Pensacola Quilt Show 2012

Today we did the intake for the Pensacola Quilt Show, and after that, I had lunch with my husband and took a long nap, the first one I can remember taking in months. Every afternoon I have had to make the best use of time during prime-time light!

I’ve hated leaving you for this long period, but I was working industriously to have entries worthy of the show!

Here are my entries.

The End of Innocence

I loved working on this quilt. It took a lot of hand work, appliqueing that snake and making sure the gauzy snakey net had bends at the right places, but it was so much fun! I also, for the first time, tried an art quilting technique on the arms and hands, and learned a whole lot about how to do it better – next time 🙂

Originally, the focus of this quilt was intended to be the pomegranate, and the tree of life. It was supposed to be a serious quilt, serious like the Dutch masters, but little Eve kept popping in, fresh, innocent, full of questions, and then that snake kept winding his way in and out, from his own depths into our own reality . . . and finding great snake-y fabrics provided a whole world of new learning experiences, LOL.

I actually hand quilted even more after I shot the photos, espeially in the center where the Tree of Life panel was. The fabric was so soft, and quilting it by hand was pure joy.

The quilt took forever, and I didn’t mind. I tried a lot of new things. I know where I need to improve. Meanwhile, it was fun taking an idea, letting it macerate and percolate, and then challenging myself to use some slithery fabrics for the execution. No regrets. 🙂

Tick Tack Tails

I love doing baby quilts, and I love the way little babies are mesmerized by black and white patterns. Our little grandbaby would stop crying to gaze at black and white zebra patterns and try to fathom their meaning.

Seaside Cottage

When I was still living in Kuwait, I was cutting out this quilt – or one just like it – when my sister called. As we talked, I described the quilt I was making and she loved it and asked me to make her one like it. Instead, I quickly cut out another, but finished the one I was making and sent it to her.

It took me five years to get around to finishing my own. I finished it the year we moved to Pensacola, but my husband kept going back. I quilted it during a bathroom renovation; it kept me sane. I appliqued it during the long evenings when I wished my husband was here in Pensacola. It is similar to my sister’s, but different. The central panels are made with the same fabrics, but I did different quilting and appliques for the seashells, etc.

The last entry is one you’ve seen before.

Jewel Box Life of Transitions

I was able to work on intake today, and was delighted to find that my quilts sink into the ‘filler’ category; there are some amazing quilts entered, and if you are any where near Pensacola, I urge you to make it a point to see this show.

Friday, March 16
Saturday, March 17
Pensacola Fairgrounds

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Jewel Box Pieces

Here are the pieces for the Jewel Box:

Starring the half square triangle, which I chose to be 4″ finished:

The four patch, which I chose to be made of pieces cut 2 1/2 inches to total 4″ completed:

Each four patch is united with a half square triangle:

Completed component (1/4 of the finished block)

Completed block is composed of four component blocks, above, each rotated to complete the box:

My all time favorite quilt book is “It’s OK If You Sit on my Quilt” by Mary Ellen Hopkins, and I like it because it helped me quilt without having to follow someone else’s idea of how my quilt should be. When I found a jewel box pattern, it was bigger than I wanted, so I scaled it down. This jewel box pattern is a great practice for your first effort at changing scale, because the size you choose for your four patch and your half square triangle changes everything. You could use 1″ blocks, or you could use 12″ inch blocks, and the pattern would remain the same, only the scale would change.

I’ve seen this quilt done with a light background and with a dark background. I made one big mistake right at the beginning; I cut the half square triangle background out of a dark navy blue and the 2 1/2 inch background squares out of black. If I had it to do over again, they would be the same fabric.

If you want the variations in color, you will need small amounts of a LOT of fabrics; this is a great opportunity to ask for small donations from your quilting friends. What is fun is that you later can look at the quilt and remember who gave you that perfect shade of coral, or fuchsia, or pistachio, or parrot, that icy blue. I have a dress I love, ruined by a drop of bleach; a piece of that dress is in my quilt.

As I look at the completed top, below, I am reminded that classic patterns have their own timelessness and elegance, and can look totally different from one another, depending on fabric choices. I would do this one again in a heartbeat; I love the diagonal lines created by the half square triangles.

Jewel Box with Transitions

This is why I love quilting . . . for me, it is the challenge. I’ve always wanted to do a jewel box quilt, and I thought I was going to be making a scrap quilt. Somewhere along the way, I got the idea that I wanted it to be a transition jewel box, with purple in one corner, red in another, yellow in another and green in the final corner. The borders will have transitions from corner to corner, and then the center will have cross-transitions.

It’s not so easy when you make rules. 😉 I had to dig through my stash to find just the right shades, it took me longer to find and cut than it takes to sew up the blocks. This is not going to be quick and easy, aarrgh. On the other hand, I am having a lot of fun with the progress.

This is the only row I have completed; I also completed the yellow block for the bottom right corner, but have not yet done the red-yellow transition:

It will be a while before I can get back to this, as I am traveling. It doesn’t keep me from thinking about where I will go next!

UPDATE

I was out of town for a week and lost a little time, but not momentum. 🙂 As soon as I got back, I started working on the Red to Yellow transition:

And the Yellow to Green transition:

Only six blocks left, all transitions! I have a busy week this week, don’t know if I will get it finished before Friday, but that is my goal. It’s not a hard quilt. It’s the color selection and cutting that takes the most time. I have to admit, there is something in me that loves this process; it’s not like just sewing the pieces together, you really have to think about it.

Final Update:

I love this quilt top. For one thing, it isn’t boring. I love watching the colors as they move across the quilt and change as they are influenced by other colors. It reminds me of my own life, all the different places I lived and how each place has had an impact on me, influenced how I perceived reality, grew in my spiritual life . . . It’s My Jewel Box Life.

I think I will quilt it by hand.