Saturday, April 8, 2017

Changes in Latitude

Nearly all the quilts I make are gifts,
and that's fine.
But once in awhile I get a wild hair to make one for ME :D

I've admired some scrappy log cabins another blogger has shared.
While they each had a theme that guided the color selection,
the actual fabric choices were sometimes surprising,
like those orange flowers below.

I love the ocean, so I chose a watery theme -
all the colors water can be, but NO GRAY.
We have more than plenty of gray in this climate.
(What a depressing color!)

Since it was fall, my timing was perfect.
Value Village and Goodwill were clearancing all their summer things,
so I picked up a few aloha shirts for pennies on the dollar.
I found a few more odds and ends at Ragfinery,
pulled some scraps from my stash,
and ended up with this pile.

A sundress, eight shirts,
three batiks, several remnants, 
and a couple of solids.

And the polka dots.
I had to have the polka dots :D

As much as I LOVE LOVE LOVE deep blue,
I edited those fabrics out.
I wanted the blocks to be really scrappy,
and not the traditional lights/darks that is the usual log cabin design.

I knew that if I included those darker blues
I would obsess over getting them evenly distributed.

No thank you.

And I know I'll find another use for them.

It took enough strategy and organization to divide the strips into blocks
without too many repeats -
where the same fabric appears twice in a block.

And there were a few.

Each block had thirteen pieces.
I know I had at least eighteen fabrics,
but I didn't have equal amounts of each.
And that's okay!

I pinned my strip sets together,
and started turning out a few blocks a day.

And let me introduce you to my quilting fuel ;D

Each block took 20 - 30 minutes.
I'm not a speedy sew-er.

See the little parrot in the middle?
He's in every single block.

For our first date, Kerry took me to The Gorge
(an amazing outdoor amphitheater above the Columbia River)
to see Jimmy Buffet...

who sings about sailing, and the sea,
and whose fans are known as... parrot-heads.

So it all came together...
parrots, the ocean, blues, greens, turquoises.
A muted version of my happy colors.
The colors of the sea at different latitudes.

So I named it after one of Jimmy Buffet's songs,

Changes in Latitude.

I had this one professionally quilted.
Too big for my machine,
and I wanted something special.

Then the binding...

... and it was ready for the wash.

Because a quilt doesn't have any personality
until it's been through the wash a couple of times,
to get its wrinkly crinkly quilty goodness.

Just right, warm from the dryer, on a cold, drippy day!

And speaking of cold, drippy days...
I haven't been able to photograph this one outside -
which is my preference -
in natural light.

The best I could do is the living room floor, so hear ya go...

Each block is 14" square, and it's 5x7, or about 70" x 98".
It would be plenty big enough for a twin-size bed,
or could go on top of our queen,
but it wouldn't hang down the sides.
So for now it's in the living room, for snuggling up and reading :D

That block has a repeat.
And I just let it be.
I just started sewing, and let it flow.

The block above is in the very center of the quilt.
The turquoise plaid is from a shirt that had a beach scene sewn on it.
For the most part I cut around that,
but thought I'd include this little crab ;D

I think I learn something new with every quilt I make.
This time I learned what it feels like to sew with some very non-quilty fabrics.

All the parrots came from a shirt.  A rayon shirt.
A shirt that would not hold its shape when cut into small pieces.
A shirt that required a generous ridiculous amount of Magic Sizing
to make it workable.

The turquoise plaid shirt (with the crab) wasn't too bad,
but it didn't hold a crease very well when ironed.

And the madras in the bottom left corner?
(You can see it better in the photo of the block, up above.)
Oh.  That gave me fits.  I probably should have used the
Magic Sizing on that too.

No more madras.

But on the plus side,
it was a lot of fun to use so many different fabrics,
so many scraps,
and to not control the design too tightly - to just let it flow.

And look what my quilter did!

Glorious wavy-ness, all over the quilt!

I'm tempted to display the back, it's so pretty!

But this... this makes me happy :D

What have you been working on lately?


Sara McD said...

It's an absolutely beautiful quilt. It really does evoke a beachy feeling. I like the Winnie the Pooh fabric and the parrot the best. Your quilter did a great job too.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Thanks, Sara :D I'm so glad I paid to have it professionally quilted this time - way beyond my skill set!

N Rogers said...

What a beautiful quilt and I love the story behind your choices of fabrics. Over a year ago I painted our bedroom gray and I love it! And I've have no problem putting gray in a quilt. But we live on the equator and get plenty of sun. If "home" were in the PNW, I'd probably avoid gray too. :)

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Thanks! I'm glad you like it! Our northern climate definitely affects my relationship with gray... just read that we've had a total of FIVE sunny days so far this year, and today will make it six. If I"m counting right, this is Day 104 of 2017... *sigh*

Monica said...

It's beautiful Julie! You are very talented. I've been picking up my knitting again trying to slowly advance my skill in the art. :) Maybe someday I will try my hand at quilting. :D

Wilma said...

Julie, this is just beautiful! I think that West Virginia has been like the PNW this week. Rain, rain, rain! Back to the colors. My daughter and I just spent a few days at a beach in SC. She did all the loading and unloading! When she finished bringing everything in to the room, she remarked, "I think between the two of us, we have more turquoise than the rest of the state put together!" We both love the color and all this in the quilt. I can use gray, but only combined with pink or turquoise. I love the picture of you all wrapped in the quilt. You do beautiful work and I'm sure every quilt is a blessing to you as you make it.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Thanks so much for the kind words!