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.

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

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

 

Raise the Roof

I made a pretty quilt!  I very rarely make a quilt that I would call “pretty”- typically I describe my work with terms like graphic, clean, dynamic, or vivid.  Raise the Roof is an exception to this trend.

Raise the Roof front

Inspiration for Raise the Roof came from the architecture of the Horticulture Building on the grounds of the Ohio State Fair.  The low volume background of the blocks echos the design of the rafters of the building, and the central stars are an abstract representation of the over-sized ceiling fans.

Horticulture Rafters

Horticulture Fans

The pink, violet, and orange blocks appear to spin around the focal blocks in blue and orange.

Raise the Roof Focal Blocks

Value plays a huge role in the design of the quilt blocks.  The colors in the low volume background triangles have the same placement in each block segment, but the brightly colored star tips change depending on the block placement.  Intentional placement of a dark and light version of each color on every point creates a three dimensional look.

Raise the Roof Sample Blocks

After creating a few sample blocks, I decided to submit the design to Modern Patchwork.  I was thrilled to have it accepted, and quickly finished the top.  For the quilting design, I chose an all-over organic free motion design with a botanical flavor.

Raise the Roof back

The juxtaposition of the organic quilting lines on the regimented, foundation paper pieced quilt top reminds me of the relationship between the beautiful floral displays against the architecture of the building.  To make the quilting stand out even more, I used double batting for the first time.  The top layer is a yummy Hobbs Tuscany Wool, and the bottom layer is Hobbs 80/20.

Raise the Roof detail

To top it all off, this quilt made the cover of the magazine!  This is a first for me, and I am over the moon!

00_MP7MarApr18_Cover_web

 

You can get your very own copy of the March/April Modern patchwork here!

Quilt Stats

Title:  Raise the Roof

Size: 59″ x 59″

Techniques:  Foundation Paper Piecing, Traditional Piecing

Quilting:  Hand guided, mixed motif free motion quilting done on an A-1 Elite Longarm

Fabric:  Assorted quilt shop quality, 100% cotton fabrics, and backing of wide-back Kona Cotton

Batting:  Hobbs Tuscany Wool and Hobbs 80/20

Thread:  Pieced using light grey Gutermann Mara 100, Quilted with 50wt cotton Aurifil

Binding:  Cotton and Steel grey and silver dot bias binding, machine stitched to the front, hand finished on the back.