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″.
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.
Once all sewn together I made it into a 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.
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.
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. This 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!
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.
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:
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!
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!I 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.