Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Vineyard Furrows

When my guild was hosting a challenge called Colors of the Vineyard. We were to produce a 16"x20" wall hanging that evoked a sense of scenery of the wineries around our local Livermore. The grapevines along the rolling hills are so pretty and I wanted to capture that feeling in both color and motion. I wanted to conjure up a vision of plowed furrows where the grape vines are planted.

About 5 years ago, I'd made two spiral table runners; a fall colored one with a 9° wedge ruler and a turquoise and grey one with a 10° wedge ruler. The center section of the table runner reminded me of shapes and undulations of the plowed furrows in a vineyard. I would use the same pattern as my starting point for the challenge piece. The 10° wedge would give me a shape closest to the 16"x20" rules of the challenge. An entire table runner would look like this. I would change the colors and use only a portion of it, most likely the center.

The same runner with the tips folded under looks like a sloping hillside to me. I would need to fill in above and below to make it rectangular for the challenge.

My color selections call to mind a vineyard: purple tones for the grapes, green tones for the leaves, and brown tones for the earth. I originally had a blue hue in the mix for the sky but it seemed to throw things off. I ordered the colors to have purple interspersed with green.

I labeled each of my strips cut from fat quarters with my set of Alphabitties and Wonder Clips. I used to store my Alphabitties in a lockup container when I wanted to use the I would dump out all 36 and paw through the pile to find the ones I needed. Then I tried storing them with a Wonder Clip attached to each. It took up a bit more space but it separated them from each other better to look for the correct one and also enabled me to pick up both letter and clip in one motion.

Then I had an idea for a yet different method of storage. My husband is a stamp collector and he has these handy-dandy binder pages for storing stamps until they are assigned to an album. He is laid up for a bit because he recently fractured his hip when he fell off a ladder installing our master bedroom drapes - see my December 21. 2016 post. His physical mobility is restricted while he heals and consequently he is a bit bored and seeks sedentary activities, He was happy to try this organization of my Alphabitties for me. So far I like it. Seeing him sitting there is so characteristic of him sorting his collection - only for stamps he uses tweezers to prevent oil from his fingertips from devaluing them.

The clear plastic row windows allow me to see the letters and numbers and slide each out easily from the top. It is serendipitous that there are six rows that just fit six each to house the entire set Alphabitties so they are visible and accessible and lets me know at a glance if I am missing any. Good job, Frank! Thank you for sharing your philatelic tools with the quilting community! I will give this storage method a try for a while and see if I like it.

After labeling my color for strips, I also used the I used these Alphabitties to keep track of the different size wedges I am assembling.

After making banding sections of the cut strips I cut them into varying height wedges of two sequences - bright green to brown and brown to bright green.

Then I started sewing the wedges together in offset pairs. I am beginning to see those tidy rich toned rows of grapevines emerging.

I have a ways to go. I will link up briefly to Lets Bee Social #157 and then get back to assembling these wedges.


  1. Oh, there is so much I love about this post. First the sharing of your process, second where did you get those alphabitties? Third, the ideas and how you came up with them, Fourth, the colors are yummy! Can't wait to see the end result!

    1. What a happy, mood boosting comment. Thank you so much! I first saw Alphabitties several years ago and bought them online from the Fat Quarter Shop. I have since seen them in local quilt shops and at craft fairs. I initially thought they were frivolous at a price of about $8 since I could just label snippets of paper but these are so much better. They are weighty enough that even without being clipped in place they stay and do not blow away like bits of paper can if not pinned. They are sturdy and they are colored so that they show up equally well on either light or dark fabric. As for my ideas...? I live in the wine country of Livermore and see those rolling hills often. It is strange how the mind can associate that same image with a quilt pattern. But then, in your daily life, don't many things remind you of a quilt?

  2. I love the way your mind worked! This is a great abstraction of vineyards. I haven't played enough with my wedge ruler and strips. Maybe the Rainbow Scrap challenge this year calls for it. How very clever. And I like your attempt at supplies control...and seeing your dh working with you. LeeAnna

  3. These fabrics look so beautiful together, and definately remind me of the vineyards. I can't wait to see the final reveal. I'm glad I found you on Let's Be Social.

  4. I love your color scheme! and what a great blend of hobbies... I'll be curious how you like Dad's stamp-storage solution to your alphabitties problem!