "forest" colours and not quite civil war reproduction colours, but in that direction. We also traded snips of a few fabrics that would work in each other's quilts.

I pulled out the fabrics I have collected to show her. I am going for a more 30s reproduction feel. Bright, light, happy prints in small designs and whatever I think may go with it. Here are the "lights":
 And mediums:
 And "darks":
I know some of the mediums could be lights and some of the darks could be mediums, but that is part of the "low-contrast" look I am going to try for. Yes, we're taught as quilters to use very high contrasting fabric so that all of the pieces show up very well.

I've noticed on some blogs I follow that one branch of the modern quilt movement is using low contrast fabrics and I really like some of the results. I won't go quite so far that the piecing disappears, but some of my blocks may be made with all "medium" fabrics. And some of my light background fabrics may blend a little with the foreground pieces. We'll see how it goes!

And since I have finished my first block, I can show you a sample! It is the Baking Day Block and in case it's not apparent, it is two mixing bowls and a spoon. I made this one in the 6" size.
I did quite a bit of seam ripping. I'm not such a precise piecer but I suspect I'll get a lot better if I work carefully through these blocks!

Besides admire each other's fabrics, my sister and I sat down with the book and picked the order we would make the blocks. We didn't want to follow the order in the book!! Of course not. It makes no real difference since we're going to do them all anyway, but it was fun to look through the book and think "Oh, I really like that one; we have to do it next." So we numbered the blocks and will work on the same blocks at the same time. If (When) I get pictures of my sister's blocks, I will add them to the bottom of the post.
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Kim's block:

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