I won the November Block of the Month drawing at the Tarheel Quilters Guild meeting! Nancy, our BOM chair, distributed instructions for “Johnny Around the Corner” at the October meeting. The blocks could use just two colors/fabrics, black and gray. Admittedly, this modern color palette is unusual for our group of mostly traditional quilters.
All who made blocks had a chance of winning, and my name was drawn! I received ten blocks, enough for a nine block lap quilt with one to spare. Immediately my mind began turning over setting and color ideas. A red tonal or geometric print for sashing and border would look nice, I thought.
The day after the guild meeting, I drove to northern Virginia to speak to the Springfield chapter of Quilters Unlimited as I blogged about on November 23. An advantage of presenting a workshop in a quilt shop like The Quilters Studio is the opportunity to shop for fabric. While there, I found a modern print manufactured by Robert Kaufman, in the Felicity collection by Bren Talavera. (Note: It’s not red.) The grid of squares colored gray, chartreuse, orange, and bright blue seemed perfect for the blocks I had won. I figured 2 yards would be enough for sashing and border.
My initial plan was to simply add the print as sashing and border. But after laying the blocks on top of the print, I decided bright colored frames would add a necessary contrast. Happily, my stash contained two orange tonals and a bright blue tonal in just the right shades. I cut the framing strips 2 1/2″ wide. Finally ready to use my modern grid print, I cut the sashing 4″ wide and the borders 5 1/2″ wide. I cut sashing and border strips parallel to the selvage of my two yard cut of fabric to avoid piecing the borders.
Tip: By cutting border strips parallel to the selvage (on grain), you minimize the possibility of stretched, wavy borders. If you cut border strips cross grain (from selvage to selvage), you must measure and pin carefully to avoid easing in fullness in the borders. And cutting borders on the bias (diagonally) is not recommended at all!
The freehand, edge-t0-edge quilting design resembles contour plowing. Perhaps you can see it best in my own block because of the light gray background fabric.
I had three fabric choices for binding: black, medium gray, and gray/black. The gray/black won although I suspect it is a thin suiting fabric with some polyester content (from my mother’s stash); it is the perfect color and pressed well with no stretching.
I am really pleased with the orange and blue punches of color and the grid print that ties the black and gray quilt blocks together. I enjoyed the challenge of creating this striking quilt from a non-traditional color palette!
Have you ever won blocks from a quilt group? Have you made a quilt with them yet?