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.

Beautiful Ohio Row by Row

The international shop hop, Row by Row, starts tomorrow!  This is the third year I have designed the row for one of my local quilt shops, Dabble and Stitch, which is located in Columbus, Ohio.  The patterns for all blocks in the Row by Row are available for free at participating shops, and kits are for sale if you would like to use the same fabrics as the sample blocks.  This year’s theme is “Sew Musical.”

Beautiful Ohio Finished

The official state song for Ohio is “Beautiful Ohio,” and this song is the starting point for the row.  I located the sheet music for the song, and placed a circle over each note for the signature phrase.  When these notes are connected they formed the shape of the rolling hills of central Ohio.

Beautiful Ohio detail 1

Simple foundation paper piecing is used to construct the main portion of the block, and the circles and wording are added with applique.  I chose to use needle turn applique, but I included additional lines on the templates for raw edge applique, so each person can choose which process to use.

Beautiful Ohio detail 2

“Sew Musical” was a particularly challenging theme since music is experienced mostly through your sense of hearing and quilting is a visual and tactile medium.  The quilting stitches provided an opportunity to add much needed movement to the block.  A spiral of quilting emanates from each circle, and once the spirals intersect, echo stitching completes the machine quilting.  To add a different rhythmic feel to the piece, large stitch hand quilting is added between lines of machine stitching.  Several colors of thread in 12wt and 28wt were used to complete the project.

Beautiful Ohio back detail

Facings finish the edges of the sample block.  Since this block captures just a single phrase of the song, I wanted to allow the lines of the design to continue without a visual frame.

Beautiful Ohio back

Quilt Stats

Title:  Beautiful Ohio

Size: 9″ x 36″

Techniques:  Foundation Paper Piecing, Needle Turn Applique

Quilting:  Machine echo quilting using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008 domestic and large stitch hand quilting

Fabric:  Assorted cotton prints and solids

Batting:  Hobbs Tuscany Wool

Thread: Quilted with 50wt, 28wt, and 12wt cotton Aurifil in multiple colors

Binding:  Faced with print matching the quilt backing

Bonus!

Here are the blocks I have designed in previous in previous years.  Both patterns are still available through Dabble and Stitch.

2016 Theme:  Home Sweet Home

Columbus Skyline

Quilted Columbus Skyline Row Mini

2017 Theme: On the Go!

Lane Avenue Bridge

Lane Ave Bridge Full

Give and Take

Curated Quilts magazine issues a mini quilt challenge for each issue, and I love to see all of the amazing submissions.  Until now I have never contributed an entry, but I enjoyed making Synthesized Slivers so much, I was eager to participate in another challenge.

Give and Take front

Curated quilts provided a theme of Connections/Improv and a color palette which included cream, yellow, mustard yellow, navy, moss green, and grey.  We could use as many or as few of these colors as we liked, and I ended up using all of the colors except for cream.  Navy, grey, and mustard yellow are represented in the fabrics, and the quilting done in navy, grey, moss green, and yellow.

Give and Take detail 2

With the theme of connections in mind, I wanted to use roughly equal amounts of grey and navy fabrics with gear-like wedges intersecting where they meet.  When cogs come together, they set off a series of reactions that is greater than either component on its own.

Give and Take detail 1

The quilting is dense matchstick stitching that both echos the pieced designs and integrates additional curves.  The majority of the navy and grey sections are quilted in coordinating 50wt thread.  For areas that needed extra emphasis I used 12wt green and 40wt yellow thread.

Give and Take back

Quilt Stats

Title:  Give and Take

Size: 12″ x 12″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing, Improvisational Piecing

Quilting:  Matchstick echo quilting using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008 domestic

Fabric:  Assorted solids and one print by Carolyn Friedlander

Batting:  Hobbs Tuscany Wool

Thread: Quilted with 50wt, 40wt, and 12wt cotton Aurifil in four colors

Binding:  Faced with navy solid matching the quilt backing

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

 

Synthesized Slivers

A few weeks ago, I came across a call for entries for the Modern Mini Quilt Challenge hosted by Quilt Expo.  It has been awhile since I have done a mini quilt, and I was feeling the need for a relatively quick finish, so I jumped in.  One of my friends has been giving me a hard time about my extreme dislike of brown fabric, so I decided this would be a good challenge to incorporate my least favorite color.

Synthesized Slivers front

My initial fabric pull centered around a stack of quilter’s denim made by Art Gallery Fabrics.  I had received the fat quarter bundle during QuiltCon 2017, and I had been waiting for the perfect project to come up.  I love the utilitarian texture the fabric has and the value shifts between fabrics were seamless.  I did add a few other fabrics in to serve as accent pieces.  These included a bright green solid, metallic linen, and a silk/cotton blend.

Synthesized Slivers Fabric Pull

I started the quilt by constructing small blocks in a variety of sizes using background fabrics in a range of colors and values.  The slivers of accent fabrics finish at 1/8″ wide.  I used a ruler to cut the slits in straight lines, but only actually measured to square up each block after the slivers were added.

Synthesized Slivers process

At this point, my friend saw the progress and informed me that tan is most definitely NOT Brown, even though I still insist that it is ;).  In keeping with the challenge, I went out and purchased a small cut of chocolate brown Kona.  There wasn’t a speck of true brown in any of my stash!

Synthesized Slivers quilt top

After constructing a few more blocks, I started putting everything together.  I think this is the most challenging part of the process, but this top came together, and only required a couple partial seams.

Synthesized Slivers with Monty

Monty is my cat that demands likes to be held constantly.  I was taking photos right after he had woken up from his first afternoon nap, and he really wanted my attention!  If you manage to look past the cat, you can see the back of the quilt top.  I made sure to press all of the sliver seam allowances toward the background to make the slivers recede a bit.

Synthesized Slivers back of quilt top with monty

This is a small quilt so I quickly pin basted it and selected six colors of Aurifil to match the background fabrics.

Synthesized Slivers thread choices

I wanted to accentuate the angles that are incorporated into the design, so I used echo quilting to highlight the design of each block.

Synthesized Slivers quilting detail

The back is the same bright green accent color used on the front of the quilt.  I like how the different thread colors add value shifts to the back of the quilt.  I didn’t want to frame the quilt in with a binding, so the edges are finished with facings to match the backing fabric.

Synthesized Slivers back

I am so glad that I made this quilt, and even I think the brown actually works in it!

Synthesized Slivers angled quilting detail

 

Quilt Stats

Title:  Synthesized Slivers

Size: 22″ x 19″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing, Improvisational Piecing

Quilting:  Echo quilting using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008 domestic

Fabric:  Art Gallery Quilter’s Denim, Kona Cotton, Metallic Blend, Silk/Cotton Blend

Batting:  Hobbs Tuscany Wool

Thread: Quilted with 50wt cotton Aurifil in six colors

Binding:  Faced with Kona Cotton matching the quilt backing