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Need help designing a Bicentennial Quilt

Need help designing a Bicentennial Quilt

Old 11-09-2014, 01:54 PM
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Default Need help designing a Bicentennial Quilt

Our church is celebrating its Bicentennial in 2015 and they have asked me to coordinate the making of a quilt. The idea suggested was to have anyone who wishes, create a square (block) and then put them together with sashing and boarders. It would be a hugh help if I got some inspiration, ideas, hints and PICTURES. I know some of you have made similar quilts for weddings, anniversaries and community celebrations and would welcome any comments. Thank you in advance. I promise to post a picture or two when it gets done ( and I learn how to post pictures from an iphone lol)
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Old 11-09-2014, 02:27 PM
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I would recommend getting a copy of Sharyn Craig's book, "Setting Solutions"
http://www.amazon.com/Setting-Soluti...ting+solutions

You can get a used copy on amazon very reasonably priced. The book doesn't really have quilt patterns, but lots of setting ideas, especially on dealing with blocks contributed to a quilt by folks with varying levels of expertise (and measurement methods!).
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Old 11-09-2014, 02:44 PM
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These can turn in to a huge nightmare. Different sizes, people not leaving the 1/4" seam allowances and not turning them in in time so you have to drive around and pick them up OR you have to make up enough blocks on your own to make a nice size quilt. I would seriously rethink this idea and make sure you are willing to put in a lot of extra work to get it done. Maybe others on the board have some other suggestions you can consider.
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Old 11-09-2014, 02:49 PM
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First of all ... do you have enough potential block makers in your congregation?? Otherwise, this might not work, in extending the project to involve others.

Then, if you are going to ask others to make the blocks, you need to be prepared to give them the freedom to make what they want and put some trust and faith in what will be made. And to be ready to accept any and all, regardless of the quality that comes.

My suggestion would be to pick a colour scheme, and then select 2 or 3 fabrics to give to each of person. This will allow for some unity, and not get looking to much of a mish-mash. Make up "kits" in ziplock bags with the fabric and be sure to include very clear instructions (oh dear, rules ) but keep those guidelines to a minimum to encourage their own artistic freedom! Eg. size of the unfinished block, all fabrics provided must be used (but not necessarily all of that fabric), deadline to submit, max # of other fabrics which can be added.

You may or may not want to ask them to make a block that has significance to their church involvement and/or relevant to the church's history. Be careful with this concept, as it may prove to be a very limiting factor and you may find several will not participate because of the specificity of it. Again, be sure this is included in the guidelines that you distribute. Don't expect them to remember what you verbally say!

Something to consider, is to charge $ for the block kits. I know in a Church, this may not seem appropriate. However, it may encourage people to finish their block, and return it. It is all to easy to set it aside and later say, oh I forgot or I didn't have time. Sad to say, I know some who have taken the free kits, only to look at it as a way to score some fabric for free! Another reason to charge. In essence, you are only asking to spread the cost of the project among others. Or perhaps there would be some sort of a perk that could be given back to them, when they submit their completed block, to equal their investment (or better!).

Another element to consider ... encouraging the youth to participate. This might be something that could be worked into a Sunday School project or a special Saturday craft get together to help them make their blocks. After all, they are the ones who will be around for the 250th anniversary, and will have that to look forward to!

As for your end design, IMHO it would be a good idea to make some plans in advance. However, you might find that will change when you see how many the blocks are submitted and what they are like. So while you might have plans, and fabric ready, just be prepared with flexibility for the end result.



As a totally different spin to this project ... if you want to turn it into a fundraiser, you could always go back to what often was done in churches years ago, where people paid $ to have their name included on a quilt and then then the names were embroidered on the quilt. One of the nicest ones I have seen was owned by the Church I used to go to (I moved!) ... they marked the outline of a five point star on each block, and then the names were embroidered along each of the outside edges, so ten names per block. I don't know for sure, but I suspect that each person was given a block (or more) and asked to sell the space, and embroider the names. That is all the quilt was ... the blocks and names, and my, it was quite lovely.

Once the quilt is assembled, you might want to set up the quilting frame at the church, and encourage everyone to put a stitch or more into it! This could turn into a whole new group of quilters, that have never had the opportunity!


Whatever you do, just make sure it becomes a FUN project for the Church family ... and not become one they detest!
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Old 11-09-2014, 03:12 PM
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This site has many bicentennial quilt images to stir your creativity.
https://www.google.com/search?site=i...91.IQgXhYXTT8g
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Old 11-09-2014, 03:18 PM
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I would look at Bible blocks by using Google.
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:29 PM
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Thank you for the ideas everyone,especially QuiltE! I will listen to it all. I did look up the google pictures and one was a Bicentennial quilt from a St.James Episcopal church! That's the name of our church!
I still would love pictures of ones you made!
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Old 11-10-2014, 04:07 AM
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I have experience in putting the blocks together for a local church anniversary quilt. I do not attend this church, btw. I friend knew that I quilted and she asked me to put the already made blocks together and finish the quilt. Well....since this particular friend is a very sharing, loving and very active volunteer in the community as well as her in her church, i agreed. Interestingly, when the church asked for a volunteer to do this, NO ONE STEPPED UP!!! Thus, this non-member put it together. It was going to be a wallhanging of about 12 blocks. No problem, happy to help.

TIP: set a BUDGET!! who is PAYING for the materials, the batting, the quilting?? You really are the project manager. This is important!

TIP: I hope that you are at the beginning stages of this project. Decide on the size of the finished block. STRESS the importance of allowing for the seam allowance on each side of the block. In fact, ALLOW 1 inch for the "seam allowance. Want the finished blocks to be 9" square? INSTRUCT the block makers to make the unfinished block 10" and leave the outer 1" clear of any design element. You will then have plenty of space to square up the block to the size you need to set the blocks. No big deal. Easier to cut off excess vs. adding borders to get to the desired finished size.

It was an aggravation for me to have to sqaure up blocks that were multiple sizes thanks to inconsistent seams, "designs" and embellishments that went to edge of the block, photographs that extended beyond the assigned size, etc. I understood that inexperienced block makers would not know what was required to set the blocks but whover headed this project up should have done some research on piecing. On Many of the blocks, once I squared up the blocks, I had to ADD outer strips to make the blocks the correct size in order to set them.

Write out explicit parameters for the size of the block. Dont micromanage what the block should entail. (embroidery? Photograph? Signature block? Pieced ? ). I enjoyed seeing how each of the blocks were unique and made with love and creativitiy of the maker.

By the time I was to start on putting the quilt top tegether, i had to add borders to most of the blocks before I could square them up.. THEN, i sashed and put cornerstones in the sashing. I had about 20 Hours into this "simple" request!! interestingly, this wallhanging exploded into a kingsize quilt !!! I guess once they found out that someone was going put this wallhanging together, they got busy. (i admit to feeling used by this time.). They were shocked at the cost for sashing fabric! Yes, i was reimbursed but.....they were not expecting the expense of fabric and long arm services.

interestingly, as I was assembling the blocks in the layout, there was one PRISTINE AND PERFECTLY PIECED block!! Amazingly, there WAS a quilter in the congregation and they did not bother to volunteer finish the quilt for their church. This outsider did! Sheesh!

On a side note, i lieu of paying me for finishing up this quilt, all I asked was that the offering plate would be passed for donations to a particular charity that my friend was very active and passionate about. It was a disappointing donation.

the finished project was charming and I enjoyed seeing each block, etc. They were happy too. But never again will I "volunteer" to help with a project esp one that I do not have a personal affiliation with. AND i will charge for my time!

Good luck annd have fun! But PLAN Ahead!!
Sandy

Last edited by Sandygirl; 11-10-2014 at 04:13 AM.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:40 AM
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Thank you Sandy for your honest advice. I am sorry you had such a poor experience. I do worship at this church and actually look at doin this as ministry. We have several quilters in our parish and so will probably get some assistance helping those less skilled. In fact I hope to have a few piecing bees where we can produce blocks. Then hope to have a design wall where the finished blocks can be displayed at coffee hour for inspiration.
Thanks for the heads up on the budget....I never thought of that. I appreciate the idea about not limiting the themes. By any chance could you post a picture?
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Old 11-10-2014, 02:48 PM
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Hi Terry, i did have a photo of the quilt at one time but I lost my pics when I changed cell phones. I will see if I can get another photo.

sandy
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