Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Spin Cycle - wall quilt

Spin Cycle  (43" X 60")
 Work began on this original design approximately 15 years ago.  Several leftover pieced Dresden Plate circles from a previous project were just begging to be used.  The Dresden Plate is a 'wheel' pattern, also called Aster or The China Aster.  This one in particular has 16 points or petals, each a different fabric.  Most of the print fabrics are Aunt Grace 1930's replica fabrics, which were popular at the time.

Some times I make use of graph paper to design a quilt, which is the case here.  I focused on a floral theme so I chose a white on white fabric with flowers and watering cans on it.  Construction began with hand appliqueing the 17 circles onto background squares then adding the centers.  Typically the plate centers would be flat, but I stitched circles into yo-yo's using solid colored hand dyed fabric to create a 3-D center for my flowers.  The same dyed fabric is also used for the border triangles.

Once all the flowers were in place I positioned the entire layout on my design wall before I started machine piecing the white and solid colored fabrics into one background unit.  For all you non-quilters, piecing a block is a step by step approach, sewing small units into bigger units until the block is completed.  Piecing a quilt top is the same approach on a larger scale - block units to block units until the top is complete.  Of course this is an over simplified explanation, but as with most construction regardless of materials used, it is one step at a time, in a logical order, building (expanding) as you progress.  Click on the photo detail to see if you can identify the seam connections.

 Originally my design drawing depicted vines and leaves connecting the flowers.  After re-prioritizing my studio interests and goals, I decided to forgo the additional applique.  Last Fall I tore through my studio, pulling out all the tops that needed to graduate into finished quilts so I could enjoy them in my lifetime!  What a fabulous incentive to use up larger pieces of fabric in my stash for backings.  I even resorted to piecing batting as needed for a few quilt tops.  Here's a tip for you quilters:  a finished quilt takes up less space in your studio than an unfinished top with all the goods to "get 'r done"!  : )

Then I applied reality to the whole scenario --- all these quilt tops and so little ambition...  I better hire out some help.  I can manage the smaller projects but machine quilting the big stuff only frustrates me and tenses my shoulders and neck beyond my pain threshold.  Kathy Harte machine quilted this little gem for me before she moved to Texas last month.  I put the binding on last night.  I chose the title Spin Cycle because it reminds me of spinning plates, wheels, carousels, clothes in the washing machine.  I just thought it was a cute name.  No real meaning, but fun.  My other choice was "Kiss my Asters" but I thought that might be too offensive on the Guild Quilt Show Program.  : )

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