Sunday, May 31, 2015
Bee Sewcial - May Block
There is my May Bee Sewcial block for Marci, who blogs at Marci Girl Designs - dense urban apartment dwellings. The block is about 13" by 26".
In Bee Sewcial the Queen Bee gives us an inspiration and a colour palette and the idea is that one will be inspired and work from that. We are to make two 12.5" blocks or an equivalent and Marci was fine with one big block. The only other limit is that the fabrics must be solids. Marci gave us a lot of inspiration, including a song (go here, it good), a pinboard, and said:
"I would like a quilt that will eventually look like a town scape, houses, rolling hills, trees just all kinda improv style and not a distinct house sitting on a background. So maybe a town that is viewed from a distance up in the air. Abstract. You can make a block with lots of little houses, you just shouldn't be able to see the fine details like windows and shutters. Or you could make rolling hills or streets, or funky little trees from a distance."
She encouraged us to sketch first and then work from the sketch, but not being tied to the sketch as we go. As others in the bee focused on houses and hills, I kept looking at the apartment towers I see on the way to work each day, and the idea that apartments are also all little boxes that all look the same solidified in my head. I seldom sketch quilt designs, but one day at my desk I made this one.
Luckily, Marci approved of the dense urban scene, as it is not quite in keeping with her instructions.
After thinking about the sketch for many days, I set to work yesterday. I worked without my ruler which felt very counter intuitive given that my block was all straight lines of buildings. Marci asked for bright colours, so I picked some really saturated and happy colours and here is where I started.
As is my usual process, I had very little plan as to how I might put this bloc together. I laid out some colours and started to think about having to make the parts behind the front buildings along with the buildings.
The biggest challenge was this spot. It was caused by the fact that I did not plan ahead and I made the centre building before I thought about how to put the buildings behind in place. Then I did not want to cut the main building to piece in those background bits. Today I will get out some matching threads and carefully add a couple of hand stitches to those green and red folded corners to finish them off.
I laid it out as I went. I think most every seam was sewn at least 2 if not 4 times, there was plenty of seam ripping required to get this the way I wanted. I'm not complaining, it was fun and a great learning experience. And it was liberating to ignore the rulers for the process too.
I love how this block turned out, and I'm sure Marci, who loves purple, would be living in that trendy purple high rise up front, or maybe the purple building up the hill in the background. I worry a little that this block might be a bit too representational than the original instructions that emphasized being abstract, but it is where the inspiration took me this time.
You can see some of the other blocks here at the Bee Sewcial flickr page or check us out on instagram at #beesewcial - this is a bee full of talented people.
Today I have an orange quilt to quilt, I hope that the day gives me time to do just that.