Friday, June 3, 2011

A Day at the Beach - A Row Quilt


I've been on a sabbatical of sorts. Sorry I have neglected this platform for over two months. Guess getting my studio in order was such an accomplishment everything since then has been anti-climactic. The room is still in order and quilting has been taking place there.

The end of March marked the beginning of a new class session of quilting in the Grossmont District and I had this idea of making an original row quilt. The first project I taught to my class back in 2003 was a row quilt and I thought it would be fun to do something like that again. So I made sketches and diagrams, figured yardage, wrote up some notes and came up with "A Day at the Beach" as the name of the project.

We did a row a week or so with blocks for an applique row thrown in here and there. These are pictures I took of some of the rows along the way. We started at the bottom with a row of fishes. People did different things with the fish, making them all different, all the same, adding tails to them. Very cute.
Then came the row of waves, which I adapted from a block called Greek Key by adding triangles to the design to make the design curvy like a wave. People did their own thing here too. One even did a very cute row of appliqued waves. I added some surfers and a shark to my wave row.
Next came a row of jaunty paper pieced sailboats that sailed atop the previous wave row. I taught a new method of paper piecing (new to me anyway) where the pattern is drawn/traced on freezer paper, ironed to the fabrics, then the paper is folded back and the seam is sewn next to the fold. NO TEARING AWAY THE PAPER AT THE END! That is the best part. I love how unique and individual everyone's boats turned out. Some with really colorful sails.
Then we started the applique blocks, which I gave out weekly: a pair of flip flops with 3-dimensional straps, a couple of bathing suits, a beach ball, a sea star with a shell and sand dollar, a sand castle and a glass of lemonade with a pair of shades. Everyone did such cute and interesting things with the designs.
The next row was the beach and a row of beach houses and appliqued palm trees, umbrellas and surfboards. The beach houses were regular pieced and paper pieced. So many cute cabanas. I sewed some fringy fiber on the palm tree fronds to make them look textured.
Then came a row of pinwheels. I used the sky fabric in my pinwheels so it looks like they are floating in the sky. After the pinwheels there is a row of sky with a pieced sun, some birds and kites with 3-dimensional tails.
The last row is a small appliqued airplane pulling a banner with the title, "A Day at the Beach," across the sky. We just did the last row this week so now everyone has to finish. I think everyone was having fun with the rows and choosing their fabrics and embellishments. Now I have to get busy and make a backing and quilt it. I hope to see many finished quilts come back in the fall.

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