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.

Light Show: December Block of the Month

The block of the month I have been doing with Dabble and Stitch in Columbus, Ohio has been humming along, and we are now at the final block.  This design is inspired by the holiday light shows that appear this time of year, and focuses on the displays at the Columbus Zoo.

Light Show Quilt Block

This block is based on a 12 sided polygon, which is a reflection of the shape of the building which houses the historic carousel located on the zoo grounds.  The green corners creating this shape also create the suggestion of the center of an evergreen wreath.

Columbus Zoo Carousel

At the center of the zoo grounds there is a lake that is center stage to a musical choreographed light show with trees of lights floating on the water.  The blue fabric represents both the water of the lake and the night sky.  Many of the light designs constructing the trees consist of vertical stripes which are shown in the orange and violet triangles.

Light Trees on the Lake

The red and white candy cane stripe placed diagonally across the block is inspired by the lights wrapping the posts of a bridge leading to one of the buildings.

Bridge with Lights

This block is fairly easy foundation paper piecing and is done in four sections.  I absolutely love how it looks when these blocks are put together.  They create an awesome secondary pattern with stars and diagonal stripes.

Wall Quilt Layout Color

I started experimenting with some different color schemes, and I love this one that adds an extra color to the star points!

Wall Quilt Layout Color Option 2

This pattern is available through Dabble and Stitch.

Improv Trees

This weekend I had the opportunity to teach my first improvisational piecing class at Dabble and Stitch in Columbus, Ohio.  And it happened to be one of my all-time favorite improv inspirations- winter trees!  Talk about being perfect for this time of year!  In the sample piece I used a lot of bright colors.

Improv Trees Sample

I love using unexpected fabrics for the trees, especially irregular stripes or splotches.  We spent the first part of class selecting fabrics, and the students made fabulous selections!  Here are a couple student projects.  I tend to get pretty wrapped up in the class itself and forget to take photos, but I can assure you that there was a lot of awesomeness going on!

For the tree fabric strips she selected a print of trees!  Don’t you love how the print looks all cut up?

Improv student process shot

Here is a finished top.  The tree fabric used in this one was a popular choice and looked terrific with a bunch of different backgrounds.

Improv student project

 

I really hope I have the chance to teach this class again!  If you would like to see another example and read more about the process, please check out another improv trees mini quilt I did awhile ago.

Building Bridges: January BOM

2017 is going to be an exciting quilting year, and one of the projects I am most excited for is working with a local shop, Dabble and Stitch, on a block of the month program.  Throughout the year we will “travel” in and around Columbus, Ohio, creating blocks that are designed to represent the neighborhoods that make up the larger community.

We are starting the year with the block, Building Bridges, which is inspired by the Lane Avenue Bridge that crosses the Olentangy River on the Ohio State University Campus.building-bridges-block-copy

Bridges are more than physical structures- they create vibrant communities in areas that a natural divide could easily separate people into different social, economic, and cultural districts. The location of this bridge on a university campus is particularly notable since academic institutions bring people from around the world to live and study together.

As a cable stayed suspension bridge, the structure has a strong, dynamic lines that make it a notable architectural feature of the area.  The medallions on the bridge are super eye catching.  (I travel by this bridge each time I go to Dabble and Stitch, and I secretly hope to have to stop at the light leading up to it so I can stare for a minute!)lane-avenue-bridge-collage

When designing this series of blocks, I want to make them representative, but in an abstract manner- sort of like how a log cabin quilt block abstractly represents the building of an actual log cabin.  My hope is that people both in and outside of Columbus find these designs both attractive and inspiring.

Each section of the Building Bridges Block represents an aspect of the Lane Avenue bridge.  The Stripes on one half of the block represent the sidewalks and street, the Olentangy River, and the bright red center of the decorative medallions.  There are three pairs of cable lines to represent the three bridges that have stood at this location.bridge-block-with-notes

This block is even more exciting when it is created in multiples.  Every other block is constructed as a mirror image of the original, and a couple fabric placements alter position to create a sense of depth.  When a set of four blocks come together, they form a full square which symbolizes different communities coming together as one.

The table topper version is comprised of four blocks./Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilting/My Quilts/Block of the

16 blocks make up the baby or wall quilt./Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilting/My Quilts/Block of the

You will need 48 blocks to construct the Twin sized version./Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilting/My Quilts/Block of the

This pattern is available through Dabble and Stitch and includes instructions for a single block as well as the table topper, baby/wall quilt, and the twin sized version.  I am also very excited to be doing a class on this block next Sunday, January 15, so I hope to see some of you there!

I’m linking this post up with Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She.

The Collection Quilt (Round 2!)

Last year, I was thrilled to teach Carolyn Friedlander‘s Collection Quilt through a local quilt shop, Sew to Speak.  The first version I made as a class sample is similar to the overall aesthetic that was used in the original design, so when I constructed a second version to use for demonstration purposes, I thought it would be fun to do something entirely different.  This is my pink-loving-little-girl version!collection-quilt-2

My color palette this time around was mostly pinks and oranges with some red and violet and shots of green.

collection-quilt-2-detail-2

Some fussy cutting added a bit of whimsy to the overall aesthetic.collection-quilt-2-detail-3

 

collection-quilt-2-detail-5

collection-quilt-2-detail-4

The backing is the same fun unicorn fabric that appears in the front in a different color way.

collection-quilt-2-back

This quilt is the perfect way to learn needle turn appliqué, and I am excited to be teaching it again this year!  Each month we will do a block that build on the skills covered in previous meetings.  If you are interested in joining the class, please contact Sew to Speak in Worthington, Ohio.  This technique opens up a whole new range of quilting designs!

collection-quilt-2-detail-1

Quilt Stats

Title:  The Collection Quilt  (Pattern by Carolyn Friedlander)

Size: 40.5″ x 51.5″

Techniques:  Needle turn appliqué, machine piecing

Quilting:  Computerized linear edge to edge pattern (my original design) done on an A-1 Elite Longarm

Fabric:  Assorted quilt shop quality, 100% cotton fabrics

Batting:  Hobbs 80/20

Thread:  Applique and piecing done with neutral and coordinating Gutermann Mara 100, Quilted with 50wt cotton Aurifil

Binding:  Striped bias binding, machine stitched to the front, hand finished on the back.