I’m thinking about calling this quilt something like “On a Whim” or “On a Lark,” because it was a total surprise that I put together a quilt top today–not what I was planning on doing with my afternoon.
I saw this fantastic acorn fabric months ago and ordered a half yard bundle near-instantly, what with my long-standing love-affair with all things acorn. Actually, this is the SECOND bundle I ordered, since the first went to my old home address and the dude who bought our house refuses to forward our mail OR ship it back to the sender, and now has three half-yard bundles, an art print and a trivet shaped like a button that shipped from Germany that don’t belong to him, all ordered before I remembered to update my PayPal address–but I digress. The main print with the sweet houses and squirrels is precious, and I got four yards of the acorn print because yes.
It has been sitting on the shelf since I got it, waiting for me to have an idea of how to use it all. I knew I didn’t want to cut up the super cute squirrel village print, and I’ve been toying with the idea of a large-scale pieced front: mostly fat quarters or half yards all stuck together, similar to how I’ve done some of my favorite quilt backs. This seemed like a good chance, and since the shipment of fabric I was waiting on to work on another project hadn’t arrived, I had some time to kill. So why not play a bit?
I began by just laying out half yard chunks, planning to stitch them to one another and leave them nearly whole. But it was lots of big pieces, and there wasn’t any variety in the sizing, which I like to see. So I figured I’d make a few strip-pieced sections and match them up with some larger chunks, like the houses, which I knew I wouldn’t cut up. Maybe I should call this “Organic Acorns,” since I don’t usually do a ton of organic or improvisational piecing…
Some of the strips are horizontal–the ones in the upper right corner–and some are vertical (in the left, above), and I worked to keep the one-way prints running the same direction with all of them. Then I married the chunks with strips to larger pieces, trimmed them to length, and made four large sections that each run horizontally, right to left. Anytime a piece of fabric wasn’t long enough or wide enough, I just tossed in another small strip until it was the size I needed. It was really fun, actually, to not have a plan and to just pick up a print and chop off a bit and add it into the mix.
The zigzag was a little bit of an accident: I had a large section to fill at the bottom, and didn’t want to do more strips like I’d done above. I didn’t want one large piece, either, since I felt the design needed some balance. So the HST zigzag came out, and I totally love it. To a certain degree, I think it makes the quilt, and seems like a leftover block from another project that got stitched in at the end–but in a good way.
I’m still deciding how to quilt this, but I suspect it will be some kind of organic cross-hatch pattern with my walking foot. And no, this won’t be given away or shared with anyone–it’s ALL MINE. The backing is yards and yards of the acorn print, and I love every scrap of it. Plus, I think that someday, when my basement studio is all done, this will be spectacular for sitting on the cushion I plan to put on top of the under-window bookcases for sewing and reading.
Can’t you just feel the breeze when you look at it? I really love the results. Anyone have opinions for a name? I’ve never bothered to give my quilts a name beyond the fabric collection I used to create them or the name of the block design, but I think this one really demands it. Suggestions welcome!
Psst! If you haven’t seen it already, there’s a giveaway through Sunday over at Film in the Fridge for a spot in my Essential Quilting class! I’d really love to have you join us and get your quilt on this June. Enter the giveaway or register today before it’s all filled up!