Welcome to my day on the Island Batik Ambassador's New York Beauty blog hop.
What a wonderful challenge! Last January, we received a box of fabric, including a Surprise bundle. I couldn't show it then, but I received Pumpkin Spice, a collection of greens, golds, creams, and a touch of purple, using pumpkins, swirls, crows, a little spider web design, and ovals.
I also got 2 yards of Eggplant, a Basic, and a lighter green, which I didn't use. I added some Sprinkles for background.
I've had a New York Beauty quilt on my bucket list for a while, and know it's a challenge to create. I looked online and used EQ8 to find inspiration. I printed out a possible design, and kept it next to my computer for a while, but when I looked at it again, it was going to be too time consuming to create, so I went back to the drawing board in EQ8. I imported the fabric SKUs from Island Batik to the program, and played with possibilities. My final draft was this.
Have I mentioned that final drafts actually are not final?? That happened again.
I made a test block, but the spike band didn't have enough contrast, with the golds and greens in the spikes. I ended up using the cream fabrics in the collection, and then a friend suggested I use a background border first, instead of the purple border, before the pieced triangle border.
I had already cut many of the pieces for the spikes, and was happy to realize I could still use them within the checkerboard round, as well as the spikes.
Since I'm not afraid of curves, I pieced the whole block. I didn't use applique for the center quarter circle, or for the purple outer band and the final outer to make it square. I don't really pin the arcs, either, except for the beginning and middle, and end if needed.
It's a challenge to do it with only one hand, as the other was holding the camera, but you get the idea. My machine has a setting to lift the foot a bit when I stop, and I use the 1/4" foot with guide. As you can see at the end, the curve is smooth without puckers. It takes a little practice, but I think it's much faster than sewing with a million pins in it, and gives a better result.
So, here are the details. I used every fabric in the Pumpkin Spice collection. The darkest teal greens were only in the pieced border and I used both for the binding, as I didn't have enough of the Eggplant left for that. The inner purple arcs used a lot of fabric, so I needed the 1 darkest purple half yard piece, plus some of Eggplant.
Quilt measures 73" square, made with 16 12" pieced blocks, and then the pieced border. I should have adjusted the cream border's size to make the pieced border fit better, but it still looks good to me.
I used EQ8 software and printed the Checkerboard NY Beauty block on Carol Doak's foundation paper, and pieced each block. The sections needed to be taped together to make it work. I used the center arc, the purple arc and the outer section as a pattern to cut the sections needed. All centers are the same fabric. 4 of the outer sections were the green with gold pumpkins, and the other 12 were Sprinkles background. Blocks were arranged to make the purple circle, with the other circles "behind".
I used the Studio 180 Designs Corner Beam tool for the 4 1/2" corner blocks in the pieced border, and Jaybird Quilts Super Sidekick to cut the 4 1/2" equilateral triangles for the border. A 6" border of Eggplant was added, and the binding is the darkest teals. I alternated the leaf print with the crow print, but don't think there's enough showing for it to matter.
Machine stitching used Aurifil 50wt in 2310, one of my favorites for piecing. It's a great neutral tan color. I used a Schmetz needle, and changed it after I was done sewing on paper. Both were size 12, Microtex. I also cleaned out the machine after sewing on the paper.
Backing is a wide back 100% cotton sateen I have, in cream, and batting is Warm & Natural. The Pantograph is Leaves in the Wind from My Creative Stitches. Thread is Aurifil 40-3 in 2326, Sand, a perfect color to blend over the fabrics, but show on the Eggplant border. I wanted the piecing to star in this one. I finished it with an embroidered label using Almond and 40wt Aurifil black thread.
Photos were shot in my back yard, as well as Eisenhower Park, near the 911 Memorial structure (the steel towers behind the photo) and the Veterans Memorial building. I wish I had a place nearby where I could safely park and see the New York City skyline, to get photos of the New York Beauty in New York City, but the timing and rain didn't cooperate. I figured the best location was in memory of the World Trade Towers.
Here are more photos, including one with Heather, who is now 6 months old, and hopped right on the chair for the photo. She's already learning how to model my quilts!!
Outtake! It was windy! My friend is a good sport to help with the photos.
I picked this panto because I felt it was the most elegant for the quilt, and the swirls were similar to some in the fabric tjaps.
Island Batik has a give away, so please use the Rafflecopter link for that.
I appreciate all your comments, so please let me know what you think of Pumpkin Spice, and if you want to make a NY Beauty quilt, and I'll choose a random comment to win something from me. I'm not sure what it will be yet, so it's a surprise. Thanks so much for commenting and following my blog.
And visit Jennifer's blog for her inspiring NY Beauty in the same collection. This week's schedule is below.