Monday, January 1, 2018

Hive 5 January 2018 Block - WInter Trees

Happy 2018 Hive Five!

I am looking forward to participating in Stash Bee this year and getting to know each of you through your posts and creations.  

I would like to construct a modern winter tree quilt. I was inspired by Elizabeth Hartman's winter quilt that you can see here. I would like to create a forest of monochromatic gray trees. I am intrigued by gray and also want to create something that will help me process the wildfires that destroyed about 3000 homes in my town this last October.  
You can help by creating a 15.5" square of fabric that I will use to create a forest of different sized trees.  

This is the process that I used to construct my samples.

Pull your grays and organize them from darks to lights.  My gray stash has been growing.
Choose 10-12 and arrange them so that the darks and lights are in a random order that you like. It's okay if they aren't all pure grays.  It's even okay if your grays have a pop of another color, as long as the fabric still reads primarily as gray.  
Once you've identified your favorite order, cut a strip from each fabric that is a minimum of 15.5" long.  You can cut it any width between 1" to 2.5".  I cut each strip so that it would be a different width than the one below and above.  Some of my strips were longer simply because the scrap I used was just a bit longer.  Those extra little bits will come in handy.

For anyone who wants a guide, I cut the following widths:
  • one 1"
  • two 1.25"
  • one 1.5"
  • one 1.75"
  • one 2"
  • one 2.25"
  • four 2.5"
But, seriously, have fun cutting any way you'd like based on your fabric choices staying between 1" to 2.5" wide.

When I sewed my first sample, I was lazy and speedy.  Consequently the outer edges of the block were wider than the center of the block. When I attached my walking foot the second time, my block had more uniform horizontal strips and wasn't wider on the edges.

I placed the strips on my design wall and then chain pieced one strip to another until I had a combined unit that measured a minimum of 15.5" square.  Astute observers will notice that my block is a bit taller than 15.5."  

I pressed all the seams open so that I can cut the trees from either direction.  
This is what your block might resemble when you mail it to me. 

When my fabric unit was completed, I was able to cut three different size trees and still have some little bits remaining that might lead to some interesting experiments for the quilt back.  

I am still debating on a background fabric. On white, there's hardly any contrast. On black, there's a lot. Ironically enough, the trees showed best in a photo when I hung them on some exterior bricks. I'd really appreciate any suggestions for a different background fabric. To share your suggestion, post a photo of your block folded at an angle sitting on a fabric that I could consider.  
Please send me your block untrimmed so that I can have fun with any extra little bits.  

I hope this will be an easy block for each of you, and one that lets you play with contrast.  

Email or send me a message through Instagram if you have any questions.

With much appreciation, 
aka Kitch Kouture


Valorie Webster said...

This looks very interesting and fun! It will be great to see what evolves from the fabric blocks sent to you, all the way to your final result!

Jude Made It said...

Cathleen, this is a fun and fast block to make! Great choice for making your trees. Someone mentioned that green would be a nice background and I tend to agree since it suggests 'renewal' to something that was so devastatding. Whatever you decide, it will end up being perfect, I'm sure.

Tanya HD said...

I love this block idea! I have been wanting to explore low volumes and greys recently, so this is a great way to start - thanks!! I think a light lime green would be a great background for the variety of greys :) Can't wait to get started on this block!