Friday, April 29, 2016

TopHop 2016: The beginning

A few weeks ago, I popped in with a little sneak peek of a project I was working on, promising to show more by the end of the week. Well, I finished the project on time, but the blog post fell off my radar (as they so often do). But its time has finally come!
Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves. So, a couple months back, Kristy, a sewing friend and President of the St. Louis MQG, reached out to me and a few other friends to see if we were interested in starting a traveling quilt bee. I enthusiastically jumped on and immediately started debating what I wanted to do.
We started with a color pull, and though I tossed around a number of options, in the end, I decided to stick with some of my very favorites: a selection of blues, teals, and navy, along with lots of low volume. This quilt will be just for me, and while my house and closet may be filled with these colors, I don't really use them all that much in my quilting (at least not all together, and with the obvious exception of my Fading Star quilt), so I decided to fully embrace it and go for something that would be all me.
The next task was to choose a theme and design the central block. The idea is that every member designs their central block, and then it gets passed to the next person, who will add on a new block or section (depending on the design), and then pass it on to the third person, who will add on some more, and so on. In the end, each of us will get back a finished quilt top to which all of the members have contributed. Such a fun idea. I decided my theme would be "Angled." Any angle would do -- think triangles, hexies, arrows, "x" blocks, etc. -- but no curves in sight.
For my starter block, I decided to do a paper-pieced kaleidoscope block with a fun play on fabric placement. The idea and design were heavily inspired by minis by @keystonecharmquilts and @kelcieo. So, from the sneak peek you saw a few weeks ago, I kept building and building.
And then, boom!

I'll admit I'm kind of obsessed with this block. It turned out exactly as I envisioned and is just so fun, plus I think it provides a good example to my beemates of my aesthetic and where I'd like this quilt to head. I'm so excited to see what they do with it!

In addition, we could ask for some sort of signature block from each of our beemates, and I requested that they each make an envelope block using Carolyn Friedlander's pattern. The envelopes are supposed to be in their own "signature" colors or fabrics, and then they can add their name or initials however they want. I made an example in my favorite teal and citron colors. I used a super pale gray thread to embroider my initials, but I suspect I'll redo it in a more visible color when I get it back. Finally, I couldn't resist putting together a little color card, mainly because I had a lot of tiny scraps and couldn't bear to throw them all away. (I also kept a pile to make into cards. I may have a fabric-hoarding problem.)

For the first round, I got my friend Krista's quilt! I've already decided what I want to do with it and am itching to get started. Let TopHop 2016 begin!


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