Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Current Obsessions

For a couple of years now I have been interested in doing a Stack-n-Whack type quilt. Lazy Sister Sue had shown me some she had done a few years back and I liked the effect, but once we moved so far away from my quilt teacher, I had kind of put it on the back burner and had not pursued finding a class locally.

When I went to the Peeps Retreat in April, we did a book and pattern swap among the peeps, each of us bringing things we no longer wanted and placing them on a big table up for grabs.

I was so excited to find this book in the mix - this looked to be another authors version of the technique - which basically consists of cutting your fabric in rectangles so that the pattern repeat fills each rectangle, stacking up 8 layers so that the pattern aligns through all 8 layers, and then cutting out wedges that are then assembled into octagons.

This book was the gentle nudge I needed to get my mind back on doing this technique - it became one of those nagging things in the back of my mind, even as I worked on many many other projects.

One hitch to my plan was that I am working on tight pursestrings where fabric purchasing is concerned -and the quantity needed for me to "experiment" with a new technique was a bit daunting. A few chunks I had in my stash that I thought would be good for this were too small.

Then last Sunday (the 12th) a new quilting buddy came over for a few hours - it was her first visit to my workspace - and as we swapped ideas and chatted and I cut a few chunks of fabric to share with her, I unearthed FIVE YARDS of fabric that I had forgotten I had. FIVE YARDS of fabric that I purchased in a trip to Hobby Lobby in SC with Lazy Sister Sue nearly 2 years ago. FIVE YARDS of fabric that to this point I had no real plan for. FIVE YARDS of Halloween Spirit craziness... I had finally found my fabric!!!

So not long after Shellie left, I got to measuring and cutting and stacking and aligning and cutting some more - and soon had piles and piles of triangles just waiting to be assembled. Most would end up in 8" blocks -the rest in 4" (and I even scraped a few 3" blocks out of the scraps).

And then the magic began - especially in the centers of the blocks...


Witch hats turned into flower centers...


Witch hat brims and hair turned into "venus flytraps" ...


...or swirling fire spirals...

I never knew quite from the wedges how the final block would turn out - it was hard to visualize what the seam allowance would eliminate from the final effect - especially in the centers.
I thought I was going to lose the one-eyed witch in this one, but she surprised me and still peeks out from the middle


Still working from my stash, I decided to add the yellow corners to each block to form the square - since the yellow is the least dominant color in the original fabric. I am going to try to pick up some black, blue, purple, orange and lime fabrics to do some borders, sashing and other accents both front and back, but I have not yet figured out my final block arrangement.

Oh - the little ones are fun, too - the witch face is not so dominant in those due to the small size, so they get more "abstract".


I just love how the colors shift and change from block to block -and how quickly these go together.

I hope to have this completely done soon (at least by Halloween!)- other projects are patiently waiting in the wings - but don't think for a second that I have this technique entirely out of my system yet. The magic has just begun!!!

13 comments:

Cindy said...

That looks like it was the perfect fabric for those blocks. They are all so different looking and I love em. Good thing you found that large piece so you could try it out.

Jen said...

I've never thought about using a novelty fabric for a stack and whack. It's going to turn into a cool quilt.

Pollyanna said...

Oh fun! I did a stack & whack years ago...well I started it anyway...it is in a box somewhere.

Barb said...

I did a stack n whack years ago (my MIL claimed it) but I just may have to play with that again. Your blocks are fabulous! I would have thought that fabric was too busy but it's PERFECT! Can't wait to see the final piece.

Higgins Design Studio said...

...and how is the purple Miranda coming along...? ;-)
LOVE the squares, being a paper person, I see a resemblance to Tea Bag Folding (no, not used tea bags, the decorative wrappers, silly), how you fold them determines the patterns.
And that witch is SO cute!
Love you sis!
C

Trish said...

Good job on 'finding' the fabric! The quilt is going to be great.

Joan said...

Hi Regina, Those blocks are great. Can't wait to see more.

BitnByAQuiltingBug said...

That is just one cool idea and it's going to be an awesome quilt!

jillquilts said...

Those blocks look awesome! It was way easier to plan my blocks when I cut my triangles for my novelty print OBW - the Wizard of Oz.

This makes me want to pull mine out and finish the borders!

Regina said...

@Jill - your Wizard of Oz was another reminder to me that I wanted to try this - and probably why I did not think twice about using a novelty fabric. Maybe that's the good part of doing this outside a class - I had no limits.

I still want to do a OBW but need to find a good design wall space before I tackle that one. Maybe with a good turtle fabric??!?!

jillquilts said...

Turtle fabric would totally rock!!

saleskinen said...

I love it... the blocks are excellent!! I would have never guess they would turn out so cool. How wonderful... the funkier the fabric the cooler the outcome. shellie

QuiltingB29 said...

That will be a really cool quilt when finished. Keep us posted on how it's going!