Back again, for part 4 of It’s All About Brown: Design as You Go. I haven’t progressed as much as I’d hoped on my brown quilt (Aren’t all quilters ambitious about how much they will be able to accomplish in a given period of time?). I am, however, very pleased with the direction I’m going. If you’ve read my previous blog posts you know that I’m taking an improvisational approach to the design. I have a general concept plan in mind, but I’m designing as I go, creating my own block patterns or leveraging parts of patterns from the Quiltmaker and McCall’s Quilting design libraries. I am also determined to incorporate solid brown fabric throughout the design, a color I have never chosen to use in my quilts.
I’ve finally sewed together the center applique flower section, the fencerow and corner trees that I talked about in Part 3. I shared a photo of my progress on the applique flowers on the left. I only added 6 flowers originally, thinking I would leave more brown space in the center. Because the flowers are randomly placed, I ended up with some odd spaces of brown background. So, I revisited the decision and decided to add more flowers to better fill the space, including partial flowers. Then, after studying the design this morning and gathering input from coworkers, I decided I’m going to add a few more flowers and finish the half flowers, even if some of the petals will be cut off by the fencerow. I’m thinking about adding embroidery of vines, by machine or hand, when I finish off the quilting.
I’m discovering improvisational quilt design comes with changes; it’s not just design-and-go. There can be a bit of re-work. If you compare my design with the one I shared in Part 3, you may have noticed that I changed the corner tree color placement. Instead of having a green corner patch at the base of the tree I changed it to brown to suggest it’s one of the fence posts. I also constructed the fence sections, adding a sky patch to each of the sections. With this approach, I had to carefully match the intersections of fabric to make sure the sky aligned from section to section. If I construct the fencerow again, I will simply cut one long strip to make the sky for each side. It pays to think ahead to carefully consider construction with improvisational design and quilt making.
My next step is to add a row of building and tree blocks, to surround the fencerows on all sides. I’m going to use these fabrics for the buildings.
I’m going to turn to a few existing patterns for these blocks. I will need to resize some of the patterns. I’ll talk about that in Part 5 of this blog series. I’ll borrow barn and schoolhouse blocks from the McCall’s Quilting America the Beautiful Quilt Along Pattern designed by Sherri Bain Driver and Joseph Garcia, former staff of McCall’s Quilting.
I’m going to borrow the house block patterns from the First Snow pattern; a Christmas quilt sampler designed Tina Curran.
And, I’ve pulled the fabrics shown below from my collection to use for the houses and other buildings. Of course, there will also be some brown, assorted greens and sky fabric used for the building row.
I can’t wait to see what the next row will look like when it’s joined to the center! Come back on November 3rd for Part 5 of It’s All About Brown: Design as You Go.
Before you go… we have selected a winner for the bundle giveaway announced in the last blog. Congratulations Shasta Matova! Check out Shasta’s blog site, highroadquilter.blogspot.com to learn more about her quilting.
Managing Editor, Quiltmaker