This is my UFO. And yes, I mean unidentified flying object. It landed on the snowbank in front of my house, and demanded to have its picture taken. Of course, I obliged.
Truth be told, it is a quilt top. You guessed? It was originally going to be called Ann’s AMH. For those of you who might not be avid quilters, let me tell you that Anna Maria Horner is a force to be reckoned with in the quilting world. She designs absolutely stunning, vibrant fabric and quilts, and is well known for her unusual use of colours and bold, often folkloric, images. Her store, Craft South, is in Nashville, and when I was at Quiltcon2019, I visited it. The place was abuzz with beautiful fabric and happy quilters hunting for beautiful fabric, but what really captivated me were the quilts. OMG, what quilts! Let me apologize right now for the terrible pictures, but hopefully, you can get an idea of the magic.
I decided then and there that I’d like to make a quilt inspired by these.
In unrelated news, a few weeks ago, I spotted Purple Pineapple Studio‘s Split Decision quilt on Instagram, wanted to use up some solids, and made a few blocks. The centres needed a bit of pizzazz; I found a long hoarded bundle of AMH charm squares.
It was a pretty quilt, but this version was nothing special, and I really didn’t need a quick finish. Then I remembered my inspiration at Craft South. How would the blocks look in the form of an X? What could I use for a focus fabric?
Not these ones, even thought the birds are AMH. I didn’t want a pink quilt.
Here’s the winner. I bought the fabric in Hawaii, came home and found it in a local quilt store. I love it all the same. What could I use as a centre? The inspiration quilts had simple squares, but with the big, square, split decision blocks, I thought a square would be a let down. Improv arcs solved the problem.
The rays of the X should be made of the remaining charm squares, but there weren’t enough. On closer examination, AMH’s Xs really stood out; they were brighter than the rest of the quilts. My blocks were already bright; I decided to remove the light charms and add more dark solids to get contrast, but the X was still getting lost in the squares. It was time to break out some contrast fabric. I tried grey solid and grey batik, but the stripes were the clear favourite. I worried they’d be too busy, but my trusty quilt consultant, Gillian, aka Sew Golly, encouraged the madness.Then I cut the focus fabric, realized I wanted the quilt a little bigger, and all of a sudden, didn’t have enough fabric to cut big setting triangles. Typical. Measure twice cut once? No, measure once, cut twice. Run out of fabric. Finally, I got my head around a solution and inserted four inch rectangles, separated by the stripes, around the too small focus triangles. I considered delineating them with stripes, but I had very little stripe left and I really didn’t want the triangular sections drawing attention from the X. I had the devil of a time figuring out how wide to cut the focus strips to surround the triangles until I remembered Pythagoras, got out the calculator and found the length of the hypotenuse. Figuring went smoothly after that. God bless the geometry I never thought I’d use.
How to finish the corners? I made an executive decision, cut off the limbs of the X and made an octagonal quilt. Not quite AMH like, but what odds? The shape actually mirrors the circular centre, so clearly it was a decision based on artistic merit, not on me deciding I had done what I wanted to do, and was not in the mood to put in any more work. The quilt will look fabulous on a round table, which I do not own, or on a lap, which I do.
My new longarm has arrived, so I’m hoping to get this top, and a half dozen more, finished in the not too distant future. For now, flimsy pictures will have to do. Here is the alien on a bush.And here it is preparing for takeoff.Stay home and quilt. Stashes were made for times like these. Sending all the best karma possible from six feet and beyond,
Linking up with Leanne, the Devoted Quilter, at TGIFF