When my sister-in-law first asked me to make this quilt, she knew that the couple she was giving it to was moving across the country from Boston (where they had all gone to medical school together) to San Francisco. I asked if she had any requests or ideas, and she said it might be nice if it could remind them a little bit of their time in Boston.
Visions of lobsters, baked beans, and novelty Red Sox prints ran through my mind, and I shuddered. What would make a quilt say “Boston?” I mean, I’m sure there are some neat colonial designs out there, but that’s not really my cup of tea any more than fabric with sports logos on it. So I sat and I sat and tried to think of something, and I procrastinated and put it off. And then, unsurprisingly, inspiration came via Ashley. Her “Postcards from the Park” quilt reminded me of something – Cobblestones. It instantly reminded me of one of Boston’s most iconic neighborhoods, Beacon Hill. I knew what to do.
I had also been gathering a whole bunch of Hope Valley, which I admit to not loving at first, but it slowly grew on me. And there was something about it that said “California” to me. No, not in the sense of present-day Hollywood or Silicon Valley. Something almost pioneer-like, about moving West for a new life. Maybe I’m the only one, but it works in my head.
And so, we have these very subtly wonky bricks that remind me of those old, imperfect, bumpy streets and sidewalks here on the East Coast. The wonkiness is more subtle than I had pictured it in my mind, almost to the point that I worry someone would just look at it and think, “can she just not sew quite right?” But I’m happy with it, and I still think it gives it a softly (intentionally) imperfect feeling.
There are 16 prints from Hope Valley in this quilt, and no fewer than 12 solids (13 if you count the sashing). Because I’m the kind of person who would want to know these things, the solids are: zucchini, raisin, deep rose, sweet pea, teal blue, stone, plum, sage, rose, amber, moss, and eggplant (all Kona). Sashing/border is Kona Snow. I am on a HUGE solid kick right now, and have a new favorite color every day.
The backing is Kona Stone, with a strip of bricks. Again with the solid kick, especially with backings. Be prepared to see a similar theme through the next few finishes.
I was nervous to do it for the first time, but ultimately decided to go for large pebbling when I quilted it, and I’m glad I did. I went through some frustration with running out of thread, regretting a cheap substitute, and needing a new needle before I thought I would. And when I first started, I worried that I was totally ruining the quilt by practically scribbling on it with thread. But the effectiveness is in the whole picture, not in each individual pebble, and I do think I love it.
My husband, of all people, gets credit for the scrappy binding. I really wasn’t sure what to do, and he was the one who suggested bits and pieces. And wouldn’t you know, he was totally right. I love it, especially the way it looks against the back.
The only sad part about always making quilts for other people is that I rarely get time to sit and savor the finished product. That is most definitely the case with this one, as I took the photos at about 6AM, it goes with my husband to work this morning to make the handoff to his sister, and tonight it flies to the other side of the country. And that’s why, even if I wasn’t blogging them, I’d have to take pictures of every quilt I make!