Fields of purple and gold

A couple months ago I dragged my nephew out to JoAnn’s with me. I was running an errand and I figured he would do well to get out of the house. He likes making crafts and stuff when we have little kits but he’s not all that keen on wandering around the fabric store. (I’m hoping that will change)

After I finished picking out the stuff I had gone in for we wandered over to the section of the store where the various calicos are. We stood in front of the purple section of the giant wall and I told him to go ahead and pick out four or five different kinds of purple that he liked. He had a lot of fun picking out the different colors and patterns. After he’d made his final choices I asked him what other color he thought went well with purple.

“Gold,” he told me with no delay.

We moved down the wall to the yellows and repeated the process, with him choosing yellows he thought looked nice with the purples he had chosen. When he finished we headed off to the cashier, his choices in hand.

I don’t think he really figured we were going to make something with them that night. He seemed happy just to have chosen some colors and fabrics. I knew, of course, that these things were going to come back into play at a later time.

Most of the pieces you see here are patterns that Joey picked out. You can see the basting stitches tacking the quilt top, batting and muslin backing all together.

Unlike most of the quilts I make I didn’t have a defined idea for what I was going to do for Joey. In most situations I come up with the quilt concept and then get the fabric that will help to make that concept a reality. This time the only “concept” I had to work with were the colors purple and yellow. Or, in Joey’s words, “gold.”

The thing that had me really concerned was the presence of the cheetah fabric in the middle of all the other yellows. When I looked at it amidst all the other hues he had chosen it did anything but blend in. It was like it was standing in the middle of a well-behaved classroom, waving its arms above its head and shouting “I’m right here! Pay attention to me!”

I didn’t say anything about Joey’s choice, though. This was going to be his quilt – though he didn’t know it – and so I couldn’t just toss out something because I couldn’t see how it would work in. Plus, I’ve been known to make some interesting choices when picking fabric out for a project myself. Who was I to dismiss the cheetah print?

Although he had pulled a fair number of purples for this project I ended up needing to supplement the fabric choices with a few selections from my own stash. Luckily I had a plethora of left-over scraps to pull from. The navy blue pieces with purple flowers on it were leftover pieces from when I made my new regalia this year. The gold strips running horizontally over the quilt were from a project Mom had worked on a few years earlier. Another of the purples came from one of the boxes of fabric Angelica had sent me earlier in the year (thanks Angelica!).

I didn’t really measure things a whole lot while I was making this quilt top. I basically cut the fabric quarters into strips of various widths and stitched them together, cutting off excess when the strips didn’t match up completely. The quilt was mainly put together by eyeballing all the measurements. I ended up needing to put a wide border around the purple and yellow strips, both to add some width and length to the quilt and also to provide a sort of anchor for the eye. Thankfully, I had two yards of a nice black/gray stripey floral in my stash.

There is a small spot along one edge where it’s clear the quilt wasn’t perfectly measured out. You can’t tell from this picture and, with luck, I’ll be able to solve the problem when I go to stitch the whole thing together tonight (I’m doing machine quilting for this one, which I don’t usually like doing). I won’t be all that concerned if it doesn’t, though. You have to love a quilt, flaws and all.

Oh, one more thing. Joey’s cheetah fabric doesn’t look too bad when everything’s put together, does it?

The full quilt top

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