Sunday, January 26, 2014

ART QUILT GROUP: Circle Exchange

There's nothing more fun than sitting in a circle 
playing with people who are really into it.
Kathy Mattea

Last week I talked about my Art Quilt Group; you can read more about our annual challenge here.

Last Fall, I saw this inspiring art piece on Pinterest from a elementary class that layered circles on paper, decorated them, cut them in quarters  and traded with other students.  We decided that we would do something similar with quilt blocks. Note: since then, I found that Jane LaFazio has made many wonderful circles of her own.  Here is her blog:

These were the guidelines for the exchange:
  1. Begin with a 11" square (it will end up a finished 10" square).
  2. Have four concentric circles (3", 5", 7", 9"). Totally up to you how you do it...applique, paint, free form, whatever.
  3. Add your 'fun' to the circles....paint, stitching, etc. There are no rules for colors or how perfect your circles are. The fewer rules hopefully make more interesting final pieces.
  4. Make as many squares as you would like. The more we have to trade, the more fun.
  5. Bring your squares cut into quarters and ready to trade. For every square you make, you trade 3 quarters and keep one of the original quarters. 
  6. We will place our quarters into a basket to randomly choose your new quarters.
I made 6 different blocks. The first four all have the same techniques, each block is varied by the colors and materials used.  The backgrounds are my first attempt at silk-screening and I was surprised how easy it was. The small circles that are the first ring from the center are painted and have a hand-stitched edges. I used a variety of machine decorative stitches on the edge of each ring with a fiber/yarn/ric rac couched on the outer edge of the circle.

It is tough to see in this photo, but the center circle is made of a collage of small fabric scraps.  I am pleased with the look of the hand-stitched 'XXX'. All the fabrics are hand-dyed.
The biggest difference in this block is that the center is made using an antique quilt.  Also,  the trim used is one of my favorites from my stash...I finally got up the guts to use it!

In addition to 13 members of our Art Quilt Group, two artists from by 12" x 12"Up for a Challenge group sent their quarters from Canada.  (Here is our blog for our 12" x 12" group).

The photo below is from from the night we exchanged blocks; everyone had placed their blocks on the floor for show-n-tell before the exchange began.

I was unable to go to the following meeting, but here is where everyone was sharing what they made (my exchange blocks are still a UFO).
Here is a sampling of what members made.  This one is Jackie's; I love the movement through the piece.
Below is June's table runner (sorry I could not do one panoramic photo). She mentioned she would love to use this on her kitchen table but is fearful of it getting stained.

This is a purse that Karrie from Canada made.  I am so impressed.

This is Jane's wall-hanging.  I love the black sashing and may nab her idea for my own project.
As you can see after my last two postings, how lucky I am that I am part of this highly creative and inspiring group!

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