stuff and things

06 September 2010

Design Wall Monday

Eccliastes 3 reminds me that: "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."

I guess that means there's a time to make more subdued quilts after flaming, "grab your sunglasses" quilts like Tropical Sundance. But following on Sundance's tail, my next UFO to finish, "Morning After the Storm," seems so ... plain.
Morning After the Storm, 2010, in progress, Tina Rathbone
This traditional quilt pattern, called "Storm at Sea," is one of my faves. I've always loved the way the squares and diagonals link to give a sense of circles within circles, and even hearts — adding motion that probably inspired the "storm" in the name. Can't see the circles? Squint.

Three years ago, the members of my Wednesday group, the Brownie Troop, voted that each member would pick her dream quilt and the other members would make blocks for it. Much hilarity and delight ensued as we added more blocks for each quilt with every new meeting. I chose paper-piecing as Morning's construction method, because accuracy is important for this particular quilt, and it is said that no two quilters have the same idea of a quarter-inch seam allowance. I found a free pattern on the Internet; after photo-copying the three main blocks I passed them out to my fellow Brownies, along with a sheet specifying the fabric "mood" (sea-life) and also the values (placement of lights and darks).
"Mysterious Sea Creature" trapunto design
When all was assembled and it was time to quilt, I chose to add trapunto, a stuffing-within-a design technique harkening back to the Italian Renaissance. I took advantage of an ingenious, quicker method developed by author and designer Hari Walner, using water-soluble thread and double layers of batting.
I know the quilt was already pretty busy before I added the trapunto but I wanted to try this out, so I drew up four basic designs: "Mysterious Sea Creature," "Clam," "Seaweed," and "Sand Dollar." A few blocks still remain to be quilted around the raised, stuffed portions, using a fine (#100) silk thread, and a tiny (#60 sharp) needle to enhance the dimensionality.
"Sand Dollar" stuffed trapunto design
Now that it's back on the design wall, I'm thinking of doing an extreme paper-pieced border, showing sunrises all around the quilt. In keeping with the "Morning After the Storm" theme. Stay tuned, and please, comment with your feedback.