Monday, January 1, 2018

Dorothy's Girls - a quilt finish

instagram is so instant! my goodness, it's taken me far too long to get these photos here and make this post. but i wanted to talk about this quilt in more detail than even a looooong IG post allows for. and since this quilt was finally completed in april, it really is time to post about it.

this quilt is made from the "indian blanket pattern" by rachel hauser of stitched in color, available as part of her online ::angled:: class, which i took in 2015. i adore rachel's original version of the quilt with its crisp contrast and bold, summery colors. as i chose to work with fabrics strictly from stash and to try a very new-to-me color palette based on two prints, my version is quite different from hers. mine's romantic, rather vintage-y, warm and more fall-ish feeling. rachel's "indian blanket" has a definite pattern to the value placement and the combinations feel more consistent in the value contrasts. mine are all over the place. one of the intriguing aspects of quilting is what changing value or color placement or fabric types will do to the same exact pattern. you can see our quilts are related, but they look like very different quilts from opposite ends of the family spectrum. i like them both for different reasons.

my favorite part of this quilt just might be the back. i used the 3 strip accent stripe backing format i have used for a few other quilts, this time using kona cotton solid in "curry" as the main fabric. i think it's absolutely delicious in its warmth and simplicity. the 3 accent stripes are out of the two main inspiration fabrics and another pick from the quilt top, "antique flower" by julia rothman for cloud9, that has emerged as a favorite fabric as i've worked with it.

the binding i chose is nothing special, but it works and i'm fine with it. (some french general for moda, i think?) it certainly adds to the vintage feel of the quilt.

 for the quilting, i used a soft, peachy-pink aurifil 2415 thread, which contrasts so beautifully with the solid curry backing, but doesn't photograph accurately. my fmq pattern is a set of modern loops done in rows and sized to fit each row of triangles. this is a quick and effective pattern, which was nice since the quilt is so large and took so much time to assemble. also, i think the loops contrast well with the sharp angles of the triangle pattern.

this was my first time working with triangles in a quilt. it was a fun challenge and a skill i'm happy to have added to my tool box. i did pretty well with my points, too. that is always satisfying.

the part i like most about the quilt top is the fabric pairings. some of them are just so good and make me happy when i look at them. namely, those i've photographed to share here. other combos are less pleasing and if i were to do the quilt over, i would remove them and just do more of the ones i liked. but it's a done deal. since this quilt was in part done to use up stash, it's inevitable that that happened.

but the fabrics that do please me please me a lot! i love to sit with the quilt and look at the good ones. each of these photos may look almost identical to you, but they don't to me. they are quite distinct and examining up them up close is what i enjoy about the quilt.

originally, i was using each fabric once in its own row. however, once i got going, i decided more of a good thing was good. so i added a row or two. and since the triangles were of various sizes, the rows didn't always come out equally long. instead of cutting some short, i made others longer. which just kept slowly increasing the size of the quilt. it ended up a whopping 68" x 90" total, a fair twin-sized quilt. but i made it as a throw, so its kind of too large. i tend to always add to quilts to make them "just a bit bigger." not because any of us are big people but because i want to make sure it's big enough to fully snuggle under, and then when it's almost big enough to use on a bed, why not make it big enough? i think the experience of this quilt has taught me that lap-sized quilts and a little restraint is a good idea.

one of the fun aspects of this pattern was the mix of triangle sizes and the occasional randomness and break from form thrown in. rachel directed us where to do that in a few places and i picked some other spots on my own.

in the above photo, you can see the row that's a mix of large and small triangles, as well as a few different fabrics, some of them seemingly out of place with the pattern and rhythm of the row. i like that.

every once in a while, i would throw in a triangle that felt the same as the other fabrics in the row, but wasn't, like the middle triangle in this photo. i like that, too.

so there you have it -  the "dorothy's girls" quilt is done.

but what about that name?

originally i was going to call this something like "indian summer" as a nod to the warm color palette and rachel's pattern's name. but back when i started actually quilting it, my aunt came down with breast cancer at the same time my mom, her sister, was diagnosed with colon cancer. i wanted to gift a quilt to each of them and quickly, but as my husband had just had a major accident (yes, it was a crazy time!), i was in no position to make new quilts, which i don't do quickly anyway. whew! this is complicated. so, i decided to give my mom the penny patch 2.0 quilt, which just needed quilting, and was considering giving this quilt to my aunt. long story short - i didn't. she got the "love all around" quilt instead.

i got to keep the triangles for myself. but i kept thinking of my aunt and my mom while working on it. and of their sister, billie, and their mother, my grandmother, dorothy. grandma dorothy generally brings the color brown to mind, but aspects of this quilt do remind me of her. and those 3 stripes on the back remind me of her 3 daughters. i was hoping the number of rows would come out to equal all the granddaughters, too, but it doesn't. anywho, all that thinking of grandma gave me a name for this quilt and thus it is "dorothy's girls."


  1. I love this one!! (I like it much better than Rachel's version - shhhhh)
    You know - as much as I like to USE ALL THE FABRICS ~ I can see the benefit of using more pieces of fewer fabrics that you really enjoy. Hmmmm. must think more on this....
    How are your mom and aunt now?? Gosh - I'm sorry you were dealing with all that at the same time!

  2. Love the soft, vintage look you achieved.

  3. Gotta agree with the above comment - I like this better than Rachel's - and I *love* everything Rachel does. This just seems much softer - maybe it's the mustard and pink combo, or maybe it's that low volume has my heart, but I can see why you love this. I think maybe it's the brown that gives it that retro/vintage feel? But it's beautiful. And I wouldn't change a thing :-D
    E xx

  4. I love this one Hydee. It is not my colours at all, but it is so appealing, probably because of its soft feminine look. Do you know what the beautiful yellow with pink flowers accent fabric is that you used? Can't wait to see what you make this coming year. Will it be the year Gypsy Wife gets finished? :-)


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