Making for this blog tour has put me in the middle of a whirlwind of creative energy. Finding April's fabric a year ago has brought my quilting game to a whole new level.  Her southwestern colors and native inspired patterns have a way of speaking to my deepest creative place and pulling out some incredible inspiration.

Although I have only had one month to work with April's new line for Art Gallery Fabrics, my ideas for #ArizonaAfterFabrics have been flowing since their first debut four months ago. Initially, I was taken by the soft subtle pink in the new Tomohawk Stripe. While the fabrics were not yet available, the idea to piece the tomohawk stripe in solids was born, as was my first attempt at avocado dye. Turns out, it was easy to be successful at hand dyeing fabric with avocado:)  Feeling accomplished, I admired my own perfect light pink denim, made with my favorite White Outland Yarn Dye by Art Gallery Fabrics.


Weeks later, I hawked the happenings at Quilt Market to get my fill of all of the things that had been done with BOTH of April's new lines so far, and in the process received a bit of background story to go along with all of the visual inspiration. Two standouts from market were that April and Carolyn Friedlander were both piecing with apparel fabrics, and, I was impacted by what I heard about a pineapple block quilt that I never really acutally saw.  Meanwhile, my Heritage rayon in Mountain Mirror print showed up at my door, also during market, and I got to touch, feel and see this stuff in person!  I was instantly taken by the details, the amazing feel of the rayon and the gorgeous selvedge!

Luckily for me, April actually contacted me, and really asked me to make something with these fabrics! My biggest problem was narrowing down all the ideas, which is something that days prior to my release date, I am still trying to do!! 






After piecing the concept with HST's and not achieving exactly what I was looking for, I started thinking about what I needed to do differently to more closely re-create the tomohawk stripe.


I was lucky to notice the print could be divided in to squares, from there it was a process of trial and error to get the proportions of the stripes right, and to get them to match the sizing of the panel.


Avocado pink was substituted for white, and instead of just two colors, I wanted to try it with as many colors as I could fit, like it was set in stripes. Turns out, 6 colors were too many;)


Bucket bags are something that I learned last summer when I participated in the @giucygiuce bucket bag sew-along, and online tutorial. Since then I have made many more, while I the concept down already, it was still necessary to re-figure the sizing to make it shorter and slightly narrower.  The strap placement is set near the top of the bag for a short shoulder. The draw tie is clothesline wrapped in fabric, and acts independently from the strap.  Hardware is from ARmercantile.  Finished, this bucket bag stands 13" tall, and has a diameter of 8.5". Strap length is 23". Materials are cork, canvas lining, Arizona After quilting cottons, and Art Gallery Outland Yarn Dye denim, hand dyed with avocado, natural quilting cotton.  





April's new Heritage line is full of all sorts of great inspiration. Offering these prints only in rayons or knits has pushed me out of my quilting comfort zone and inspired me to try to make new things like clothing for the first time, mostly so I can wear these prints!


Now let's talk about the Heirloom knit. These shapes intrigued me, both the white and the negative space in the navy. Luckily I caught the back story about what inspired the print, and it was a very old pineapple block quilt pieced with apparel fabrics. I started looking for examples of pineapple block quilts and was instantly taken by them:)


It became clear to me I would be doing a mash up of the navy blue based Heirloom knit, with Arizona After colors:)  A pineapple block quilt, with a color pop medallion in each block, set in denim. Much of what drove the color choice with the denim was the intended function of the quilt. I wanted this living room couch blanket to be functional and well used, that will not look dingy, and texture is everything!


And what could be better than mixing denim, knit and rayon all together?  Yep, probably won't go wrong there... and since these knits and rayons need showcasing too,  I found a great excuse to buy some up for this feely couch quilt. For the denim I chose Art Gallery's Deep Ocean Outland Yarn Dye. It has an amazing light texture and the weave doesn't  overpower the prints. Tee shirt knit for the backing to make it super soft and cozy in the Rivercane print. Lastly, some buttery smooth Ojos Flame rayon for the binding. Stitching on this is likely going to be done by hand.


My 3 yards of denim stretched to 16 quilt blocks so that is where I stopped for size, roughly 54" square. I chose not to paper piece, but it is common with pineapple blocks. Each finished block came out to  13.5" and took about 2 hours to piece. One thing I love about these blocks is that you can use up most of your scraps while piecing up the there really are hardly any left overs;) I cut long strips so I didn't even have to measure and keep track of each individual piece.  Pineapple blocks are certainly a commitment but well worth the effort;) 





This was the last of my makes, and done at a time when I could let loose and play with the colors (and the few leftover scraps). I hadn't done a volume make with these fabric, but it really, really needed to happen!!


This pillow is also a pineapple block, measuring 22" square. The center medallion was done in red and orange, set in a mix of low volume prints and White Outland Yarn Dye denim, with a little bit of avocado pink as well:) The backside is heavyweight denim that had to be "stylized" because it wasn't a perfect fit.  And... always pleased find another way to make use of one of these great patches;)



Thanks for visiting my blog and learning a little about the inspiration behind my makes:). Naturally, I didn't have time to lay out ALL of my favorite ideas but if I were to line up my next priorities with this fabric, SewMojos by @suzyquilts are at the top of my list, also some finishing work with the abandoned parts of my blog tour makes, and much more pineapple block exploration;) But first, I may just finish up my clothes with Heritage rayon, and make a couple rayon bandanas, because, priorities;)

Take Care!  


Jen MosesComment