Saturday, August 2, 2014

Totems

To finish out my posts on the amazing Free Bee quilting bee, I want to share the amazing blocks I received from my bee mates for my month in the group. One artist whose work I really love and admire is quilter Erin Wilson. If you are unfamiliar with Erin's work, I've included a few of my favorite pieces below. Or, click over and check out Erin's site yourself. Go ahead, I'll wait for you to get back ...





One series of Erin's that I particularly love are her quilt block "totems". Each of Erin's totems is a series of quilt blocks, vertically stacked, and cohesive in style and color.


I asked my fellow sewists to make me a totem consisting of 3 quilt blocks of their own design. I asked that the main part of the block itself be about 6" square, with approximately 2" borders all around, resulting in a 10" (10.5" unfinished) block. (I say 'approximately' because you can see that some of Erin's blocks are wonky, slightly off-centered, etc.)

I also asked that each totem convey a cohesive color story (red, blue, green, yellow, orange, brown, purple, pink, etc.) OR a 2-color story (green + yellow, red + orange, black + white, blue + green, etc.) I envisioned mostly solids being used, but always LOVE it if some peeks of modern prints popped up in the blocks. I love textured solids, too -- grunge, shot cottons, linens, etc.

Below is the gallery of totem blocks that I received from each quilter in the group.

Leanne:



Dan:


Stacey:


Krista:



Nicolette:


Krista:


Lynne:


Ethne:


Marianne:


And here's where I need your help, dear readers. I am ready to put these all together, but I'm a bit stuck. Do I sash them in rows and columns in a neutral (what color?) and have them evenly spaced in a grid? Or something a bit more creative? Should I turn these into 1 large quilt or, as Erin did, use them more for display (e.g. wall hanging(s)?) Looking for some new ideas here.

Thanks!

11 comments:

  1. Don't sash. In my opinion sashing will take it from cool design aesthetic to traditional square-square type quilt.

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  2. what about a broken grid? like bricks? you'd have to fill in the ends with some kind of 1/2 block, but I imagine that the bee blocks would demand more attention this way than if they were in a traditional grid layout. regardless of what you choose, they are all gorgeous and will make a stunning piece.

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  3. No sashing. I'd like to see them laid out together before I give you an opinion on totems or quilt...

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  4. Love these, can you please post all on the wall without sashing? Hard to say without seeing all together. I'm inspired by them...can't wait....

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  5. Very nice blocks all unique! With so many shot cottons, it gives you a chance to pull them all together in an irregular grid strip quilt with your own filler fabrics. Have fun and enjoy!

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  6. Irregular grid. Fill in with black or similar darker neutral. I would keep them together within their color story in the quilt. They are VERY nice blocks.

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  7. Lovely to see all the blocks again John! I’m working on my Windows of the Provence block lay out too and I’m finding it very hard to decide!

    I don’t think small sashings or adding a black fabric will do any good to the modern look of the blocks and their beautiful colours.

    You could make three totems of the 27 blocks and colour coordinate them. A real wide sashing in between, like 6 "or 8" in a lighter solid colour will add to the totem look (like in the last picture of Erin.

    You could ask the other Free Bee people in the Flickr Group. I still feel sorry that we aren’t active anymore.

    Good luck, I’m looking forward to see what you are going to do!

    Nicolette

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  8. It's going to be fabulous no matter what direction you take.....the blocks are wonderful. It's time for me to get my blocks together as well, I'm also a little stumped but hey that's part of the fun.

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  9. What about the skyline layout used in Tula's 100 Modern Blocks book?? I think they would look great like that with a textured neutral background

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  10. Yes, stack vertical with Grey between in different widths!

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  11. These are amazing. I think you should make them into one quilt but in such a way that they look like hers leaning against the wall. I think it would have a lot of negative space with the totems along the bottom.

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