Friday, June 30, 2006

Let's start at the very beginning - it's a very good place to start....



Well after those pleas how could I refuse - close ups here we come. In the words of Julie Andrews - let's start at the very beginning............

I belong to a yahoo group called BQL - stands for British Quilters List, I think, although the membership is by no means exclusively British - anyway it was suggested that we might like to participate in an on-line challenge to make a quilt like a round robin but with a difference - The Ostrich Challenge.

This bird wouldn't fly as the quilt top wouldn't leave your possession - hence the Ostrich title. You would do all the work on it yourself and you had the option for one month only of your own choosing to stick your head in the sand opting out of doing that month's instructions if you were pushed for time or really didn't want to tackle that particular month.

I'm up for this I thought - go for it!

The first month - March 05 if I remember correctly - was to work your initial block. Of course that is always the most difficult thing - deciding what to do - no specific criteria, a few suggestions but up to you!

As with anyone faced with a blank canvas, deciding what to put on it is always the hardest part.

I'd always wanted to make a special quilt for our big 6ft wide bed. Never had the inspiration so it had never got off the ground - a bit of an ostrich of an idea itself really - so this seemed the prime opportunity to make something for us specially.

Being a bit of a whizz at celtic knotwork, a few months earlier it had fallen to me to show the rest of the local group I was a member of in Gloucester how to do it. In a box somewhere kicking around the house was my 'here's one I made earlier' and in just the right colours to match my bedding - I think I thought I'd make a wall hanging with it at some stage. The home made bias tubing is hand appliqued onto the background with contrast fabric inset behind it - our theme for the year was 'Hearts'

So I decided that this little orphan - ok at 18" square, not so little - would be my starting point.

I suppose with a starting block of those dimensions my own particular ostrich was never going to be neat and petite. The finished size of the object was entirely up to its creator, some people made neat little wallhangings, others made humungous great objects like mine.

Also how you put the rounds together was entirely up to the individual. Some people made dinky little individual blocks and assembled them at the end. Others made a row quilt adding to it each month and then you got the ones like me who made theirs medallion style and just kept going round and round and round and round :o)

We were told that we'd be given a new set of instructions each month on the 1st. So when the 1st of April dawned bright and early my heart dropped when I read 'Nine Patch or Log Cabin'. You may have already gathered I hate piecing especially if I have to match points, but the object of all this was for it to be a challenge and for me accurate piecing really is just that!

I did think I would do a round of nine patches all around the edge but after piecing about half a dozen I'd more than had enough so decided to applique them to a background - the old 'A' word creeping back in there again - you'll find it does at every opportunity with me :o) Bit of a chicken (more bird puns - groan) but I liked them that way - so there :o)

It was also suggested that it may be aesthetically pleasing to put a narrow border between each month in a matching fabric so I took them at their word and did that, some months more than one - you'll see as we go along ...........................................watch this space for May.............

10 comments:

Ali Honey said...

That's lovely - Great colours. I like the big finished top too. Maybe you could take it too your group and put several tables together to get it backed and batted and basted....maybe some of the group would help. Good luck.

Lois R. said...

I love the asymmetry - 4 nine-patches on one corner and 5 on the other. I also love that you took a traditional pieced block and appliqued it on. And the Celtic knotwork is gorgeous.

Keep going... I'm waiting for more!

Screen Door said...

The quilt turned out beautifully. I really like the center knot. It's a big challenge for quilting.
Melanie

Dawn said...

Oh it looks wonderful - And I love the 9-patches laying all different ways like that - very pleasing and fun for the eye!

joyce said...

I love your quilt. I am the opposite to you. I love piecing but don't enjoy applique much. Odd how everyone has different aspects of quilting that they prefer. I am looking for someone who loves pinning!

computerpeach said...

Very ingenous (sp??)with the nine patches. I don't like to do "A" - but I really like how you did that.

Fiona said...

Fantastic - looking forward to seeing the other 'rounds'. The Celtic knotwork is awesome.

kim said...

That is a great story about a 'lost' block- it became the center of a masterpiece! I'm looking forward to seeing the quilting. Good luck!
:-) Kim

Ferret said...

Are there plans for another "Ostrich Challenge". It sounds like something I would really enjoy. Also how do you joing the BQL?

Tonya R said...

Hey, no block has to be accurately pieced if you don't want it to be - you can liberate ANYTHING. You've seen Dawn's liberated log cabin, right? See if you can get ahold of Gwen Marston's Liberated Quiltmaking or else you'll have to come to Paris and look at my copy. (Fingers crossed I get to Paris, of course)