Welcome, everyone! Today is my day on the Autumn Abundance Blog Hop hosted by Bernie at Needle and Foot and sponsored by Paintbrush Studio Fabrics. (Be sure to read to the end--there's a giveaway.) Bernie had the idea for this blog hop way back in the summer and did all of the leg (finger?) work to make it happen. I'm so glad she did. Autumn is my favorite season, so I was eager to participate even though I was a little nervous about sewing on a timeline. I had a project in mind and was thrilled when one of the available fabric collections provided by Paintbrush Studio looked like a perfect fit for what I had in mind.
Be sure to check out the other bloggers in this Hop. Here's the schedule:
Monday October 24: Our Host, Bernie from Needle and Foot
Tuesday October 25: Hey, that's Me, and you're here!
Wednesday October 26: Mari from The Academic Quilter
Thursday October 27: Tish from Tish's Adventures in Wonderland
Friday October 28: Sandra from Musings of a Menopausal Melon--mmm! quilts
Here is the collection of prints I chose. It's called Into the Woods. The solid fabrics along the left side are from their Painter's Palette collection. I chose Rice Paper, Mist, and Azure to provide a pale contrast with the prints, and a dark brown called Expresso.
As you can see, most of the prints are what I think of as blenders or tone-on-tones. When I look back over my years of quilting, I can see that I have been most comfortable working with these types of prints. And the special thing about these particular prints is that most of them have an added sparkle of metallic gold in them--so festive for autumn. This collection was just what I needed for my small scale quilt.
Now I could hold you in suspense and slowly tell you about the process before showing my project, but I just can't do it. I have to show you now! (Then I'll tell how it came to be.)
The center block is a paper pieced Autumn Harvest pattern by Soma of Whims and Fancies that I won from her in a giveaway on her blog a while ago. I had a long-time plan to use it in a wallhanging--or really a door hanging for my front door. What I love about the pattern is how well it portrays what I love about Autumn--the abundance of everything: rich colors, lovely produce, beautiful skies, and the delicious tastes of the comfort foods we associate with autumn and cooler weather. I'm grateful to Soma for the opportunity to sew one of her delightful designs. Here are some of my pattern pieces with the colors labelled:
When I chose the solid colors, I wanted strong contrast with the prints--necessary so that the design stands out to passers-by. So instead of a bright, clear blue typical of the sky at this time of year, I chose the color of a more hazy sky when the weather is more balmy. We've actually had a lot of those skies lately. The Azure I chose is just right--and I was thrilled that it looked just as I expected it would.
The fields in our area at this time of year are generally not really colorful. Much of the corn has already been cut, and the soybeans have gone from yellow to dull brown. The produce is in the markets and numerous farm stands along country roads.
I tried various combinations of colors for the field.
But I wanted my fields to sing with color. So I chose the brighter orange print and the yellow to represent a fields of mums, much like the dig-your-own field a local garden center used to have. Using a solid brown for the fence helped it stand out more from the printed background.
I originally planned to use the orange/yellow/green leaf print and darker green for some of the hills, but I needed better contrast and scale.
So I chose the lighter green instead. The shadowy print and dusting of metallic gold suggests trees just beginning to change color. The dark blue of the farthest hill helped create some depth in the scene.
And did you see those pies? Yum! Pumpkin is our favorite. My husband bakes the best pumpkin pie using dark molasses. So of course I had to use the darker orange print for that slice on the windowsill. We also love apple pie. Our local high school swim team makes ready-to-bake pies as an autumn fundraiser, and we always buy them. With teenagers making pies, you never know how the crust will look. Some are a little clunky, but they are always delicious. One year, a math enthusiast used the pi symbol for the vents on top. Fun!The light brown fabric in the collection was the exact pie crust color! How neat is that?
I used Mist for the window frame, and finished the center block on August 30.
I was pretty pleased with myself. I was way ahead of schedule for this Blog Hop. Then disaster struck.
On September 1, I broke my shoulder in a fall from my bicycle, and on the 15th I had surgery to repair it. (That fall is now the reason I am meticulously using the word "autumn" in this post. Don't want any reminders of fall.) Recovery will be a long process. I thought I'd have to give up on the project and the Blog Hop. But eventually I figured out how to use technology and alternative sewing methods so that I could continue designing and finish the quilt top one-handed. Good thing I was making a tiny quilt!! You can read about what I did here and here.
First, I used my Quiltography app to plan strips of flying geese around the center block. I first heard about this program from Bernie, our host for this Hop. The program allowed me to even see how the fabrics would look. Here's how my final plan looked (with tan subbing for the center block):
I won't go into the process here. You can check out Bernie's post about it or check the Quiltography website. When I did the actual sewing I used the Azure, Rice Paper and Mist randomly to create sky with autumn clouds. I also spaced some of the geese out to represent the stragglers that you see overhead. (Maybe the flying geese design is supposed to represent whole Vs of geese. Oh well, mine are individuals.) We have an abundance of geese this time of year.
I used a free template from Quilter's cache to paper piece the flying geese using a variety of the fabrics in the collection. After sewing a strip of the lovely black larger-scale print from the fabric collection to my center block, I added the flying geese strips using partial seams at the corners where the strips met. Then I added a wider strip of the black print.
I still need to quilt this little gem. But I'd like to do it by machine, and my arm is not strong enough yet. I do know that I will bind it in the yellow fabric. I will be sure to show you when it's finished.
I am so happy with how this little quilt top turned out. The fabrics were easy to work with, and the colors and scale were exactly what I needed. I really enjoyed making decisions about where to place each fabric and how to make the most of the contrast.
Here are the finished measurements for the quilt if you'd like to try one yourself. Remember to add seam allowances where necessary.
Center block: 10 inches square
First border: 1 inch
Flying Geese Border: 2 inches wide by 14 inches long
Outer Border: 2 3/4 inches wide
Total size: 21 1/2 inches square
And now for the giveaway. I was really planning to make a couple of mini minis (mug rugs) with flying geese to give away, but that's just not possible right now due to my limitations and therapy schedule. So,
You might want to make your own autumn mini. And if you haven't paper pieced before, maybe you'll consider making some flying geese strips. I highly recommend them as a beginning project. You can make one continuous strip, and the piecing is repetitive with regular shapes--a very friendly first project.
*This Giveaway is now ended. Check out the next post for the winner.
Thanks again to Bernie for hosting this hop and to Paintbrush Studio for sponsoring. Be sure to check out their websites if you haven't already.
Okay. One more picture--
I'm linking up with Freemotion by the River and Sew Fresh Quilts for their linky parties this week. Buttons are on the sidebar to the right.
Have a beautiful week, and remember to hop on over to the other Autumn Abundance bloggers.