Monday, April 22, 2013

Michael5000 lays down some quilty filial piety.

I made this one for my parents, who recently celebrated one of those birthdays that is divisible by five. 

You might remember it from such recent posts as "How to Pin an American Quilt."  The pins are all gone now, of course; they held the three layers together until I put in the lines of stitching that are doing that work now, and then went on to pursue solo projects.  I'm pretty pleased with the piece, which is a good thing.  My mom's technical mastery of quilting is about a zillion times my own, so even though I understand that it will be used and valued, I cringe at the thought of her noticing the details.

It is kind of like this one from three years ago:

Except it's, like, green.

It's such a simple design that it's almost not a design at all.  The devil, as usual, is in the details.  You have to work pretty hard when you want to make something look like you threw it together randomly.  If you really do throw things together randomly, all sorts of screwy fragmentary patterns will start to emerge, and it will look like crap.  So, the essence of a piece like this is making sure that similar color values and textures don't end up together very often, and don't cluster, and don't recur in any particular pattern across the width of the quilt, but that they're not too obviously segregated either.  

I did a better job of engineering the random look with the new one, having had three years to study the flaws of Purple & Blue.  The older one is still my favorite, because, well, purple and blue, but my parents have a green living room and and I guess you could say that the new one was an "occasional piece."  That it had the happy side benefit of helping me thin out my green fabrics was merely a side benefit, I assure you.

The Specs

Name: Let's just go with the pattern of Purple & Blue, and call this one Green.
Serial Number: 70

Dimensions: I forgot to measure it, dang it.
Batting: Commercial batting.
Backing: Cream patterned flannel
Quilting: Two parallel lines near the edges of each stripe

Begun: February, 2013.
Finished: April, 2013.

Intended Use/Display: Blanket for use; Birthday Gift.


pfly said...

Looks great!

I tried to get into making quilts a bunch of years a lot about it, got some tools and supplies, enjoyed fabric shopping...made one quilt top and ran out of inspiration at the pinning stage. Maybe it's not for me after all--too impatient! Then again, maybe I was just overly daunted and unsure what to do after finishing the top. Your pinning post made me at least think about it again.

Michael5000 said...

pfly: Like so many things, quilting is "10% inspiration and" -- wait, no, best not sweat on the quilt. Let's say 2% inspiration and 98% repetitive technical tasks which, once you have mastered them, require only moderated attention. That makes quilting a REALLY GOOD craft for people who enjoy listening closely to music, who listen to literature, who learn by listening (e.g. to recorded lectures), or who enjoy the less demanding forms of filmed entertainment. All four apply to me, so it's a great fit -- making a quilt takes a lot of time (although not nearly as much as it used to!) but I'm never JUST quilting.