103'' x 94''
It takes a long time to finish the binding on a king sized quilt. That was a lot of Top Gear and random Discovery Channel shows sitting on the sofa by my husband. But I'm not complaining one bit because it was totally worth it for this quilt.
Started 2 years ago at the first QuiltCon in an Improv class with Denyse Schmidt, this quilt is a new favourite for me. I know improv, I'm very comfortable with it. Taking cues and following the process of someone else was refreshing. I may not use the brown paper bags Denyse starts with, but that go where you may and trusting your intuition is very similar to my approach a lot of the time. And she totally taught me to embrace the small pieces, the tiny, right alongside the large.
A year after QuiltCon I took out my initial blocks again and made more. Many, many more. Then I spent some time puzzling it together. For me, that part is probably the most fun. It is a challenge, for sure, but so much fun.
(Confused about that puzzling it together part? Check out my new class on CreativeLive all about that!)
A few days of work to get it all together and I was thrilled with the completed top. I was not thrilled with the prospect of quilting another king size quilt on my home machine, however. Especially because I wanted something more than straight lines on this. So I convinced my friend Andrea at Urban Quiltworks to play.
And boy did she do a stellar job!
She embraced the spirit of improv with her quilting as well. We settled on a lovely yellow thread from Wonderfil, then I left her to her own devices. She did some all over work, some line work, some dense parts, left some spaces open. If your eye wasn't already moving constantly with the piecing, the quilting will get it going. There is just so much to see. And so much additional texture created.
To be honest, I feel totally spoiled and honoured to have her work on this quilt. It is absolutely perfect. The right compliment between the piecing and the quilting for sure.
A few people that have seen this quilt have commented on the colour scheme. I must say, that was entirely unintentional. In Denyse's class you start with your chosen feature fabric - the black and white in my case - and her bags of scraps. You also pick a solid. I must admit that my hand was directed a little by my friend Jules as it blindly searched in the paper bag for my solid selection. I never, ever would have picked this weird green/grey/sage colour. But I am happy she led me to it.
At home, when making more blocks I used the initial fabrics found in the classroom blocks as my guide. Just tiny bits of orange, yellow, and that magenta tones. A bit of brown and blue. More grey. Overall it feels cool. There is no bright pink and only snippets of purple. It feels like there is a bit of control, but mostly just randomness.
Actually, it feels like home to me and it is wonderful to have this beauty finished and keeping us warm at night.