60'' x 60''
Improv isn't just for wonky cuts and pulling fabric out of a bag. You can start with a shape, precise cuts, and a playful spirit. That's exactly what I did when I started this quilt, oh... almost 3 years ago.
I did have a plan, but when that didn't work I had to figure out something else that would still make a beautiful quilt. There was no way this beautiful fabric was going to waste. It is made from the Cloud 9 Cirrus Solids, their first colour release. It is extremely soft and oh so delicious. Bonus, it is certified organic cotton. So when my initial intention did not work out, I came up with an alternative quilt top.
This is what playing with improv teaches you to do - figure out a solution no matter what. Whether it is running out of background fabric or making a mistake in piecing, whether you simply don't like the way it turned out or you suddenly want to make the quilt bigger, having the spirit of improv means you can come up with a low stress solution. It is about tapping into that ability to embrace the unknown and find a path forward.
So back to the quilt.
When I took my mostly random half square triangles and settled on a layout - after a lot of design wall play - the top got pieced and added to the pile of tops in the closet. Periodically I would pet it (that fabric is seriously soft) but that's about it. Fast forward to last month when friends of ours asked if just maybe I had a quilt to donate to a charity event they were hosting. I think my husband answered for me, with the strongest yes ever. Rather than take a finished, and therefore used, quilt from the racks I decided to finish one fresh for them.
I've also learned that for charity donations like this people seem to like quite traditional or quite bold quilts. This one is definitely bold! The other thing I've learned is that while I am generous, I can't be ridiculous with my time. I do have that family/work thing to do. So I went with straight line quilting that actually added some movement plus a cool secondary pattern of an Ohio Star where the lines intersected. I picked a turquoise Aurifil because when any colour will work that is always an excellent choice! It also looked great on the back, one of the first Prints from Rashida Coleman-Hale with Cotton and Steel, Moonlit.
Binding choice was probably the most difficult. Again, any solid colour would likely do. I was leaning towards hot pink or carrying the turquoise out. Then I spied the perfect fabric peeking out of my stash - a ruled sheet of paper inspired print from Paper Obsessed by Heather Givans (of Crimson Tate fame). It's already on the bias, and the touch of blue and pink is just enough to make it so much more than a solid binding. And thankfully it looked great on the back.
The quilt has already been auctioned off. I'm always a little bit sad that they don't fetch more, but happy that the quilt is going to a loving home. And I met the winning bidder so I know it will be well taken care of. I may however, need to restash some of those Cirrus Solids now.