Sunday, November 21, 2021

It was 20 years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play. (My 2021 Guild Challenge)

Dateline: January 2020.
My guild's annual guild Challenge parameters were presented. "Inspired by 20-20" was the theme, with no size, color, or fabric requirements... just the interpretation of the maker's choice of a lyric, poem, title, phrase, saying, etc. with the word/number "twenty" in it.

It didn't take me long to choose the first line from the Beatles' song, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for the inspiration of my piece. Little did we know that 2020 would shine a spotlight on a lot of lonely hearts as we all sheltered in place a good portion of that year.

It was 20 years ago today Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play.
from: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, by The Beatles

A photo timeline of my process

April 25, 2020: Stash-busting and playing with HST [half square triangle] clippings and strips of solid fabrics, I was making small log cabin blocks early in the pandemic to pass the time and feel productive. (Making patchwork and using the sewing machine were things we had control of!)

Half-square triangle bits and strips for log cabin blocks.

April 26, 2020: "Let's see what we have here... "
As groups of blocks were made, they were randomly placed on the design wall. I decided this could be the impetus of my Challenge piece.

Log cabin blocks on the design wall.

April 28, 2020: Selective cutting of characters from A Ghastlie Gush fabric collection [by Alexander Henry Fabrics] were interspersed among the log cabin blocks. If you're familiar with The Ghastlies fabrics, you know this fabric collection is very apropos for a quilt about love and lonely hearts.

Images from A Ghastlie Gush amid the log cabin blocks.

April 28, 2020: Because there were no in-person guild meetings from March to the end 2020, this is where I left the project until fall of 2021. My guild team—who was in charge of the Challenge—decided to roll this Challenge to 2021 with the hope we would meet in person for the Challenge reveal.

Log cabin blocks and fussy cut Ghastlie images.

Dateline: Fall 2021 and back to the Challenge

October 17, 2021: It was time to get back to the Challenge. After peeling off other WIPs and flannel tablecloths, this layer of my design wall surfaced. With the deadline a month away, I had to make progress.

Challenge layout, October 17, 2021

October 18, 2021: Another stash-busting patchwork project that I had done during the lockdown was a stack of scrappy heart blocks—originally slated to be a quilt on their own. These, too, were on the playing field (the design wall) with my Challenge piece. 

April 2020: piecing scrappy heart blocks.

Scrappy blocks made during shelter-in-place during 2020.

When the work (or the design wall) talks to you, you listen!

The scrappy heart blocks made their way into my guild Challenge, too. At this point I realized the heart motif was becoming prominent. I used value placement and contrast to rearrange the center log cabin units in a heart shape. I could further accentuate the center heart with the quilting.

Incorporating the scrappy heart blocks into the work.

October 19, 2021: Piecing of the center section began. I did this in chunks of 4-, 6- or 9 units, and rows of units... then assembled the bigger chunks to make the center section.

Piecing the center section.

October 19, 2021: Now that the hearts were part of the piece, I needed a patchwork transition from the hearts to the center section. I also wanted to include the words, "2020 Lonely Hearts Club" in the piece—probably at the top. I had not yet committed to the technique for the words, but applique, free-motion quilting, patchwork and machine trapunto all had potential.

The layout of the quilt top now included the scrappy heart blocks.

October 23, 2021: If you can't do patchwork but still need to work on your Challenge, do sketching of potential quilting designs. Here is a "quilting" sketch on my iPad.

Potential quilting designs. Digital drawing on my iPad.

October 24, 2021: In view of the time remaining before the deadline, I opted for improv pieced letters for the headline. Strips of solid fabrics were added to fill space around the heart blocks—all improvisational patchwork (no patterns were used for the letters or words).

Improvisationally pieced letter blocks.

I was still cutting and making sashing strips to fill the space around the heart blocks. The letter blocks were fine tuned and a few spare log cabin blocks found their way into the outer section.

Rough layout of the Challenge quilt on the design wall.

November 6, 2021: With slightly over a week to go before the deadline, the top was complete and ready for basting and quilting.

Completed quilt top.

To be continued...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...