Monday, November 11, 2013

My Design Wall and a Challenge for 2014–Want to Play Along?

I've got a few things going on, on my design wall today.

Design Wall - November 11

Clockwise, from the upper right are my banded basket blocks for the November Block Lotto.  All the blocks we're making this year are 6 by 9 inches finished size. I made these using 4 different approaches, including paper foundation piecing.  You can find all the details in the Banded Basket block pattern and links to all the block patterns for this year so far and many others on the Block Patterns page on this blog. If you are a basket fan–it seems quilters either love them or loathe them–and want to make blocks for the block lotto, you'll find details here.

Below the baskets is the reverse appliquéd feather using fabric made from small scraps.  Victoria's latest challenge on the 15 minutes blog has inspired me to pick this back up and finish it.

The red & white block will become the label for my sampler quilt.  I began piecing the backing over the weekend, but got distracted ...

Making Cardboard TemplatesBefore my little distracting idea completely took over, I made the two Window to the Sky blocks. A quilter from a group to which I used to belong died recently. The blocks are for comfort quilts for her husband and children.

The Quilter's Cache pattern for the 12 inch block is partially paper-pieced, but when the GIF images didn't print correctly, I decided it would be easier to make templates. It's been a long time since I had to deal with the printing-GIFs-on-a-Mac problem.  For templates that will have limited use, I use the lightweight cardboard from food packaging. The little box of non-gluten bread mix was just big enough for the task.

So that's my design wall and here's what's distracting me ...

I have been thinking about the joy I find in quilting and the types of projects that are pure fun for me and I decided I wanted to challenge myself to design and make another quilt starting with a Tea Towel.  While this thought was in my head, I saw a blog post with the top winners in the annual Spoonflower tea towel design challenge–one of the winners grabbed my imagination and I was off and running (in my head).

Cock-a-Doodle-Tea TowelI thought some of my quilting friends in blogland might like to join me, so I sent email to some of those that I had connected with during my journey with my project, Cock-a-doodle Tea Towel. I was glad that I wasn't the only one who liked the idea ;-)

If the idea appeals to you, too, here's what I'm thinking.  The suggested guidelines are pretty basic:

1. Your quilt must include a tea towel–it can be new or vintage.

2. The colors in the tea towel determine the color palette for your quilt. I honestly learned so much by limiting myself to the 5 colors in that reproduction rooster.

3. Try something new. It doesn't have to be a big thing and since it's defined by you, it can be anything.

Although things won't really kick off until January, I know from personal experience that unless you happen to collect tea towels, finding one you like can take time.  I stressed last year because I couldn't find anything like what I thought I wanted ... and of course now, I see tea towels everywhere–even Amazon.

Uh oh. I just did a quick search on Amazon to make sure that was still true and found this one. I really have to stop looking :-)

I will post something more formal later this month, on the 21st,  as part of the Quilting Gallery's Blog Hop party ... and there will be a give-away.  There will be a linky (open until the end of the year) to sign up if you want to play along. The timeline I envision is:

November-December - decide you want to play and find/choose a tea towel for your quilt
January - share your choice of tea towel
February- share your work in progress
March - show & tell - finished quilts

To see more examples of the quilts made for the Tea Towel Challenge on the 15 minutes blog - Tea Towel Challenge Posts


Anonymous said...

I love the stars with the background colors split like that. I have tri-recs rulers and that would make this so easy. I'm pretty sure I'm going to do the challenge, and my hand is hovering over the order button for that tea towel from Marks and Spencer. It's too perfect not to do it!

Brenda said...

Oh dear. I got paralyzed by too many choices of towels last time and never did it -- maybe this time. I'll watch for more details.

Mama Spark said...

Great idea. I have a couple of towels and this might inspire me to get going with them. Have to think about it and see how my dad is doing at the time.

Pokey said...

Well, I do not have any fancy dish towels, but your link certainly has me dreaming. I can't wait to see what will happen, so I'm looking around right now. Thanks, Sophie ~

Laurina said...

I definitely want to join in. I saw a beautiful Irish linen vintage tea towel a few months back...if only I had bought it. I better start looking for one.

Glen QuiltSwissy said...

I am so in!

I have my started-but-not-finished tea towel challenge from last year and one more towel that Carrie brought me from Europe.

That said, I looked on Amazon, etsy and ebay and found at least 12 I put on various wish lists.

The most favorite one though resides in Australia and would cost a fortune to ship to me.......oh, my yes!

I really want I don't...yes, I do....

Glen QuiltSwissy said...

Ohhh! Sophie! Did you see the one on amazon with feathers on it?

Grace said...

There are several tea towels that I like on The Paris tea towel made me think of you, Sophie, since you lived in France for a while. This will be a fun project to start after the busy holiday season.

Sue McPeak said...

What a fun idea and a great gift for a quilter friends kitchen. I had already ordered several Tea Towel Calendars for 2014 and this project will make them extra special kitchen wall hangings. I will watch for your entry date and sign up.

I've been a follower of your blog for awhile. If anyone is interested in a 2014 Tea Towel Calendar, I ordered from
Sue CollectInTexas Gal

Caroline said...

I think I might be interested in this challenge. I will look around for a towel, and hopefully I will find something that inspires me.

Cathy said...

Sounds like an excellent idea and great fun. I happen to have a collection of some old 50s tea towels thrown in a kitchen drawer. I'm sure at least one of them would look really good in a quilt! I love yours.

joe tulips said...

I am this close to buying my tea towel. (finger and thumb nearly touching, maybe they are)

Nann said...

I am in!
I have MANY vintage tea towels. If anyone needs one, let me know. I'd be happy to swap for fabric.
(nbhilyard @ att . net)

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