An international block-swap and the possibility to get in touch with other quilters from all over the world? Sign me in!
Half a year ago I stumbled upon the website “Quilt around the world” and decided to participate in the international block swap (IBS4) from 2018. What I liked most was the idea to exchange blocks with other quilters all over the world and to make new contacts as well. But how does this work?
On February the 28th in 2018 was the entry deadline to send in nine finished sewn blocks. First you have to find a design. “Back to Nature” is the given title for the block. For the size of the block there are exact specifications: 6″x18″ whith a 1/4″ seam allowance. In order to get all of the measurements straight I did a pattern, oh sorry my bad, hubby did the grid pattern for me. It’s always good to have somebody at hand who knows to deal with CAD-Software.
For the colors one must use the color green, other colors may be used optional. There is also the possibility to sew a 10th block which will be most appreciated because it’s for a good cause. More information about this exiting project you’ll find on the website “Quilt around the world”.
Find an idea
My first idea was to construct a landscape in an apocalyptic style. For my inspiration i used images from the game “Horizon Zero Dawn“. The building should have the look like some kind of a ruin. Maybe the owner left already to go out into nature to find his luck somewhere out there?
I found out later on that the realiziation of my project was quite complicated. I strongly modified the building itself. All the tiny little details like the shadows within the windows were very complicated to add and took a lot of time as well. Unfortunately I wasn’t satisfied with the result at all.
Also the ivy on the building wasn’t realistic enough.
My first test-block didn’t look at all like I had it in mind. After all the resemblance to a childs drawing was to strong and I didn’t see a wide beautiful landscape which would have been my goal.
Hoffman Fabrics has a beautiful fabric which is perfect for montains. As I live in Switzerland, montains definitively have to make part of a great landscape. So I decided to sew a beautiful landscape with mountains around a lake. I wanted it to look calm and peaceful, a picturesque place to retreat from daily routine.
For the mountains I used Steam-a-seam, for the hills I worked with batiks.
Batiks are very convenient for landscape-quilts as they tend less to fray as normal cotton.
Some of the stripes I sewed on without steam-a-seam. The fraying gives the impression of grass-texture. To prevent too much fraying I sewed very close to the fabric-edge while applying the stripes.
It’s important to think about the construction very carefully. What corners should be covered? What do I like to show in the end? How much do I like to show from the lake?
I find it simpler to add the same element to each block one after another. The work process is much faster this way.
I wanted a house, but this time I decided to add a really tiny one to my block. In order to give the landscape some depth it is important to have a foreground, a middleground and a background.
Comparison of size
My block must have a border to define its end’s. It was pretty difficult to get the same sizes out of the ten blocks, but with a border i could slightly adjust the size. My goal is always to sew very precise. But what can I say? Fabric isn’t paper, and while sewing the fabrics were pushed or pulled depending on the stitching I’ve used.
The border should be an eye-catcher so I decided to use a darker color. Now I just have to cut them into the right size.
I’d like to thank the owner from Sue’s Patchwork Laden. He was very helpful and had lots of patience for helping me choosing the right color. Maybe I wouldn’t have used such a dark color when choosing on my own. But while comparing different fabrics and colors I thought this one makes a great border after all.
Something is missing!
Yes exactly, that’s it! A combination made out of a print from leaves of an oak. What I like most about this is that the color pink repeats itself in the flowers between the stones.
Honestly, I must tell you that it was quite a piece of work to finish all ten blocks. And I wasn’t sure if I could finish it all in time. But I did, lucky me! And for my first landscape-block I’m very happy and I’d love to sew more landscapes in the future for sure.
I’m really looking forward to the blocks from other quilters which will be sent to me in the next two or three months. Maybe it will be the one you made?
And the best for last: There are also follwing projects to this one, that means one can sew a quilt with nine blocks received by other quilters. And why not taking part in a traveling exhibition?