Tuesday, October 22, 2013

31 Days - Day 22: Wild Thing

Making quilts for friends and charity pretty much uses up my quilting time (unless someone wants to give me a nice fat grant to cover living expenses and quilting supplies so I can quit my job) and doesn't leave any space for experimentation. There are at least a dozen projects in my head that involve sitting down in the studio, hauling out any fabric that appeals to me and just...playing.

That's not happening in the near future, so I make do when I can. This quilt is a case in point. It's a baby quilt made for a couple at church who adopted a darling little girl.

Leah's wild quilt
The picture was taken in a hurry with a film camera (2000), and I didn't realize how I'd cut off an entire side of the quilt. Still, all of the blocks are partially visible.

This began with a cute panel of various jungle animals in bright, happy colors. I didn't want to simply quilt the panel, which while cute, didn't have much pizazz on its own.

Complicating matters were the animal pictures themselves; they were of varying sizes and shapes. How to fit them together in some sort of order?

The solid border around each animal was part of the panel. I fussy cut twenty four animals, then stood back, waiting for inspiration.

To each animal I added a three inch wide border all around of another bright print (I think all the fabric was from a coordinating fabric line). I decided what size I wanted the finished block to be, cutting a template that size plus 1/2 inch for the seam allowances.

Then I just...started slapping the template on the blocks at random angles, being careful not to cut too closely to the centered animal.

This meant most of the seam lines joining the larger blocks are sewn on a stretchier grain of the fabric than normal. Any chance of stretch was eliminated by heavily quilting the spaces between the actual animals with an all over free motion leaf pattern...the jungle, if you will.

The leftover fabric from this quilt actually went into the charity quilt we did with the girls in the AWANA program one year. That should be coming up in a few days.

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