Most of my swap quilts have travelled long distances to locations in Australia, Europe or at least the Northeast US. But this one had to journey only 200 miles and never even left the state. The Post Office says that it has arrived at its destination so now I can show it.
This quilt was slow getting started because I couldn’t settle on a design. After staring at these lovely batiks for a while, I decided on a disappearing nine-patch, using both prints and a solid in each square. On the first attempt I cut 3.5″ squares which turned out too large for a small quilt. Next I tried it with 2.5″ squares. The size was more appropriate but the solid looked too boring with the batiks. And I wasn’t too jazzed about the disappearing nine patch after all. What to do, what to do?
To complicate matters, my fabrics were all in the same value range. After much hemming and hawing I remembered a technique used by Malka Dubrawsky of A Stitch in Dye. She buys commercial fabrics, then overdyes or discharges them to vary the colors. Following her lead, I took the lightest print and faded it a little with diluted bleach. The result was just what my quilt needed- a lighter shade that would set off the other prints without looking too plain.
But we were back to square one (pun intended!) on choosing a design. I started pairing the large and small squares to see which fabrics looked best together and liked what I saw.
It was just a simple square-in-square but wow! When you have good fabric the design doesn’t have to be complicated. I threw in one turquoise square for contrast and started piecing. Once again, I took some good advice from Gwensdad and left that turquoise square unquilted. When the top was finished it read too pink, so I added some tangerine touches by quilting heavily with tangerine thread and using one of the more orangey batiks for the binding.
There were a lot of scraps lying around at this point so I sewed some of them together freestyle and used them in the back of the quilt.
I’m really not sure which side is my favorite! If my LQS has more of the blue batik I might just make myself a mini quilt with the rest of my tangerine scraps.
But first I need to make four tote bags for Gwen’s teachers……