Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Traditional blocks into Modern Quilt

Let's play some catchup on one of the things I've been up to this year...

I just finished up a challenge with  the Augusta MQG. It started out as a giant stack of orphan blocks donated by Branum's, the LQS where we meet. They were distributed in paper bags and we did not know what we were getting. I got some real lovelies and most of them looked about like this...

I did get two Amish blocks, you can see them in the first photo, and one paper pieced Asian block, which I will share at the end of this post.

Our challenge was to make these mostly traditional blocks look modern and the resulting quilts would be donated to charity.

I started by slicing up my generic traditional blocks. These represent non-Amish communities.

I saved my two Amish blocks intact because I LOVE traditional Amish quilts. I placed them in the top and bottom rows.

The black patches with red and orange improv triangles represent Amish buggies with caution signs on the back traversing through the countryside.

I started out with  solid green patches but then I Googled Lancaster, PA and could not believe how similar my layout was representing the lay of the land with two large swaths of Amish areas divided by Lancaster. The big difference was the green on the satellite map was very striated. I then sliced up my greens to replicate that detail.

The rows of blues and purples represent Amish girls standing in rows. I am going to add a few more strips.

The gray strips are roads and I'm still on the fence as to how much to include.

So far, I have one and a half rows complete and the others are still in preview.

I plan to quilt the town area in criss-crossing straight lines to represent electrical wires and the green areas will be in channeled rows to give a sense of planted fields. 

I am calling this quilt Lancastered. 

My husband is crazy about this project and does not want me to donate it. I am with him, not because I am crazy about it. I want to keep it because I do not see this making a very comfortable quilt. It is better suited as a wall piece. I may have to see if I can work out a cash donation in lieu of this project with my guild.

Now, here's the finish...

But, I did create one quilt that I think fits the challenge.

I took my single Asian paper pieced block, which was beautiful on its own, and floated it in an asymmetrical background of Kona Snow.

I backed it in this cut I picked up at Jeff's, our other LQS. I found it on the sale rack and it's a Deb Strain pattern. I had a more pinky-peach piece that I was planning to use but it was a bit off so I was thrilled when I got this home and realized it was perfect!

I put it on my Grace frame and quilted it in this overlapping wavy line design. I love it and will be using this design again.

I finished it with a binding of Kona Snow to keep with a minimalist look.

We turned in our projects at our meeting last week and we voted on whose project best represented the challenge of re-making traditional into modern. We only had to turn in a complete top but mine was so simple I finished it. There were several finished projects but mostly tops were turned in. The winner will be announced at our next meeting. I'm on pins and needles.

Thanks for visiting!


  1. Both quilts look great! I love Amish quilts as well and hope to make one someday.

  2. Well, of course I had to go to Google maps while reading this. Your interpretation is genius! I usually have no problem letting go of quilts (amazing considering my emotional attachments to stuff--I know you read my post today), but I would have a hard time donating this one, too. It really is an art quilt and its meaning would likely be lost on a recipient. So it's neat that you completed another quilt to contribute. I say keep it, and maybe whip up another donation quilt if necessary.

  3. Well, done, Gayle! Thank you for sharing them.

  4. I love the simplicity of that quilt with just one block and the gentle quilting! I bet is a cozy little quilt.

  5. That is an awesome creation that you've got going in Lancastered. When I first looked at it, I saw it as fields with a river running through (the pale blocks), but the black rectangles confused me. After reading your explanation, I see your view, and why you want to keep this!

  6. I love the minimalist hilt that you finished. It is just gorgeous. Especially love the quilting you did. I wonder if that could be achieved with a walking foot. I need to try some practic pieces like that. So pretty.

  7. Silly auto correct.... Minimalist quilt!

  8. Love your minimalist quilt! Your quilting on that was just perfect for it. And the other one, Wow! I'm with your husband, keep it :).

  9. That paper pieced design is gorgeous - great quilting too.

  10. I like your gentle way to combine the colors. Your quilts evoke some kindness.