At the end of this quilt, what I have to say is, Yes, that is the quilt I wanted to make! This quilt was gradual. I knew the feeling of the thing I wanted to get to, but I wasn’t sure at the beginning how I was going to get there. Wait, hold the phone – is that what improv is supposed to be? Mmm, I think so.
The very beginning of this quilt was a play with leftover whites. I thought I’d do a whole chevron quilt with all the different whites I had left from other projects. I was inspired by Natalie & co’s do good stitches quilt, and I used the this tutorial from six white horses as a jumping off point. It seemed like a good idea – I had different white and off-white quilting cottons, some white on white prints, some white linen – but it got boring quickly. I still think that would have been a good idea, but I would have needed more variety in the whites (and more patience).
Not really enjoying the white-on-white-on-white process, I decided to add some color. The mustard and aqua are pulled from the colors Meg picked for our first Kids Clothes Week web site season. I was deep into development and they were beautiful. And then gray, because I love gray.
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time trying to make things look random. I over-think the randomness, and I didn’t want to do that in this project. So, my piecing process went like this: Cut up a bunch of strips of fabrics in varying widths and about the same length. Safety pin the strips in pairs. Put them all in a big sack. When ready to sew, pull a pair from the sack and sew it to the chevron row. I mostly stuck to this, but sometimes the next fabric was too wrong and I just couldn’t. My prerogative. (Points if you’re singing Bobby Brown now. More points if you have done a dance routine to this song.)
I finished assembling the quilt top at winter retreat with the Ann Arbor MQG, the perfect place to do such a thing. I was glad to be surrounded by quilters with good feedback! I knew I wanted the rows to have white space, but not too much white space, because the quilt is really about the texture of the herringbone. I messed around with the spacing and row order until I was happy with it.
And last, but in this case actually not least, the quilting. This might be the first time I was really excited about how the quilting was, for real, making the quilt even better. I quilted the quilt in zig-zag lines, loosely following the herringbone pattern. Like the strips, the space between quilting lines is varied.
Happy about it.