Monday, May 1, 2017

Quilts Around the Bay

In March Quilt Vine participated in the first annual Quilts Around the Bay Shop Hop. Nine shops from around the Chesapeake Bay participated in this event. Our theme this year was Bay Life. Each shop designed a block to fit in with this theme. Then each shop made a quilt using their own setting and choice of fabric. 

We have this quilt kitted and it is available for purchase through December 31, 2017.

This quilt kit is also available in our Etsy Shop.

Each shop got to choose which creature they would like to represent on the quilt. We were fortunate to get the Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab. We have done a lot with the crab. Last year we had a custom Accuquilt Die made, so the crabs in our kits are pre-cut and pre-fused.  

When I made the first sample block I used Robert Kaufman's Essex Metallic in Sand for the background and it was perfect. 

We then decided we had to use Robert Kaufman's metallic fabric in all of the blocks. 
The pictures don't do it any justice, but the metallic fabric is spectacular. 
You really do need to see this quilt in person to appreciate it. 

This is my first try on most of the blocks and 3 of them had to be reworked. First of all the Fish block was not working like this. We thought the metallic would be better for the fish than the background, but when we put it with the other blocks and their backgrounds were metallic it just  didn't look right. 

Then there was the terrapin block. At first we thought we needed the perfect shell fabric, but none of the fabrics we tried seemed to work. So we decided to go with a basic, like all of the other fabrics were, and do some detail stitching for the shell. 

When I thought I was ready to put the quilt together, none of us liked how the horseshoe crab block stood out. The black was much too dark and that had to be changed to a lighter fabric. 

While I was making the blocks I was also playing around with the setting on the computer. At first I really wanted to put a Jelly Fish in there somehow. In the Summer the Jelly Fish are everywhere and I felt like an injustice had been done that none of the other shops had chosen the Jelly Fish. But in the end I just didn't like any of the settings where I put in the Jelly Fish.

My next thought was that for Quilts Around the Bay I wanted to try to make the setting circular. Because I used several different backgrounds I really felt that the blocks needed to be framed. I liked them just framed but felt there would be more of a wow factor if they had a shadow. When I saw this layout on paper I knew what had to be done with the Geese Around Block. 

It just had to go in the center with no frame!

Thank goodness I had put off doing that block for last because I did not want to make that one more than once.

Next came time to audition fabric for the frame, shadow and background. Often when we audition fabric at the shop we will lay it on the cutting table and go up on the steps and look down. It is also very helpful to take a picture.  

I was floundering around with several fabrics for the background. I really liked this one but was not sure if it would be the perfect one for a bay quilt. It looked like it had some chemistry figures and maybe some trigonometry figures. Then I read some of the paragraph. It is difficult to read but it talks about an island and a  cove and water depth. When I read that there was no question that this was going to be the background! This fabric is by Moda.

Finally, when all of the other blocks were done and the background was chosen,  I conquered the geese around block. I don't do a lot of paper piecing, so it was sort of like relearning it.  Since the background is not metallic like the other blocks the goose and the flying geese are metallic.

I couldn't be happier with this quilt. 

I love the setting.

I love the fabric.

I even love the simple quilting.

I love everything about this quilt. 

If you love it too, the kit is available until December 31, 2017

The pattern for just the block and the block kit are available.

We also decided to take the same idea and make it as a runner or wall hanging. 

The runner pattern and kit are available.

Next year's shop hop will be March 2-11, 2018.

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