Monday, April 29, 2013

Quilts for Ann and Gandalf

Since last week's post about the quilt I made for my parents, I've finished two additional pieces.  That makes it sound like I'm pouring time and energy into the craft and making extraordinary speed, but actually what's happening is that I keep deciding to do something and then discovering that I've already done it.  A neat trick, you will admit.

After getting back from the visit to my parents, I looked for this one, last seen back in February:

Back then, I was just making it to see what that arrangement of shapes would look like with a certain range of fabrics using a certain set of processes.  I was just messing around, in other words, and wondering what I'd do with the finished project.  Since then, it has been designated Ann's Other Quilt, Ann having expressed an interest it and having a fair amount of clout around here.  
(As the title would indicate, it's not her first quilt.  She also presumably still has Ann's Quilt, serial number 21, a wall-hanging sort of deal:

How does she rate two quilts, you ask, when you don't even have one?  Well, she's very nice.)
Anyway, where were we?  Oh, right, I went looking for Ann's Other Quilt and discovered that it was further along than I thought, and had already been pinned out.  So, I cranked up the Gibbon, planned out an offset diagonal grid quilting pattern, took a chance with red as the top-thread, and let her rip.  I'm actually pretty pleased with the result:

Hopefully, Ann will be pleased with it too.  If not, I'm sure she'll be polite.

If you want to play Judge That Quilt -- a game of limited appeal, I know -- you can try to figure out the flaw that bothers me a little bit and the other flaw that bothers me a moderate amount.  (There is a third flaw, too, but it doesn't bother me at all.)

The Specs

Name: Ann's Other Quilt.
Serial Number: 71

Dimensions: 76" x 56"
Batting: An old blanket I found somewhere.
Backing: Flannel scraps from backs of other quilts (right).
Quilting: Informal grid offset 30 degrees.

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

Intended Use/Display: Blanket for use.

So, having finished that one, my next move was to put together a blanket for a human-in-production who has the working title of "Gandalf."  I had decided which of the quilts-in-production was going to be right for Gandalf, so I went looking for it and discovered that I had cleverly not only batted and backed it, but even quilted it, at some unspecified point in the past.  Sweeeet!  So I bound it -- that means put the bit around the edges on -- with the same fabric I used in AOQ.  And it was finished in a little more than an hour.

I'm counting on Gandalf being a relatively mature and serious human, as this isn't quite a conventional baby quilt.  Note, for instance, the absence of elephants and horsies.  The interesting thing here (though I say it myself) is the slight mathiness that goes with the dark/light effect.  The dark squares were cut to 5 x 5 inches, whereas the light squares were cut to 4 x 4 inches (quilting, I'm afraid, is only possible using imperial measurements).   The border between the dark and light is therefore also a border between seven pieces and nine pieces.  In this world of quilting, this is vaguely like using a quirky time signature in music.  

If you are all like "BUT WAIT!!!  7 x 5 is 35 and 9 x 4 is 36, what happens with the extra inch!?!," then it is entirely possible you are Morgan.  What happens is that every side of every piece in a standard geometric quilt like this one loses a "seam allowance" of 1/4 inch of fabric when you sew it to its neighbors.  The seam allowance ends up tucked underneath the face, inside the quilt.  That way the stitches that hold the face together have enough fabric to hang on to.  So on the finished quilt face, what you actually see is "7 x 4.5 is 31.5 and 9 x 3.5 is also 31.5, everything's cool."  This is an example of what physicists call "relativistic effects."

The Specs

Name: Gandalf's Quilt.
Serial Number: 72

Dimensions: Four square feet on the nose: 48" x 48"
Batting: A leftover piece of commercial batting, just the right size!
Backing: A leftover piece of light-blue flannel.
Quilting: Concentric squares.

Begun: May, 2012.
Finished: April, 2013.

Intended Use/Display: Baby blanket.

Then I decided what I wanted to work on next, and discovered that I've already finished a lot of the start-up work on it.  This is getting weird, but I like it.


Elizabeth said...

"If you are all like "BUT WAIT!!! 7 x 5 is 35 and 9 x 4 is 36, what happens with the extra inch!?!," then it is entirely possible you are Morgan."

Cracked me up.

Michael5000 said...

Yeah, I was pleased with that. I thought "relativistic effects" was pretty good as well. : )