X2Y4–6Z8O20(OH,F)4: More Than a Random String of Letters and Numbers

>> Thursday, January 5, 2012

It's been an odd winter here in the sort-of midwest. December was quite warm, snow barely covered the ground, and the sun has made more than one appearance. I won't complain. I will, however, choose fabrics far more congruent with the SoCal winter where this quilt now lives. Cheery, bright, fun yellows, oranges, greens, and aquas. The aquas were a later addition, when I plopped the chosen fabrics down and they sat next to some aqua dots and looked super awesome. I like super awesome, so some additional fabrics wedged themselves into the palette.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love public libraries? I love them. Especially my local one. It has all sorts of goodies (DVDs, trashy-mystery-novels-I-would-never-spend-money-on, good contemporary fiction, magazines, etc) in addition to a decent selection of craft books. I requested Sandi Henderson's Sewing Bits and Pieces and picked it up in mid-December. To be honest, not many of the books' projects spoke to me (which is fine, since I borrowed it from the library). But I'm always on the lookout for new quilts to try, and the picnic quilt looked pretty neat.

I think this is the "correct" orientation, but I actually like the other way better. Scratch that. Yesterday I liked the other way better. Today I like this way better. Good thing it can go either way and matters not at all. Anyhow, the work of this quilt is in the set-up, in the cutting and ironing. I got out the wax paper and cardboard to make the templates and spent an evening making myself these scallop shapes. Since this is a baby quilt, not a family picnic quilt, I knew it would be smaller than the one in the book. I made 44 scallops (rather than 80) and omitted the borders. I also appliqued the scallops onto a piece of cotton to stabilize it and make it easier. It added heft, but it was worth it. I could use 3 pins instead of 12 for each scallop. And goodness knows, I prefer fewer pins.

As you may be able to see, the scallops get appliqued down. (Don't mind the imperfect curves. I excel at imperfection.) I was tempted to use straight-line quilting or maybe do some sort of cross-hatch sort of thing. But it's for a baby, and I wanted to make sure the scallops would stay put. Stippling accomplished that goal. And I knew as soon as I chose those teal Ta-Dots that I would use them for the binding as well.

I may be indecisive about which way I prefer the front, but I can say with certainty that I love the back. Possibly more than the front. I took the pieces I had left from cutting out the scallops (which differed in size because some of them started their life in the scrap bin and others came from yardage) and sashed them and pretty much just adore them.

Yep, definitely awesome, that back. Micah was named for both the prophet -- a champion of social justice -- and the rock. Having never had the chance to name a quilt via chemical compounds, it seemed wise to seize this opportunity. According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia, the chemical formula for mica is X2Y4–6Z8O20(OH,F)4.  A fine name for a quilt, no?


Lesly January 5, 2012 at 10:42 AM  

I love this! The colours are just what I need to see on a snowy day. But I don't get it - the clamshells are appliqued? Or pieced? They are just fabulous - great finish!

~Michelle~ January 5, 2012 at 1:34 PM  

As a resident of fair & sunny SoCal, those quilt colors are perfecto! And I realize we've had this discussion many-a-time, but I just adore the non-baby fabrics. Quilt size should define the recipient, not the subject matter of the fabric! ;)

And speaking of SoCal babies, thanks for the congrats (your comment showed on my blog, but not in my email, so strange!)! Which also means I was in the family way when we met up for dinner (and was trying to eat without making myself sick, so horribly awkward).

Karissa January 5, 2012 at 3:22 PM  

Gorgeous! And nice job with the curves, too, lady! I am also way impressed with your quilt back, as always!

felicity January 5, 2012 at 4:38 PM  

I love everything about this post: the library love (preach it, sister!), "super awesome," the clamshells/scallops, "I excel at imperfection," and not least this marvelous, beautiful quilt. Thank you for making me smile! You brought more sunshine to a surprisingly clear and sunny Vancouver day.

Sarah Craig January 6, 2012 at 8:32 AM  

Beautiful quilt, and I LOVE the name!!

FlourishingPalms January 6, 2012 at 8:41 AM  

You're so clever with the quilt name, and the way you made the front and back - err, back and front - equally impossible to play favorites with. I especially appreciate the frugalness with which you find and use quilt patterns. Yay for libraries and living a simple life... as I am currently purging 57 quilting books from my personal library!

torie January 6, 2012 at 3:00 PM  

I have figured out who the recipient of the quilt is and I'm going to fly to their house to steal this. I LOVE IT. Or I might get pregnant again just so you will make me this quilt.

Kelli January 12, 2012 at 9:23 AM  

I love it, and agree with the above comment that baby fabric choices should depend on the baby and their parents and not on what cute baby fabric is out at the moment. Quick question--when you say you applique-ed them down, did you tuck under the raw edge or leave it out for raw-edge applique? It looks like the raw edges are out and you just stippled over them, but I was just wondering.

Carla January 12, 2012 at 11:53 AM  

Sew Pretty and bright. Love the colors. Found your blog via pinterest. Glad I did

Juli February 10, 2012 at 5:01 PM  

Find more Marimekko fabric scraps at http://www.etsy.com/shop/ScandinavianFabrics

frozenMandMs July 13, 2013 at 1:36 PM  

I love this quilt. I love the clamshell design. Beautiful.

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