Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Purple and red improv quilt
I'm going to try to get over my compunction to have to "catch up" on everything chronologically before sharing anything more recent and share this quilt that I finished earlier this month. I love how it turned out so I didn't want to wait to share!
I made this quilt for a dear friend who lives on the east coast and has been having some pretty serious health troubles over the past several years that have gotten worse lately. I was feeling pretty helpless to do anything from afar, but she has been having to spend a lot of time resting and I figured a quilt to wrap herself up in couldn't hurt. I feel like I almost always am making baby quilts, so it was actually really fun to make something for an adult and not worry that it was going to be too modern or not what the parents wanted. I've been so inspired by the improv quilts that my online friends have made, especially Krista and Natalie, so it was a great chance to play around with the technique!
I was pretty sure that my friend's living room had some bright red and purple accents in it so that was the color scheme I started with. The Anna Maria Horner Innocent Crush fabric (near the top left in the block above) was a great fit for both the color scheme and the feel that I was going for, and it inspired me to add pops of bright yellow/orange in each block. I used a mixture of scraps and cutting up some of my stash fabrics, so there is really quite a variety of fabrics in the quilt which is fun.
I tried to keep the blocks interesting with some more detailed/smaller pieced parts and some larger pieces mixed in. I forgot to measure the final quilt and I don't think I even wrote down the dimensions of each block, but I am pretty sure that they were about 12"x14" before I added the white (Kona snow) borders, which I think were 1.5" strips to finish at 1" after I pieced them. I used everyone's new favorite neutral, yarn-dyed essex cotton/linen blend in black, which I just love the texture of and how it plays off the bright colors. I quilted it with a random lines design which I think is a great match for the improv piecing - you can't really see it in the photos but I quilted using a lilac thread which was a fun complement to the color scheme.
I also made my first scrappy binding which was a fun way to play up the scrappy, improv nature of the blocks. I machine sewed the binding as I have started to do more often, it just is so fast and its nice to know that it will be really durable (although I still love a hand-sewn binding too). The backing is a thrifted crimson red sheet which you can see a peek of above.
I'm happy to say that my friend loves the quilt and it's nice to know that I'm helping take care of her in a small way even if I can't be there myself!