April 15, 2019
February dawned with a blizzard here at Cairn Carroll. Little did we know that the snow would keep on coming for 6 more weeks. Ugh! I’m not a fan of snow in my yard. Growing up in Southern California, snow was something you visited. I don’t need it my yard for weeks. But it is beautiful, for a while. This is our driveway. Thank goodness we have neighbors that are nice enough to spend hours digging us out with their tractors.
While winter was making its statement at our home, I was “stuck” in the sewing room. Scrounging around looking for fabric to cut up and sew back together I came across a charm pack of “Op Art Reflections” by Benartex. (A charm pack is composed of five-inch squares of 42 fabrics.) I must have had this charm pack for several years. I wanted to use a new ruler I bought called the “QCR Mini”. The ruler makes it easy to create the Drunkards Path block.
I pulled out some solids that worked with the charm pack fabrics and started cutting and sewing four-inch blocks. I put them on the design wall and liked it so I made some more. This is my favorite way to design a quilt. No particular design in mind. I like to see how things turn out. And every time, I’m amazed at what I’ve created.
I liked it enough to make some more blocks. Then I sewed four blocks to make a circle. See those two blocks on the far right? There are always a few pieces that just don’t play well with the other blocks. No worries though, they usually end up on the back of the quilt. These two misfits don’t have enough contrast.
I needed a focus of some sort and decided that two wonky Drunkards Path rows would help. Then it was just a matter of getting the various rows to somehow measure the same length. I’m pretty pleased that I was able to accomplish that with two rows of straight set blocks, two sets of wonky rows and a row of on point blocks. Sometimes luck works!
I sewed the top together and started auditioning quilting thread colors and bindings. This is an important thing to do before beginning the quilting. I usually pin the threads up and wind them around pins stuck on the outside of the quilt top in the direction that I plan to quilt. In this case, I was going to quilt diagonal lines. It’s best to let these things “rest” for a while on the design wall. I also like to take a picture. The camera sees things that I don’t always see. Like the binding that I thought was perfect and wasn’t!
Before I can quilt, I need to make a backing. This quilt is 50″ x 50″. Fabric is 42″ by whatever length you want to buy. I was able to escape to the fabric store in between snow storms to find a perfect backing fabric. I used up the last of the charm pack squares and left-over pieces that didn’t make it into the top of the quilt and made a nice piece of “back art”. See, the misfits made it into the quilt!
I mentioned to my husband that this quilt reminded me of a circus. He nodded and said “Yeah, a four-ring circus.” I love that man!
So here my friends, is my latest piece of art. “4 Ring Circus”.
I hope it makes you smile!