I must be channeling Kathie. Like her, the red and green quilts have been whispering in my ear lately. I've been pouring over my books on red, green and applique quilts and they are so inspiring.
I used to scorn applique both because I had failed in several attempts to master it and the examples I'd seen were not impressive. Beginner applique patterns tend to be rather simple and crude. That all changed when I went to a quilt show presented by the Baltimore Applique Society in 1996 called "Quilts and Cuisine." I have to admit, at the time it was the cuisine part that drew me to the show. But once I got there and saw both vintage Baltimore Album quilts and new creations from BAS members I forgot all about the food (although the lemon bars were quite tasty). I left determined to learn to applique (well!) and to make one of those quilts. In 2000, I signed up for Mimi Dietrich's year long Baltimore Album class at Seminole Sampler in Catonsville, MD.
Mimi was a great teacher and we learned all different methods of applique. Those of you who have tried it know that it is not a one-method-fits-all art form. Once I found the method that works for me (it's a toss-up between back basting and freezer paper underneath) I knew I could tackle any block.
But, once I gained applique confidence, I developed doubts about my colors and block choices. Paper cuts were easy, but I have a roving eye and the one fabric blocks got boring. I did not finish my BAQ for the class and just have blocks that don't thrill me anymore.
I found I really was liking the two color red/green blocks so I thought I would go with that combination. Unfortunately, I only got as far as this one crossed laurel leaves block. One day I'd like to make a whole quilt of these (as pictured in one of the books above). I have plenty of background but these two red and green fabrics are long gone.
Then the class moved onto the fancier blocks and I decided that THAT was what I really wanted for my quilt. More pieces, more fabrics, more colors. But, my white roses kind of disappeared into the background.
That whole BAQ attempt has been scrapped. I found a new background; something that looks "old" but will really show off all different fabrics and colors.
And I've found some exciting new fabrics. The BAS just published a brand new pattern called Lady of Victory that is taken directly from a BAQ owned by Mary Koval. Mary's latest line of fabrics by Windham is also taken directly from that antique quilt. Having seen it in "real life" I can attest that the colors in the antique quilt really are that vibrant. There are even more fabrics than those I picture below so this single line is a great start to creating a colorfully satisfying BAQ. I plan on combining favorite blocks from many different album quilts.
The spice of life is planning new quilt projects but it's fun to make progress on other WIP's. My Ohio Stars are together and I am deciding between adding a border or leaving it off. Here is the top on an old quilt just to get a little idea of what it would look like with a wide, plain quilted border.