Monday, July 16, 2012

A Wizard of Oz Quilt

   A friend of mine has a quilt shop, and I loved hanging out in the store and quilting the day away whenever possible! One day, a Jackie came by with a special project. Her husband adored The Wizard of Oz, and she had been secretly buying up Wizard of Oz fabric to make him an anniversary quilt. Trouble was, she wanted to have an original quilt, and showcase all the fabulous fabrics, but she couldn't find a pattern that worked across the board!
   It seemed the only solution was to make a custom quilt, and I jumped at the change to help design the quilt. There really weren't any rules: just to make sure that the best parts of the fabrics came through and that the quilt was instantly recognized as The Wizard of Oz.
  Some of the fabrics had large images, such as the Wicked Witch, Glinda, and the Emerald City. They dictated the size of the blocks. Other small scale fabrics included plain yellow brick road, ruby slippers on the yellow brick road, fields of poppies, Wicked Witches on dark green, circles with characters on red, quotes, smaller portraits, apple tree fabric, wands on deep blue, Glinda floating in her bubble, Dorothy, Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion swirling on the yellow brick road...and film strips with different movie scenes...the list was extensive!
   Every block of this quilt involved Jackie's decision making. My part was to figure out how best to fussy cut the fabric, and what kinds of blocks would show off this amazing fabric!



   Of course, it was easy to turn the yellow brick road into sashing! It just seemed to make sense! We needed some contrast for the cornerstones, and we didn't want to have bits and pieces of the characters cut off...so the magic wand fabric was the choice! To keep the character of the film strips, we bordered two of the blocks with black to make them the right size. Whenever there was a few inches or more, we incorporated as many different fabrics as we could. the block made from diagonal strips is one way wer tried to show some of the different fabrics in the quilt.
   One of the biggest challenges for me was that the fabric had so many colors...I loved the rich reds, greens, yellows and browsn, but the pastels threw me for a loop or two!
   The pinwheel block in the top row was one of the biggest challenges...the fussy cutting was especially important so the 4 main characters were shown in their entireties. You can see what the fabric looked like at the start in the block diagonally down and to the right of the pinwheel block.
   Once finished, Jackie embellished some of the blocks with beads and embroidery, and her husband was THRILLED!

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