Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Original Design Entry - Bloggers Quilt Festival

Castles in the Sand

Usually I browse through my recent makes, look back at old blog posts to share again a special quilt for Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side.  My first entry in the Small Quilt category, "Perspective" is exactly that.

My second entry "Castles in the Sand" has not been blogged about here.  It's a collaborative Charity Quilt that came to being this summer.   Since the festival's category of ORIGINAL DESIGN emphasizes the design aspect, I thought why not link up.

I was flattered when the chairty committee for our local MQG chapter unanimously chose my design mock up at our second planning meeting after brainstorming, sharing sources of inspiration and sewing up prototypes.

Castles In The Sand - Original Design

You can read this post written by our secretary Renee on our South Bay Area MQG website.  Castles In the Sand has been gifted to a wonderful local organization, Caroline's Non-Profit Thrift Shop.  It is my understanding that they will do an online auction or raffle for it so I'll keep you posted.

Mock Up and Actual Top

Minimalism does not come easily to me.   Maybe that's what makes this experience stand out.  It was also about seeing a vision through to reality and the logistics of sewing from a sketch.  I drew it using Inkscape easily enough but then it became "how do we do that?" Questions that were answered hands on one step at a time.
Mock Up Design

There is no better feeling than when creative juices flow.   We all get stuck and loose our mojo or putter along with projects we've started just because.  But when things click and fall into place like it was meant to be, well that's the sweet spot to hold onto.

Because the look was so graphic, placement and shape of the wedges was especially important. The construction of how to achieve the design of the quilt was improvised. I especially appreciate this quote from Cheryl Arkison "A sketch might not sound like improv, but it provides the intent and a guide".
hands on problem solving

With every little shift to the left or right, thin or thick, tall or short the overall look was impacted drastically.   It became a build as you go technique and was all about the parts and how they related to those around them.
Relationship - That's the key
The point here was not to replicate it exactly, but to capture the essence of the image.  Deciding which elements mattered the most was a moving target.

My Workspace 
Nothing minimal about the chaos of my house and our workspace in the living room but we made do.    My multitude of ruler options were however quite useful.

Squaring Up

It was a marathon, back-to-back-to-back creation for Pam and I starting Friday June 26th at SewDay,  my house on Saturday and then finishing up at hers on Sunday.  3 days and boom, it was a top!  Not sure if either of us at or slept but I do know we both had a great time and created a wonderful gift of Charity.

Quilt Specs:
Original Design by: Me -  the festival category !!
Finished Size: 74.5"x96.5"
Sewn by:  Pam Rocco and I
Quilted by: Linda Barbin
Label and Binding by: guild president Lynne Nostrant
Named Castles In The Sand: by guild member Laura Ryle, naming contest winner
Fabric: Kona solids
Gifted to: Caroline's Non-Profit Thrift Store

Viewer's Choice nominations are closing soon so head on over NOW (CLOSED).  You just copy the link of the top 3 quilt images you like and paste it into the box.  Maybe mine will be one them, hint hint !!! EDIT:  How exciting to be in the top 20 Viewer's Choice category, even though I didn't win it was a true honor.  

More Backstory

As a member of BeeSewcial, I have the opportunity to constantly explore.  It's funny how my "failed" block humerously dubbed "Popsicle/Christmas Tree/Hangman" was what sparked the "successful" design.

Proof of why we keep going and pushing.  We can't anticipate where our ideas will lead and sometimes they lead to very special times and memories.  Here are a couple of additional concepts having to do with merging and/or floating wedges.
another concept of merging colors -shapes

another wedge concept  


When I saw Pam Rocco's quilts at Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara, it was pivotal moment in my quilting journey. At the time I had no idea who she was, that she lived in my hometown, or that years later we would work side by side.
Pam Rocco and I with row #1
I confessed about being a total fangirl with Anna Maria Horner in my last post.   However, if I were to write down a list of quilters I admire, at the very tip top would be Pam Rocco (no offense AMH).  It was a wow moment that I get to experience on a monthly basis during our guild's Show and Tell.

Guild Show and Tell

I didn't send that other block to Debbie for Mod Mood but I did mail these three.  You can see her finished quilt in the Modern Category for the festival.  Be sure to check it out and all of the other entries.

Mid Century Modern blocks sent
My Previous Blogger's Quilt Festival Entries: 

Spring 2015
Goats Askew - Original Design 
IG Mini - Mini 

Fall 2014
Look Who's Walking - Small Quilt

Spring 2014
Giant X-Plus  - Scrappy
Rip Tide - ROYGBIV

Fall 2013
Tassels - Group/Bee

Fall 2012
Old Italian Block - Scrap/ROYGBIV/Bed

Spring 2012
Catalyst (aka Mod Mosaic) - my first time to participate 

Thank you Amy for another great festival and opportunity to discover new bloggers and to all of the generous sponsors too!  


  1. oh I'm so glad you shared this quilt - It's SO striking! I really like it alot!
    AND I love your Bee Sewcial blocks for me! I even love what you think was a fail. ;-)

  2. p.s. how do I find more of Pam's work?

    1. I know she had a couple at QuiltCon and I always see them at PIQF QuiltFest. She's a regular columnist for Quilters Newsletter so that's a wonderful source to find Pam's work and the web extras on their blog includes a lot of free patterns. I need to start using a hashtag for her on IG when posting our guild's show and tell to be more easily found. Just look for the most liked pictures in my feed and I'll bet it's her!!!

  3. Such a beautiful quilt and I love to read about the process!!

  4. I keep looking at the photo of this quilt, it is fantastic!

  5. I agree, this quilt is completely fantastic, Karen. I also appreciate you telling the story behind its creation - it's very inspiring to read about "failed" designs and how they can lead to bigger and better things.

  6. Oh gosh I didn't know this one was your groups Karen. I love it so much. I am hoping my just new local mod group will tackle projects like this. It is stunning!

  7. I can barely piece a nine patch together from directions so projects like this totally amaze me in every way :) Just gorgeous :)

  8. I can barely piece a nine patch together from directions so projects like this totally amaze me in every way :) Just gorgeous :)

  9. Hi Karen! I've been a quiet follower for a while, so thought it was about time I said hello properly! I absolutely love this quilt and hope you do well in the festival. You have so many great quilts it must have been hard to choose which ones to enter! Good luck :)

  10. What a great design, Karen. I enjoyed reading about your design and construction. The quilt is larger than I thought (always hard to tell online.) I look forward to hearing about the auction/raffle for Caroline's Thrift Shop. Best wishes for the festival.

  11. Bold and graphic with a lot of energy. A very fun quilt. The creative process is such a mystery, but sometimes you do have to fail before you hit the gold. Congrats on the Viewer's choice.

  12. What a fun quilt to make! congrats on making it to viewer's choice!

  13. This was such a great quilt Karen. I voted! See you at the next guild meeting. :-)

  14. That's a great job going from inspiration to final interpretation! I think the simplicity of the colour scheme enhances the overall affect. Lovely!!


Let me know that you stopped by - leave a comment and make my day!