The other three talented quilters in our little group are:
Amy of Amy's Crafty Shenanigans
Susannah from fiberchick
Be sure to check out their projects too when you're done here! I can't wait to see what everyone came up with.
I chose our first theme: Growth. Not long after picking it, I made several quilts with a lot of green. So even though my first thought was to create something leafy and green, I just couldn't stomach the idea of more green!
But I was really stuck on the leaf concept. I photographed these leaves in our yard (just on my iPhone, so I could blow them up and trace them).
I don't do much applique, but this seemed to be a prime opportunity. I wanted to create a rather plain/simple piece and then embellish it with dense machine quilting. Here's what I came up with:
I used some leftover Gradations fabric by Caryl Bryer Fallert from way too many years ago, and then a black solid. The piece measures 12.5" x 33", so it sneaks in under our 100" maximum perimeter.
Close-ups of each block:
A disclaimer on this first block: My husband walked in while I was sewing this and asked why I was sewing a pot leaf! We are not growing THAT in our yard. It's a red maple or Japanese red maple or something like that--plants are not my thing.
Confession time: one of my earlier ideas was to do just ferns, showing one all curled up, one slightly unfurled, and one completely open. Then I thought about the drawing and cutting it would require and changed my mind. I needed simpler shapes that were easier to identify!
Confession time #2: I really didn't want to use this leaf, as it seemed too autumn-ish too me. But I was running out of time and I'm pretty sure the other photos I'd taken of leafy plants in our yard were actually of weeds, and I was too embarrassed to show off a weed!
This is my favorite one! I think the stitching lines on the hosta leaves make them look realistic, and I had fun with the pebble quilting too.
What I learned from this first challenge: Sometimes the freedom to make "anything" is a little too freeing. I spent 98% of the three months we allotted ourselves thinking of an idea and 2% actually sewing. Also, I really need to watch the warping when I machine quilt densely. But...I really enjoyed experimenting with different machine quilting motifs--so much easier to manage on a smaller project!
Thanks for playing, ladies! Can't wait to pick our next theme and start brainstorming!