Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rainbow Block Wall Quilt

I've been meaning to post about this wall hanging for awhile now, but I can't seem to get very good pictures. So I'm just going to post what I have and be done with it.

This was started in the winter of 2007 and finished in the summer of 2008. This will give you an idea of how long it can take me to finish a project. Sometimes it takes a long time.

I got the inspiration for this from a set of magnets I made for my sister's birthday one year. They were a set of covered buttons, in the colors of the rainbow, that I converted into magnets. I found the challenge of working with one color interesting and wanted to try it on a slightly larger scale. I knew I wanted to turn these into a wall hanging from the very start. So I turned to my friend Jennifer, the one with the quilting know-how, to see if she would be up for a collaboration. Thankfully she was because I don't know how to sew. And so it was on.

The blocks themselves measure 3"x3", not huge but a little bigger than the buttons. Some colors worked themselves out really quick, others not so much.

The red block was one that came easy. I like red and I like how this block turned out. I don't usually use bugle beads, I don't really have a good selection of them to use anyway. But this project let me use what bugles I have and now I'm on the hunt for more bugles for future projects.

I had a lot harder of a time with the orange block. First I found that I had
a pretty paltry collection of orange beads, so I had to make a special trip to the local bead store just for orange beads. Then when it finally came time to, you know bead, I could not get into this color and when I looked at it, the whole thing looked and felt forced. I don't know, it's not my favorite.

I am the most surprised with the yellow block. After the orange one I started to worry that the yellow one would be the same. But I am really happy with how it turned out. I also found a new appreciation for this color.

When people see this for the first time they usually like the green block the best. I was pretty confident about this color at first. Green is probably my favorite color and I have a great collection of green beads. But I found my self one third of the way through and hated it. So much so, I made the decision to pull it out and start over. I will admit this sat on my table for some time. It probably took the longest, but in the end it really turned out good.

If you were to ask me what my favorite block is, it would be the blue block. It came together really smoothly and, like the yellow block, I found a renewed appreciation for the color and all the shades it comes in.

Like green I love purple and have a good selection of beads. Unlike the green block the purple block took the shortest amount of time to make. I used the pattern on the fabric for the design and just mixed all different shades of purple. This one reminds me of ferns in the spring time.

Once I was done I gave the squares to Jennifer. We talked about how we wanted this to hang and what the border fabric should be. I also wanted Jennifer to leave her mark. She decided to try out squiggles (I can't remember what the stitch is called) on the black fabric border. Unfortunately I can't get a good picture to really show it off. But it gives the border texture and interest that really complements the bead work. She was even clever enough to put our names in the border.

We were both happy with how this turned out. So much so, that we entered it in the county fair for giggles. For some reason we couldn't be entered in a bead work category and ended up in the wall art/quilt category. It didn't seem to matter though, we took home the blue ribbon and a whopping $1.37 in prize money, which made me laugh.

The rainbow wall hanging now has a home on my living room wall, under the clock and over Jack's bed. I see it everyday and it inspires me to do more work like this. Collaborating with Jen opened up a whole new world as far as what can be done with beads and fabric. So I have a lot of ideas and I hope to find the time to make some of these to come to life.
That's it for now. Again, sorry about the pictures. I haven't spent as much time beading lately, the urge to get outside and soak up any good weather has trump all other projects.


Robinsunne said...

Oh! This is great! Are those pony beads? It is a wonderful piece and congratulations on your blue ribbon!

Beth S. said...

Thanks! I mainly used size 11 seed beads, with 6,8 and 15s thrown in for fun.

Perlensusa said...

Beautiful!! The purple one is my favorit!