Alethea’s January quilt – more inspirations

Serape stripes from Pintrest
Serape stripes from Pintrest

I’ve been looking for quilty love in all the right places, I’ll tell you that.

I need to create a background foundation for the January Obsession quilt before I go any farther with the appliqued flowers, and I have been looking to the imagery of the Mexican and South American serape blankets for a starting point.

With the linear nature of these textiles and the gradating stripes, the little chunks of colors in some, and the white triangles in others, I’m on track for a colorful background for the quilt. I spy black stripes, graduating monochromatic sections and bold, clear colors.

Serape blanket with white triangles in diamond shape
Serape blanket with white triangles in diamond shape

Be sure to see more of the beautiful serapes I’ve added to the Obsession Pintrest page.

My next stop for inspiration was the big quilt expo, called Road to California, which was held last weekend in Ontario, California.

Great colors and great quilting!
Great colors and great quilting!
Wonderful colors at the Loc Bloc booth
Wonderful colors at the Loc Bloc booth

I found a few quilts whose colors spoke to me!

Bad Hair Day, by Martha A. Nordstrand
Bad Hair Day, by Martha A. Nordstrand

Martha A. Nordstrand’s Bad hair day was really delightful to see with its great appliques and embroidery.

Description of Bad Hair Day, by Martha A Nordstrand
Description of Bad Hair Day, by Martha A Nordstrand

It had dimensional flowers and a tree and birds – just like my quilt will!

Detail of Bad Hair Day, by Martha A Nordstrand
Detail of Bad Hair Day, by Martha A Nordstrand

I love the jubilant nature of the design and the playful motifs.

Appliqued ribbons
Appliqued ribbons

These large spools of “appliqued ribbons” were from Vietnam, and they reminded me of the applique work I have seen from the Hmong people.

So, all this brings me to my quilt.

Bali pops
Bali pops
Bali pops side view
Bali pops side view

My original idea for the background was to sew these pre-cut strips  up into a gradating field.

Bali pops separated into 2 groups
Bali pops separated into 2 groups

When I opened up the package, I removed the strips that had brown or more dull tones. This will help keep the background more in the clear-colors that appear in the serapes that I liked the most.

More fabrics for the background
More fabrics for the background

Next, I rifled through my batik boxes (, and when I say ‘rifled through’ I do mean made a big mess,) and picked out some candidates to go with the pre-cut 2 1/2″ strips.

Colorful batik
Colorful batik

And that’s when I found this little 1 1/2 yard beauty! Mmm Humm.

It’s a crazy bit of batik I picked up at the I-can’t-be-expected-to-remember-exactly-where-I-purchased-each-and-every-fabric-I-have-in-my-stash store.

So I decided to use this piece as a foundation. It’s not as clean nor as linear as the serapes, but I think I can work with it to make an exuberant wall for my quilted flowers.

Auditioning fabrics for stripe inserts
Auditioning fabrics for stripe inserts

I began to pull together some fabrics to make a set of stripes to insert into the sunset background piece. This will serve to make the background wider and to add visual interest

There's something screwy with this sewing!
There’s something screwy with this sewing!

As I sewed the pieces together, I drove in and out to vary the stitch width and make the seams wonky.

Wonky sewing from the back
Wonky sewing from the back

It’s a bit silly to sew all funky on these pieces because I’m going to sub-cut them so small that none of the wonk will even show.

Wonky sewing from the front
Wonky sewing from the front

But it makes me happy – and I feel free and a bit naughty when I’m doing it – and that, my friends, is priceless!

Auditioning new strips in the sunset background
Auditioning new strips in the sunset background

So, I’m going to subcut my strip sets up and insert them into the background with pairs of another color above and below.

One insert row sewn together
One insert row sewn together

I only had an hour to work today, so this is as far as I got.

Stay tuned…

Oh, and by the way…

I picked up a little parting gift on my trip to L.A….

Alethea Ballard goes HQ 18!
Alethea Ballard goes HQ 18!

Yep. I did that.

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2 thoughts on “Alethea’s January quilt – more inspirations

    1. I am glad that you are enjoying it. I alternate between thinking this is great and this is going to crash and burn. Here’s hoping!
      Thank you for staying in touch – I hope you are not too cold out there!
      Alethea

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