Monday, May 25, 2020

Let It Be

After my last couple of quilt projects being created from repurposed fabric, I found myself in the mood for scraps. Usually that will mean heading straight to the scrap basket full of print scraps. But my solid scrap bin was also overwhelmingly full, and that's what called to me this time. Specifically, scrappy stripes.

I love stripes, and there's no shortage of stripes, especially improv stripes, amongst the many quilts I've made. For this project, I came up with a simple block design - basically a slab of coordinating stripes, finished with a strip along the left edge in one of the stripe colors. For a long while, I just worked at filling my design wall with them, a variety of all shapes and sizes, all mandated, of course, by the scraps themselves.

So eventually I had pretty much filled the wall with blocks, and used up the scraps that would work. I mentioned on Instagram that I had no idea what was next, and the overwhelming response was one of 'leave them just the way they are!' Well that wasn't totally a bad idea, but there were gaps here and there so I set to filling in the gaps with 'design wall gray' aka Kona Overcast. Kind of crazy, maybe, but I really liked it! [Below is the 'before filling the gaps' photo; the next is the completed top.]

The most unusual thing about this entire project is that once I got all the blocks together, the quilt 'top' was nowhere near square. And the notion that that was ok began to grow.

A backing was pieced from stash, with the majority share-holder being a long-hoarded (since 2012!) Jay McCarroll Center City print. Even now, I'm kinda sad it's 'gone' but then again, it suited the quilt so well.

For quilting, I did a horizontal-ish organic straight-line using a variegated Aurifil 50 wt #4653 [spring prairie]. It actually felt pretty perfect, obvious but subtle amidst the array of color.

Binding was a little wider than my normal 2" strips, as I had some jellyroll strips that suited the quilt perfectly. I used six shades of blue and green loosely coordinating with the blocks they touched. And happily the slightly wider binding felt like a serendipitous choice. And by the way, there were curves. Meaning I chose not to trim this quilt 'square' in the least, but followed the edges of the blocks on each side. Trimming off any more than necessary bits of the striped blocks seemed totally inappropriate and unnecessary this time around.

So finished, the quilt measures, starting with the top and moving clockwise: 70" x 55" x 67" x 50". I can honestly say that creating my wonkiest quilt ever was nowhere in my mind when I started out a few weeks ago. But does it make sense, or what? To me, in these times, it totally does.

A little postscript if you will... I did a little poll on Instagram. Just fun to see where other folks are at.

Interesting, no? I think so. And glad, this time at least, I just let it be.