As a member of the Pittsburgh Modern Quilt Guild, we decided to participate. I received my stack of lovelies in early December - a mix of fat quarters and fat eighths. I really struggled with our theme - roads and bridges - but as I was flipping through my Crate and Barrel catalogue I was completely inspired by this rug.
|Crate & Barrel Mavis rug|
I was seriously questioning my ability to make this with my current skill set. So I switched gears mid-game. I had some lovely solids and textured solids (cross weaves, essex linen) in addition to the MR prints. I just started cutting random width strips of fabric. When I had a nice stack, I began creating "slabs" each with a variety of colors, widths, textures, values, and prints. But now what....
I wish I could say that I was channeling our theme, but really I started laying out the fabrics to make something that had visual interest and that I liked. In the beginning stages I tried laying my 12.5" squares in a nice grid but it looked so flat.
I added some strips of color and then posted the ideas so my peeps on Flickr could give me some ideas.
The ideas that I received were really fantastic and helped me to rethink the quilt top. I hadn't thought of the idea of "having somewhere for your eye to rest" and maybe that's what I didn't like about my quilt. I added a plain block of essex to allow for a resting space. I also used the idea of using something like an alternate sashing with the bright colors to add more visual interest. I also loved the idea of adding more diagonals.
See, when I think of it now, I originally laid out a grid for a city with a very boring road system. :) I live in Pittsburgh, so all this order is so unlike my experience with roads and bridges. The updated version really fits with the city that I live in. Nothing really matches up; "you can't get there from here"; and bright beautiful bridges overlay the whole thing. It's really perfect for the city I live in.
Now the back. I decided to really go completely improv on the back (not that the front wasn't also completely improved, but I at least had a bit of a plan when I made the blocks). I'm really proud of how it turned out. Here was my original plan -
It was fun to try to figure out how to sew it all together to keep the original movement but eliminate the need for complicated y-seams and partial seams. I accomplished this all with just straight line stitching. Perfect!
I used one of my favorite quilting designed that I learned from reading Oh, Fransson's site - these quilting patterns are all fantastic. I really prefer all over FMQ designs and I think this one reminds me of driving around the 'Burgh.
In the end I really love this quilt Both the front & the back, the quilting, and the Memoir print binding. This quilt represents one type of quilting that really excites me and I want to practice more. This puppy is going to be hung in my office at work.