It's DONE. And done is good! Last fall our Guild suggested that members challenge themselves this year with something that is new to us and out of our usual "comfort zone". There were no other "rules" - the choice was our own and we could challenge ourselves however we wished - colour-wise, skill-wise, technique-wise, whatever... I decided I would work with an unusual (for me) colour and I would try a new technique. As often happens, I spent a long time trying to come up with an idea. Then I saw something on Pinterest that caught my eye. It was a small quilt called Primitive Pumpkins designed by Rita Briner, and it had been published in the Fall 2011 issue of Quilt Sampler. It took me a few months to track down a copy of that issue - thanks to my friend Sue W. of Bathurst who kindly offered to loan me her copy, and thanks also to my friend Donna C. for delivering it !!
If you know me at all, you probably know my least favourite color is orange, so I knew that this would be the colour I would work with. And I wanted to not only use orange, but to make something I actually liked which was predominantly orange. I also decided it would be scrappy - meaning I would use a number of orange fabrics- I used orange orange, yellow orange, gold orange, rusty orange, peachy orange, coppery orange, red orange.. and I must say, I was a little surprised to find so many oranges in my stash. (As you can see the pieces are small so I have not significantly reduced my oranges...) Gathering the blacks was quick and easy. The only fabrics I purchased were the mottled black and the brown print used through the middle and in the border, and the green for the vine.
I re-worked the design somewhat. The original design had the dark diagonal section off-centre, which also meant that there were more orange/black half square triangles on one side than the other. Call me anal, but this bothered my eye (apologies to Rita!) so I made the two sections even with the diagonal section centred. I also made the hst's smaller (2" instead of 3") and the borders narrower. The original design called for wool appliqué, and that was my plan until I had trouble locally sourcing the wools and time was growing short, so I decided to stick with cottons and do hand appliqué (which I have never done before, so also a personal challenge). I used the pattern for the pumpkins as given (original size) but felt the addition of some embroidered vines was needed. I stitched these in a variegated green cotton perle from Stef Francis - one of my favourite threads for embroidery.
I enjoyed piecing the base- nothing too difficult or taxing there. Of course I used Thangles for the hst's - my fav. method. Placing them to get a good balance of the varying oranges was easily accomplished on my design wall and stitching it up didn't take long. So far, so good! From this point on it was all "new territory"... Having never done hand appliqué before, I figured trying to quilt the piece after the appliqué was added would not be the easiest, and when no one replied to my question I posed on the blog here about why I shouldn't do it, I went ahead and quilted and bound the piece. (So all you hand appliqué experts out there- don't tell me now that I did it wrong!! lol) I backed it with a pretty fall print that I've had for a while.
So.. overall I'm happy with it. Despite all the orange, I DO like it, and even though my appliqué is not perfect, I am happy with it for a first effort. It measures 30.5" square.
This was a fun challenge for our group; 23 people took part, not a bad response. I liked the fact that there were not many "rules" - we could do whatever we wanted, as long as we challenged ourselves. And I think a little challenge now and then is a good thing...
Piece (and appliqué!)
"I like the challenge of trying different things and wondering whether it's going to work or whether I'm going to fall flat on my face." ~ Johnny Depp