House Party


A couple of weeks ago I was thrilled to have another class with Tonye Belinda Phillips, author of Hand Appliqued Quilts.  Last fall I caught Tonye working on these house blocks one day at the Stitchin' Post and was so intrigued I had the inspiration to start one of my own.  Do you remember this post from December?  In that post I said I would do a pieced border, but I ended up with a striped border.  It's still unfinished.  I have a few more details to add before quilting.


Well, this winter when the Quilter's Affair class list came out I was thrilled to see that Tonye would be teaching House Party.  Unfortunately, there were several other classes I also wanted to take and that week is crazy here so I passed on Tonye's class figuring that she is local and she might teach it at another time.  So I was very happy to see the class listed in the Stitchin' Post's Spring Classes.


We started off with a collage exercise using old magazines.  Isn't there some wonderful variety here? 


These are closeups of Tonye's houses.  I think this block with houses on the hill was everyone's favorite.  The hill is easy to do with wonky strip piecing or gentle curves.  You could also make it with one piece of a fun print or a stripe.  All the applique you see here is needle turned.


I was most impressed by the contemporary style of  Tonye's house parts.  It's funny because to me they seem contemporary and at the same time harken back to the art in children's books of the 60's and 70's.  I took some notes in my class journal to remind me of those shapes I most like such as the simple squares and rectangles, the half circles and wonky triangles.


Many of Tonye's stems are particularly skinny.  It's hard to make them that skinny even with a bias tape maker. 


Another thing that makes Tonye's quilt stand out is her abundant use of color and whimsically patterned fabrics.  Dots, swirls, bold checks and florals really make this quilt interesting.  However, Tonye always keeps in mind the principle of contrast.  I know I struggle with contrast.  Tonye says she doesn't use a color wheel, but rather makes color choices intuitively which is how I prefer to work also.


I wish I'd gotten photos of some of the other student's work.  There were some really great designs in class!  This is my block which I plan to finish this summer when I get a lot of other things done.  I've got fabric set aside for more of these.  I think with houses you can't just have one!