Monday, February 25, 2013
Composing a Quilt: for Joseph
QuiltCon was absolutely perfect and memorable. Jeff and I so enjoyed getting away on our own for a few days and kicking around Austin with no plans for one whole day and a few nights too after teaching wrapped up. Spending time with favorite friends is always welcome too, but it seems there weren't enough nights to see them all. And teaching! What a lovely bunch of attendees! So eager to try something new and everyone noticed that there was just an all around good vibe about the event- thanks, of course, to wonderful coordination by my friend Alissa & her gang of modern quilters. Really perfect and can't wait to go again next year.
I might have IGed as much food as I did quilts, but they were both so good I couldn't resist. As promised though, I wanted to begin sharing all of the new quilt tops I have been working on. The first is this quilt for my Joseph (13). All the tops I've done for the kids are around 68"ish by 88"ish. So twin bed-ish. You will likely recognize the feather design but of course these are pieced and appliqued- well most are appliqued, some are just basted and waiting to be finished. I love how this one turned out. Knowing that I was going to be making quilts for both Joseph and Nicolas, who share a room, I set out to use the same fabrics generally but completely different patchwork styles.
I began work for both quilts by collecting all that I wanted to use which was a lot of my own fabric, Denyse's and several other plaids, geometrics and so forth. Then I cut them all in strips crosswise from selvage to selvage varying the width from about 1.5" to 3". I then sewed them together on their lengths for about 6 yards of striped fabric- which took a long time, but good to sorta just work on mindlessly for on and off. From these I cut the feather templates and made 18 feathers. I knew from the beginning that I would do something almost medallion like and symmetrical.
Once half of the feathers were appliqued in place on the center foundation fabric, I decided to set the next row farther from the center and staggered, so I needed to deal with the border around the center which the second row of feathers would float over. I was originally planning to use rectangles cut from the strip pieced fabric, but decided that didn't play enough of a difference to the feathers. So instead, I used some leftover strips and patchworked them onto the center in log cabin fashion. I had a look at it all up on the design wall before making a commitment. It became visually effective to arrange the concentric strips from more intense, deeper colors out towards more pale and softer tones at the outer edges. So now, just to finish the hand applique on all the feathers and I am also getting the urge to add a small compass-like piece at the very center. My Joseph is so exuberant and has a tendency to be an explorer, if not a little wander-y. It just felt right to give him a focused design as a balance.
Knowing who you are making for, and everything about them, adds quite the layer of inspiration and joy to the process.
Back tomorrow with a quilt for my Nicolas.