Monday, September 23, 2019

Loop in Motion

Update 10/3: At the suggestion of Sandra at MMM Quilts I'm sharing this on Throwback Thursday

I'm participating in Quilters Meet and Greet over at Benita Skinner's Creative Space. If you haven't visited yet, you can check it out through the rest of September, and see my post here.

Several people have commented on my Loop in Motion quilt. This was made in 2006, before I started blogging, so I've never told its story here.

I belong to a guild called Circle in the Square Quilters that meets in University City, MO. U-City celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006. Even-numbered years are challenge years for CSQ, so that year the guild challenged the members to make a quilt for U-City's Centennial.

U-City has a neighborhood called The Loop; it got its name from the old trolley car turn around back in the day. The Loop is a vibrant, eclectic neighborhood with lots of restaurants and unique shops. U-City used to have a street festival every year called Loop in Motion; I don't know whether they still have it or not, but it was still going on back in 2006.

Most of the guild members who participated in the U-City Centennial challenge made applique scenes of local landmarks, etc. I'm not into applique, so to participate in the challenge I'd have to come up with something else.

I played around in EQ and came up with a design that created an unbroken loop. The design used 6" pieced blocks which featured curved piecing. Curved piecing is good for hand piecing, and
I belong to a hand-piecing group that's part of CSQ. My turn to hand out in 2006 was convenient for having my friends help stitch blocks for my challenge piece.

The blocks used in the design were very simple, just two-inch arcs, either one arc or two arcs per block. It's all in how the blocks are rotated.

There are a lot of layouts possible with this concept. Here's one possibility from EQ:

I chose a slightly different layout with more background and negative space. Then I searched for the perfect fabric. I found a commercial hand-dye (batik) with all the colors scattered in it and black overprinting. Or maybe it started as a black-on-white print that was then overdyed. Anyway, all the colors were scattered randomly in the fabric. Using a template I cut lots of arcs. Lots of arcs through all areas of the fabric; some featured mostly one color, some shaded from one color to another. Then I laid them out on my design wall so the colors flowed into one another.

You can't see it in the quilt photo, but there are seams where the blocks come together. Here are rough outlines showing a couple of the blocks.

My friends helped hand-piece the curved blocks, then I assembled the top by machine and quilted it myself by machine. It finished at 60" square.

This quilt is entirely pieced, not appliqued. If you trace the curvy lines you'll see that it's all one continuous loop. Thus, Loop in Motion, my entry for the U-City Centennial challenge.

You might recognize that this block is very similar to the blocks used in Snake quilts, although in the snake quilt below the arcs were pieced. Same concept. Different layout. Larger blocks. There are lots of possibilities with this block and it's really not that hard to piece if you're comfortable with curves. You can see more quilts using this block here.

Thanks for following along with me on this trip down memory lane. Maybe I'll write about some of the other quilts from my pre-blogging days when I get a chance.

Be sure to visit the other blogs on the Quilters Meet and Greet blog hop. There's a grand prize and you can enter from each blog you visit.


  1. Loop in Motion, what an interesting concept!

  2. That is an amazing quilt! Thanks for sharing the story!

  3. I used to travel a lot for my job. I remember going to the quilt exhibit at the University City library, and yours was my favorite quilt there. I couldn't figure out how it was made. Thanks for sharing your process. It's a fantastic quilt!

  4. Such a gorgeous quilt! I appreciate the explanation for how you did it. Awesome!

  5. what a cute modern quilt, loved hearing it's story.

  6. This is fascinating Jan! And gorgeous. I love quilts where the block isn't readily apparent. You must link this up with TBT. My friend Andrée is hosting it for October (first Thursday of each month), and if you do write up some more posts, be sure to link them up at her blog or mine, as we love reading the stories that accompany the quilts. :-)

    1. Oops Andrée's blog is Quilting and Learning What a Combo! :-)

  7. Hi Jan, thanks so much for linking up to Throwback Thursday for October. I really liked reading about your quilt and process. It really looks great.