There is no single blueprint for the quilt design process. What a quilter sees inevitably drives the process. Since every quilter sees things his/her own way, the process is individual to each quilter. Sometimes I’m driven by a certain block design and choose the fabrics later in the process. Our Bring Your Own Color series is being developed this way. However, sometimes the fabric drives my creative process. This post describes how a stack of fat quarters grew into our new pattern: Cape Cod Crazy. (You can find the pattern in our store.)
A friend was interested in making a crazy quilt. I pointed her to Buggy Barn Crazies (http://www.onesisterdesigns.com,) an easy technique that uses up all those leftover fat quarters in your stash. Then I was given a stack of clean-looking blue and white fat quarters that were too pretty to stash. I quickly stacked and cut them and wound up with 16 crazy blocks of my own.
Should I take the easy way out?
At this point, though, sewing all the blocks together was unappealing. Too many busy fabrics in the blocks multiplied by 16 blocks added up to scribbling on my design wall. So, the easy solution was to add a lattice. White was the obvious choice, as blue lattice would make the scribbling darker.
I auditioned a simple white lattice, but thought the blocks were so busy, the simple white lattice diluted the scribbling, but added nothing. It certainly didn’t accentuate the pretty prints in my blocks. My eyes got lost in the busy no-lattice option. My eye bounced from busy block to busy block in this option.
There were short strips left from my fat quarters, so I threw some up on the design wall to break up the white lattice. Hmmm, now we’re getting somewhere. Having a simple, pieced transition between the busy looking blocks settled things down. My eye wasn’t jumping from block to block, but visually meandering through the quilt top.
But, there was still a problem. The blocks and strips seemed to float on the white. They were still a bit disjointed. I didn’t want to add more of the busy prints, so I found a blue tone-on-tone to put in a corner stone. I quickly decided that the blue cornerstones needed the same white border to balance the contrast in the quilt. And, voila, a simple, but not too simple lattice made the crazy blocks into a beautiful quilt.
Auditioning fabrics worked for this design because I had the confidence to know what I like. Decision-making is the biggest part of quilt-making. If you like it, have the confidence to know that it’s the right quilt to make.
You can find the pattern in the Quilter’s Thread store.
Live well. Quilt well.
Here are a couple of fat quarter sets that would work great in this pattern: