I was both honored and frightened to be asked to participate in Jacey's traveling quilt bee, Fantastic Quilt Voyage. There are a lot of very talented modern quilters in the group whose credentials would put me to shame. plus there's that whole I haven't really felt like quilting in months thing.
In the end I decided I shouldn't turn down the opportunity to stretch my skills and I'm glad I did. I'm already more excited about getting back into quilting again. For the first round, I received Ara Jane's quilt in the mail. First, when I opened her box I became a little embarrassed that I basically threw my starter blocks and some fabric in a bag and sent it off. Ara Jane had thoughtfully provided separate labeled bags for blocks, fabric, and scraps, plus a journal that had a swatch of all the fabric she sent and sketches of her design plan. Note to self: try to be more organized not super lame next time.
Ara Jane had asked for an urban theme with improv piecing, so my block represents an overhead view of a city crossroads. when piecing improv I pretty much just go for it without a plan, but this time I did make a preliminary sketch in Illustrator and asked for approval because I didn't want to be way out there and have it be a huge disappointment. I had just one issue, which is that sometimes I don't think (see going for it: improv) and I made my center block too large which led to the entire thing being absolutely ginormous. Whoops. it also took forever to piece all of those tiny little scraps so I was slightly late mailing it out as well. I just hope that it doesn't overwhelm the rest of the quilt. maybe she can put it on the back or something if it stands out too much.
I would really love to do something similar to the outer edge blocks (the "buildings") for myself in the future. I have a ton of light colored neutral scraps leftover from other quilts (sashing and such) that I never know what to do with. I think I could use them for the background with tiny brightly colored scraps from my bins. and maybe mine would throw in some charcoal/black/navy scraps as well to make a very contrasty fun piece. you know, when i have time to work on such a thing in 2025 or so.