Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Challenging Spring

It has been a challenging spring, mainly due to the screwy weather patterns, but long ago in February our local challenge group met and Susan gave us our next challenge: use a significant amount of one solid, use scraps gleaned from other members' scrap baskets, as well as some of our own fabrics, and make a small quilt on the theme of "spring," using any sense of the word we want.

After some weeks of fruitless contemplating, I decided to go to the fabrics and see if they suggested anything. I don't have a lot of true solids in my stash and the first one that popped into my mind was black. But how could I use black in a quilt about Spring, unless I made a quilt full of coiling springs or some such? About this same time I was also contemplating what to get for my daughter, whose birthday happens to be on the first day of spring. And the vernal equinox popped into my head: when darkness (black) and light (could be a nice hand-dyed yellow) were equal:
The right and left sides were the next part of the inspiration since I needed to use those scraps I had chosen before I know what I was making. So I decided to symbolize the movement from the dark grays, browns, whites of a normal winter to the brighter colors of a normal spring. I had wanted to try some weaving of fabrics in a quilt--another symbol of interconnectedness--and I thought this would be a great way to add those scraps. So I made some slightly wonky strips, turned the edges under,  and relived those hours of making potholders in my youth. 

I had one very small scrap of red and couldn't resist the hint of a red-winged blackbird, a true symbol of the arrival of spring for me.  I pinned the woven winter piece to a black background, the spring to a yellow one and sewed the center sections together. After pinning on the batting and backing, I added the perle cotton quilting stitches and included a sparkly thread in the black to pick up the sparkly moon shape from the center.

I wasn't sure how the woven sides would work with a facing but binding did not look right and they turned over just fine.  And I was even able to figure out how to face the extended center section by turning the two sides first and then turning the top center and bottom down over the raw edges of the side sections.

Ah! One challenge down. Another due tomorrow.

And if you are still with me, thanks for the company!

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