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Virginia’s Quilt

Completed Virginia’s quilt by Judy Gula including fabrics and blocks by Virginia Aribe

This quilt began with a box full of 1 in. wide stripcut Japanese fabrics from a friend, Virginia Aribe, who sadly passed away in January 2019. Virginia was a beloved member of the same chapter of Quilters Unlimited that I am (Burke). The box also contained some quilt blocks using the fabrics that Virgina had already started.

Blocks by Virginia Aribe incorporated into the quilt

Japanese fabrics have long been some of my own favorites, so I thought I would challenge myself to take Virginia’s squares (some pictured above) and create some of my own to combine into a new quilt.

Small log cabin blocks by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

I began to make small log cabin blocks from the strips. I’ve joked that the log cabin block is the only one I know how to make! But it’s my go-to for a reason, it’s easy, showcases fabric well, and there’s so much you can do with your layout depending on how you structure the block’s colors.

More blocks originally completed by Virginia Aribe

I wanted a hint of red to contrast with the beautiful shades of blue and white, so I made sure that some of the blocks I created had a little included, from Chinese Red to Brick Red – not a lot, but little touches so the eye searches for it. Above, you can see my smaller log cabin blocks to the right of more of Virginia’s original blocks.

Log cabin quilt blocks from Japanese fabrics pieced by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

More of my blocks are above. I squared them up, kind of …

Originally I tried to combine Virginia’s blocks and my new one with another piece that I had been working on that contains indigo.

Test layout including a separate Judy Gula project

Longtime readers and customers will know we often like to say that fabrics “play well with others.” Pictured above, I decided my addition was not going to play well, so I removed it from the assortment of quilt blocks.

Working on layout, Virginia's Quilt

So with a pile of small blocks, I began trying layouts, assembling them into larger blocks, and then rows, and then the quilt.

Puzzle like assembly, Virgina's Quilt by Judy Gula with contributions from Virginia Aribe

This kind of improv piecing and assembling is something like building a puzzle without having the boxtop photo to refer to.

Detail, free motion quilting by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts using a BERNINA Q20 longarm

Once I finally had my layout completed, I layered my backing and batting and got to work quilting it. I used the BERNINA Q20 and a variety of free-motion designs.

Detail, free motion quilting by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts using a BERNINA Q20 longarm

In addition to blue thread, I threw in some red (seen above) too.

I completed Virginia’s quilt this spring — the Japanese scraps from her had been calling me for quite a while. While she has passed from this life, her creativity, kindness and strength carries on… thank you, Virginia!

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