Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Primitive Piecing … part 1

I absolutely love fall! I love the cooler temperatures and changing colors on the mountain sides. Perhaps there is something about the fall that calls us to slow down a bit and return to the comforts of the familiar. Fall colors are also among my favorites for quilting projects. For me, there is something familiar and comforting in the colors and textures of homespuns and reproductive prints. For this post I will share a primitive style quilting project.
Primitive style in the quilting or textile arts world refers to a folk art style. Primitive style may have features that are characteristic of early America; however, it also can have a more contemporary look. Regardless of whether it takes on a more period or contemporary look, primitive style typically features muted colors and a rough and simple look. As was emphasized in a wool appliqué course I took a few years ago, "primitive" is a distinct style and is not to be confused with poor workmanship. The rich fall colors in the top picture are well-suited for inclusion in a primitive style quilt.  

The quilt that I am going to share through this and subsequent posts is one that was featured in the Fall 2012 "Primitive Quilts and Projects" magazine. It was designed by the ladies of Country Threads Quilt Shop and Pattern Company who operated their quilt shop from a farm in Iowa. We had a chance to visit the shop during our trip to Minnesota in the summer of 2012. I bought the magazine that featured the pattern as well as the accompanying kit. For good or for bad, other projects fell into the queue ahead of this one and it lay dormant in my sewing room. A few weeks ago, I needed a project for Midnight Sew night, and decided that the time had come to get busy on this one. 
There is no better place to start than at the beginning, right? Here are the initial three pieces sewn together to create what will be the center of the quilt. It's okay if you are thinking, "Hmm, that looks a little plain." Hang in there until the next sewing post and see what becomes of them.
Now to add a border strip or two …
What do you think of this border featuring half-square triangles? The picture also includes the magazine that features the pattern for this quilt. If you look closely, you can see that the cover features a Halloween quilt that includes churn dash blocks. The churn dash is one of my favorite traditional quilt blocks and one that is well-suited to a primitive style quilt. Some day I hope to make that quilt, but today is not that "some day" and it's time to get back to the feature project.  
Here are three cute pieced blocks that will form part of the upper border.
And, finally (for this post, at least), here is the pieced strip that will form one of the side borders.
As I look over this post, perhaps what I enjoy most about fall, as well as primitive style quilting is its peaceful simplicity. To me, there is something comforting and reassuring in both the colors and style. This peaceful simplicity calls me to pause and rest in the midst of a hectic, fast-paced schedule. 
During my Sunday School class this past week, we also reflected on the simple, foundational truths of our faith. So often in the Christian walk, it is easy to be troubled and distracted by a schedule full of peripheral issues that divert our focus from keeping our eyes on Jesus. Perhaps that is why Jesus instructs us to…
Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness … 
Matthew 6:33