Tuesday, July 24, 2007

"Stack and Whack" quilt

I've writen about what fun it is for me to use Bethany Reynold's "Stack and Whack" piecing method and watch patterns appear as I sew. In this case it was especially fun to put together the blocks, 35 of them, some with gray-green and some a green/white patterned background, and find to my delighted surprise that I really like the outcome. Something about the designs can become too self-conscious but in this not quite subtle checkerboard background they seem to work in a folksier way. I wish I had the art and design words to explain why the top pleases me. The back is a slightly electric shock with lots of hot pink and strips of the base pattern fabric. I think it's a nice contrast -- I like the backs of quilts to have an element of surprise while not clashing. Obviously it does not yet have a batting and isn't quilted. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do about it. It almost asks to be sent to a long-arm machine quilter but I resist because I resist the trendiness of that overall patterned look. Still, I think it might be okay. I'm contemplating the matter.
Serendipity played a role in this quilt. I pulled the green background fabrics and the third green of the outermost border, from my stash. And the hot pink is a fabric I purchased in Ohio just a couple weeks ago. As it happens, I had almost exactly the amount of greens and pink that I needed for this quilt -- the scraps I have left over are minimal. The pink, in fact, was on sale as the end of a roll and I simply asked for "the rest of that piece." I don't even remember the amount. And the main patterned fabric, I have used up almost entirely since I put it in the back. Thus without purchasing specific amounts, I nevertheless had what I needed.

I find green a strange color to work with in this quantity. Like most peole I love green as the color of abundant nature. I love leaving the city and finding myself on roads surrounded by trees or hills and fields that are many shades of green. Yet green is a color that fashion designers know does not do well. Go to any big season end sale and you'll find an abundance of green that was not purchased, did not sell well. Few women wear much green. And I find sewing green except when it refers to grass or trees in a quilt a somewhat disconcerting thing to do, as it was with this quilt. But, strangely, as I said, I like the quilt. But will I want to see it lying on my bed? I'm not sure I will. Somehow green doesn't seem to want to be domesticated in an abstract way. it wants to refer to nature, or I want it to and kind of want to keep it in it's place, as it were. I have no idea if anybody else has these feelings about green. Hmmm...

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