Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tartan Diamond in a Square and AHIQ 22

Today is the third month of Kaja's #AHIQtwoblocks invitation. I'm on pins and needles to see what everyone has done even if, like me, you're not finished. CCII: Stacked Bricks is going to be my two block quilt; the second block forms a border. The background squares created by the Coins reminded me of a quilt I made years ago.

Tartan Diamond in a Square began with leftover Half Log Cabins/Housetop blocks. The bright, colorful ones quickly went into a simpler scrap quilt. These remaining blocks were so dull I almost donated them until... That plaid fell on those dull blocks and a perfect match was born.

About that plaid. I'd been on a business trip and wandered into WalMart one evening. This was before they standardized their offerings at every store so there was always the chance of finding something unusual. This fabric was on top of a station. From a distance it looked woolen and like the Sirens of old, it called to me across the store. I only bought 1.5 yards. {Why? There was certainly more and it was on sale.} Every scrap went into this quilt. In fact, that's why the inner section is not symmetrical.

Can you see the two block setting? It a bit of an illusion.

Tartan Diamond in a Square

The first block is composed of four Housetops.

Tartan Diamond in a Square detail with Half Log Cabins/Housetop blocks

They alternate with a simple dark or light centered block sashed with a loud plaid. Because the Housetops had subtle color variations I didn't want a single fabric in the alternate block. Neither did I want an obvious pattern. So I sewed two fabrics together, cross cut, and spun the resulting squares into a simple whirligig.

Tartan Diamond in a Square detail of dark block
While it contains some of the same shapes as the Housetops, the larger rectangles add some needed scale/shape variation.

The colors and layout fool the eye into seeing a different layout. Although more subtle than CCII, the plaids and bright purple posts seem to float in front of a background of duller dark and light. This quilt taught me that blocks don't always have to be the focal point.

Tartan Diamond in a Square detail with light block
Of course I wanted a large quilt so I combined aspects of the Amish Diamond in a Square with Middle Eastern rugs to create the border. The two different bright blues on each section define crisp edges. Creating the checkerboard in tans tied it back to the golden browns in that crazy plaid.

Tartan Diamond in a Square border detail

The stems of the vines were the only guidelines drawn for all this free motion work. I'd been told quilting doesn't show on prints so I used 40-weight thread and fearlessly quilted across the narrow borders. The work only shows on the lights but it was a joy to sew.

Tartan Diamond in a Square border corner detail

Sharp eyes will notice the same Alexander Henry fabric from my Thirty Year Sampler in the border and binding.

Quilt Details
Size: 84" x 102"
Design: Two block quilt with Housetops and original block
Batting: Mountain Mist Blue Ribbon100% cotton
Thread: variegated cotton 40 wt. thread
Quilting: SID and freemotion quilting, various freehand designs

Many two-block quilts are alternate blocks but there are other ways to combine them. Chaos #5 by Erin Wilson and Sunday Best by Michelle Wilkie demonstrate unconventional ways to create quilts of two or more blocks.

Edit: Linked to CrazyMomQuilts.

Enjoy the day, Ann

24 comments:

  1. Wow, that is a complicated quilt! I'm going to have to come back and really study the individual parts. I love the plaid...and the argyle pattern setting. Well done. It looks old fashioned and then, not old fashioned, all at once. A tour de force!

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    1. It looks more complicated but is really a simple layout... except for the border. It's an older quilt that I still like and use regularly. I think it looks a bit old fashioned, too.

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  2. That's a celebration of color and design.
    AHIQ already? I'll have to hustle and see what I can find to share.
    Thanks for hosting AHIQ Ann and Kaja, good idea.

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    1. I'm glad you're working on utility quilts, too. Such fun to see what everyone is doing.

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  3. What an interesting combination of blocks and fabrics. I do love me a good plaid! I think it is more interesting that the plaid is not symmetrical.

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    1. That is my favorite plaid of all time. So colorful and odd.
      It does seem more homey when it's not symmetrical. Reminds me of antique quilts that we're made to fit the bed, not the repeat. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  4. That is a truly unique way of using plaids but not being the focus. The magenta squares are magic, a wonderful choice. The mix of rusts and purple blues makes it special.

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    1. That magenta is in the plaid. O found it after putting them together. Before that I only noticed the reds,gold,and blue. I lesson for me to look more closely.
      This quilt taught me many lessons.

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  5. Wow, this is very clever. I like that the plaid and the purple squares draw the eye first and the way they seem to float in front of the rest, but once you look there is also something interesting going on in the blocks - your simple whirligig is a great counterpoint to the log cabins. I also love the setting: it's quite sophisticated and unusual.

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    1. Putting the plaid and then the purple on those dull blocks was eye-opening. I'd never thought they might work together. Then I was limited by the plaid. Had to cut very carefully; no margin for straightening cuts or mistakes. It taught me that the block doesn't have to grab center stage and how to disguise boundaries.

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  6. This quilt has SO much to look at and investigate. Wow! Very very cool.

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    1. Thanks, Julie. My Stacked Bricks reminded me of this older quilt. I loved the dimensional effect created with value change.

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  7. What a lovely quilt! Love those pops of fushia and that gorgeous plaid. I am such a sucker for good plaids.:) Such an interesting design. I can tell you had fun with this one! Thanks for taking us through your process!

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    1. Creating this was very similar to your process. I thought the fuschia should be red or gold but neither worked. Fabrics ended up chosen by tossing them in piles to see what spoke up. Ha!

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  8. This is fantastic! It really draws me in to investigate everything from the fabrics to the blocks to the quilting. And that border is just awesome!

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    1. Thanks, Cathy. It looks more complicated but is just a simple alternate two-block design.

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  9. I can well imagine you spotting that plaid from halfway across the store. I would have been captured too! It really adds a spark to this quilt, which is completely wonderful. What a creative design! Thanks for sharing. :D

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    1. It was singing. Loudly, of course. It was the craziest fabric - printed like wool. I'm glad you like it, too. Good to know our tastes aren't weird; we're a matched set. Ha.

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  10. What a beauty! I love the pops of magenta/raspberry you have in this quilt, everything fits together beautifully.

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    1. Thanks, Maureen. None of this was planned. They all were chosen by "dropping fabric on the color and seeing what worked." Ha.

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  11. That really is an interesting quilt and your whole process of choices. The tartan really adds to it and I really like the set of the border!

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    1. I bought that tartan and then thought nothing would ever work with it. Glad I was wrong.

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  12. What a great way to use up leftovers. Who'd have thought a bunch of orphan blocks could be the springboard to such a beautiful quilt.

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    1. It was an interesting lesson. Thanks, Marly.

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