Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Roman Squares

I'm making slow progress hand quilting Orphan Train. I'm completely loving every stitch. This is one of the first blocks I sewed way back in the late 80's when I got serious about quilts. I didn't take a very good picture of this, but these are Roman Squares. There are early Jinny Beyer fabrics in here, a Hoffman floral (the dark one with green, not the rose and paisley fabric) and a horrible pink shirt that I cut up because I couldn't bring myself to wear such an ugly thing anymore. That's the pink fabric with little floral things in the upper left corner.

I pretty much taught myself to quilt by using the book Quilt! Quilts!! Quilts!!! by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes (that was the first edition way back then). I loved the idea of this sampler quilt pictured in the book. A variety of blocks of different sizes, no sashing:

So for a long time I just tried making different blocks from the book. Of course by the time I made my sampler (many many years later) my tastes had changed even more. Way back then I'd never seen utility quilts with blocks all sewn together every which way. My quilt is actually quite classic in that regard.

I did like the Roman Squares blocks though and ended up making an entire quilt of them sometime in the early 1990's. The prairie points are all there, I just didn't notice when I was taking their picture that a couple of them were folded under. D'oh. This quilt is about 42" x 30" with 4" blocks:
And a detail of the quilting:

I ended up over in Montmartre yesterday - it's a lovely area and really lovely when it's not jam-packed with tourists. I've got sun again today. Another walk or should I actually do some sewing?

But first, a link or two. Ooh, I'm late posting this one. Sara of Sara's Scraps was lucky enough to attend a lecture by Gwen Marston and did a wonderful summary. Look at the absolutely gorgeous Whacky Basket quilt that her guild is making for a raffle - that is one raffle I would LOVE to win. Sara definitely has the benefit of living near Gwen there in Michigan, but I'm not sure that would be adequate compensation for the snowy weather. Maybe though.

Woolywoman is going to be taking a class with Gwen and Freddy Moran. I am jealous.

Simply Sewn Beth made a lovely baby quilt using the free-pieced letters for baby Matthew.

Okay, gotta get running. take care ya'all.


Clare said...

I've been wondering what to do with all my blues. Perhaps a blue and white sampler quilt. What do you think? I was thinking along the lines of houses and trees, but want to try something different. No yer actual traditional quilt blocks - you know I'm useless at those cos of the straight line and points problem! I love the pink and black at the bottom.

Mindy said...

I taught myself to quilt using that very same book and my very first quilt was the sampler made from all kinds of old fabric from high school sewing days. Mine, alas, is still in the UFO pile. I made up my mind that I was going to hand piece and hand quilt and now when I look back at my poor technique, I don't feel like working on it.... I should, though, sort of as a testament to how I've progressed.

Meg said...

I love simple blocks like roman squares---they let the fabrics and their placement shine. Yours are wonderful! And I really like your fan quilting---perfect complement to the energy of the blocks.

Magpie Sue said...

Sorry, I wouldn't live in northern Michigan in the winter even for Gwen!

Love your Roman Squares quilt. I did prairie points on a baby quilt for my daughter. Never again! Well... maybe. But not without serious reservations.

Lea said...

Your free hand baptist fans are amazingly beautiful. and I love your Roman Squares binding. It's very lovely.

Susan said...

Love your rails. Love scrap quilts. Random block quilts, like the one pictured from the book, make my eyes hurt. I need more visual discrimination. =) Thanks for the links!

Mary Johnson said...

Making a basket quilt is on my list and it will definitely be inspired by Gwen Marston's baskets. I love the Roman Squares quilt too.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

hope you made it to the montmartre cemetery! zola, dumas and degas I think are buried there - plus lots of cemetery cats..... last visit to paris I noticed less cats roaming in the streets (what's with that?) than earlier ....but still plenty of chats in the cemeteries - or so it seemed.

I also used quilts, quilts, quilts as my 'guide' when I learned to quilt - excellent primer.

thanks for the heads up on the coffee table book on quilting, patchwork...world guide - it was still on sale via amazon and my copy came thursday - lots of inspiration!

speaking of inspiration, I really need to start the lazy gal alphabet blocks!!