Monday, February 25, 2013

Composing a Quilt: for Joseph

Josephs.Quilt

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.

striped.feathers

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.

applique.feathers

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.
xo,Anna

19 comments:

  1. The perfect combo of fabrics for a teen boy!

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  2. This is a fabulous design. I definitely agree about designing something for someone you know--it makes a huge difference and gives all sorts of interesting (and inspiring) food for thought as you design. I love this quilt. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. I love how the open center kinda forms a dark blue star. And I totally agree, it is soooo much more fun making a quilt when you know who the recipient is!

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  4. I am going to have to echo what everyone else is saying that it is so much more fun and meaningful to make a quilt when you know the person you are making it for. I Love this quilt and it works so well for a boys room, those are some lucky kids!

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  5. I absolutely love this quilt! The layout is so eye catching, I love how the feather edges break the square line of the border. Colors are beautiful as usual. You did an amazing job!

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  6. I adore this quilt!! I saw it shared on Instagram so many times over this past weekend, and loved it a little more each time I got to see it!

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  7. WOW. This is amazing!!

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  8. I adore your feathers, they're absolutely brilliant! I downloaded the pattern eons ago but have yet to tackle them! Your quilt is gorgeous!!

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  9. it's gorgeous! the borders add so much subtle interest. lovely!

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  10. I really like the quilt! Incidentally, I have a Joseph, aged 6, but he is opposite to yours! Mine is my quiet child, very thoughtful, calm, homebody. He really is a gentle old soul in a young boys body.

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  11. OH WOW! Lovely beyond words!~ Lucky boy!

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  12. Fantastic! Very beautiful!!!

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  13. A compass is a great idea! Thanks for sharing your process in such detail.

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  14. Jenny M11:54 AM

    Gorgeous! Sounds like such fun fabric play.

    But a question -- six yards of selvedge-to-selvadge strips?? Why so much, since each feather is just a few inches across? It seems like oh-so-much, even given that you've varied the placement to get a nice range of fabrics among the feathers. Am I understanding right? Thank you!

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    1. Hi Jenny, thank you! The total amount of strip piecing was to prepare fabric for both of the boys' quilts. This will make a lot more sense, I am sure once you see Nicolas's quilt later this evening :) (perk is that I have a bit left also for a possible start for Roman :))

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  15. Jenny M1:02 PM

    I see -- thank you! Isn't it funny how littlest babies get some things so much earlier in their lives than older siblings, sometimes...if Roman gets his lovely feather quilt soonish, years 'before' Nicolas. Though maybe the big boys have had other quilts, too. I'm looking forward to getting down to cutting for a quilt for my bigger boy, who'll probably be 5 before he gets it...and his younger brother maybe soon after.

    And then such talk reminds me of your littlest one. I hope you're still feeling well and (mostly) enjoying being so full of a wonderful person!

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  16. By the time my hubby and I got there, it was Denyse's slot at Stitch Lab, but did BUY some goodies at the booth. YAY. Quiltcon rocked. Even my husband liked it.

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  17. wowza this quilt is great! I love all the thought that goes into making a quilt just for one person. I love to really meditate and think about the person I am making a quilt for while I am working it makes the love put in even more special. I too enjoyed QuiltCon and loved getting to meet you a few times during your busy days! can't wait to see more :)

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  18. What a gorgeous design and quilt. It also has a sort of space-agey feel - like the feathers are buildings floating in space.

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