Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Quilt For Betsey!!

Well, for several months now we have been planning and conniving behind the scenes in honor of one of our email penpals who was retiring from her very demanding job this spring.  Betsey particularly loves France so our West Coast pal got together a bunch of French themed fabrics and we decided on a "round robin" approach to making the quilt.  There are only four of us remaining in this group so we didn't go round too far!!  Mari of the West Cost did the large star (30 inch square) in the center with the fussy cut diamonds.  Sue in Albany added the set of borders with red and blue emphasized so when it came to me it was essentially a "primary color" quilt and was now 41 inches square.  This is always a challenge for me as I am a "secondary color" kind of gal!! (give me green, purple and orange any day).  I stared at it for a couple of days on my design wall toying with making blocks 5 inches, 8 inches or 10 inches as I figure that would make the math pretty easy.  

I had an "aha" moment finally when playing with the different sizes -- I was going to do stars to balance the middle star.  Nothing seemed to work until I remembered that I had a drawer full of Dear Jane blocks which I
thought might match the colors.  Over the years I have made probably close to 1000 DJ blocks and have used 500 of them in three quilts, and given 300 away as an auction item.  I still have about 200!  These email pen pals and I had exchanged blocks probably 10 years ago so it was a good tie in for Betsey (although these were blocks I had done for another quilt).  

 I tried just putting the blocks side by side and they were just too busy so then I decided to put them on point.  The blocks I chose had lots of red and tan but very little yellow so I decided to add some 9 patches utilizing yellow in the center and repeating the navy and red that were in the quilt already.  You can see the two versions of the nine patch and I settled on the one on the right.  Each of these blocks was initially 5 inches (unfinished) and when I added the triangles to make them on point they were 6 3/4 inches which made them just short of the 41 inches I needed.

So the blocks have been added with the created nine-patches repeating around the outside.  The only things left to do now are to put on the final borders and then back and baste and quilt!!  It now stands at about 53 inches square and will be a bit bigger by the end after the final borders are added.


Sandy said...

I would be tempted to add a square like the ones on your section appliqued on to the checked background of the star to tie it all in.
I hope she really enjoys the surprise.

MarchAnn said...

Wow Beth this is so nice, love the colors and all the DJ blocks.

Gail Baker said...

I LOVE it!! And what a great story!

DeCamp Fiber Arts Studio said...

Excellent solution for doing your "round".

Betsey Kuzia said...

I am just thrilled that everyone has contributed to this quilt and to my new life adventure!!!! Beth is amazing, I cannot even imagine making a quarter of that number of FJ blocks! Thanks so much to all of you!!!!!!!