Target Practice

The Ohio chapter of SAQA was inspired by the exhibit, “Circular Abstractions,” to start a bullseye quilt challenge.  I poked around to see if I could find anything about the history of the bullseye block, but have come up empty.

See the source image

Not to worry. I think you’ll get the idea without any words.

The chapter is holding online meetings to discuss approaches and even an in-person sewing afternoon to work on our projects.

I decided to build some bulleyes first and worry about their placement later. A rummage through my scraps piles gave me enough material for two different approaches.

One is based on Jane LaFazio’s Recycled Circles, a method featured in “Cloth Paper Scissors” magazine [March 2009 issue].

With this technique you machine quilt a 12 inch quilt sandwich, cut it in quarters, and then fuse on scrappy curves. The idea is to make each quarter unique. You machine or hand stitch the fused curves down, and add as many embellishments as you like. You can zigzag sew the quarters together or treat them however you like. I chose to keep spaces between the quarters.

The machined stitched part of Bloodshot Bullseyes is done and I’m starting a lot of hand stitching. The quarter squares are zigzag stitched to red felt, and each fabric arc is sewn down with decorative machine stitches.

For my second approach I constructed crazy pieced pentagons with light and dark rings. Most feature blue and blue/green fabrics as I seem to have lots of those colors in my scraps. The shapes are angular rather than rounded, but I think they convey the idea of a bullseye.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I had enough pentagons (and a few hexagons) to create two pieces. My attempts to put them all into one looked  too cluttered. Rather than piece the pentagons to the background, I decided to machine sew each down to  the background fabric. I’ll cut out the fabric behind them to reduce bulk. That’s happened already with the composition below.

My second crazy bulleye is still in flux.

I predict the final version will look different than this. Already I’m contemplating sheer overlays and playing with shape placement. I’m thinking of quilting pentagons with heavy thread to continue the theme.  Unless I radically change my plan, each pentagon piece should finish around 30 by 36 inches.

Both approaches have given me lots of quality time with my scraps collection, and a chance to feel virtuous as I use some of it up.


Filed under Art quilts, In Process

6 responses to “Target Practice

  1. Both give a cool effect, but the crazy pentagons seem more playful to me. Can you use the second set as …. something… like … maybe flowers? on stems? Or bushes in a garden as seen overhead? or splash rings in a puddle? or … ?? I guess I’m thinking representative, rather than abstract. Just a thought. 🙂

    • The set on the dark green fabric has been undergoing extensive renovations. I still haven’t settled on a final layout, but I’m now mixing some organza pentagons with the pieced ones. I like the idea of puddle splash rings, but don’t know if my shapes will work with that concept. I’ll be meeting with fellow bullseyers next week so I’ll get more opinions there.

  2. Sounds and looks like a great challenge. I like the small coil of fabric you set over the center of the recycle circles quarters. I don’t think you could have found a more perfect background fabric for your pentagon/hexagon pieces (or is it just that I love the color combo!). Is that a purchased fabric or one of your hand made?

    • It’s helpful to have seen great interpretations of the theme before you begin a challenge. That Circular Abstractions exhibit was pretty spectacular. The background fabric on the first pentagon piece is commercial fabric that I bought on spec long before I made the pentagons. It says something about my fixation on those colors. The recycled circles will benefit, I think, from lots of hand stitching. It’s a bit hard to push a needle through 4 layers of fabric, alas. Maybe I’ll cheat and add more machine stitching.

  3. I like the second pentagon piece just the way it is! I think the pentagons glow on that dark background. It’s a fun challenge or at least you’re making it fun!

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