Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Needlework Tuesday

Does it count as needlework accomplished if it has all been virtual? I am asking if designing a quilt and then describing it in my novel counts. Since my novel for NaNoWriMo involves a quilter, then she has to be designing quilts.

She has been involved in a round robin with four friends. She has just received her quilt top from the previous quilter . I'll paste in the description from my book. Hopefully I have described it clearly and you'll have the correct image in your mind.

My central barn block had been embellished with scattered embroidered flowers and a few birds roosting on the barn roof. There was a spider web across the vent above the main door. Yumika had added the first round. She had fused and then stitched a chicken, rooster, a clutch of colourful eggs, a pig, sheep, a cow and a white rabbit. For fun she also added a fox on the prowl. Unlike the rest of the round, the chicken and the eggs had been made of silk from a kimono from her grandmother. Yumika had added a note explaining that she couldn’t get the story of silk quilt at Castle Kilbride out of her mind and she wanted to commemorate that into my round robin. The background fabric for these blocks were various brown batiks. For corner stones she had pieced ‘Hole in the Barn Door’ blocks, which are essentially the same as the ‘Shoe Fly’ block that had been added to Yumika’s quilt top. She wouldn’t have known at the time she worked on my quilt.
My quilt top then travelled to Mady in Australia. She sent a note saying that she wanted to replicate the fields of crops that surround every farm. For that purpose she had chosen the roman Stripe block. This block is divided into two from corner to corner. One triangle is a plain colour fabric, in this case various shades of green such as you might find in a farmer’s fields, and the other side is stripes that run along the diagonal. These narrow strips were in the colours of the various crops such as red for tomatoes, gold for the various grains, yellow for corn, purple for eggplants etc. These were then oriented in a star pattern surrounding Yumika’s blocks. For the corner stones she had decided to continue with the Hole in the Barn Door blocks, though using the same colours that she had used in her other blocks.

Once my quilt top arrived in Russia it was Anya’s turn to add a round. She diversified the crops on my farm to include fruit. On three sides she fused and then stitched grapes, various coloured apples and pears, oranges, clusters of cherries, and peaches. As a background to the fruits she had used fabrics that looked like wild flowers. Across the top she added hour glass blocks made of different sky blue shades of batik fabrics. Following the lead of both Yumika and Mady, she had continued with the Hole in the Barn Door corner stones. The ones in the top corners were made from blues, while the ones at the bottom corners were the wild flower fabric for the backgrounds and reds for the balance of the blocks.

I was really getting to enjoy those corner stones. They were all structurally the same, yet colours and the styles of fabric were widely varied.

That brought me to Vashene’s round and she had taken her inspiration from Jane Steckle. Since all farms had fences she chose that feature for the final round. Jane’s block H-13 Farm Fields looked like a section of a fence. Jane had pieced a plain diagonal cross on a print background. Vashene re-sized to five and a half inches and made twenty-four of them, eight each for the two sides and the bottom. They were set together with a half inch sashing between. She used white for the cross and all over floral print for the background. Across the top she adapted another Dear Jane block G-6 Papa’s star. She appliqu├ęd the five point stars on sky coloured background setting them at various angles. In the centre of each star she had hand embroidered smaller stars in gold thread. For the four corner stones she had repeated the Hole in the barn door in colours keeping with the fence and the stars.

I did a bit more knitting on the Bernat Knit along. I now have 2 blocks from the second pattern completed. The 3rd block is posted on the Bernat blog.

I did take my son fabric shopping. He is taking a fashion class in high school and he needs to sew a second project that is more difficult than his first. He has chosen a button up shirt with a pocket and collar. He selected the brightest batik in primary colours they had in the store. I told him to remember to save me all the scraps for a future quilt. Never thought I would be asking my son for quilt fabric.

Hope to get to my sewing machine in the next week. I am feeling that need to create.


Helena said...

Heather, I'm so glad you stopped by Prairie Chicks, because that gave me this opportunity to check out your blog which is really neat and I will mark it for another visit.

I'm not a quilter, tho one of my book club friends makes beautiful quilts and often donates one for the library raffle at Christmas. I do some knitting, but not a lot. My 94-year old mother knits up a storm so I don't need to!

Now that I see your word count (as of Sunday), I really bow down to your accomplishment. Congrats, you are on your way to victory, provided your characters don't get too unruly. But nothing says you can't have some things left unresolved at the 50K mark, you are probably aiming for a longer novel than that anyway?

Hunter said...

I'm so impressed that your son gets to do something so much fun.

I really wanted to take a shop class instead of home economics in Jr. High, but they wouldn't even hear of it. I had a male friend who wanted to take home economics and they wouldn't let him.

It would be great to think that assigning classes by gender is a thing of the past.