My initial inspiration was this quilt by the super-talented Sarah Stasiuk. (Shared here with her permission.) Isn't it stunning? Sarah uses a traditional block called "Boy's Nonsense."
I saw Sarah’s quilt, on Instagram (she's sarahbear621) and Flickr, and was absolutely in love. I looked up the block and saw quilts made using more traditional fabrics and value placements and was intrigued by all the possibilities.
When Quilter’s Newsletter put a call out for “tradition with a twist” quilts and I thought it would be the perfect excuse to play with this traditional block and put my own twist or two into a traditional quilt.
Before I go into my twists, let's step back for a moment: who is the Emily of Emily’s nonsense?
It's the blogger and HGTV designer Emily Henderson. I’ve been following her blog for a while now and really enjoy the (as she puts it), “midcentury Scandinavian Japanese feel with a huge side of ‘weird’” of her new home.
I chose the fabrics for this quilt with the that house in mind. Not so much to GO INTO the house, but to capture the colors and the feel of the house. The blue is meant to match her beautiful blue couch. The wood grain fabric is her floors. All the white fabrics echo the role of that color in her home. And the fabrics at the centers of my blocks are a quirky mix of handmade, Japanese, and commercial fabrics, much like the little accents and bits of art that Emily has in her house.
Here's Emily Henderson in her home--couch and floors and white walls/ceilings in full effect! (This photo collage is shared here with permission).
Awesome, right? Do you see the connection?
My twists on the Boy's Nonsense block are twofold:
First, I put in sashing and a border. Not just any sashing, mind you, but a sashing that is boldly blue in a third of the quilt, with blue placed into almost half of the blocks, where they touch the sashing.
Secondly, I scattered little snips of blue throughout the quilt blocks. I've got to tell you--I was scared OUT OF MY MIND doing that. I wasn't sure if it would look the way I wanted, but I just committed to the snips, put my head down, and kept working. In the end, I love the look. And anyone who doesn't like the snips can simply skip that step in the magazine's pattern.
I quilted this using Leah Day's "Pipe Maze" design. A spool of variegated thread from Aurifil gave me just the weird and pretty look I was going for.
The backing is a fun eyeglasses print and I did my usual screen-printed label in white.
Leave a comment letting me know what you think and I'll pick a winner for this lovely bundle of fabric--Lakeside Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings from Moda--at 1pm on Thursday 1/29/2015. The drawing is open worldwide to anyone who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days; be sure to leave an email address where I can reach you.