Thursday, May 31, 2012

Raspberry Fields

When my oldest Danish nephew, Jens, turned 13, I gave him a big quilt.  So when his sister, Anna, turned 13, I had to make one for her as well.  That's the way I had been doing it since they were little, and I was sure she would be expecting her own quilt.  Not that I mind at all.  Jens, in particular, has always been very appreciative of the quilts I have made for him, so it is a joy to make quilts for them.

I don't make as many batik quilts as I might, because I like to hand piece and batiks are so tightly woven that they are hard to hand piece.  Thus, every time I work with batiks, I really have to machine piece and for all practical purposes that means the quilt will have to be made at quilt retreats.  A few years previous, I had bought a bunch of batiks in pink, green, and brown colors which I really liked so I decided to use those for Anna's quilt and picked a pattern, called "Safari" from Karla Anderson's book New Cuts for New Quilts.  I've loved the stack, shuffle, and sew method Karla Anderson uses for a long time and it is particularly well suited for batiks.  The pattern - called Safari only because the particular fabrics used in the demonstration quilt in the book were African animal prints - was simple yet had a lot of interest and movement in it.

As it turned out, I had to supplement my fabrics considerably, however.  Not only did I not have nearly enough fabric to make the quilt, but I also needed a lot more variety than I had.  It turned out that the original fabrics I had bought were no longer available, nor was that color selection.  So I had to branch out.  I added different pinks, greens, and browns and also turqoise as well as combinations of those.

The back of the quilt shows the original fabrics and colors from which I s  tarted.  I had yardage of a couple of those fabrics, and thus enough to piece the back.  It is fun now to see how different it is from the top.  I am glad I had to add fabrics to make the top as I think it would have been a very boring quilt if I had made it of only the original fabrics.

It ended up being 69" x 88" made specifically to fit Anna's bed as it was at the time - of course she has remodeled her room repeatedly since then - and it was machine quilted by Regina Carter, who used a pattern called Sticky Buns.

The border around the label is fabric from a shirt which was Anna's favorite when she was a tiny tyke.  My sister, Anna's mother, had given it to me for possible incorporation into the quilt, but this was the only way I could make it work.  The fabric was very thin and somewhat fragile - as it was Anna's favorite shirt, it evidently had been washed quite often! - and it just didn't work with the rest of the qullt.

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