Sunday, March 04, 2012

Blueberry Peel Top is Done!

Finally, I have finished work on the Blueberry Peel quilt top.


The top is for a Queen size bed - 96" x 108". The paper-pieced block pattern is from Karen Stone's Indian Orange Peel pattern that I purchased way back in 1993 when I took a class from Karen. (Marvelous class, marvelous teacher!)


This is an illustration of how much fun it is to play with colors! You can take a pattern like Karen's and create something that looks so different just by changing colors and layout.

Every once in a while I keep track of the time it takes to make a particular project and I did it with this quilt top.

This is how long it took to finish the various parts:

  • Cut out the paper templates for 296 arcs = 4.35 hours

  • Paper-piece the races = 51.8 hours

  • Trim the edges of the arcs = 3.5 hours

  • Remove paper from the arcs = 9.87 hours

  • Remaining cutting and assembly = 20.18 hours

For a total of 89.7 hours! Multiply that by your basic minimum wage and you'll begin to understand why a hand made quilt should never be sold for anything under $1000. This total doesn't even include material costs, quilting services, or binding. I also wasn't absolutely meticulous in starting my timer the minute I started work.

Granted a less complicated quilt top would probably be completed faster or one that didn't use so many different fabrics. I'll have to time the next quilt I made, just for comparison. (I've got an app for this on my iPhone, so it is more fun than watching a clock!)

For a number of the border layers I used the leftover trimmings from the arc backgrounds. This "scrap" was large enough to cut pieces that were around 1.5" x 2", which I sewed into mini 4-patches or into strips.

It is always fun, and sometimes quite a surprise, to see what my finished quilt looks like when I finally spread out the finished quilt top to take a picture because while I'm working and designing in my tiny studio, my quilt project is generally in a big lumping fabric bunch. The borders and such are designed roughly on paper because my design "wall" is only 4' x 6'.

Next on my project agenda is a 12" x 12" art quilt to donate to the Studio Art Quilt Associates auction that is held every year, usually in the Fall, but I don't have the exact dates yet. I just know the deadline for submission is this month!


Melissa B. Talma said...

This quilt top is gorgeous Kim! So inspiring. And be assured other artists and craftspeople understand the labor and love that go into a beautiful handmade creation that has a value all its own.

Kim LaPolla said...

Thanks, Melissa! I don't (or haven't sold) any of my traditional quilts, mainly because the costs are not what the average person would willing to spend. Hey, I couldn't afford either except for the cheap labor source I have - me. LOL. But I love making them.