November 30, 2009

Elizabeth's Mystery Quilt Challenge Update, Part III

I'm still working on my Twilight quilt. I think I've worked out all the blocks now. I ended up taking out one of the "Vegetarian Vampire Eyes" blocks, moving the "Lion and Lamb" block up, scooting "Vampire Baseball" over and adding in a "Bella's Birthday" block. Wanda shared her wonderful silver fabrics and I'm excited to make a mini version of Iris' cake (although probably much less fabulous) with presents for that block. I also moved the "I Am Switzerland" block over and added in a "Battle in the Woods" block. I think that covers most of the main points in the books. I am always thinking about how to do things and I'm still really excited about working on this quilt. Moving the "Switzerland" block made it an odd size, 4" x 6". I plan on using a Swiss Flag Shield designed by Cat. She visited Switzerland on her honeymoon and said that they display shields much more than they display flags so she designed her block after that. The shape of the shield also adds more visual interest. In trying to fit the shield pattern, which is square, into a rectangular spot on the quilt, I had a stroke of genius (sometimes that happens, lol!). I'm going to make the shield 4" x 4" and add the words "I am" in a 1" strip above and "Switzerland" in a 1" strip below the shield. It keeps the shape of the shield in tact and fills the space. I love it when I have a great idea like that! But still, I can't claim this quilt as wholly "mine." I'm the first one to admit that I'm not great with the original ideas, but I know when I see something good. If it weren't for the other ladies in our group, I wouldn't have nearly as nice a layout. I love the exchange of ideas and the support we all lend each other! Thanks so much, ladies!

I had hoped to be farther along in my Twilight quilt by now. But it always seems to take a back seat. I did wolf paws for the New Moon quilt and wanted to do the "My Jacob" wolf paw block as I did those, but as I was under a deadline I didn't want to put my personal projects in the way and make my part of the quilt late (well, later than it already was *rolling eyes at my procrastination skills!*). I'm all nice and practiced up, though, and plan on working on that block soon. I also hoped to do my motorcycle blocks at the same time I worked on the block for the New Moon quilt, but I was under a huge time crunch and once I saw how much work it was, I decided that I'd better not work on those either. I hate to go back and do something a second time (I'd rather do it all at once), but the motorcycle block was pretty fun, so it won't be too bad to go back for a 're-do' on that block either. Those are the blocks that I will be working on next. In spare minutes I'm also working on getting the trees in the top and bottom borders stitched down. I'd originally planned on doing a machine blanket stitch, but when I worked on the Motorcycles block for the NM quilt, I used the same trees (thanks for the pattern Iris!) and did a hand whipstitch to tack them down. I wanted the stitching to be very subtle, almost invisible and it seemed to go pretty well. I enjoy doing handwork, so I decided to do the trees along the top and bottom the same way. I'm also going to add the famous "The City of Forks Welcomes You" sign to the top row of trees. I'd thought about doing that on the bottom row, but I think the top row will be better.

And now for the latest two blocks! I'm excited to have all four book covers and consequently all four corners of my quilt finished! This is the New Moon Book cover, pattern designed by the lovely and talented Cat! As I was working on it, I compared it to the book cover. Cat does an amazing job using light and shadow and color to create the book covers. I was thinking that when I have it quilted, I would like to have the "veins" of the flower petals quilted in to give it that delicate look that the book cover has. The main red color is a fabric that Iris sent me. I think she's used it in her quilt as well. I had exactly enough to make the tulips. Thanks Iris! The darker burgundy accent (just a few spots of it) is from Wanda. The white is Snow Fairy Frost (can I ever manage a block without Fairy Frost?) and the background is the black I've chosen to use throughout my quilt. It is a Civil War reproduction fabric (I always think of Jasper when I think of that) and it always surprises me that it fits in so well in every block I've used it in. The tiny flowers are so perfect. They add just the right texture and color compliment to the blocks. I managed to work out most of my issues with the fabric pulling and the thread showing, but in some places (like the stem) where there is layer upon layer of seam allowances, it still pulls a little, no matter what I do. That is still a frustration to me.

The Breaking Dawn book cover is another Cat original. I am always so grateful that Cat will share her awesome patterns; I even got to be her pattern tester for this one. I used Fairy Frost (what else?): Red for the pawn, Snow for the Queen and Natural on the chess board. Again, I used the black Civil War reproduction fabric for the background. It will also be the quilt back. I keep wondering if it is going to work on the next block but it always seems to look nice with whatever other fabrics I pair it with. I like the contrast in textures between the Fairy Frost and the plain old calico. The chess board is almost the exact size of the book cover (the width is exact, but it is just a tiny bit shorter) and is about as close as you can come to the real thing in fabric. Cat did a really amazing job with this pattern. I traced the chess pieces directly off the cover of the book. More details will be added to the Queen and pawn when they are quilted, defining the ridges on the pieces.

Christmas is quickly approaching, and although I've really tried to pare back the number of projects I'll be doing, it is still a little out of hand. I hope to be able to squeeze in a little stitching time on this quilt between now and then, though. And as soon as the holidays are over, this will become my number 1 project. I'll keep you updated, as Post-and-Tell is one of my very favorite things!


whimsyfox said...

LOVE IT!!! I swear, typing just can't cover the level of excitement and awe I feel over all these wonderful projects!!!!!!!!!! I'm salivating over the BD cover and want to do it NOW! =) E, you're gonna have to teach me how you got the shading done on the chess pieces!

Oh, and what are you going to do with the Battle in the Woods block?


Anonymous said...

This is coming along really nice - it's exciting to watch you progress