Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sari quilt process

I am endlessly fascinated by the process of making quilts. This latest quilt for the upcoming Sari Bari 2015 Quilt Auction is no exception. I received my saris in the mail and was less than impressed with the selection of recycled saris that had come my way. They were dark, mostly navy and white plus two that were mustard orange yellow. The prints were mostly large, except for one small floral print. The only thing I could think to do was ditch the yellows and go with blue and white. Like Delft.  Like my lovely blue and white plates, collected over time and hung on the wall in our big room. Surely, with perhaps a tone on tone white fabric and the blues, I could make a go of it. Perhaps, but I felt a bit skeptical.

Thankfully, the Sari Bari Quilt Auction quilters are a generous lot. On our facebook group, several women offered me saris in different colors and then to my great delight, I found out that three other women from my quilt guild, The Charlotte Modern Quilt Guild, were also making sari quilts this year. We arranged to bring our fabrics to the guild meeting and we made some trades. I ended up with some lighter blues as well as some smaller florals and interesting designs.

My idea began to change. I started seeing photos on said facebook group page of some of the quilt blocks that were being made. I was inspired by the ways in which women were highlighting the design elements of the saris by isolating them with fancy cutting and surrounding them with border fabrics. Hmmm???

Next, I started thinking about plates. As I said, I have a small collection of blue and white plates. Some of them have borders around the edges. The saris have borders around the edges. Hmmmm? Another design option. Highlight the sari borders by using them around central squares.

I started cutting. Fancy cutting interesting shapes within the saris and strip cutting borders. I cut out a couple of larger design elements and framed them in white. And then the quilt started to take shape.

The quilt now has a central medallion which was one of the larger shapes that I cut and framed. I started placing my "plates," some with plain centers and interesting borders, others with white borders and interesting centers, around the medallion. My friend, Amber, came over and helped me move blocks around. We turned them on point. We played with color and design arrangement. And I kept making blocks.

In the process, I posted some pictures and asked about setting the blocks on point around the center medallion. I was beginning to think this was the way to go. I've never done anything on point, so I had to learn. I read some tutorials, watched some videos, and learned about the math of side and corner setting triangles. This, my friends, is truly amazing. Anyone who knows me knows that I am NOT a math person. But dabbling in the math of the quilt was fun. Hypotenuses, formulas to determine triangle sizes, and the like.

At one point, I pulled out graph paper and colored pencils. Drawing a picture helped me get a better handle on what I wanted to do. It also helped me understand the math. And coloring. Who doesn't like coloring. It's been far too long since I've done any coloring and it was fun.

I am closing in on finishing the quilt now. I have decided on block arrangement. I've cut and interfaced and starched. I've stitched and trimmed and pressed. I have one more row of blocks to complete so that the center medallion isn't exactly center from top to bottom. That way, as it drapes on a bed, it can hang a little below the edge. You know what I mean, right?

Then I have those side and corner setting triangles to do, but they will not be as hard as I thought. So, I'm closing in on finishing the top. And then there are the backing fabric and quilting decisions to be made. The process continues ...

1 comment:

Heidi said...

How creative and fun!