Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Quilt in Progress

OK people, I've been sloooowly making progress on the 30 Before 30.  There is an unfortunate bias on my 30 Before 30 list towards things that can only be done in warm weather.  So I'm trying to knock off the winter-weather friendly items while it is still winter.  Therefore, behold the beginnings of #26, "make a quilt top".

Quilting is fairly new to me.  Two years ago, out of sheer boredom while hanging out in a fabric store, I bought a set of fat quarters and a pattern for a little lap-sized quilt.  As soon as it was done, I realized the pattern was too busy and the colors didn't go with anything I own.  Whoops!  I'm now on a quest to make a real bed-sized quilt, out of patterns and fabrics that I love enough that we might actually want to have the quilt on our bed. 

I'm struggling not to make the colors too girly, but its hard.  So far, I'm trying to stick to pink, yellow, blue, gray and a little green.  I'm following a pattern from the lovely and talented Alissa of Handmade by Alissa, and I hope the quilt will turn out looking something like her Land and Sea quilt, except instead of coral and brown, I'm going for pink and grey.  Here is the inspiration:


So far, I've cut all the pieces to make all the squares.  The squares won't be squares until I piece them together, but before that I have to figure out which colors go with which.  So far my color study looks like this:

(Sorry for the dim light, my camera was AWOL and the iPhone wasn't quite up to the task.)  I finally got it moved onto a bed so I can really try it out and I'm suddenly doubting the color mixing.  On a bed, it looks something like this:
Again, apologies for the photography, you try fitting a whole quilt into the frame when you can only stand in one tiny spot.  A different, if not better angle:
The colors aren't really popping like I'd like, so I think more futzing with it is necessary.  (Yeah, that's the official quilting verb: futzing.)  Otherwise known as obsessively arranging, then re-arranging your squares.  I think this might be the hardest part for beginning quilters, other than the whole cutting-in-straight-lines thing which is incredibly hard to get used to.  If you're looking for tips on quilting, you really shouldn't look to me but everything I needed to know about quilting I read here

It's really nice to have a long involved creative endeavor to while away the dark winter months.  Quilting is the jam because it has so many little milestones that feel like huge accomplishments.  I cut all the squares, bam!  I figured out the measurements of the between-pieces and cut them, bam!  I finished the color arrangement, bam!  OK, I haven't actually finished the last one, but I hope to soon.  Every step seems huge, although it is a bit like crawling a marathon.  Wish me luck as I do battle with the colors!

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