Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Another baby quilt

the fabric scrap that inspired the colour choices

The new mother has asked for another baby quilt. This one is "for fun",  to be used in the stroller, in the carseat, and while out and about. She chose a scrap of fabric to inspire the colour palette, a lively mix of hot colours: magenta, red, orange, pink and yellow.

Because I have so many fabric scraps on hand, it made sense to turn to a book I bought some years ago, Successful Scrap Quilts, by Judy Turner and Margaret Rolfe. The authors were inspired by Japanese tatami mats, creating designs that use uniform rectangles measuring half as wide as they are long. The design on the cover seemed like the most interesting choice.

The book's opening pages discuss the use of value, colour blending, and finding that magical balance of repetition and variation. This particular design alternates between a darker square within a lighter square, and a lighter square within a darker square. The same fabric may serve as a light in one square, and a dark in another, relative to what it's paired with.

Some of the fabric scraps cut into rectangles, 2" x 3.5".
It will take almost 400 of these to make a 42"-square quilt.

Here's the tentative layout up on the design wall.

The quilting had to wait until the background fabric, ordered on-line, arrived by mail. Meanwhile, I sketched out a few designs for the quilting.

Curving lines in the quilting design complement the
straight geometry of the pieced rectangles.

The quilting lines required marking, which is a disadvantage, but otherwise it was reasonably easy.

the finished quilt, 42" x 42"

While waiting for the arrival of the backing fabric, I made this "dolly quilt", using scraps from the scraps. It was also a chance to try out the quilting design and the variegated thread.

18" x 18", machine-quilted

Those of us who love scrap quilts may relate to this poem, included in the introduction to the Turner & Rolfe book:

Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

from "Pied Beauty" by Gerald Manley Hopkins (1844-89)


Linda Gardiner said...

What a beautiful quilt, simple but striking! I may have to look up the book. I have lots of scraps from recent "box" construction projects that I line. I enjoy your blog.Keep up the nice posts!

Just finishing an all month blog challenge A to Z. you might want to consider for next year.

Pulp Paper & Pigment-My Fiber Art Blog

Heather Dubreuil said...

Thanks, Linda, for taking the time to respond, and for passing along the A to Z idea. Glad you're enjoying my posts!

Margaret said...

I have that book! Alas, I've not made much from it...but you have inspired me. Our church hopes to bring over relatives of our sponsored Syrian family next year, and I want to make comfort quilts for them. Thanks for reminding me of this resource!

Heather Dubreuil said...

Though I've had the book for many years, this is the first time I've actually used it for inspiration. I found that all the rectangles went together quite nicely, Margaret, so one of the book's patterns might work well for a group project. If you want a speedier project, it would be quite simple to scale up the measurements. Good luck with your charity project: it sounds like a lovely idea.