Revisiting Traditional Piecing

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Creative Roadblock Stops with Returning to Traditional Piecing

A couple weeks ago I discussed an art quilt I was working on as part of the recycled materials “Make Do” challenge (Sherri Lynn Wood, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters) in the post What’s on the Design Wall.

Well I gave up on that piece for now, bundled it up and put it away for now. I was feeling burned out on creating improvisational quilts.

Around this same time I went over my friend Susan’s house who was working on the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2017 raffle quilt which has some lovely traditional block piecing in it. I found the piecing so pleasing.

I also thought about a blog I follow, Texas Quilting, in which the talented blogger does a lot of traditional block piecing including an incredible sampler she is working on.

Finally, as if the universe was telling me to take a break from improvisational quilting and return to traditional piecing for a while, I was invited to attend a trunk show and talk by Jen Kingwell, Australian quilt designer. She used traditional blocks and piecing in innovative and colorful ways – and she uses lots and lots of scraps in her work. If you would like to see highlights of her talk you can check out the post on the Woolie Mammoth blog – Jen Kingwell Australian Quilt Designer.

Here is the one bad photo I took of one of Jen Kingwell’s awesome quilts from her trunk show (look at the sweet little traditional “Churn Dash” blocks in her quilt, she uses a lot of traditional pieced and appliqué blocks in unique colors and combinations in her work):

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To see more of her beautiful work, I recommend checking out the Woolie Mammoth post mentioned above or check out Jen Kingwell Designs website – Amitié Textiles; or her Facebook page Jen Kingwell Designs.

I realized I need to starting working on quilt to be a Wedding gift and wouldn’t a traditional block sampler be a timeless gift? I checked with the bride to be and found out she liked earth tones and then I found a beautiful collection of Northcott’s Stonehenge fabric line.

Now what pattern to use? Should I pull out the old quilting books filled with traditional designs? After pouring over patterns in 10 – 15 books as well as patterns I had clipped from magazines, etc. I came across my old Ladies’ Art Company Block Tool by Connie Chunn (2007).

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

I first learned of this tool around 2007. I had recently moved to Central Oregon and joined the Block-a-Month Quilt Club at the Stitchin’ Post quilt shop in Sisters, OR. The goal was to make a block a month from one of the patterns in this tool and then create a sampler quilt from the blocks.

Here is are sections of the quilt I made from those traditional blocks in the Ladies’ Art Company Block Tool:

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Block Filmstrip (2008?) – pieced and quilted by Tierney Davis Hogan

After making this quilt I shoved away this block tool/block pattern collection. Now, 8 – 9 years later, this tool would be my solution to my creative block! I would make traditional blocks selected from the 160 rotary-cut block patterns in this tool!


Getting Started on My Traditional Piecing Project

Here is my Block Tool and the fabrics I will be using.  I only had a little of the blue you see on the right and I later decided to remove it and make the palette oranges, rusts, browns, greens, and creams. I only had one small strip of the blue in the Stonehenge line and although it would had many an interesting accent, I would need to purchase more to make it work and I am trying to work with what I have in my stash.

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I also think the blue was too dark, if it had been a lighter blue that would have worked even better.

As of today, I have made 8 blocks and next post I will share my progress so far!

14 thoughts on “Revisiting Traditional Piecing

  1. Melanie McNeil says:

    Great idea for a gift. What size blocks are you making? I’ve found 12″ works well when you have a variety of block designs, as it accommodates so many different grids. Of course there are ways to cheat most blocks, I think, if a person is willing. 🙂 Hope you’re well. I haven’t been around a lot for the last couple of weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tierneycreates says:

      Hi Melanie, yes going with 12 inch blocks, in morning will post my first 8. I have not been using the cheating methods but sort of the old school methods (like actually sewing cut triangles together instead of making HSTs). I have been having fun pulling out old quilting books with ideas for settings and borders for sampler quilts. I am happy to be “unblocked” as I was drifting away from crafting – yikes! Yes have not seen a post from you in a while, look forward to reading your next blog post.

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