90'' x 90''
Lilla is a collaboration between myself and Lotta Jansdotter. It is also a pattern available from C&T, launched this week.
Last year C&T approached me with the idea of working with Lotta on a pattern. I hesitated for a split second then agreed. Hesitated only because of timing, but I didn't want to turn down the opportunity to work with an artist and person I truly admire. So Lotta and I started emailing.
While it would have been fantastic to visit her in her Brooklyn studio or have her come out for some Prairie and Mountain air, we had to settle for the back and forth of online collaboration. She chose the fabrics we would work with - a selection from her soon to arrive collection, Lilla. We discussed style of quilt - medallion versus block based, improv versus precision, pieced versus applique, scale of piecing, and so much more. Lotta sent me some inspiration images, I made sketches. My job was ultimately to translate her ideas into workable quilt patterns. It was up to me to interpret her inspiration for the home quilter.
One of my favourite moments was when I opened up my email with this image in it. Lotta made some paper cut shapes. Up until this point we'd been going back and forth with little progress on something feasible for a quilt or a quilt that she liked. But these images! I went straight to my sewing machine to play, instead of sketching. Soon after we had a workable design.
I really tried to take the organic nature of Lotta's work and translate it to the need for blocks to lay flat. Her shapes lent themselves well to some basic improv techniques, thankfully. Combining those with some precision piecing creates a challenging and graphic quilt.
The pattern itself lays out the techniques as a whole and then instructions for 25 different blocks. Yes, 25 blocks. As presented the quilt is queen size, but the pattern includes a baby size option. Make 1 of the blocks many times over or make all 25 four times over or make each one only once. It's entirely up to you, but the pattern includes it all. It also includes specific fabric notes to make it with Lotta's Lilla fabric as we designed it, but feel free to go on your own.
I've made another version of the quilt, with totally different fabrics. It changes it up! Watch for that soon.
In the end I am so glad I didn't let the time factor get in the way of this great experience. Sure, it was a rush as I frantically finished just before I had to leave to Australia. Thank you to Bernadette at Wonderfil for guiding me through the quilting. The experience of collaboration was worth it. It presents a creative challenge, for sure, but that's a good thing. It gets me outside of myself and the insular world of my own creations. On to the next one!
Pattern now available from C&T, or ask for it at you local quilt shop.