Monday, May 19, 2014

I'm a Fan of Easy

I am a huge fan of easy.  

I like being able to look at something complicated and figuring out a way to make it easy.  I like making easy quilts.  

For me, nothing is easier than making string blocks.  Just slice fabric into long thin strips, and sew it back together on foundation paper.  Almost any paper works - copier paper, an old phone book page, or even lightweight non-fusible interfacing.

I started this quilt a long time ago.  It was another Gala donation.  Our theme that year was heavily influenced by the colors and feel of Mexico.  I pulled fabrics from my stash in our chosen colors of lime, turquoise, deep red, and white.  My favorite fabric was a turquoise and white sand dollar print because both the color, and the sand dollar, represent our school.  

Piecing this quilt happened rather quickly.  Quilting it, not so much.  But, one day this past October while I was spray basting outside, inspiration, literally, fell from the sky.  The shadows of the screen enclosure made great intersecting angles!  I immediately grabbed my water soluble marker along with my 8' straight edge, and traced what I saw.

Again, because I love easy, I knew I'd quilt straight lines.

Instead of dense straight line quilting that I am a huge fan of, I chose to keep it even simpler.  Each angle was initially stitched, and each quadrant filled with stitching lines about 2.5 inches apart.  That wasn't quite doing it for me - the quilting was a little too sparse - so I went back and quilted .25' from each of those lines, which added the extra texture I wanted.

As it so often is, the quilting lines, in white, are subtle on the front and more pronounced on the back.  Once again, pulling from my stash, this time my BATIK stash (Oh, no!  Batiks aren't modern, so goes the old argument), I matched our theme colors, even inserting another good-sized chunk of that sand dollar fabric.

I chose Warm and Natural as the batting because it's lightweight.  No one in Florida wants a heavy lap quilt!  We just want something to cover our legs when the nights turn cool.

The binding is a gloriously scrappy with lots of red prints.  Once again, I chose easy.  The machine binding method learned from Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts is my favorite.  

When I mentioned to a friend I was using so much red, and even red batiks, with a mostly white top, she thought I was crazy.  Never fear, cold water, and three Shout Color Catchers in the first wash left the top free of bleeding.

This quilt measured 54" x 54".  So why did something with so many easy parts, take so long to complete? Because Trish said she'd wait forever.  And I'm real good at finding something else to do.

I 'm glad I gave it to her this past October and she had it to wrap up with during our unseasonably cold winter.