I realized the other day that I had never blogged about this finish from 2013… Why, you ask? Well, it was a block swap project and I promised not to share until the Big Reveal. The Big Reveal was supposed to be in February of last year, but that didn’t happen… It ended up being last summer, and by then it had been so long since I finished it that I forgot to share it
Anyway, our Block Swap was a bit industrious… Each of the 11 of us participating bought a roll of 2.5″ strips and several grab bags of Cherrywood Fabrics, which are spectacular hand-dyed fabrics. They are cotton, but they appear to be sueded (even though they’re not). Delicious to work with… I have pawed them every time I’ve gone to a big quilt show but I had never actually bought any before.
We were tasked with making 70 9.5-inch unfinishedÂ “wonky log cabin” blocks that we would then swap at a get-together in the late summer of 2013.
Making the blocks took a while.
Seriously. It took a lot longer to make the blocks than any of us anticipated, and we were each making 77. Some made more. Cool result, sure. But hooboy. A lot of work for a swap.
After we swapped them out, I immediately went home and trimmed all of the blocks to largest size that I could get that allowed me to “wonk” some of the less-wonky ones — here in a city of engineers, some of the participants found the freedom a little paralyzing so some of the log cabins weren’t very wonky at all. I tilted them to make them more wonky and then they fit better with the setting I had chosen for my blocks. The less wonky ones definitely stood out in the diagonal set until I skewed them– which meant I had to cut EVERY block smaller. I played with adding sashings to settle things down (and we joked about naming the quilt “Serenity” or “Meditation”), but ultimately just decided to let the blocks stand center stage with no additions.
I tossed them up on the design wall and rearranged a few, but Jerry said I should just sew them together the way they landed and not overthink it. WHAT?! ME, OVERTHINKING? HOW DARE Y—-Oh. True. I do that. Fair enough.
So I just sewed them together. I used all 70 of the blocks I received in the swap, plus the 7 that I made for myself.
Some were cut in half and some were cut into quarters, but they all got used. I was really proud of that.
Jerry requested that I finish it in time for his company’s holiday party, because he wanted to hang it in his office. So I layered it at a retreat (with other people involved in the swap, who gave me the side-eye for getting it done so quickly).
To be fair, most of them were adding sashings, appliqued shapes, making more blocks… I was the only one in the 11 of us that only used the blocks and nothing more, but I really (really!) didn’t want to purchase any more of the fabrics.
I just quilted it with “organic” straight lines in a yell0w-gold Aurifil thread. I wanted the thread to show and blend well, but not detract from the blocks.
I bound it in a dark chocolate Cherrywood fabric that I had purchased expressly for that purpose.
It turned out to be a great choice in thread color, and I did finish the quilt in time to hang in my husband’s office.
And then the holiday party was at another venue. Harumph.
Here are the other quilt tops that were done at what was the originally-scheduled Big Reveal, in February of 2014. Mine was the only one that was finished at that point, though many of them were ready to be quilted. These pictures are grainy because they were taken inside with poor lighting, but you can see how very similar blocks do result in a wide variety of quilts, depending on how they’re set. It was really a great thing to see them all together.
This one is Lisa’s. She made a lot (!!) more blocks, and then set them in poppy red and chocolate brown 1895 Hoffman Batiks to make a King-sized quilt for her bed.
This is Teresa’s. She was going to add more pineapples to the blue borders but had run out of greens.
Peggy added sashing and cornerstones:
Judy’s used the Quarter-Cabins that Nonda’s blocks were and featured them in the center.
I don’t remember whose this was… I’ll have to go look at my notes again but I’ll add her name when I find it again.
And here’s Meg’s… This was from this past September, when she was almost finish binding it after hand-quilting it. She made every block bigger and added some grays.
She named it… Are you ready for this?
“Fifty Shades of Wonky.”
I have funny friends.
All in all, I’m very glad I participated in the swap. And it’s one of Jerry’s favorite quilts that I’ve made.
And I named mine…. “Log-A-Rhythm.” Because I’m such a nerd. I’m not sorry, either.