Oh, am I excited to use that word. FINISHED!
For those who might be newer to my little blog, this quilt started as something of an experiment way back in October of 2010. I went through my scrap bins one at a time, and cut one 5″ square from as many different fabrics as I could dig out. I had a goal of making 14 sets of half-square triangles each week, and would stop when I made it through the scrap bins. Turns out, that netted me over 400 blocks from more than 200 fabrics. DANG.
And while there were a lot of starts and stops (and major life events) along the way, it is finally done. I assembled the HSTs into 20 of these blocks, and then had enough left over that I added another ring around the entire quilt, just continuing the pattern. It ended up being approximately 72″ x 88″, or a pretty generous twin-sized quilt. If it’s not the largest I’ve ever made, then it’s close.
When assembling the blocks and, subsequently, the quilt top, I will tell you that I put as little thought into fabric placement as I could. I didn’t lay a single thing out ahead of time, I just grabbed the next HSTs out of the box and sewed them together. I only vetoed if the two fabrics were too similar to one another. That was it.
For the back, I had a handful of HSTs remaining, and damn if I wasn’t going to use all of them. For the rest, I ended up pulling a rainbow of solids from my stash. I meant it too look more “color wheel” than “pride flag,” but hey, it’s pretty whatever you want to call it.
The binding is solid medium gray. Given the complete randomness of the front, I could easily have used just about any fabric. But to narrow it down, I decided to go for something that would compliment the back, and the gray just kind of spoke to me. In my haste to have this thing finally done, I decided to give machine binding a go. I am happy to say that it was pretty darn successful. I attached it to the back, first, and then sewed it down from the front. The front, I think, looks really good. The back is a little iffy, but not terrible. Not too shabby for a first effort on a big quilt.
I am really, really happy with this quilt. But while I’m perfectly pleased with the way it looks, I’m even more satisfied with it in the abstract. This was a departure for me – it was a process quilt. It was always about the process that got me to the end product, not the end product, itself. I love that the whole thing is like my own personal I-Spy quilt, with bits and pieces from lots of old favorites. I love that the whole thing came from stash and scraps (aside from having to order more Kona Bone), and yet barely put a visible dent in either.
I would definitely like to do another process quilt. Something that pulls from scraps, something that is maybe a little daunting to think of in its entirety, but that I can do pieces here and there over time. String blocks, maybe? A warm-cool HST quilt? Log cabins or improv blocks? I don’t know. I’ve got other projects already started, so I’m going to turn this one over in my head for a while, but I do think I’ll do it again.