Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Noa's a Bat Mitzvah!

I’ve only made three Bat Mitzvah quilts, so far, and each one is for a fairly different kid. Not only different kids, in different households, but kids different in personality and interests. The first two I made were for girls I knew well: my daughter and my niece. I’ve known these girls since infancy (before even?) and have had the joy of seeing them grow up on a daily basis (well, nearly). So when it was time to make their quilts, I had a pretty good idea about their likes, dislikes, and personalities.

The third Bat Mitzvah quilt I made was different. This was for my cousin’s daughter, which makes her my first cousin, once removed, I think. I’ve met this girl twice in her life as she lives in Israel while I live in the US.  I have seen countless photos of her, and have heard stories of her growing up experiences, but had not had a chance to get to know her, as a person, and interact with her, other than those two occasions. This is not enough. Not enough to know a person, and not enough to go on when making a teen quilt.

So I decided to get some help. I contacted her father, my cousin, and asked about her favorite colors and if she’s got a favorite shape, or pattern. He came back with the following: she likes squares, blue, green, and orange.

I settled down to do some serious pondering. The blues and greens-no problem.  Fitting in the orange? That took some thinking. Also, how to make a square-ish pattern that had some interesting twist to it? And on top of all that, I had to consider the usual in making a quilt for a teen (will she like it today? How about tomorrow? And in 4 years?) How to make it not too childish but not too grown up? On the designing level, this might be the most challenging quilt I’ve designed to date.

And after much (much) pondering, I decided to do a wonky squares design. I picked a bunch of greens and blues, mostly from my stash, and cut them into strips of various widths. I also cut a few center squares and rectangles to start on. At the fabric store I found a fantastic orange fabric, with golden webs on it. I found it in the batik section and knew it was perfect. I wanted to use it as an accent color, so I got a smallish piece and cut several small squares and rectangles from it. The small squares would serve as centers for the squares and the wonkiness comes from the varying widths as well as the cutting larger squares off center. I was also able to use the orange for the border, to add some more power to it.

Here it is:

And some detail pictures:

The back, I felt needed to be something else. I didn’t want to use the same colors as I wanted the two sides to be different, but I also didn’t want to stray too far from her favorites; I wanted her to like it. So I decided to keep the square motif and include the blue and green. Instead of orange, though, I used purple.

Like so:

The design is a disappearing nine-patch, done with only 3 colors and with all the blocks laid out so they form a uniform design.This one is made entirely of Batiks.

The quilt is full size and will hopefully serve her well for a long while. I mailed it off to her in Israel. A few months later she called me to tell me she loves it. Success! And I’m glad.
The next Bat Mitzvah quilt is in the works, for my younger daughter, who’ll be celebrating her Bat Mitzvah this summer.

1 comment:

  1. It is lovely and I have pinned it on Pinterest--I hope that's okay.