Columbus Cityscape Block of the Month: Thurber House

At one time Thurber House was home to author and cartoonist James Thurber, and it is now a prominent literary center in the city of Columbus.  Throughout the year, the center brings authors to the city and offers workshops to encourage the art of writing in community members of all ages.  There are rumors that this house is haunted, so it is a perfect choice for October!

The angles and details of this building are fabulous.  I wish that I could have included all the details, but to do that this block would have to be enormous.  The smallest details of this block finish at 1/8″ wide.

This pattern is available from Dabble and Stitch in Columbus, Ohio.  If you have already purchased the pattern, you can access the extra templates here.  You will need the password included in the pattern instructions to access this page.

I will be demonstrating the construction of a portion of this block Sunday, October 14th at 1pm at Dabble and Stitch.

Columbus Cityscape Block of the Month: History Center

The Ohio History Connection is situated between the Ohio State Fairgrounds and a heavily trafficked section of interstate.  This positioning has made the building a significant landmark in the city of Columbus.

The main building appears to rise up from the surrounding landscape and forms a wonderfully symmetrical building with a strong visual perspective.

I have been having fun selecting a few specialty fabrics for some of the buildings, and the banner on the history center was a perfect opportunity for some fussy cutting.  The banner on the building has an image of a mastodon skeleton, but mastodon fabric is really hard to come by, so we took some artistic liberty and substituted some really cute dinosaur fabric instead.  At least they are both (unfortunately) extinct!

This pattern is available from Dabble and Stitch in Columbus, Ohio.  If you have already purchased the pattern, you can access the extra templates here.  You will need the password included in the pattern instructions to access this page.

I will be doing a demonstration of a portion of this block at Dabble and Stitch tomorrow, Sunday, September 2 at 1pm!

Columbus Cityscape Block of the Month: State Fair

The Ohio State Fair has been a tradition since 1850, and it continues to be a favorite summer destination for Ohio families to both learn and have fun.  County and State Fairs have always honored the makers in their communities, which makes the inclusion of the fair in this quilt particularly appropriate.  The fair runs for a week and a half from the end of July to through the beginning of August, so I knew that the fair block would be perfect for August.

State Fair Block for blog

The Ohio State Fair has taken place in the same location since 1886, and the buildings that comprise the fairgrounds have been constructed throughout the years since then.  The architecture has evolved to meet the needs of each department, so the overall look of the fairgrounds is quite eclectic.

I chose to focus on the Poultry and Rabbit Pavilion for two main reasons:

  1. The architecture of the building is one of the most distinctive on the fairgrounds, and
  2. I raised chickens in 4-H, so I always spend an inordinate amount of time visiting the poultry barns at every fair I attend.

I have noticed that I am drawn to buildings with green trim, so this was right up my alley!

Poultry Pavillion

The occupants of the pavilion are usually quite interested in their visitors.  This pullet (female chicken born in the same year) was particularly social.

Chicken 2

The feather patterns on these birds are stunning!

Chicken 3

Did you know that the color egg a chicken lays corresponds to the color of its earlobe, not the color of its feathers?  I didn’t know this until I raised egg layers for the first time, and got a gorgeous brown egg from my snowy white flock of chickens!

Chicken 1

I will refrain from showing you the dozens of other chicken photos I have taken this year, but I’m starting to think there may be a chicken quilt in my future!  The pattern for this block, and the rest of the quilt, are available exclusively from Dabble and Stitch in Columbus, Ohio.

If you have already purchased the pattern, you can access the extra templates here.  You will need the password included in the pattern instructions to access this page.

Quilt

Columbus Cityscape Block of the Month: Zoo

Columbus, Ohio is home to a world class zoo, and I am excited that July’s block of the month will focus on this amazing location!

Zoo Polar Bear Block

The zoo is a heavily themed location, with much of the architectural styling based on other locations around the world.  I knew that I didn’t want to copy anything that has already been reinterpreted, so I started thinking about what comes to mind for this particular zoo.  Near the top of the list is their highly successful (and ecologically responsible) polar bear breading program.  In late 2016, three polar bear cubs were born at the zoo, and the photos I used for this block were from the following summer.  The cubs are nearly grown up now!  I am pretty sure these photos are of Amelia Grey and her mother, Anana.

Polar Bears

I wanted a good profile angle for the quilt block, and this photo was the winner.  To start the design process, I added the photo to an AutoCad document, then traced the major sections of the bear to find the shapes that would best create the form in fabric.  Red lines tend to show up well on most photographs.

Polar Bear Design Process

In the quilt the polar bear is in the top left corner, so she can overlook the city!  The pattern for this block is available exclusively from Dabble and Stitch in Columbus, Ohio.  I will also be doing a free demonstration of paper piecing for this block Sunday, July 8, 2018 at 1pm at the shop.

Quilt

You can find out more about the polar bears at the Columbus Zoo by reading about the four cubs born at the zoo.  This article talks a lot about Nora, the first cub born at the zoo, but they also talk about the three cubs born in 2016.  There is also a lot of good information about polar bears in general.

Columbus Cityscape Block of the Month: Art Museum

June is the second month of the Block of the Month Quilt I have been designing for Dabble and Stitch in Columbus, Ohio.  This year we are creating representational blocks of city landmarks, and this month’s block is the Art Museum.

Art Museum Block 2

The Columbus Museum of Art recently opened a new addition which houses galleries of contemporary art and traveling exhibitions.  I enjoy seeing how designers incorporate contemporary architecture with historic buildings.  In this case, a glass enclosed hall joins the two sections of the building, giving a slight visual break between old and new.

This is one of the longest buildings included in this quilt, and I couldn’t get far enough away from the museum to take a single photo of the facade.  This image is a composite of two photos that I used to draft the block.

Art Museum Composite 2

I drafted each block in AutoCAD Light, and I start by tracing over the reference image.  The most challenging part of the process is determining which architectural details are critical to the story of the building, and which details can be omitted.  When drafting in AutoCAD, you can zoom in to draft details that are too tiny to measure.  For foundation paper pieced blocks, I don’t want any pieces narrower than 1/8 inch.

Art Museum Drafting Process

Finishing at 14″x52″, this is one of the largest blocks in the quilt.  The background for the quilt is a Grunge print, and the buildings are all solids.  The only exception to the solids rule are for banners that adorn many of the buildings in town.  The art museum typically has two banners on either side of the central archways.  For the specialty prints, I selected a floral to represent the historic wing of the museum, and a geometric print to represent the contemporary wing.

Art Museum Detail

The entire quilt includes twelve major landmarks and two street signs.  It is constructed using mostly foundation paper piecing and traditional piecing.  You can still sign up with Dabble and Stitch if you would like to join in the fun!  As an added bonus, I demo a portion of the current block one Sunday afternoon each month.  This month the demo will be June 3 at 1pm.

Quilt