I have long been promising myself I’d actually write a post about one of my finished quilts for a change (I tend to finish them and then forget all about them, blog-wise), so here it is: Blodd Money City.
Yes, I know — that’s a dreadful picture. But you know what’s really hard? Getting good pictures of finished quilts once you’ve put them on your bed and don’t want to take them off and find a nice sunlit place to shoot them outdoors, especially when you took this picture weeks ago when it was rainy and dusky and cold, and yes I’m full of excuses. Also, Favre would. not. move.
So, many months ago I fell in love with the “Ice Cream Quilt” pattern in Kaffe Fassett’s “Quilt Romance” book. It is one of the very rare patterns in a Kaffe Fassett book that I’ve looked at and thought that I could actually make it look better by using different fabrics; in fact, I love the sort of giant log cabin/housetop concept so much that I decided I needed to make a million of them. I became completely obsessed by the idea of it. I’ve got three different permutations of it up my sleeve, and the first one to be executed is this one.
The fabric is French General’s Rouenneries, and the fact is that it is impossible to make an ugly quilt out of this stuff. I had been resisting it on principal for a long time (I think my reasoning was that it wasn’t spicy enough, or that everyone was using it, or something stupid like that), but when I walked into Pennington Quilt Works one day and saw it in person, I promptly pulled all the bolts off the shelf and started planning the order of the rounds on my rooftop log cabin extravaganza.
A quilt like this is almost moronically easy to put together, especially when you’re helped by the pattern in “Quilt Romance” that tells you all the measurements of all the strips you’ll need. If you piece by machine, it would take you about 45 minutes to put this whole thing together. If you’re smart and sophisticated like me, and piece by hand, it’ll take you about an hour and a half. (I should mention here that the pattern in the book makes a dopey size somewhere in the neighborhood of 78″ square, so I planned to add four rounds beyond what was charted. My big plan included a four-inch wide outer round of big, bold, crimson floral print, and the finished size would be a voluminous swath of housetop awesomeness. Right before I got to attaching the last set of strips, though, I freaked out because the quilt top seemed enormous already. We spread it out on my bed and decided it was plenty big, so I put the big, bold, crimson floral print into my stash and called it a day. When the quilt came back from the quilter, though, it seemed significantly smaller than before. The moral of this story is that I should never try to second-guess my quilt planning when I’m in that “Hey, if I don’t add this last bit, I’ll be done already!” mentality at the end of a big project.) The only real trick to this is keeping the seams straight and keeping the whole quilt from getting warped and wonky-shaped. I was mostly successful at that, and had just a little bit of bowing to trim off the edges after it got back from the quilter.
As for the quilting, Mary did an amazing job picking a soft, elegant swirly design that I think plays perfectly with the fabrics and the linearity of the design. For the finishing, I bound it with one of the cream fabrics with small red flowers; it was meant to have a huge contrast with the show-stopper huge red floral that was going to be outer round, but like I said, I chickened out and pulled the plug before it got to that. Regardless, I think this binding choice looks great.
If you look very closely at this picture, you can see all the cat hair matting on the surface of Blodd Money City already. This quilt is like crack for the cats. They velcroed themselves to it as soon as it arrived home from the quilter, and haven’t gotten off it since.
So that’s Blodd Money City. The only other story to it is its name. For starters, we have a long-running joke about the blood/blodd typo, so we always ironically spell it incorrectly. (Yeah. It’s ironic now. That’s totally it. It’s not a case of us having written it that way so many times that now we aren’t really sure which way is right…) And I work at a company that does pharmaceutical research, so sometimes the people in my department need blood (blodd? No, the first way’s right) samples to make sure their experiments (or whatever) are working right. (Can you tell I’m not one of the scientist researcher types? Heh. Nope, I’ve got no idea what any of those people are up to. They might just be vampires for all I know.) Those of us who are in the volunteer blodd (no, blood) “donor” pool get reimbursed for our efforts whenever we have anything drawn. And the reimbursement is quite generous, all things considered. Enough to keep a girl in quilt fabric. It just so happened that right after my impulsive purchase of the mountains of Rouenneries, I was called upon at work to give a pretty hefty amount of my precious, precious bloodstuffs, which paid for the whole project.
From big mountains of fabric, beautiful quilts grow.
Ahh, blodd/blood money. It’s such a beautiful thing.
[Posted by Schnookie]