Agriculture Wall Hanging

Today is part 2 of finishing my American Made Brand Block of the Month that I started probably two years ago!  This is the agriculture wall hanging here, part 1, the fall leaves pillow, post can be found here.

Since I live in agriculture country, Eastern Washington, I thought this was the perfect set to really play around with the quilting and highlight some of the details of the blocks.  Here is what I started with, four blocks, all 12″x12″.AMB BOM design agriculture.JPG

I am sure you are thinking – why the cactus.  It is not found where I live, but I do live in a desert and how else to highlight that than a cactus.  I know, desert & farming?  This is the Columbia Basin with the irrigation district.  Even though it is a desert, it is green most of the year and has a long growing season here.  I have fallen love with this region!

I decided I didn’t like all four vertical and tried it as a square.  It is closer, but still too much blue at the bottom.AMB BOM design agriculture 2

Once all sewn together I made it into a quilt sandwich.AMB BOM agriculture quilt sandwich

Starting with the sunflower I loaded brown thread and wanted a cross hatch type of quilting.  I had a very small amount of brown thread left and wanted to use it all up.  I started in the middle and just kept looking at the thread left and estimating how much farther it would go.  I didn’t want to have quilting heavily on one side and hardly any on the other so I kept going back and forth, trying to make it even.  It just would not run out!  I ended up with this amazing detail for the center.  I wanted to just outline the petals in a variegated yellow with stitch in the ditch quilting.  I did not think the background needed anything.AMB BOM agriculture sunflower quilting

I would love an entire quilt with these sunflowers – so fun!

Next was the corn on the cob.  It was a really fun block, or set of rectangle blocks joined into a square.  Lots of produce from this area into blocks and quilted will go on the “to do” list.  I wanted more of the cross hatch quilting to represent each of the kernels of corn but an organic version, not so precise.  I would sew down 7 stitches on the sides to the next row, that made it consistent but still a variety of sizes for the juicy little spaces.  Again, I just outlined the green husks with stitch in the ditch quilting to not detract from the kernels.AMB BOM agriculture corn quilting

Saguaro cacti have vertical lines, and this one is in starlight.  I used straight line quilting, except for the arms and curved the quilting a bit.  Again, I left the background without any quilting. AMB BOM agriculture cactus quiltingThis big guy reminds me of the time I was exploring Arizona while on sabbatical from my college education.  I needed a break and Morty, my little truck, and I went everywhere to see everything.  It was wonderful!  Saguaro Cactus National Park was amazing – and the variety of cacti of all kinds, I had no idea!  So many memories!

Anyway, on to the fields of agriculture quilting!  I wanted each field to have its own style of quilting.  Curved rows from the circle pivot irrigation, straight rows of corn, wheat in the background, so much produce – just like my little Othello!AMB BOM agriculture fields quilting

This was such fun to create the quilting details on all the blocks!

Onto the binding – I had to make my own decisions today, the design department (the Hubs) was on a job and I had the morning to myself since everyone else was at school.  Binding choices – so hard to choose!  Here is the starting line up for binding auditions.AMB BOM agriculture binding auditions 1

I thought blue or tan since there was so much blue and tan works with everything.  Each of these blues did not work for one reason or another: not the right blue, to dark, to light – no blue.  Then the tan choices:AMB BOM agriculture binding auditions 2

Dark or light, light or dark – why does this have to be so hard?!?  If you have read my other posts, I often have the hardest time right here – picking one!  I needed a break, and a snack.

After a couple of slices of toast I picked the darker tan.  It was also an American Made Brand and so fitting with the original block of the month!

I measured the size: 23″ x 22 1/4″.  I had about a 1/4 yard of the tan.  I cut my strip and a small extra amount for back up.  Then this happened!AMB BOM agriculture binding problem

After all my amazing math skills on the Murder Mystery BOM!, I got cocky!  I thought 23″ + 23″ plus a little extra.  DUH!  I needed 23″ x 4 = 100″ including extra.  Fixed that and finished with this amazing agricultural wall hanging!AMB BOM agriculture completeI really want to explore a large quilt that looks like the Othello area from Google maps, above.  This was a great way to start thinking about that idea again.

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