Two months ago, the ladies of the BMQG decided we'd hijack the first part of our February meeting to flash-shower her, as that would be her last guild meeting, pre-maternity leave. After a bit of back and forth, we decided on a non-quilt, gender neutral, "baby gift" theme.
Of course, by this time I was already about 75% done with a quilt! (cue the wah-wah music!) So I bucked the theme and landed here:
|Laurie's bear quilt, February 2012|
This was inspired primarily by 2 things:
1) Thomas Knauer's "Growth Chart" quilt, which I received a free pattern for at one of his Quilt Market presentations. I loved the shape of the block, and the ambitious negative space.
2) a Japanese bear-print fabric I saw somewhere online, and can no longer locate. The bear had such a sweet face!
I'm sure there are more scientific methods, but ultimately I just Xeroxed the bear image several times to enlarge it by about 400%. Then, I outlined the image with a Sharpie to highlight the 3 main components (head, nose, body), which were then traced onto template plastic.
I used the templates to cut body parts from my beloved Momo malt dots fabric and some Kona (khaki? tan?). Everything was then appliqued to the Essex flax linen I used for the field. I also used some blue perle cotton to do a simple stitch outline, and filled in the bear's facial and toe detail with embroidery floss chain stitching.
I wanted the quilting to be deliberate, since so much of the quilt is empty space. I broke the quilting into three sections, and used a different thread color and free motion technique in each: vertical linear quilting in green for the "grassy" mounded area at the bottom, blue squared stipple for the sky, and a loop/pebble hybrid of silvery white for the clouds. The colored fabrics were left unquilted for contrast.
|this was my favorite!|
I loved how the silvery pebbling looked after it was washed.
For the back, I went with Denyse Schmidt's blue and green dot fabric, from Joann's. I bound the quilt in Joel Dewberry yellow wood-grain. I knew Laurie would appreciate this, as she is aware I hoard wood-grain like a jealous lover.
Good luck Laurie!!!
ps - for a full rundown of all the baby swag Laurie received, see her blog post!