The Naptown Stitchers

Before Gus was born, I was sitting in my favorite store with my awesome friends Heather and David, and my new meets Sarah and Amanda, when Heather blurted out, we should form a quilting bee! We added on Lindsay and Brooke. And then, it all ensued :)
We're hoping to do monthly exercises to help push ourselves out of our comfort zones and to further our quilting skills. The first month started off simply enough, with the assignment to make a few blocks (finished sizes in multiples of 3") based on this photo:
Orange front door
I saw this photo and simply loved it. But when it was chosen as this month's inspiration, and I got ready to make my blocks, I kind of just looked at it and thought, huh.
I started pulling a bunch of fabrics.
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I'm just not a big orange person. No offense, orange. But orange and black (or charcoal)? Oy. That could easily bend towards Halloween, which I did not want. So this was a big challenge for me.
I started looking at the inspiration photo, deciding what spoke to me the most about it. While the door stood out, what I really was thinking about was the dark house and the snow covered environment.I knew then that I didn't have to include the orange if I wasn't feeling it. So I pulled some Botanics white on white crosshatch and two different gray crossweaves to audition.
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I ended up deciding on the darker one. The crossweave gives it just a little more dimension than a regular solid. It really is a beautiful fabric.
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A fresh snow just looks so crisp to me. I couldn't get the circle of flying geese block out of my head! I felt it captured that crispness.
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Most renditions of this block I've loved so far have been rainbow or super scrappy. Mine is more stoic. But it definitely conveyed the feeling I was going for.
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After this block was done,  I was quite satisfied in what I had captured. I decided it was time to just play around with the orange color a little bit to see what I could come up with. I ended up deciding that I needed to lean towards orange-ish colors - not just straight up orange - in order to avoid the Halloween vibe.
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I created this simple block with a fabulous Parson Gray print and an orange that had some melon undertones (it looks a bit different in person). The background print has dark browns and dark blues. Overall, it reads as a gray fabric, but I loved that it echoed the colors in the house (blue-hued shutters, browner wood accents and trees). Perfect! This one finishes at 6".
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Lastly, I was dying to use a rich, solid red I had found. Another idea that floated into my head was something Irish Chain-esque, and this is what I was able to come up with in the limited amount of time I had. I pulled another Parson Gray print (love him!) from my gray stack and the combination is striking. I don't think it represents the photo as successfully, but it does feel a little bit piratey. Which is awesome. Obviously.
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It's pretty fun to see them all together. Not at all my usual kind of sewing project.
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I brought my blocks to the meeting, and they were happy to find some friends there. It was definitely different to sew to a specification that was so open to interpretation. It was a great stretching exercise, for sure. Can't wait to see what the leader does with these guys :)
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Quilt BlocksAmy Garro