Sunday, September 29, 2013
Let's Talk Turkey
Here it is. Finally. These photos were taken late yesterday afternoon, in bright sunlight as the ones on the shaded side of the house were too dull. They're not 100% but will do for now as I was anxious to share this with you. I'll try some more on a bright but somewhat overcast day and see if I can get better color. (Why is red so darn hard to photograph??? Grrr) These photos just don't show the richness of the reds... And of course the breeze comes up just as you get set up, so it blows the bottom of the quilt, and there are a few shadows... but you get the idea, right?! It IS "straight and square", measuring 71" by 84".
Bonnie Hunter, so named as it is a variation of the traditional Turkey Tracks block. Bonnie (and I) like designs with a lot of piecing. And believe me, there IS a lot of piecing in this quilt and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. At first, my intention was to do just 12 blocks (for a lap size quilt). When I got the 12 done, I was having so much fun I just didn't want to stop so went to 20 blocks for five rows of four blocks. Now I almost wish I had gone "all the way" and done 30 blocks (six rows of five). Oh well.. next time... ha! I still have lots of red fabrics... perhaps more than what I started with? (I swear it breeds overnight.) There may very well be another "reds and lights" quilt in my future...
Bonnie first published this block in the Vol 5 issue of Quiltmakers 100 Blocks (Summer 2012). It was Block #471. When flipping through the magazine, this was the one that really caught my eye. Still not sure why, maybe because it looks like a traditional block but with a "new twist" with the string pieced triangles. So I started cutting.. and cutting.. (and more cutting.) The block is actually quite simple- made up of several basic units- a nine patch in the centre, 4 string-pieced triangles and then flying geese units plus 4 squares and 4 rectangles. Can you believe I had never done any string piecing before? It is so simple and SO much fun. You basically are just covering a (paper) base with random width strips ("strings") until the base is covered, then you remove the paper after squaring up to size. (Bonnie suggested using old phone book pages - they work great because they tear off so easily.) What a great way to use up leftover ends of strips, or other scraps, particularly small pieces.
blue this time.. no surprise.. After all, once I got going on these Turkey Tracks blocks, I had to buy Bonnie's book for the directions to finish the quilt, and once you buy the book, you have to make more than one quilt from it, to make it worthwhile, right?
String Fling - Scrappy, Happy and Loving It! contains instructions for 12 other scrappy quilts besides Talkin' Turkey. All use string-pieced units somewhere in their design. If you really enjoy lots of piecing, I would certainly recommend you try some of Bonnie's quilt designs, from String Fling or from her blog here. There are a number of free patterns available at the top of her blog page. Just click on "Free Patterns". If you are a regular reader of Bonnie's blog, you'll know that she does several Mystery Quilts per year as well (a new one coming up shortly) - these are great fun and very popular (and feature lots of piecing- consider yourself warned!). If you don't "know" Bonnie yet, check her out!
Back to my quilt. I think this is my "most successful" scrap quilt so far, as I managed to incorporate a good variety of fabrics - small, medium and large format prints as well as stripes, plaids, dots, paisleys, novelty prints, swirls, geometrics, batiks, hand dyeds, tone on tones... you name it, it's in there. I think I've used every possible shade of red too so that gives it a bit more "life". When it was time to add borders, I wasn't sure I wanted to do Bonnie's pieced flying geese border (lots more piecing!), but I am so happy now I chose to do it rather than just the piano key border I was considering. (Am I the only one who agonizes over these decisions?)
It was quilted by Mona Gagnon of Grand Falls, with a pattern called Feather Meandering. I really was not sure how I wanted it quilted so I took it to Mona as she does awesome custom quilting, but we agreed (as I expected) that the pattern was just too "busy" for a custom job- it really would not show up. We ended up choosing an allover design, and I am very happy with our choice. I was pleased to find the perfect red polka dot print for the binding at one of my local quilt shops, Country Crafts and Curtains. My backing is a cream tone on tone double wide cotton from one of my fav not-quite-so-local shops, The Covered Bridge Quiltery in Riverview.
So there you have it. Done. And done is good!
It's a beautiful sunny day. Time for me to get outside.
"Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory." ~ Mahatma Ghandi