Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dr. Seussian Quilt

A couple of years ago (I think) I decided to spiffy up the bathroom by making it a Dr. Seuss themed room. At the time the only shower curtains available were Cat in the Hat ones, so, naturally, I made my own:

And then, as often happens, I had a bunch of left over fabric. I mulled over for a bit what I might do with it, and then a conversation with my cousin decided the question: I’d make her a throw quilt. Now left over fabric, kind of by its nature, is almost never enough for a project all on its own. I buy fabric for a project by estimating how much I’ll need and then getting a “bit” extra. And this is what I had left of the Dr. Seuss fabric. So I had to mix it up with other fabrics, and turned to my trusty fabric stash to see what I had available. The challenge here was in finding a pattern that would work well with the Seuss fabric, and add to its “Seussian” flavor, while still using what I had on hand. I wanted something colorful, and with some whimsy, but that would not take away from the focus fabric itself.

Focus fabric (with the blue sashing I added):

As luck would have it, a few months previously I had gone on a monochromatic spree. I made several quilts exploring the use of a single color, but in various shades. I made a purple one, and a green one, and a blue one, and then I got distracted and forgot to make the red one, which left me with a small stack of different shades of red fabrics. So I laid everything out on the floor of my sewing room to try out different ways of combining the fabrics, and here’s what I came up with:

Here’s a picture of the whole thing:

And for the backing I wanted something that went with the front but was not officially Dr. Seuss. I found this wonderful fabric:

But alas it was not quite enough for the backing. So I added a stripe:

I even had enough of the lighter fabric to make the binding and thus bring together both sides of the quilt.
And now for the quilting itself. I was having a hard time figuring out how to do this; quilting the quilt is not my favorite part of the quilt, probably because I am not very creative or good at it. As a result I usually “stitch in the ditch”, which works, but is not really inspiring, and so I don’t get better at it. Conundrum.
But for this one, I wanted to use the quilting to add to the whimsiness of the piece, and so, with much enjoyment, I quilted it freehand, with a colorful, contrasting thread:
I sent it to my cousin all the way on the other side of the world, in New Zealand. She likes it, and so do I.

And at the end of it all I had enough to make a wee little curtain for the bathroom window!

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