Monday, November 11, 2013

Storybook Quilt


I wasn’t even planning to make this quilt.  I had a different one all laid out, ready to cut.  I was in the fabric cupboard looking for something else when these fabrics kind of asserted themselves, and I was reminded of a beautiful storybook quilt that Gill made awhile ago, and also of a lovely vintage quilt in a child’s bedroom magazine photo I saw a long time ago, in a room with teal walls and a basket chair hanging from the ceiling, and so I tossed all plans aside and started cutting.


Not that I need any more quilts, but that will never stop me. They always find a purpose. This one is made with project orphan fabrics mixed with a couple treasures (bought at Purl in New York, oh swoon) and thrifted fat quarters, and wool batting.  It is hand-quilted by me using #5 perle cotton and a big needle with big stitches.  I proudly figured out how to make what I now know are called HSTs without having to calculate square roots or use any pythagorean theorems or anything, although it turns out the proper math on an HST still isn’t tidy and the amount you add to your finished size before cutting is 7/8” which doesn’t make sense at all to this dabbler, but there is much to learn, and I am determined to keep learning it.  Anyhoo. 


The wind was howling directly into my bare eyeballs as we threw the quilt over the iron gate of what I wish you all would imagine is a spooky and abandoned mental institution (alas, it is not) and tears streamed down my face unchecked as I photographed it.  It appeared to passersby to be the saddest quilt photo shoot in the history of such things.   In fact, it was just the opposite, because this is the most cheerful quilt I have ever imagined.  My trusty assistant thought so, too.


“Should I get in the picture? “ he said, hopping over the short wall and crouching behind the quilt.  He is quite enjoying his new career as Craft Blog Model.  Well, he is awfully photogenic.  


Don’t even look at that icky binding.  Memo to self:  it is always worth the extra fabric to cut on the bias.  Quit trying to save a nickel!  If ever again I try to tell myself it doesn’t matter, and that cutting with the grain is easier, faster, and saves fabric, I will look at that picture and cut on the bias, I promise.  Grandma would agree, it is worth the effort.  She’d be proud of this, though:


Check out those triangle points.  Hoo!  That’s a thrill every time. 


I love it that making a new quilt now also involves me trying to think where there’s a mossy stone wall/dirty bridge piling/rusty iron gate/graffiti-covered dumpster where I can chuck the quilt over the edge of something beat up so I can take pictures of it.  I love it that the quest for rustic quilt shoot locations always leads to a road trip.  I blame Kaffe. 


It started to rain a little. 


The rain had a freezing, chunky quality.  That’s enough, I’m cold.  Let’s get coffee.