The Reveal: Circles and Squares

Good morning, my friends, and welcome to November. Today is the reveal for the most recent art quilt for The Endeavourers art quilt group. The prompt for this quilt is "Circles and Squares." I had only about a month to work on mine, and so I needed something I could do quickly. If memory serves, I was finishing up sewing together the blocks for my Vintage Linen quilt top. 

And so I had some of my grandmother's doilies and dresser scarves scattered around the room. I noticed this one. 

It was probably made to put at the top of a chair back, to protect the upholstery from the oil from someone's hair. I didn't think to take a picture until I'd already started taking it apart, but I think you can get the idea what it looked like when she made it.

My grandmother inspired me to learn to quilt. She was long gone by the time I learned, but she was the quilter I knew growing up. Her quilts were all hand-pieced and hand-quilted. She had a heart condition, and she was required to be lying down all but about 4 hours out of any given day. That meant she kept herself busy doing needlework, including embroidery and crochet. She could pick up the tiniest crochet hook and start stitching...no pattern, no nothing. She just crocheted until she had created something lovely and delicate.

Well, okay, so I found those little circular pieces, but what could I do for squares? Then I remembered this fabric I'd picked up in our travels. I'd selected it for a certain purpose, but then ended up doing something completely different. (How many times have you done that?) And it seemed I could use the two things together somehow.

So, I cut apart an appropriate number of squares. (I liked those little messages on the selvage edge too.)

First, I laid out the blocks. They seemed a little boring until I added the brightly colored buttons, which also counted as circles.

And then I used a zigzag stitch to stitch the doilies to the fabric...like you would for applique.

And then, I sewed all the blocks together.

And then, I added this pretty quilt block batik to three sides and the button jar panel to the fourth.

For quilting, I selected this variegated thread. It had all the right colors.

And then I quilted it with a simple dot-to-dot motif.

In the border, I quilted a sort of square stipple, and then I sewed on the buttons.

When the quilting was finished it looked like this.

I used another pretty pastel batik for the binding.

And then my quilt was finished!

I used this sewing-themed fabric on the back. My quilt was created by two quilters: my grandmother and me.

So, I hope you like my quilt. It isn't one of my more inspired creations, but I'm happy to have found another way to incorporate my grandmother's needlework into one of my projects. To see more "Circles and Squares" quilts, click right here to be taken to The Endeavourers blog. I wonder what we'll be making next.


Barbara said...

Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while…but our hearts forever. ~ Unknown

MissPat said...

I think you did quite well. You used up stash and incorporated your grandmother's crochet pieces. Sometimes simple is the best answer.

Sara said...

That is such a sweet way to showcase those doilies. Doilies and button collections - definitely representative of our grandmothers' generation.

Kate said...

Very bright and fun! So is this one going to hang in your sewing room?

Quilter Kathy said...

A lovely collaborative piece! Love the colourfulness...very happy!

Julierose said...

What a wonderful solution as to how to use those beautifully crocheted doilies from your grandmother--a stunning memory piece--I really like the addition of the buttons, too..nice work hugs from cold and windy SE CT ;))) Julierose

Vicki W said...

What a great response to the prompt!

Linda Schiffer said...

Barbara, your quilt is gorgeous! And inspirational. I did learn to quilt (well, to piece) from my paternal grandmother. Love the way you used the vintage textiles.

:) Linda (in Columbia MD)

Susan said...

Compared to some of the others, I would say you did very well on your challenge piece.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

That turned out cute!

piecefulwendy said...

There are so many meaningful things in this little quilt. You've done well with the theme, I think!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I love that you incorporated the beautiful things your grandmother created into a modern design. I imagine she would be very pleased to see that. The fabric is so colourful and the doilies are the perfect balance. I like it!!