Sunday, February 27, 2011

From Hardware To Soft Quilt

The Project Quilting Hardware Challenge required at least 3 items of inspiration from a hardware store.

While I don't normally shop there for quilt stuff (although it has happened), I love the hardware store here in town, Knapp & Steiner True Value.   A visit to the hardware store in Chicago would generally make me uncomfortable.  I'd have to admit I didn't know what I was doing, didn't know what I was looking for, and was probably using the wrong words to describe it.  All this to a stranger.  But here, you walk in and they call you by name, help without making you feel stupid, or leave you alone if you need to look around.  There is usually a pleasantry exchanged, a smile, a laugh.  And, as often as not, you run into someone else you know.  Always a pleasant visit.

So here is how my quilt came to be....

Walking through our local hardware store I am always drawn to dowel rods. They are just the handiest thing.

I love the way they are all stacked and poking out of their holders. On this trip I also noticed all the coiled objects, all in lots of colors... the wires on spools, extension cords.

I noticed the stock had changed and Spring items were taking their places on the shelves. There were things for planting and many decorative items.

One display had oversized objects (butterflies, birds, etc.) on long poles to stick in the garden for decoration. And through it all an old wood floor worn by years and years of town people wandering the aisles looking for just the right part to fix something. Anything is possible with the right part!

The background was inspired by the wood floor. All different boards worn in different ways depending on the foot traffic, or stock placement or sunshine. I used pieces of tans, browns, neutrals and wavy line quilted with several different threads: browns, beige, gold, peach.

The flowers (inspired by those colorful coils) are biased strips of fabric gathered and stitched in circles on a stiff fabric circle background. Each have three beads for the center. Dowel rod stems insert in to bits of fabric on the back and entire flower can be removed from its holder.

Sun is a circle plus separate rays, all reinforced with heavy stablilizer. It's fashioned after a large metal decorative sun that was hanging in the store.

Sun is stiched in a few places but left free in others to highlight the 3D effect.

Spring quilt is pieced bright colors with appliqued letters and winding leaves (soon to sport flowers?). Instead of binding, ric rac is peeking out of the edges that hold the front, back and batting together. Quilt can be removed - it is hanging with another dowel rod. With the flowers and quilt removable, the entire project can be changed to adjust for the seasons. More fun!

Finished quilt measures 30" x 22" and is titled "Spring IS coming".
Head on over to Kim's Crafty Apple to see a dozen more hardware store inspired quilts.  Such variety and creativity!  You might also win a coffee cozy!
Me, I'm heading back to my sewing room as I have enough left over inspiration from the hardware store for another quilt.  Maybe when I emerge Spring will be rounding the corner.


"Lois Grebowski" said...

I love the 3-D aspect of this quilt. And I can *SO* see your inspirations!!!

esblack said...

What a lovely, thoughtful post and what a wonderful, wonderful quilt!! I love your inspirations and how you interpreted them into elements of your quilt. I am so ready for spring to arrive after this winter!! Its great that you made it interactive so you can change it for different seasons. You must have had a lot of fun making this and you must be very proud!! Enjoy!!

andsewon said...

Your Hardware Store Inspiration Quilt is awesome!! Love the hardware floor effect!!

Cara said...

Nice job! Loved the inspiration. Te floor is perfect - when you started talking about it, I just knew it would be!

Karen said...

I LOVE your hardware store inspired quilt! The wood floor was an excellent idea. Looks great!

Pat said...

I love your quilt. It is a great idea that you can change things on it and have a completely new look. I am voting for you to win.

Karen said...

LOVE.IT. Love the 3d effect of the sun...very cool...have wanted to try something like that. The floor boards...great idea! Also I like that you can change it for the seasons...another very good idea. Boy, you were full of them (ideas) this time....nice work!

Kay said...

What a great challenge idea! I love hardware stores, but would never have thought about connecting with them this way. Your quilt turned out great too; the floor boards are particularly clever.