Fractured Circles Quilt for Lisa
If a quilt could be person, if that were actually possible, I’d like to think that this quilt would be Lisa Solomon.
Lisa and I schemed up a trade between us ages ago; a piece of her original artwork for a handmade quilt. I was super excited! I am such a fan of Lisa’s artwork. She sent her piece to me right away. I treasure it, its part of her “Domestic Scenes” series (below, and you can see it hung on our wall here). It fits so perfectly in our home.
In the meantime I was sketching and scheming her quilt. Gosh that was a long time ago. How long ago Lisa? No, scratch that, I actually don’t want to know. Let’s just say Lisa has waited very patiently for this piece, as my life got in the way more than once. About that same time I fell into the rabbit hole of writing the book. It took a huge chunk of time, and once it was basically done, I took some time to catch up on life for a bit, get reacquainted with the family and all that.
Then I got back to work on an idea for Lisa’s quilt. I was struggling with inspiration for it, realizing I didn’t like any of the ideas I’d started with all those months before. I knew it would be used as a bed quilt, so I didn’t want it overly bright or filled with too much color and pattern, that would feel too much like me imposing my own tastes on Lisa. I knew a bit about the look of Lisa’s home (mid-century, warm and inviting, handmade, retro), and of course I know about Lisa’s artwork, so all of that combined was a great starting point. From there, I did a little sleuthing on youtube and looked at some interviews with Lisa and some of her exhibits (isn’t she cute?!). But still no design I sketched felt quite right.
Around that time, I got a sneak peek at Katie and Jacquie’s book Quilting Modern one day over lunch with Katie. The section on the stitch ‘n flip triangle technique really struck me (as did so many techniques in this book). And suddenly I had an idea! From there, I started sketching a totally new idea and I felt like I finally had a plan.
I made a series of “fractured circles” evenly spaced across the quilt using the stitch n’ flip triangle method outlined in the book; 15 full circles, and 6 half circles. In between each square is a solid large block. I wanted the overall design and the circles fall off the edges of the quilt (I tend to not ever see sashing or borders in my quilts these days) and I wanted the design to feel restful, yet interesting. The ground of the front of the quilt is Kona “Snow” and I really like how it frames the fractured circles. Circles that somehow remind me quite a lot of Lisa’s ethereal artwork. I used colors she had discussed with me, but if you look at the entire quilt (queen sized) there is a gradual darkening of the circle colors from one side of the quilt to the other. Just a nod to the mutual love Lisa and I share of color cards.
This is the first time I’d ever added a contrasting flange to the binding and I love the way it turned out. Its just that little bit of color on the edge that I wanted to add. The binding is natural, just like the backing, both are quilter’s muslin. I think it has such a nice, worn in feel, just right for the underside of a bed quilt.
I tied the quilt all over using a sunny yellow crochet cotton, inspired by Lisa’s doily pieces.
Lisa, I enjoyed making this quilt so much. It was made while listening to my kid’s laugh over Mike Birbiglia’s segment in the Fear of Sleep episode of This American Life (um, over and over and over again) while listening to Beach House and Little Dragon, (and, okay, full disclosure here- I hand sewed the binding one night while watching Real Housewives, sorry!) and while feeling so happy to be making this for you. Making it reminded me how important it is to just push on through and look for inspiration everywhere, it will always come. Enjoy!