Sunday, August 14, 2011

curvacious . . .

Yesterday I pulled up Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilts blog and read a thoroughly fascinating account of the Indiana Copperheads in the post entitled 33 Indiana Puzzle.

Basically it discussed the negative meaning the Indiana Union sympathizers intended when they called democrat Confederate sympathizers "Copperheads" or snakes in the grass. Instead, it was taken up as a compliment and they likened themselves to the copper Lady Liberty pennies and used the small coin as objects of jewelry to identify themselves. Like I said, it was a fascinating post, and the Civil War block it inspired caught my attention as well.

It was a circle set in a square ... which meant curved piecing (although I did see on the Civil War 2011 Flikr site that some appliqued the circle onto a block), which I've never attempted to do. But for some strange reason, this block really called my name . . . maybe it was the combination of blue and brown CW prints which I just happen to have a nice stock of . . . maybe it was the challenge of curved piecing . . . or maybe it was this template:

I'd gotten this several years ago -- perhaps at the last AQS show in Nashville -- but I'd never used it. It was still in the packaging, as a matter of fact! It's a template for a drunkard's path block setting -- and even though Barbara's post included the template for the cutting of the pieces in her block, in the back of my mind I knew I had this acrylic template that would work perfectly (even if it wasn't exactly the same size as the block she'd created). While I do follow the CW blog, I've never felt compelled to make one of the blocks, so sizing didn't really matter. It was the challenge to do something out of my comfort zone that got me all lit up!

So I pulled out some browns and blues -- I knew that one of the fabrics I'd gotten for our Stitcher's block swap would be just perfect for the copper center -- and I unwrapped the little template from its packaging, and went to town!

Working with the curves *was* challenging, but not as difficult as I thought it would be. Cutting around the template was the toughest part for me. I wonder if this is where using a smaller rotary cutter would be beneficial? I'll have to work on that. After figuring out on the first set how to line up and pin the two pieces, the next three went fairly quickly. And they iron flat very nicely!

What I didn't do was pay attention to Barbara's instructions on sewing the dark brown to the dark blue. That was counter-intuitive to me, and without reading the color placement instructions, I just did light to dark for both sets. I think the instructed way would have looked better. Even so, I really, really like how this little block turned out! This would be a fun quilt to make using all these blocks (maybe a little bit bigger - perhaps 10" or 12" squares) in Roll Tide colors, I think.

As a quilter I think I've come to the realization that if I get at least one quilt project finished per year, I'm happy (and thankfully I've more than met that goal for this year -- LOL). I really enjoy learning new techniques, figuring out uses for tools, and challenging my stitching, cutting and piecing skills on different blocks. So yes, I may have a drawer full of orphan blocks . . . but what they've given me is so fulfilling, who cares? Someday I'll redefine crazy quilting and put them all together (bizarre fabric combinations and all), and make my own personal evolution of quilting quilt!

I did turn in my BOM late yesterday afternoon and picked up the last installment. Now that will be a finished quilt either late this year or early next. I'm excited to put together and finish my glorious orange quilt! From that errand, I met Joc and Jason and a group of their friends for a birthday dinner at Beauregard's. Then we headed over to Joc's for birthday cake and ice cream and little Fruit Ninja on the kinnect. Ummmm, can you say hilarious? It was actually a lot of fun!

When I got home late last night, I found the power was out. When I called it in I learned it was not area-wide, which meant no one was working on restoring it yet! Since Todd was on shift, it was just only me. The utility crew that came out was very nice and got it working as fast as they could -- still it was near 2 a.m. before I was finally able to drive down to lock the gate so I could crawl into bed!

I see a nap in my future today.


2 expressed . . .:

Paula said...

I love the block. I also am afraid of curves and I am so glad you took the plunge. It turned out wonderful. I will have to think about taking one of those on.
Nap time....shhhhh. sleep well.

Sarah said...

Hi Denise - I completely forgot to check on this week's CW block until I saw your post. I also have that 3.5" template set (actually I just found the 7" in a drawer - unopened) so I will probably use the template.