Wednesday, March 7, 2007

My First Group Quilt

Some of my quilter friends at work and I had been talking about doing a group quilt, which I was totally excited about because that was something I had never done. Well, my exuberance showed through, and I was voted to be the organizer. What do I know about organizing a group quilt? Nothing. But here I am. We decided to do a quilt in honor of a coworker who is a breast cancer survivor. The plan is to put together the quilt, have a raffle, and donate the proceeds to the Susan G. Komen For The Cure foundation.
I pored over quilt blocks, trying to pick the perfect mix of not too hard, but not too easy. We have a lot of people who aren't really quilters who wanted to participate, so I couldn't do anything too challenging. Plus, the grand scheme is that we can all learn to quilt together, with more group quilts to be planned in the future, possibly with more and more challenging patterns. I finally decided on a Shooting Star pattern. Pretty simple, but with lots of room for a variety of fabrics. Plus, it's a scrap quilt, so no one has to go out and buy specific fabrics.
I've been getting some of the squares from people, and I love how much of a person's personality it in their fabric scraps! The top left is the woman in whose honor the quilt shall be, in the breast cancer pink, next to that is a more traditional, very feminine woman with her beautiful paiseleys and florals, top right is a self-proclaimed red-white-and-blue-horder, with her one non-red-white-and-blue fabric. Bottom left is me, with my random selection. To be honest, most of the fabrics I used (not most of the ones showing, surprisingly) are from the woman on the bottom right, who gave me a huge bag full of her scraps (and then regretted it once we started this project). But she didn't give me her greens and earth tones, which show up in her blocks. Some of the women I know enough to be able to see their past projects in their squares. And I love to discover that we all have at least one of the fabrics someone else used at home.
The website I got the idea from is a crazy resource for traditional quilt blocks. Tons and tons of blocks, and they're listed with a difficulty rating in numbers of pins. But beware, some of the pages have this weird Iggy Pop elevator music that can't be turned off. Here's what it's supposed to look like when it's put together, but I'm going to add another row of triangles on the edges to finish off the stars. The way we're doing it, I'm having everyone give me 9 separate squares, then we can mix up the beiges so there's not big blocks of the same color beige, like this.

But speaking of quilts, for me personally, I want to do something more like what all buttoned up has on her banner, or the gorgeous quilts at glittergoods (here here here). I do love the organization of making up a bunch of blocks and seeing a grand pattern come together, but I'm in the mood for something more random. I'm in the mood to cut fabric willy nilly and sew it together, and see what comes of it.

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