Saturday, April 24, 2010

Freddy Quilter

I find that the time I spend blogging is directly proportional to the amount of time I spend at work. My work seems to be of a cyclical nature going from a big project where I work all the time to barely more than 10 hours a week. In the lull times, I'm much more apt to think about updating my blog. In the busy times, I'm feel like I'm lucky if I can make it to the grocery store.

It's a lull time now though, so I'm expecting the blog to get a bit more attention. I joined the Portland Modern Quilt Guild, and so far it has been very, very fun. I'm so glad it came into existence!

I've been slowly working on developing quilt patterns, but I don't feel comfortable blogging about some of them until I know where they are going.

I did however, make a quilt that can go in the blog. I was watching Project Runway, and was intrigued by one of the designs from Emilio Sosa.

The top black bit of the dress is the same striped fabric as the bottom, just pleated. When I saw it, I immediately wondered what that technique would look like as a quilt. And the quilt pictured below is what I came up with.

The process was fairly easy. I went to Fabric Depot after I saw the episode to see if any fabrics there had a suitable stripe (and luckily it was a 35% off weekend) and came home with a Michael Miller fabric called Two by Two. The stripes are roughly two inches in height, which is the biggest stripe I could find.

At Fabric Depot they had it in the red and black (which is really a very dark gray), navy and white, and black and white. I thought the red and black would be the most surprising, but was a little worried that it was sort of Freddy Krueger.

Once it was pleated though, I thought it wouldn't be so obvious, but as a joke to myself I decided to name the quilt for him. I've been naming the various quilt patterns I think of after influential women in my life, so now I guess Freddy Krueger is one of my good girlfriends or something.

To make the actual pleated quilt, I aimed for three black bars per block. I cut strips from the fabric with quarter inch sections of the red blocks on each end. I ended up going through around 6-6 1/2 yards of fabric, but there was a lot of waste, or leftovers.

I then finger pressed the edge of one black strip to another, so the red was completely hidden. Mostly. Sometimes a little red peaked out from under the black.

Then I ironed it down, and hit repeat.

The finished set is about 6 1/4 inches tall, so I cut the blocks to be 6 1/4 by 6 1/4. Because of the nature of the pleats, nothing is precise. This really isn't a technique for a precision oriented quilter.

I made 80 total blocks, and sewed them into 4 patches which were about 12 inches, give or take. My finished piece is roughly 48 by 60, or a good sized lap quilt. I'm generally happy with the results, but I think it's definitely a quilt that is better off seen and touched, rather than photographed.
I also think that the red peaking out makes it sort of look like a boxelder bug, which used to infest our house every fall when I was a kid.

And as a last bit, Fritz always knows when I'm trying to take a picture and has to be in it. Especially when I'm standing on a chair and can't shoo him away.