I had so many potential ideas for this quarter's theme, Patterns in Nature, that I found it really difficult to decide on a project.
When this photo, from our visit a few years ago to the Giant's Causeway in Ireland, popped up on my screen one day I knew that I had found my inspiration! The Giant's Causeway, which is the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. comprises around 40,000 interlocking basalt columns many of which are hexagonal in shape. The perfect inspiration for a quilter :)
Here, therefore, is "Walking with Giants", inspired by the natural phenomenon that is the Giant's Causeway.
I rarely buy quilting magazines, but in a recent, rare purchase I came across an advert for the Cottage Cloth collection for Andover Fabrics by Renee Nanneman and knew that it would be perfect for my basalt columns. Fortunately, I discovered that I could purchase appropriate fabrics from the collection in 10cm increments at Midsomer Quilting.
Rummaging in a sewing room cupboard I happened upon these hexagon templates and papers from a long forgotten magazine purchase. I knew that they would come in handy some day :)
It took me a while to work out how to get the hexagons and columns combined, but I eventually settled upon half basting the hexagon papers and leaving the bottom of the hexagons to form the columns.
Given that the inspiration for my Challenge quilt was set in Northern Ireland I wanted to continue that theme with the fabrics that I chose for the rest of the quilt. Ireland, and Northern Ireland in particular, is famous throughout the world for the quality of its linen fabric, so I wanted to use linen fabrics for the background and trees in the quilt. (You can read more about the history of linen and linen production in Ireland here)
I didn't have any light blue linen fabric in my stash for the background, but I did have an old linen/cotton mix shirt of my husband's so thought that was appropriate enough. I did have these two lovely green linen lengths, although they are Lithuanian linen rather than Irish, but I thought they would be ideal too.
The hexagon columns were built up on the background fabric and machine quilted with invisible thread and you can see the hexagon shapes more clearly on the back of the quilt below.
The green linens were appliqued to the background with double-sided fusible web and then FMQ'd.
I added a few clouds to the sky to break up that expanse of blue and to give a more accurate representation of Irish weather :)
As ever, this Challenge was delightful and daunting at the same time. I am looking forward to seeing how my fellow Endeavourers met this Challenge, I am sure I will be inspired all over again!
P.S. If you would like a more fanciful story of the origin of the Giant's Causeway you can read it here.