Last time I showed you the quilt I have chosen for the challenge and promised to tell more about this project. Bonus points go to Yvonne, who recognized it right away!
This quilt is special to me for several reasons, one of which is that it started at a quilters retreat I have had the pleasure of attending almost every year for eight years or so. Katrien hosts this very friendly yearly gathering of some 20 quilters from Flanders (Belgium) and the Netherlands. There's a block lottery every year, and in 2007 I was fortunate enough to win a goodly stack of scrappy fourpatch blocks:
The six inch blocks all had a light background (off-white to a dark-ish ecru) and colored ninepatch units. Colors of all kinds: brights, tones, mingled, color co-ordinated blocks and totally scrappy ones. I was thrilled to win these lovely blocks!
And then I entered the process of figuring out a layout. I wanted to make a quilt no one from the retreat would have expected from the blocks I won. Here's an abbreviated, rather oversimplified version of my design - and thought process as I remember it.
Nice and simple, but where have my fourpatch blocks gone?
Pretty good, lots of room for hand quilting in those plain blocks, but a little too predictable for me.
Maybe a bit better, but I have some doubts. These EQ5 blocks behave well because they're all the same. How can I make those different blocks pull together in real life?
Hey, I like this! I'm off to the quilt shop to find a good blender fabric for those quarter circles. I bet that would help tame those madly different scraps!
In the shop, it became clear very soon that because of the wide range of colors in the scrappy blocks, the quilt could go in any direction colorwise. It was great to see the scala of possibilities. In the end I chose a blotty purple, red, pink and golden fabric for the pie wedges. I sewed the top, getting more and more enthousiastic about my choice.
I chose to keep the border very simple, so the quilt center would stand out. Choosing the border fabric was a snap: Merel had this wonderful batik with lots of color variation, that picks up so many of the different colors in the quilt!
That was about three years ago and I'd better get on with the hand quilting, or I'll never get this one done. Oh, and I don't want to forget to tell you about the batting! It's 90% silk and 10 % polyester. It's sooo smooooth to stitch through! I'm sure this will be a wonderfully warm quilt, yet it's also really light.
Wouldn't it be great if I could take the finished quilt to show and tell at the retreat next autumn?