Monday, September 15, 2008
Noah's Ark Quilt
I finished putting the top of my Missouri Noah's Ark Quilt!!! Yay!
All last year, I was the Project Chair for my quilt guild, the Newtonia Battlefield Quilters. Part of my job was to choose the Block-of-the-month. I wanted to have a theme and I love quilts that tell a story, so I decided to pick all animal blocks and that way they could be Noah's Ark at the end.
I got the idea from a pattern book "Country Threads" by the very cool ladies Mary Etherington & Connie Tesene, who run a quilting shop in their chicken coop. Here is their website. One of the little quilted wallhangings in their book is an Iowa Noah's Ark, complete with a scarecrow, Old Mac-Noah.
I love their folk art quilt patterns. However, I usually modify the cutting and piecing directions for simplicity. They call for so many tiny pieces!! And they never use the fast piecing techniques for half-square triangles and flying geese--which I just won't do without. I don't DO bias triangles, okay!
Enough about them. Back to MY quilt.
I had fun searching all over to find just the right animals- to be for Missouri's Ark. As you can see we have cardinals and raccooons and cows and chickens and even a mule. I am really proud of this quilt because I actually designed 3 or 4 of the blocks myself, as well as the layout. I drew the raccoon and turned it into a pattern. (The only raccoon pattern I could was by Debbie Mum, and it looked like a really depressed bear. The pigs in the quilt are from a pattern she designed, just so you know, I am not anti-Debbi Mum at all.) I also designed the Mule block. I did feel a little blasphemous putting a sterile animal on Noah's ark, but you can't have Missouri without a mule. The other block I drew was the yellow kitty-cat block. My very talented friend Vea turned it into a paper-pieced pattern for me.
The chickens, cows, sheep, and barn-ark came from Country threads--though I enlarged the chicken block to 6" finished and uber-simplified the barn. I was pretty sure the guild ladies would murder me in my bed if I asked them to make a block with 38 pieces to cut, most of them hardly bigger than 1 inch square. My simplified version had only 12 pieces.
We also do a fabric exchange each month. We were exchanging 6" squares last year, and I chose the colors to go with the blocks and the folk-art theme. Nearly all of the flying geese and the 4 little 9 patches are made with 6" blocks that I got in the fabric exchange. I had lots leftover for another project as well.
It was tons of fun to put in some symbolism, like the 4 suns and 4 moons to represent 40 days and 40 nights, and the rainbow in the flying geese. I put in a few white geese to be doves.
At the last minute, I drew that little Noah and appliqued him onto my barn ark. Heat-n-Bond!!!
Here I am auditioning the green fabric, trying to decide if it is good for a border or if it is too busy. I decided in the end that the border was good, and it is now sewed on. The green is called "Elephant Walk" and is by Moda. It has elephants hiding in all those jungle leaves, and they look very worried that they are not going to be let on the ark.
After a year of animal blocks, I was very tired of sewing them! I was so glad to turn over the job of choosing the block to our new chair this year. I am enjoying sewing blocks chosen by someone else.
A few final details about my quilt: It is about 36" by 48" plus about 5 1/2" of borders, so it is now approaching 4 feet by 5 feet. I usually end up giving away quilts when I finish them. This one is actually intended to be a wall-hanging because of all the buttons that I put on for eyes. I am telling myself that I get to keep it, but someone's birthday will come up, or something and I will panic and send it off, hoping that they love it as much as I do.