Friday, May 4, 2018

A church in winter

Hi there, everyone!  How are things with you?  It's been pretty stressful around here, as well as hot and humid.  "Hot" as in it was over 90 degrees the past couple of days.  Not to worry, though, because apparently we're in for a couple of big storms and then cooler temperatures.  Which is good, because I have a lot of work to do outside before our massive landscaping project.  Which I will get to just as soon as I finish these papers. . .

It may be hot, but I'm thinking of winter right now, because I have finished my winter church project!  It took a bit of doing, but here is the "winter" panel:

This is St. James Church in Stanton, Delaware, near Wilmington.  It has a fascinating history and you can read more about it HERE.  This church was established in the early 1700s and the building here dates to about 1821.  It is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a cool place to visit if you ever find yourself in Delaware.

I decided on this church because it is so unique, both in the shape of the building and the setting, plus all of the details that make it so different from others.  There is a cross at the top that will have to be made from thread when it's quilted because it's quite thin. The door there is actually quite tall and heavy, just like you would think a colonial church door would be.  The little bump out on the right is actually where the sanctuary is located, and the windows are not stained glass, but are the colonial 12 over 12 windows.

Plus, look at that cupola!  How great is that?  It looks huge here, and it is, because I was careful about the proportions.  It's really that large.  The bell is just kind of floating there, but there will be some other details quilted in, including the connection of the bell to the rest of the building.

This is actually the second version of the church that I made.  Here is the first attempt:

Look at all those great details! Even those handrails are pieced in. And it wasn't even finished yet-- and there was the problem.  At this point, the church was 37 inches wide, with the portion on the right not even pieced in yet, not to mention any grounds or the roof or anything.  This was obviously too big, because I want a quilt with four churches and I don't want it to be king sized.  I made a mistake in that I started with the door, when I should have started with a larger area to establish the overall size.  I didn't cry when I realized the problem, but I did get a little frustrated and put it in time out for a while. (This version is still there. It will break my heart to throw it out, so I'll cut it up for some scraps.)

Making windows

So, yep, I started over.  I'm still not completely happy with myself, because I didn't leave enough space for landscaping, which is a part of the charm of the church.  This panel is about 30 inches wide by 36 inches tall, which is good for a church with a spire. I'm not going to promise that I won't make another one that will show more of the grounds and such.  That would mean losing some of the details, though, so everything is a trade off.  And I definitely think I will feel a lot better about it after I quilt in some more details and have it in a quilt with some other churches.

The fabrics here are mainly Grunge by Moda, in two different colors, even though that isn't really evident in the photos.  The roof fabric is something called Evening Mist by Sentimental Studios and looks pretty grungy, and definitely like a weathered roof.  I went back and forth on the fabric for the sky, but ultimately went with a lighter, grayer blue from Timeless Treasures because I felt like it looked more like a washed-out winter sky.  The other fabrics are various bits from my stash.  If you notice, the windows are gray, not black, to make them look washed out as well.

So now I've finished the first of four church panels!  And I've picked the next church, and even pulled the main fabrics for it:

Notice there is not even a speck of green in the St. James panel, so this will definitely be different!

If you'd like to make any building of your own in fabric, I have learned a lot from Julie Sefton's book Build a Barn, No Pattern Construction.  It is a very useful book, and you don't have to make barns, you can make any building.  Really!  You can find it HERE in soft cover or you can get a digital copy HERE.  It's well worth it!

Everyone have a wonderful weekend!  I'll have a pen and not a needle in hand, so think of me when you sew something fun!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, and crazymomquilts.


BillieBee (billiemick) said...

What a lovely block.

Louise said...

I can see why you were inspired to make this church. What a cool building! And your rendition of it is really great :)

Bernie Kringel said...

Mari you did such a great job with this. Even if the bell is temporarily just floating in space. ;-). I really like this project. I think you might keep the unfinished building block. I bet you could make some cool structure out of it with gardens etc. Seems like so much work only to cut it up.

Home Sewn By Us said...

Hi Mari,
I'm sorry it's so hot there - cooler weather is on the way I promise. It's a lovely sunny 65-70 here today, and it was lots cooler yesterday. I love the bell in the cupola - it looks so perfect!
~smile~ Roseanne

Quiltdivajulie said...

Congratulations on a really excellent finish -- and thanks for the shout out. I'd love to share this over on the book's blog, if that's okay with you.

Kate said...

Beautifully done! It's going to be even more awesome after it's quilted. Sorry the first attempt didn't work out, that is frustrating. Hope you've got the perfect weather for whatever you need to get done this weekend.

travelinsewl said...

I love your church. You mentioned no speck of green in this panel. The first thing that caught my eye was the yellow grass. That color was "spot-on" as they say. I was so tired of seeing that color outside everywhere I look here in kansas!
So grateful that spring has brought back her green.

laughing gas quilts said...

You've done an amazing job with that church. Congratulations! Don't throw out or cut up the other. Give it it's sanctuary, cupola and some grounds, and have it stand alone. You could even surround it in with a few traditional blocks, call it a lap quilt, and give it to a parishioner/minister. That door is way too good to pitch. You probably should get the papers marked first, though.

Kris said...

Oh that is a lovely block!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Nice church. Very detailed.

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

Very nice, I love building blocks, oops, that's a toy. I LOVE blocks of buildings

BarefootThunder said...

I came from the meet and greet, and I love this piece!! buildings have always fascinated me. I'm now anxious to wander and see what else you've been up too. Nice to meet you.