Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"Granddaughters' Flower Garden"

"New from Old", the theme for this year's Alliance for American Quilts contest, lends itself to so many interesting interpretations.
Three of my fellow bloggers are already at work on their entries, and you can see them here:

--Barbara Curiel's embellished Madonna on a vintage textile is already so beautiful.

--Amy Munson is again beading a wonderful piece (her "Crazy for Beads" won an Honorable Mention last year and is featured in the April/May 2010 issue of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine)

--Gerry Kreuger is creating a fascinating piece linking her grandmother and her granddaughter.
At the bottom of the link given to Gerry's blog here are links to her other posts about her contest entry.

If there are more of you participating in "New from Old" and blogging about it, do please let me know!

The connection between my cousin Tracy and me to our mutual grandmother has formed the basis of my own contest piece. I am combining some 1930's "Grandmother's Flower Garden" blocks with a beautiful watercolor sketch that Tracy made especially for this quilt. It is her rendition of our grandma's house, a place we met every Sunday for family get-togethers when we were children.

Here is her painting transferred to EQ printable cotton lawn and I am squaring it up.

I've learned that transferred images just mysteriously will stretch or distort while I work with them. So immediately I interface them now.

I've also learned that having images like this in the center of a quilt requires that they have a little extra batting behind them. I really don't know why. At this point I just add the batting before I even sew the transferred fabric image onto my quilt.

Placing the batting inside of the folded under seams means they won't show through the image on the front, too.

In this picture I am just laying out the background fabrics beneath the hexagonal border blocks. The printed image will go on after the background is sewn down with a machine zigzag in clear thread.

To sew on the border blocks, I decided a nice machine buttonhole stitch would do the trick. Plus, I wanted to try out the new 30/wt. Aurofil cotton thread I just got to see how it would do in this application.
Well, it is WONDERFUL thread, substantial but not too heavy, smooth and yummy with no lint. I'm a convert! In the above picture I was figuring out which size stitch to use. Once I did, I sewed down all those blocks.

Fast forward.....

A granddaughter's flower garden would not be complete without a whole bunch of embellished flowers, now, would it?
I don't know how much these border blocks are even going to show by the time this is finished; I expect there will be many, many blooms all over them. Lots of "gardening" is ahead for me from here....


Summerset said...

Beautiful. I love how you overlapped the pieced motifs rather than interlocking them as if piecing a regular quilt. They make such a great frame that way.

Susan Elliott said...

It's looking great Allie! I loved how you used the old buttonhole stitch and used it in a new way by sewing it on your machine. And Tracy's painting looks great as the centerpiece -- thanks for the nifty tip about putting the batting in before so it doesn't show up in the seam...your blog is SO worth the price we pay for it!

Gerry Krueger said...

Good morning Allie... I was just going to ask you if you knew of any other bloggers doing an entry... I hope more respond and I will add these to my site also.. Love the watercolor of the house... it's a grandmother thing..... I ordered some of the CQ printable the same day I ordered the ribbon punch. I can hardly afford your site... Hugs Gerry K.

Kay said...

Lots of interesting things here! I'm glad to hear the batting idea. I always interface the photo images too. Inquiring minds want to know: why did you use lawn for this instead of the poplin? How big are those gfg blocks? They must be tiny to keep this piece in the 16 inch limit.

Possibilities, Etc. said...

What a beautiful thing this is and will be - both for the eyes and for the spirit!

allie aller said...

Kay, I used the Lawn because not only is that what I had on hand, but because it is reliably fabulous for getting a great print.
The gfg blocks are roughly 5" square.

Thanks for asking!

Jane said...

I love all your pieces where you've used a house as your focal.. I'm sure this one will be no exception. Tracy's painting is so sweetly detailed... how special to be able to collaborate both your memories this way

meg cox said...

Once again you leave me breathless. This is just stunning, and so packed with meaning as well as beauty. The only question that I have, is how can you bear to let it go? Thanks for helping promote the contest again!!!

Unknown said...

Lovely, Allie.

Barbara C said...

What a great use for your vintage blocks. It makes it special that your cousin contributed the artwork of your grandmother's house.

Thanks for linking to my blog.

Amy Munson said...

Looking great, love how you used the vintage blocks.
And I was thinking the same thing how great it would be to start a list of AAQ New from Old bloggers. So much fun to see works in progress and the finished result.

Deb Hardman said...

Wow Allie! It is stunning!