A Riot of Color

>> Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This quilt should be arriving at its recipient's door today or tomorrow. I must say that stuffing it into a priority flat-rate envelope took some skillz, but I persevered and succeeded. It's for a baby who arrived a few weeks early -- all within the healthy realm -- but too quickly for me to have started the gift. I did sneak in a little cutting and piecing while I was finishing the semester, on quick breaks from paper-writing and grading. But it didn't come together until this weekend.

It's much brighter than this photo indicates, so apologies for the dimness of it here. This was all improv pieced, "designed" with the intent of cutting into many fabrics in my stash that I had been too hesitant to chop. This forced me to cut, although only smaller pieces so it wasn't too terrifying. It was inspired by a quilt I saw while perusing all the Sew Mama Sew giveaway day blogs. I wish I had bookmarked it so I could give credit where credit is due...anyone recall a giveaway for one of 2 quilts, both of which looked to me to contain all sorts of delightful fabric in no discernable pattern? Well, the image is seared in my brain, but the blog was not captured by my bookmarks.

I started by cutting out small, medium, and large pieces of each fabric I wanted to use and then sewing them together. I tried to mix large and small and build up to larger rectangles that could be put together to form the larger quilt. My design wall floor came in quite handy for this process. I fussy-cut a few of the fabrics -- such as the birdcages (Michael Miller, "Tweet Tweet") pictured above -- but mostly grabbed from the pile and waited to see what would emerge.

This quilt might have more pink in it than ever before, but I offset that with a fair amount of blue. One can never have enough blue in one's life.

I knew I wanted to use this bright brown (how often do you say "bright brown"?!) floral fabric from my stash for the back, and I added the orange squares to make it a touch larger. But not large enough, as it turns out. I let the pieced back sit overnight while I thought about how to make it bigger.

And by the next morning had settled on another orange strip and some of the pink and orange fabric. I must say that bubble gum pink, into which that pink fabric falls, is not my favorite. But I like the design on it and think it works well in this quilt. Both the pink and the brown fabrics serve as lessons in "colors on your computer screen are not necessarily accurate"; however, after being a tad disappointed when they first arrived, I realized that I do actually like them, just not in the ways that I had anticipated liking them.

As soon as I selected the brown backing, I knew that I would use the turquoise pebbly fabric for the binding. Love it. Also, I especially love the sprockets print down at the bottom in the picture above and the huge flower on the bottom right (it's an Alexander Henry print, though I can't recall its name). I stipple quilted the whole thing -- my largest free motion quilting experience to date. All in all, a very satisfying improv quilt that was a little hard to let go of (I love color, especially in the winter), but it'll be in good hands in Manhattan.


Carla December 29, 2009 at 5:36 PM  

You used some really wonderful fabrics. The quilt came out great!

Patty December 29, 2009 at 6:54 PM  

Wonderful! I love color too.

Micki December 31, 2009 at 2:54 PM  

The fabrics are out of this world!
Happy New Year!

Jennifer Paganelli January 5, 2010 at 6:37 AM  

wow..so gorgeous, so clever..love this quilt. Jennifer

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