Friday, November 2, 2012
the Emerald City
What is this magic that transforms piles of formless fabric
into something useful, beautiful and oh-so-giftable? Today I feel, again, how lucky I am to have come by these ways thanks to the good-natured sharing of so many. Although I barely know the grandpa for whom this quilt is destined, I feel confident that it says "thank-you" in a way that crosses most any divide. Because, you see, I was told he likes green. And that seemed enough.
This ::green:: is finished and bound, in punchy Kona lime. And (thanks to Jenelle) dubbed Emerald City, which I think perfectly fits its lush, boxy ways. I quilted with a random grid of straight lines. Nothing fancy, but I couldn't bare anything but straight lines for such an orderly, proper quilt design.
Oh, speaking of quilt design, this block style seems to have been popularized in recent years by the Jelly Filled pattern published by Thimble Blossom March 2010. Other readers recognized the block by different names, my favorite of which was elongated courthouse steps. Possibly a long name, but very precise.
I didn't use a pattern. For starters, I decided to use my Kona jelly roll solid scraps, which are 2.5" wide. I opted for blocks finishing at 10" x 13", to suit my feel for proportions. The inner rectangle is cut 5.5" x 2.5" and the rest builds from there. Here are the cutting directions for 1 block:
Fabric A: (1) 2.5" x 5.5", (2) 2.5" x 9.5" and (2) 2.5" x 10.5"
Fabric B: (2) 2.5" x 5.5" and (2) 2.5" x 6.5"
Each block is composed of one print and one solid. I used 35 blocks in a 5 x 7 layout with my quilt top finishing at about 65" x 70", a lovely size for a throw. It was my goal with each block to use value to provide heaps of contrast between the courthouse step rounds. I knew I'd succeeded when a little friend asked why this quilt is covered in zeros!
I love arranging and rearranging blocks for the final assembly when working in a scattered value pattern like this. It's challenging and so satisfying to find just the right place for all the darks and lights so that they eye is drawn here and there looking for connections.
On the back, more green with some large dark cuts of Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt.
Fun to have the chance to use that black Chicopee Ladder Dot as a large cut where the dots can really show off!
At home our forests are quite at the precipice of fall. I'm waiting in eager anticipation for the morning when this, my favorite sweet gum tree, will glow a vibrant yellow. Waiting. Listening. Enjoying these gentle days.
Goodbye green! It's been lovely.