About a year and a half ago now I started learning how to quilt thanks to my friend Lydia, and for this past Christmas I made my third completed quilt as a gift for my friend Katie.
One thing I love about quilting is the creative opportunity that it presents. Each quilt that I’ve completed so far has started with the same general idea, the half-square triangle, and each one has turned out completely different in the end. Learning that approach alone creates so much possibility for design, and half the fun for me is in sitting down with a handful of HSTs and moving them about like a puzzle to create a design that really jumps out at me for the current project. It’s just so cool! And it’s beyond satisfying when I find something I like and stick with it.
I actually haven’t used a pattern to make any of my quilts yet, and on the one hand that is so much fun because I get to put my creative muscles to use–but I’m also looking forward to the day that I find a pattern I love (or that I think someone else will love) and trying my hand at something more than winging it. The funny thing is that I’ve been knitting for years and have never made a pattern of my own from scratch. I’ve never really had the patience or the desire for it. But with quilting, I haven’t much bothered with patterns, besides the occasional bit of browsing, because it’s an entirely different kind of satisfaction when I’m quilting without that kind of guidance or restraint.
So much of this quilt came together as I was working on it: the square patterns, the addition of the black space, the quilting pattern. I even chose the quilting thread in the middle of the project, debating between black or purple for the top. When I went to Joann Fabrics to browse thread colors, ultimately deciding I’d be choosing a purple, not only did I get a purple but I got a variegated thread with beautiful shades. It added such a cool dimension to the quilting design that I never would have thought of if I hadn’t given myself the freedom to just browse thread colors halfway through the project. (And, no surprise, I am now more than a little obsessed with variegated thread.)
I see so many more quilts in my future–I’m pretty sure we’re going to be buried under throw blankets in our next house. If at some point you no longer hear from me, just know that I went in one of the best ways possible: comfortably wrapped in an endless blanket burrito.