making a watery blue ombré quilt

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It's done!
I finally completed the quilt I've been working on since April for my new nephew, Nate, just in time for his first visit to the east coast last weekend. It's the only quilt I've completed since having my own kids. I tend to get wrapped up in some kind of intricate colorplay that needs 50 fabrics to pull off and that takes time. That was the definitely the case with the ombré effect I was going for with this water scene.
Photo: I'm going to be an auntie to a new nephew in June! So I'm dusting off my quilting skills and going a little crazy in all the fabric shops on Etsy ;)
I found some great watery prints from several fabric shops on Etsy. I used the Micheal Miller fish print for the back.
But to get the ombré effect, I needed many more shades of blue than I could find in quilting cottons. I filled in the gaps with my strangely large collection of men's dress shirts. Using them also made the quilt more masculine. I also like the idea of mixing in apparel fabrics because it is the way people used to make quilts before the whole "charm pack" thing came along. My grandmother would use the good parts of worn-out clothes or scraps from making clothes for her quilts.
The quilt top spent a week in pieces on my work table as I planned out the color gradation. The diamond pattern helps the colors "feather" together because there are no straight horizontal lines. The sea creatures were appliquéd on top after I sewed the background together in diagonal strips.

I actually had never hand quilted any of my past quilts until this one. I used to send them out to an Amish lady who would get them done in a flash. This time I decided to do it myself, thinking it was a pretty small size (48" x 36"). Oh boy! You gotta hand it to those Amish ladies! It took me about a month and would have taken even longer except I was stuck on the couch anyway after having foot surgery. I couldn't remember how to do the binding either, so I watched this youtube video which was very helpful.

Oddly, the foot ordeal turned out to be positive creatively. With grocery shopping, errands, and trips to the gym off the schedule, it's amazing how much time frees up to spend on creative pursuits. Back soon with more...