Sunday, June 2, 2013

Scrap-Swap Block: "Afterlife"

This scrap swap was a true challenge, a mishmash of stuff very unlike what I usually work with. Best of the lot was a large piece of "day of the dead" dancing skeletons that I immediately knew would be the focus of ... something.



That little guy face down on the dancefloor cracks me up!

Something turned out to be a 24-spoke Dresden plate with ric-rac trim. I used a set of coordinating green/mustard/black prints from the swap for the spokes, cutting whole pieces from a large floral, and making slice-sew-slice fabric from the others. I added more solid spokes from a leafy green/black/white stash floral to reach the needed number of pieces. Alternating spokes were tipped from the swap with a basket print (would have used more of that one, but I'd already cut into it for an applique project, whoops!), and a pink 1930s-look faux gingham that I disliked so much I included it to make the challenge that much more interesting:


The red and yellow rings are strips of bias-cut near-solid batiks from my stash, folded in half and unserted under the seam. Also from the swap are the celestial prints and pink tulips in the corners. The tropical print on the sides is from my stash. It's quilted with blue and orange metallic thread in a spiral pattern.



Best surprise is how the dresden wedges, from a distance, look (to my eye) like a Mayan heiroglyph. Wish I could take credit for that, but it's a happy accident. I'm also thrilled with how well all these very un-related pieces come together as a whole.

The block is now 26"x26" (quite a bit larger than intended!). That second ric-rac and bias rim is quite ornery about lying flat, although the quilting has tamed it significantly. Rather than rush to add binding, I've zig-zag stitched all around the edge and have tossed it in with a load of laundry. None of the swap fabrics were pre-washed, and I've used cotton batting, so shrinkage might turn out to be my friend.

If it's still not laying flat after a ride in the dryer, I'll make a large 24" pillow sham from it and use it as my reading-in-bed pillow.

Thanks for organizing this challenge, Victoria! Although my first reaction to the swap fabrics was to wonder what I could possibly make from them, necessity has once again been the mother of invention, and I've had a fun couple of days creating something truly unique!

{Stephanie}


15 comments:

Sewing In CT said...

That is utterly gorgeous!
I love the way the dark colors work together. Happy accident, maybe, but I think the quilter had a lot to do with it!

Debra said...

gorgeous piece!

fiberchick said...

FAB!

roccagal said...

REALLY WONDERFUL!

P. said...

That is fantastic! I think Los Muertos are dancing with glee at the new life you've given them here!

Julie said...

Fabulous! Its an amazing piece.

Willa said...

Delightful!! I am always inspired by your ability to see things anew!

Julie said...

Wow - you are very creative. Looks great.

Helen said...

You have really met the challenge beautifully and then some... How you managed to combine gingham, rickrack, and tropicals with skeletons has to be seen to be believed!!

Brenda said...

I like the medallion effect, and the hieroglyphics in the Dresden. great finish!

Maureen said...

Gosh what a great idea!

Venus de Hilo said...

Thanks, everyone! This came out of the dryer at 24" square (from original 26" size), and has been bound with a pink/orange Philip Jacobs floral. Looking for the perfect spot to hang it.

Now to finish the Tea Towel WIP and think about the Architecture challenge...

Magpie Sue said...

I think this is fabulous! congratulations on a job well done!

San-Dee said...

I am humbled at your skill using the fabrics I sent. This piece is absolutely beautiful. I have two pillow tops constructed from what you sent me, but when I post them you'll see I'm obviously a novice:)

Margaret said...

Glad you are thrilled with the results! I love it! Isn't it wonderful how fabric you wouldn't expect to work together looks so fab?