Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hope Capsules

This is my Hope Valley quilt. Not a new fabric line, I know, but I fell for it hard last year when I belatedly discovered Denyse Schmidt and the world of modern quilting. Hope Valley is now sadly out of print, so I've been stockpiling it, as Karen Gray can attest!

My inspiration came from the graphic effect of this quilt. I love Audrie's patterned fabrics that register as solids from a distance. In mine, I used the light gray Calico Cactus print for the negative space. My one solid - Kona Charcoal - is in the foreground, although if you squint, you can reverse the foreground and background (go ahead, try it!). After playing around with the layout of the blocks, I decided to group like colors on the diagonal. The quilt is upside down in these photos, but if you read the rows from right to left, you'll notice that the color order is red, orange, yellow/green, blue. I left out a few of the prints in the Hope Valley collection, like the one I used for the binding.

The working name for this quilt was "Mother's Little Helper" (as in the Rolling Stones classic) because the blocks reminded me of pills. In the end, I settled on the more innocent "Hope Capsules." Hope Valley has such a vintage feel, like fabric you might find in a time capsule from the 1930s or 40s, but updated with contemporary colors.

I like the back easily as much as the front:

The spectrum arrangement of coins was influenced by several quilts spotted on Flickr, like this one and this one, which show off the prints gorgeously against a light background. I needed something to balance the darkness of the front, so I chose Kona Plum. I was so impatient to finish this quilt that I almost went with an all solid back. I'm so glad I took the time to make the strip of coins! My favorite part is the burst of yellow in the middle.

I quilted it with light gray thread in straight lines horizontally, vertically and diagonally, a quarter inch from each side of the seams. It took forever to finish, but I'm so happy with the result.

Hope Capsules measures 52" x 62" - a nice lap quilt size. I've been enjoying it during these few remaining cool evenings of the season.

Here's an Instagram of Dusty (Hopper's sister) keeping me company as I sewed on the binding:

Incidentally, did you know that the lint roller was invented in Flint, Michigan (my home town)?

Have a great week!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hopper Helps Out

Meet Hopper. He has quite a story - born feral in our backyard, now living indoors with us and our other cats, including his littermate Dusty. It took some work to socialize him and his sister, but now they're part of the family!

Here Hopper is helping me with a work in progress, a confetti quilt to adorn a wall in my study. You see, I have a dissertation to finish, and I need something cheerful behind my computer to keep me going!

The finished quilt will match this one of mine, although it will be a bit larger and more densely quilted. Stay tuned...