Organic Imperfection

>> Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Taking pictures of big quilts is really hard. I co-opted my roommate into aiding and abetting, but we still ran into some trouble. It would probably help if we were 6 feet tall or so, but that describes neither of us. And I haven't noticed too many college basketball players wandering down my street. Because if they were, I would totally borrow their heights and wingspans. I'm sure they wouldn't find a random woman asking them to hold up a quilt weird or anything like that.

The trick, it seems, is hangers. And a sunny day. Which we've had our unfair share of this winter. I assume we'll pay for it soon, or next year. But in the meantime, I am not complaining about sunny and 40 degree days in January. The tree shadow even sort of makes sense for this quilt (see: name). So about this quilt...I started it in the late summer and finished it in the late fall. I chopped up several large scraps of Marimekko fabric (from the clearance bin at the Crate & Barrel outlet), added eggplant purple borders, and decimated the five yards of Bella White in my stash.

Speaking of stash decimation, I ran out of gray as I was piecing the back. To be honest, I think I knew I wouldn't have enough, but I think I thought that adding the the rectangle of the Starling print (on the top) would be sufficient. I was wrong. At which point I pieced together the stripes on the bottom, yielding a sufficiently large, if somewhat devilish to baste, quilt back. It was easier to photograph, though -- the snow smudges really make the image, me thinks.

The name of the quilt came to me after I pulled it out of the dryer. When I first contemplated how to quilt it, I considered straight lines. Then I pondered boxes. At which point I began to trace circles (makes perfect sense, no?). The circle idea had merit, but proved impossible to execute in the way I envisioned. Which led me straight back to lines, just of the less straight and less perfect variety. They're straight-ish, at irregular intervals, and they're fabulous. There's something wonderfully organic and imperfect about it, and I think Organic Imperfection may well be my quilting mantra (not that I chant it or anything. That would produce weird looks, especially from the basketball player I find to hold up my quilts in the future).

As imperfect and organic as the quilt might be, I did plan two very important elements: the size (full) and the spacing. I knew I wanted to use a lot of negative space, but I also wanted a quilt that would drape over my bed. Hence, I wanted the design to make sense when it sprawled across my bed (and dominates my small bedroom). The framed leaves and flowers start at 16" from the bottom of the quilt, so they rest at the bottom of the bed. And because planning sometimes yields splendid results, when I fold the quilt, it can lie at the base of the bed and show off its prettiness. Or the stripes, which are similarly positioned, though more robust than pretty.

I employed a very rigorous selection process when choosing the binding. Tough decisions require examining every possible option, which I did, mostly by opening my storage boxes of fabric,  positioning them alongside the quilt, and plucking options. I even considered pink (magenta, really, but it is technically a pink) which made my roommate gasp. But I naturally I rejected it. Finding a color that works with white and gray is the easy part; finding one that elevates purple and green is much harder. But I prevailed, and this deep goldenrod accomplishes the task quite well. Nothing imperfect about it.

7 comments:

~Michelle~ January 11, 2012 at 1:10 PM  

Yay for bed quilts! That looks really cozy... and I think there's a certain level of bravery involved in having so much white showing, lol! And as much as I love any and all shades of pink, I think the goldenrod was the correct choice. Seems like a great fall/winter quilt for the cold climate. :)

Sarah Craig January 11, 2012 at 1:23 PM  

That is a spectacular quilt! You did a great job with the design, the back, and the quilting!! Awesome!!

Cristin January 11, 2012 at 2:09 PM  

love! and I love even more that you finally made something for yourself! :)

Natalie January 11, 2012 at 2:26 PM  

Wow, this is really gorgeous! I love the way you decided to quit it, it really complements the design! You must be so happy with it, and it looks so cozy on your bed :)

Hollie January 11, 2012 at 6:18 PM  

Ooooh! This quilt is so gorgeous! I love it. And I often use hangers too since I'm usually photographing my quilts by myself.

torie January 11, 2012 at 8:22 PM  

So glad you FINALLY have something for yourself.

Karissa January 12, 2012 at 3:26 PM  

Oh yay! A gorgeous finished quilt, and you're KEEPING it! Fantastic--and it looks perfect in your room. Congrats!

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