Saturday, February 23, 2008

Yee-haw, Let's Square Dance!

In my last post, I promised more on the Square Dance quilts. The first quilt on that post was a baby quilt made using the Square Dance pattern from this book. (I used the original edition). I had looked at this book once, and wasn't too impressed, but after my sister showed me a little quilt she had made using the pattern, it totally intrigued me.
My quilt guild was doing a challenge using black, white and one other color of your choice. It was supposed to be small, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try out the pattern. I chose purple to go with the black and white. I made a square quilt, then re-read the challenge requirements only to find out the quilt couldn't be square! So, I added the prairie points to "un-square" it. I quilted it in funky spirals, which you can see on the close-up. This quilt is 19.25" x 20".

"Spring Pinwheels" (20" x 20") was for a class sample. I decided to base the color scheme on a season to try something different. This quilt has a lot of florals and pastels in it - unusual for me! This was a little more of a challenge due to the low contrast in the fabrics. I quilted in the ditch, then added buttons on some of the intersections for more interest and to help define the pinwheels better. Sorry it is still a little wrinkled - it just got unpacked to have its picture taken!

This next quilt (Autumn Pinwheels 24" x 21") was my demo piece in the class I taught. I used another season for the color choices in this quilt, and I think this was easier to work with. I also used mostly plaids, checks and stripes, just to see how well they worked with this pattern. I think they worked well!
The main lesson I learned with these little quilts was the importance of contrast - both in the choice of fabric and the placement of the colors. One of my students tried to use all 30's reproduction fabrics in her quilt, and there's no contrast with them. Another student achieved the needed contrast in her piece by using a fabric with a black background and flowers and then black as every other square. (essentially a checkerboard layout) That was very striking, and I'd still like to try that.
This last quilt (Picses Pinwheels 20" x 17") I used the border fabric as inspiration for my color choices. This quilt has quite a few of my hand-dyed fabrics in it. I over-dyed white-on-white prints, and I love the way they came out. I was going for a more "watery" look with this one, and I think it worked pretty well. I regret not doing a better job on the stripe placement in the border, but I remember I didn't have much fabric to work with. I think only a fat quarter.
I don't know that I'm "done" with working with this pattern. It still has possibilities that I'd like to explore. I learn something from every one that I've made.
I rotate my little quilts with the seasons, and I always like having these up. I've never gotten tired of looking at them. Maybe next time I'll try a bigger quilt!
I haven't made much physical progress on the quilt studio. I've been "shopping" on the internet, looking for storage for the fabrics and also sewing and cutting surfaces. I think I've found some that will work, and now have to plot out the floor plan, etc. I'm using this book to help me plan out what I'm doing. I have a pretty small room, and waaaayyy too much stuff, so want to maximize my usuable space.
As far as the little quilt I wanted to try that I mentioned at the end of my previous post, I am making progress, but I'm not ready to share it yet. I had to change the fusible I was using, so am basically starting over again. Maybe in a few days, I'll have something to share. Yeah, that's a little tease! *smile*


  1. Catching up on your posts! Wow, wonderful quilts. I'm loving the Fons and Porter's baby quilt. Great use of color in all your quilts! Good work. :o)

  2. Love the quilts, especially the purple one! I remember that challenge. I also have the book on planning your quilting space. I need to get a new floor in the last bedroom, then I can move into a little bigger room, but with lots more light. Like you, what I need is less stuff to put in the new space! Take care, Sharon.

  3. I like the way the striped border came out. It keeps your eyes moving around the piece. I've never done this pattern but I have always admired it.


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