I feel like this quilt has been in progress forever, so I am happy that I was able to find time to finish it! I started it back before my quilt market sewing, which was quickly followed by some traveling for teaching. July arrived and it was time!
I designed this paper pieced quilt block improvisationally, using the design principles outlined in my book, Improv Paper Piecing. Then I started playing around with colors in EQ7.
I downloaded the Kona color swatches in EQ7 so that I could use them to color the design and then order the exact colors that I settled on. It worked well and I was happy with my color selections when I received them.
When I shared images of this quilt in progress on Instagram, it was very fun to hear what others saw when they looked at it. I heard everything from circus tents, to swirling skirts, and names of various buildings and bridges. My husband thinks it looks like boats. What I saw from the start, were folded hands in the gray sections, in a prayerful sort of pose. When Tamara suggested Namaste as the name for the quilt, I decided to go with it! I am happy to allow others to see whatever they see when they look at the quilt though! I particularly love the fact that the design reads differently to different people.
I took this shot at my friend’s house. I’m grateful for friends who allow me into their yards to take pictures and don’t make me feel like a crazy quilt lady! I like how bold the quilt design is when the quilt is hung flat but I also really like this quilt draped. While the layout gets lost, I love the jumble of grays and pinks.
I was really unsure of how I wanted to quilt this quilt and what color thread I wanted to use. I wanted the strong, pieced design to really hold it’s own so I didn’t want a darker thread running through the light pink in the center. The contrast of the charcoal fabric on the outer edges is important to the design so I didn’t want to busy it or distract from it with a lighter thread. Clearly, I couldn’t use one thread throughout. I also didn’t want to quilt each color separately. My mom suggested I move from a lighter thread in the center to a darker thread on the edges. Brilliant! That’s what I did.
I used 7 different shades of Aurifil 50 weight thread to quilt. I started with the pale pink in the center but added just a couple of lines of the soft gray and of the medium pink for variety. On the charcoal edges, all the stitching is in the darkest gray except for a couple of lines of medium gray and the deepest pink. In the sections in between, I alternated between 3 shades of pink and the two shades of gray, depending on which colors were most prominent in that section of the quilt. My lines are spaced 1/2″ apart and 1/4″ apart in an irregular manner.
I decided to bind with my Improv twisted screen print.
The finished quilt measures 48″ x 60″ (or at least it did before quilting!).
Now the question is, what to make next!