25 July 2010

Quilt #4

I made a queen-sized quilt for Hamish a little over a year ago. It was my fourth quilting project and my most ambitious one to date. Before that I had made two stacked strip quilts with improvised, wedge-shaped strips that turned out fine, but were really more learning experience than artistic success. The third was a log cabin quilt for my mom. I drew the mauve and aqua color palette from her throw pillows and quilted timidly in the seams (stitched in the ditch). Although the pattern, colors and quilting were pretty conservative I was happy with the result.

But conservative wouldn't work this time. Hamish wasn't sure what he wanted, but he didn't want the quilt to look like a collection of 12" square blocks. Of all the photos I showed him he reacted most enthusiastically to Boo Davis's "Rock Out" quilt (100% amazing and possibly nsfw). And maybe an angel. And definitely no pixelated images.

Well, two out of three isn't bad.

I started with Boo's all-square one-patch pattern and envisioned the crosses with a gradient from all browns at the bottom to all blues at the top. But it needed something more. Yes, it definitely needed a pixelated tree. I started playing with a tree shape over a graduated Photoshop background.

I scanned the fabrics and created the layout in InDesign.

Then I cut out a whole lot of 2" and 3-1/2" squares (with 1/4" seam allowances the finished square sizes are 1-1/2" and 3"). While sewing I went back and forth between loving and hating the design. I really wasn't confident I was going to like the result, even when I was almost done piecing the squares together. For the quilting I took my first stab at free-motion work, sewing a curvy zig zag. When I finished the binding I was pleased with the result. And more importantly Hamish loves it.

The angel lives on the back.


  1. Hi Dan, I found your blog in a random look at the butt challenge over at Tallgrass Prarie Studio. Wow! Your quilts are beautiful and very ambitious. Can't wait to see the final product on your strip pieced quilt. The fabrics are a great mix of color. Very balanced.

  2. Lindy - thanks for the kind words, and thanks for my first comment!

  3. fantastic quilt! you did an amazing work with desing and pieced!! wow!!

  4. Hi Dan! I love your blog!! I don't know how I missed seeing the above quilt in person, it's amazing! It is wonderful to be able to read more here about your artistic process & all the thought that goes into these beautiful quilts. well done ;)

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  6. Wow. What an amazing and fantastic quilt. I love it.