Friday, April 26, 2013

And then there were TWO

We are having something of a baby boom at work, and there are 3 group quilts in various stages of completion. One of the new ones is called "And then there were TWO", because this is a second child. In 2011, we made a depression era inspired bunny quilt for the first one. Bunnies were from Darcy Ashton's Grandma's Bunnies designs and were so cute.

Here is the original:
Grandmother's Favorite Bunny
The second quilt has a slightly more -- dare I use the word??? -- "modern" flavor and was mocked-up in EQ7 to work out the layout, cutting, etc. The bunny shape in the EQ7 image was used just to get a feel for the look. In the real quilt, the bunnies are cut from one piece of fabric and fused to the background. I had a lot of left-over 2" purple and yellow 4-patches that were intended to be corner-stones in the original quilt. Somehow they didn't quite work, so have been saved in the scrap drawer until now. I only had to made 48 more, and fortunately still had enough jelly-roll strips to do it.
EQ7 Mockup

Blocks laid out on the design wall, ready to sew together
 The bunnies are all made from a charm-pack of 30's repro fabric. Blocks are 7 1/2 " unfinished. Yellow background fabrics were cut slightly oversize, to give a little flexibility, in case the bunny artists didn't get things centered perfectly, and after free motion stitching around the raw edges, which sometimes causes things to draw up, the blocks were cut down to size, and the purple corners were added.

Close up of a bunny block showing free motion stitching on raw edge fused applique
Originally, I thought to use a blanket stitch, which was also used on the first quilt, but I did one block that way (my bunny block) and didn't like it and ended up ripping it all out. Besides, stitching around 26 bunnies was going to take a REALLY long time, and was going to be incredibly boring. Each bunny pair was made by a different person in the group, so experimenting and possibly ruining someone's contribution was not an option. I made one small mock-up and tried free motion stitching around the edges (using a tear-away stabilizer underneath). I went around twice and I quite like the way it looks -- a bit sketchy and informal, but definitely secure.

One of things that I love about this quilt and making it with my friends, is that despite the fact that we all used exactly the same bunny shape and it is just silhouette -- no eyes, nose, no facial expression, etc -- the positioning and spacing, with some facing the same direction, some nestled really close, some farther apart, some facing in opposite directions, etc gives these bunny siblings an absolutely amazing breadth of personality and interaction.This is not something that I would  have or could have done on my own, and every time I see how the 'odd' choices of the other contributors make the whole so much better -- I am awed.

This will get sewn together this weekend (with help from the group), and then will go off to the long-armer.


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