A Quilt Mash-Up

We’ve had lots of lovely rainy days in Chicagoland and it’s perfect for working indoors. One project that I am still piecing is the streak of lightning quilt. I am planning for this section to be on the center of the bed and to be a background. My plan is to come up with a design to machine appliqué on the top.

Until I started watching Glee, I didn’t know what a mash-up was! Now it seems that I hear them everywhere. I’m not all that musical and so I am intrigued by how people find songs that will work together in an interesting way. But here’s an idea I thought of recently for a quilt mash-up. Several years ago I had the pleasure of taking a 5 day workshop with the very wonderful Philippa Naylor at Nancy Crow’s Barn Studio. It was a machine appliqué class and I enjoyed it immensely. We each designed our own quilt, and every day Philippa gave us lessons on a variety of machine appliqué techniques, as well as sharing her amazing quilting skills. I did some drawings and then I started cutting out some shapes and moving them around on fabric. I chose this wonderful, splotchy hand dyed fabric and brought some of my own hand dyed fabrics that I thought I might use. You can see how the paper pieces gave me a good idea of the scale and placement.

We were a small class and when Philippa wasn’t directly working with us, she was preparing samples for the next demo or noodling around. Here is her version of the leaves I was working on. I like the idea of putting a vine over the leaves – it kills two birds with one stone since the vein is taken care of as well.

Long story, but I was having an off week and didn’t get a whole lot done. Here is the piece before I packed it up to drive home. You can also look at the header on my blog to see a close up of the leaves and berries that I designed.

I liked the design a lot, but when I got home and put it up on my design wall, I realized that I had bitten off more than I could chew. There is a lot of blank space which Philippa encouraged me to fill with intricate quilting and her great trapunto technique, and she even drew some ideas for me. The more I looked at it the more I thought that wasn’t going to happen; my quilting isn’t up to that. But I liked the design elements so I ripped all the basted leaves and both hearts off of the fabric. They have been pinned on my design wall ever since. And when I started the streak of lightning, I looked over at them and thought – this can be a quilt mash-up.

So, next I need to figure out the actual design!

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