Binding it together

My latest quilting endeavor is, of course, for our baby, due in about 8 weeks. I didn’t have a specific pattern in mind but while browsing for ideas I came across the disappearing nine patch. I chose nine fabrics that I loved because they contrast with and compliment each other so well. My favorites are probably the three that I couldn’t resist from a collection called faraway forest by Lizzie Mackay. I don’t often choose fabrics that are meant to go to together but the squirrels and mushrooms and flowers were the beginning of my color inspiration for this quilt.

To make the disappearing nine patch, I stitched together blocks of nine, with one square of each different fabric. Then I cut each nine patch into quarters. These new blocks can be used to create patterns and shapes by putting the colors together but that’s not really my style. Instead, I put the blocks together somewhat randomly and then refined that randomness until it seemed just right. I love the way that a lack of symmetry or complete pattern keeps me gazing for longer and searching to make sense of it visually. I think of lying in bed when I was young and staring at the cracks in the ceiling or a design on the wall, letting my eyes and mind wander. I am more intrigued by something when I want to keep looking at it then when I can see the pattern right away.

I loved choosing the fabric and the simple process of creating the squares but I have to admit that the final result was not quite what I had hoped for. Too much orange? Too random? Either way, I enjoyed the process immensely. I find it hard to believe how much I enjoy the simple meditative act of hand quilting those long straight rows. It is more than just the back and forth between layers of fabric, I think I love the feeling of binding things together. Connecting, strengthening and putting the tiniest bit of myself into it.

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