As always, the BQF has snuck up on me. And as always, I don't have any sort of fantastic amazing quilt that might be remotely in the running for a prize. But what I do have is a little project I designed for a shop in NE to use as their Row by Row row (there has to be a better way to say that), which I just love and hope you will as well!
Many times the Row by Row row (there it is again) is designed by a shop employee, or a designer who lives nearby the shop, or even a famous designer. I fall in none of those categories, having designed this row for The Quilt Basket in York NE - NE standing in this case for Nebraska, not New England, mind you. So imagine my surprise when they contacted me and asked if I'd be interested. Imagine further my concern about whether I could design something they could be proud to use as their Row by Row row (hereafter to be referred to as the Triple R) when their vision was to have "a vertical Triple R featuring a corn row with a raccoon sitting at the bottom chowing down on an ear of corn." That may not have been the exact wording, but it for sure was the gist. I do love me a challenge, though, so I was happy to give it a go.
Don't you love the first step of the design or quilting process, which is fabric shopping? I was told to go with fabrics that were batik-y and tone on tone-y (my terms, not theirs, but I knew what they meant) so that when they were kitting the design, they could find easy substitutions to what I was using out here in the eastern NE.
I love designing machine applique, but have to admit I am a weird form of designer who really can't draw very well. Often my shapes end up much more realistic in fabric than they do with just pen and paper. The corn I figured I could fake okay by looking at photos of corn, but the raccoon could be an issue. Thank God for coloring books! Thankfully I found a cartoony looking raccoon I was able to use as a model and made my own for this row. Using Mistyfuse as my fusible, I was able to cut out all the various racoon parts and fuse him all together first, just to make sure I had the right scale compared to my row and corn size. Isn't he pretty cute?
|AND LOOK AT THAT CORN FABRIC! PERFECTION!|
|Super extreme closeup. Because why not.|
Once I was happy with the scale and shapes, I fused the corn and raccoon to my Triple R background, and the fun began! A little zig zagging around the raccoon parts gave him a personality - and some blue eyes.
A little thread painting gave my corn a little silk. I was pretty proud of that part, even if it may not have been exactly how corn is found in nature. But hey, it's a quilt, right? Of a cartoony racoon eating corn. Perfectly realistic wouldn't have blended with my brand of imperfection.
The Quilt Basket really only wanted the row as a row, but I took it upon myself recently to go ahead and finish it off as a wall hanging. He seems like he's pretty happy about being a real quilt now, not just a Triple R.
A few close ups:
|As always, I'm not a fabulous machine quilter, but I am a very enthusiastic one.|
|Now and then, the perfect back appears.|
Thank you for stopping by! I'd love to know if you participated in Row by Row this year! And especially if not only you participated, but you actually collected this row. And oh my goodness, if you participated, collected, AND made the row?? The trifecta! Please if so share a photo with me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I don't think I can ever be tired of seeing my designs made up in actual fabric by amazing quilter peeps!
Enjoy the BQF!