Friday, May 06, 2011

The best-laid plans

You weren't imagining things: Blogger deleted my post and so I had to go back and try to reconstruct it as best as I could.

I have a finished object (quilting edition) to show you. This is a quilt I just finished making for Boy Twin. It's not at all the quilt that I thought I was going to make when I began, but I quite like it, not the least because it's the first full-sized quilt I have made.

Boy Twin has bunk beds in his room, and it seemed like the perfect chance to make a quilt for him. I had picked up some boy-ish printed fabric here and there. I laid it out to cut squares, and I quickly saw that that the fabrics seemed to be naturally falling into two specific color themes: one was chambray-ish, denim-y blues with red, and the other was brighter with orange, yellow and deeper blue as well as red. I decided to let the recipient of the quilt decide and he immediately picked the brighter colors. Which was good because I really love the space-themed fabrics I got at Spool.

I didn't want to overreach on my first full-sized quilt, so I cut blocks. I was originally aiming for a "scrappy" look, without intending to have any sort of deliberate pattern. It looked okay but didn't knock me out. So I tried cutting some blocks in solid colors -- I had some yellows and orange and red, and added a couple of blues, too, just to see what would happen. I liked it better, but it still seemed a little meh.

I went poking about the Internet looking at quilts and came across a really striking quilt on a Flickr feed (I can't find it now to link to). It used white blocks on one side to set off a sunset-themed quilt, with the colored blocks going from darker at the bottom to lighter at the top. I decided to try cutting some white blocks and seeing if an arrangement like this would work. I ended up adding some darker navy blocks at the bottom, and voila!

When I had the center blocks cut, sewn and pressed, Mr. Go-Knit-In-Your-Hat weighed in. For some reason he was ambivalent about the white section of the quilt. He strongly suggested a border, preferably in a deep or bright color, to frame off the white. Mr. GKIYH has pretty good judgment when it comes to aesthetics (he married me, didn't he?) so I opted for the dotted frame, which I think works well.

Lest I bore you to death talking about the quilt, I do have to mention one other thing that I think makes this quilt special. I wanted to include at least some piecing on the back of the quilt. After ogling the stuff on Spoonflower, I had a brilliant idea. The twins have been drawing a bunch of comics starring a character they invented called "Fred the Starfish." I surreptitiously scanned a comic, used Photoshop to isolate the individual characters and clean up the lines a little, and arranged them in a row so it would work as a panel. I had a fat quarter printed up and Boy Twin was thrilled to see Fred and friends on the back of the quilt.

I tied the quilt for fear I'd never finish it -- and by this time, Boy Twin was so excited about the quilt, he'd been repeatedly asking me when it would be done. I used a binding with leftover pieces from some of the brightly-colored blocks.

I'm really excited about the finished product and am already hard at work on the next one....


Elizabeth said...

It's really wonderful! Worth the time to fiddle with the layout.

Bonnie said...

I LOVE that quilt! Doing the gradual color change was a fabulous idea. Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Love the finished product, especially incorporation of the twins' own cartoon characters. Thanks for taking us through the creative process.
- Beth in Toronto

blogless grace said...

Really great looking piece! Congratulations on your first "big" quilt.

Sarah said...

Lovely quilt. I especially love the details