Spring Chicken

>> Monday, May 9, 2011

I was debating what to name this quilt, whether to call it something citrus-y since it's full of orange, lemon, and lime colors, or to opt for a name that reflected its purpose. I chose the latter, in part because as I pieced it together, I kept thinking of it as "spring chicken," and in part because that actually reflects its purpose.

A good family friend had the misfortune of severely hurting her ankle in one of those totally annoying ways: while walking. Although the original incident happened last July and surgery last summer was supposed to fix it all, she needed surgery again this spring. And when you hurt your ankle, the couch becomes your best friend for a while. Or not exactly best friend, but sort of necessary temporary life partner. So I made this quilt to accompany the couch (a lovely turquoisey blue, if I do say so myself) and chose colors and a name that I hope signify fresh starts and good things (mobility) ahead. And because this was going to stay with a former librarian who loves to read, the column of stacked books seemed quite appropriate. I made one long column because I wanted to see how it would look as a single offset column, and I like it. And when there are no young kids around, it's totally fine to have large swaths of white!

I wanted to make a floating log cabin design for the back. I don't really think this floats, as I didn't quite translate the vision in my head to fabric. But I like that it features the large Marimekko flowers in the middle and builds around it. I chose to leave in the selvages of several prints, including the Marimekko flowers, the Meadowsweet orange flowers, and the Lotus dots. All of the names seemed appropriate to the quilt's intent, and thus seemed fun to include -- whether or not the fabric lines are meaningful to anyone else who encounters the quilt.

I used Park Slope birds to bind the quilt, some of which even managed to appear without their heads on the other side of the quilt. In fact, I used this print to select the other fabrics in the quilt because the blue was the closest I had to (what I think is) the color of the couch, and the other colors shouted spring to me. I selected light and dark oranges, greens, and a couple blues (a shared favorite color) to work into the stack of books.

I didn't have any batting handy, so I used a large piece of white fleece. It worked well, though it is quite thick and I probably should have cut my binding strips a touch larger as a result. When I first started thinking about the quilting, I thought I might create a diagonal grid. But when I got it all basted together, I found myself less taken by a grid and more interested in meandering lines. Which is how I quilted it. It's now made it's way to its new home where I hear there might be some competition over who gets to use it more...

6 comments:

Leanne May 9, 2011 at 9:58 AM  

This is a beautiful quilt and I love the block on the back!

felicity May 9, 2011 at 10:20 AM  

I love the off-centre placement of the stacked strips. This is beautiful! And so very thoughtful. I'm sure it will help your friend's recovery to have such a lovely quilt to snuggle with.

Lucinda May 9, 2011 at 10:50 AM  

Very pretty...and some thick books in that stack! I think the off-center placement works...and so does the block on the back.

Jen May 9, 2011 at 1:07 PM  

This is beautiful! I love it!

~Michelle~ May 9, 2011 at 1:31 PM  

yay for book quilts! But I actually think I like the back better - it's that Marimekko, lol!

Shelley May 9, 2011 at 2:10 PM  

Love this quilt! The colors are gorgeous and the single stack is so elegant! Such a lovely gift. :)

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