Friday, May 27, 2011

All Mixed Up But Not Crazy quilt

I recently finished a quilt for a friend in her favorite colors (and many of mine). The pattern is from Batiks and Beyond by Laurie Shifrin. I liked the "mixed-up" look to this quilt, the pattern aptly named "all mixed up but not crazy." The quilt is made by assembling 2 different blocks, (very similar except that one block is an inch long than the other - thus one is a square and the other a rectangle) and a strip of 1 1/2 squares. Vertical rows are created using a variety of the blocks and strip, but each row adding up to the same length. The rows are then sewn together and the quilt is finished.

Here is where I tell you that I am not a perfectionist. There is always a bit of fudging in my quilts! Fudging is a fine art in and of itself. After I assembled the quilt, I realized that somewhere along the line, one end of the quilt had about 3/4 inch more than the other. A little fudge, a trim here and there, plus the distraction of a busy pattern—who would know? (quite obviously, you now, because I've told you).

I finished the quilt by machine stitching a random loopy pattern. I do this on my regular sewing machine while humming waltzes (it gives me a rhythm to move the fabric by). It's not easy—a sneeze or a moment of distraction can make a nice loop go in unwanted directions. Still, for me, it's not about perfection.

Just a bit about the colors. I was confident going into this project that the deeper purples, blues and teals would jive wonderful, but I was less confident about the lighter hues I added: the lavender, sea green...etc. I mixed batiks which, because they aren't a solid color, helps to move the eye from piece to piece, and other patterned fabrics that create movement in a different. Not every fabric ended up being a perfect fit, but the effect turned out as I wanted it to.

When you make a quilt for someone else, you think about them throughout the whole process. There is a lot of affection worked into the pieces, the layers and the threads.

Photos: 1. The quilt's vertical rows laid out. 2. Finished! (but not washed yet) 3. The batik backing. 4.Close-up of machine quilting 5. Crinkling effect after washing. This quilt is lap-quilt size, but made closer to a square shape.

(Clearly I need to spend some more time messing around with the html so I can get those pictures exactly where I want them!)

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