Saturday, February 2, 2013

Shoofly quilt is finally revealed

This has been a fun quilt inspired by an old one in a book and my friend Jason Alexanders the potter's gift of some old fabrics. The two dark plaids of green and blue were my favorites from his old clothes and I set to work right off making this cool block my book calls shoofly. I see other quilts look different with the same name so I guess it is an open title. These half triangle squares are the key and that is what I wanted to practice and this old quilt caught my eye in the book. What ever you call it, I like it and set to work making the blocks and found I had enough fabric to stretch it out to make a nice sized nap quilt. 39 x73.5 inches

Antique quilt from 520 Quick and Easy Patchwork Designs by Kei Kobayashi ©1993
this is the quilt folded to consider the binding fabric hanging on my design wall

working on embroidering a label
boxed the embroidery in a frame for the orange back! 

completed the navy blue plaid binding by hand last night 

on the wall with the label showing

Three orange stripes progress across the field of shoofly diamonds  

I asked for advice about the background on this project and got a bunch of different answers. Yellow, Orange, Blue were all popular but somehow I decided early on that I wanted to pair these masculine dark plaids with a darkish neutral pebble print that look gray. Then the orange diagonal stripes were inserted to give a break in the traditional pattern. I also played with the thinnest stripe when I discovered I could not add a strip that ran from side to bottom without planning it ahead of time. I learned again that a wide strip inserted in the diagonal from side to bottom causes the edges to bump out the width of the strip and no longer meet up with the sides. It would have to be planned ahead to keep the edges even.  So I folded this little strip in half and sewed it in like a ribbon. Later I added a piece of cording to round it giving the top a play thing raised up from the surface to fondle. 
Once the top was done I went shopping for a dark backing fabric with my mother. We couldn't find one that suited my vision until we switched course and discovered the bright orange circle print fabric which happened to be on sale for 60% discount! I knew right away that this was the right choice for backing my plaids and pebbles Shoofly quilt.

notice the orange quilting threads in the gray blocks?
I used orange thread in my feather weight sewing machine, quilting in diagonal lines to match the 45ยบ angles of the orange stripes.  I am looking forward to washing it to see it crinkle up and soften for use on these cold winter days ahead. Ground hog says spring is coming sooner than usual this morning he didn't see his shadow! 


selfsewn said...

It's lovely Frederick, you're quite good at this quilting lark!!
I love that we learn different things with every quilt, thats my excuse anyway!!
Again I love your label too..are you into naming your quilts?

Frederick said...

Thank you, learning as I go little by little with so much help from the internet quilters! I am naming them sort of by the pattern lately. Was thinking about adding a name to the label this time but it was already so big with my name and date...

Jessie said...

I didn't notice until now how the orange strips cause the blocks to not line up. I love that irregularity. It forces your mind to try to make sense of the layout instead of simply presenting all the blocks in a grid as we usually do. Beautiful, and congrats on a finish!

Frederick said...

Thanks Jessie, I liked the way the strips of orange threw the "traditional" grid off center. Once I saw it on the design wall I knew I wanted to give it a twist. The mind always wants things to line up and we get a bit of a tug when some things don't. :-)