Monday, June 01, 2009

A Completed UFO & Matching Pair

For the last 11 months, I have made blocks for the birthday block swap, hosted on About.com's forum, and hosted by Kate. I've been in 2 groups, making three blocks most months. Some of these months have been great fun, and others it has been a total chore designing & sewing the blocks. Because one of the groups is more advanced, we had more challenging blocks assigned. Three people in the swap requested New York Beauty blocks, including me. Now, I do sew curved seams, but I'd never done much paper piecing, and I'd never done an NYB before. I was undaunted!

My month was November. By January I had received all but 2 of my 11 blocks. A couple people graciously sent two because they questioned their color choices or because the first block made had small "issues". It's hard to make these truly square or to not lob off part of the last points, so I have discovered. I made a few of them myself, and rationalized that those last two just were not coming. Oh the swap ettiquite!...

So last weekend, my mother asked if I'd done anything with the blocks yet. Of course not - they were sitting patiently in a bag awaiting the other two, because, afterall, what could I possibly make with 14 of them?? Then the magical solution hit me. A matching pair for the dining room! My walls are at critical capacity and I am very POKEY at changing my mini's seasonally. But there's a hanger in the dining room, and I do swap them out in there with regularity. Voila! So here's a fuzzy (damn my camera and it's operator) look at the two pieces together - 4 blocks for the mini, and the other 10 for the table topper.
I'm totally in love. The colors are hot, and vibrant. I fixed the ailing blocks I had received, and ignored the tips I had to nip off. I love how I chose to remove the last arc on the ends so as to make it oval. It's so perfect (grins).
....double click for a marginally better look
I wish I could give full credit, but I only remember the blocks made by Kate, Julie, Amy, Anne and Helen. But I assure you those by Michelle, Terri and Joy are gorgeous too. Here are a few closer up shots of the blocks in the runner...
Be gentle on my quilting. I more or less just sat down with a blank canvas and a sewing machine and let the NYB speak to me. Each block is quilted differently. There's a lot of ditch stitching, which I am still working on being more patient with as I sew.

I placed the blocks with curved geese at the ends of the runner. Love it!
I used a King Tut variagated red, yellow and purple thread ordered last fall. It worked out just great. In fact, I ran out before the mini was done so I had to get more. Here you can see the bits of leafy vining quilting and some feathering.
This is a block Julie sent which she wasn't sure would play well with others. It's color is a bit marroon and yellow, rather than red and orange, but it blends pretty well. I like the many pointy spikes.
Here is the 20"x20" mini. Many of the swappers sent swatches of their fabrics. I had intended on making a large wall hanging, and doing a flying geese border around it. In the end, my hanging is much smaller and fewer geese were needed. And much to my TOTAL disgust, as I was finishing the quilting, I discovered that the right hand border was sewn on upside down, and the darn geese were flying north, not south! Tell me I was not something ticked!!

The two bottom blocks were made by me. The quilting of this piece is similar to that on the runner - flames, vines, circles, feathers, etc.
details....
This is one of those projects that is best seen in person. In retrospect, I ought to show a picture from the back, but I'm tired of trying to get a shot with decent lighting for today!

To all of you that contributed blocks to this project, my sincere thanks. I love how it all turned out!

17 comments:

jovaliquilts said...

Wow!! Those are absolutely stunning blocks, and I love what you did with them. I do think you are brilliant for rounding the ends of the runner.

PeggyinNO said...

You did GOOD, girl! LOL! I love ALL of your quilting. It is perfect! I absolutely love the tablerunner. I'm so impressed that you got it done before the end of the swap and was able to share these amazing photos with us! Wonderful!

Desiree said...

I absolutely love the runner! I don't possess the patience to do NYBs but they are gorgeous.

BUMBLE BEANS said...

WOWZA! It looks amazing! what a nice project!!! the runner is way cool

Kathy said...

This is absolutely beautiful -- no pun intended. LOVE what you have done and your quilting is great. You are too hard on yourself.

Thanks for sharing. This is great.

Vicki W said...

Both projects are great but I LOVe the table runner!

call me crazy said...

Very eye-catching! I love the bright colors and what a good use for a few NYB blocks!

Trish said...

I love the tablerunner, brilliant idea to curve the ends like that....

Cascade Lily said...

And they both look great Margaret!

black bear cabin said...

stunning!!! i love the oval table top....what a clever idea, removing the corners for the corners...i may have to steal it ;)

SewCalGal said...

I absolutely love these quilts. You did a fantastic job. Great choice of color and design. Thanks for sharing.

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Wendy said...

Your use of the NYB blocks is stunning - I love how you rounded the table runner!

Ruthie said...

WOW, I love the table runner.

Exuberant Color said...

perfect to have the pair of them in the same room. total decorating. Love the colors too.

katelnorth said...

Margaret, they look absolutely fabulous - really work well together, and I love your choice of doing a rounded runner and matching mini. I'm delighted to have made a couple of those blocks :)

Vivian said...

What a truly unique layout for the runner, I love it! Great job!

Tami @ Lemon Tree Tales said...

I can't tell you how gorgeous those two pieces are. They're stunning! Absolutely perfect way to use your round robin blocks.