Fractured Circles Quilt for Lisa

Fractured Circles Quilt
If a quilt could be person, if that were actually possible, I’d like to think that this quilt would be Lisa Solomon.

Fractured Circles Quilt
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.
Fractured Circles Quilt
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.
Fractured Circles Quilt
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.
Fractured Circles Quilt
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.
Fractured Circles Quilt
I tied the quilt all over using a sunny yellow crochet cotton, inspired by Lisa’s doily pieces.
Fractured Circles Quilt
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!

  • Lori

    August 14, 2012 at 5:37 am

    it’s beautiful — like a perfect blend of modern aesthetic and vintage feel

  • erin

    August 14, 2012 at 5:41 am

    it’s stunning, blair. i love how you tied it and the blue flange (!!!). that is such a great touch. nice work.

  • Ruth Singer

    August 14, 2012 at 5:42 am

    That is an amazing quilt! I did a swap with Lisa a couple of years ago & have a partner piece to yours – mine is red & has beds. And is not yet framed. How bad is that. I was late sending my piece to her as well…. she is very patient 🙂

  • Heather

    August 14, 2012 at 6:24 am

    Beautiful job! I think it is definitely worth the wait.

  • Dianne

    August 14, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Love the quilt!!!

  • Shosh

    August 14, 2012 at 7:01 am

    Please, please publish a pattern for this quilt. It’s BEAUTIFUL.

  • lisa s

    August 14, 2012 at 9:32 am

    my dear dear dear blair. i would have waited 20 years for this quilt. i literally GASPED when i opened the box. the details – the subtle yellow thread/ties – all of the negative space – the way the triangles DO fall of the edge – the color /pattern choices – i can’t even pick a circle that is my favorite they are SO GOOD – the subtle shift in dark/light [which i immediately got as soon as i spread it out on our bed] and that flange. HOLY MOLY that is like the whip cream on the top of a incredibly sophisticated foodie sundae.
    this quilt will be loved. and used. and loved and passed onto F. climbing into bed had a whole new pleasure last night. and i made the bed faster this morning.
    a million times over. thank you. and it was a delight to hear you talk about your process.
    until i can see you in person and give you a real hug. here’s a virtual one. XO

  • jacquieg

    August 15, 2012 at 7:02 am

    fresh as a summer day. simply awesome!

  • Seanna Lea

    August 15, 2012 at 8:50 am

    This is beautiful. I love the colors and the openness of the entire piece. Gorgeous!

  • rachel | buttons magee

    August 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    it really is absolutely stunning blair. you never fail to inspire me.

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 19, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Thank you Lori! I love that you said a blend of modern and vintage, that was exactly what I was going for.

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 19, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    That flange added so much to the edges, I’ll do it again.

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 19, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Are Lisa’s pieces amazing?! I think I remember the one you have, the whole series is so gorgeous. Nothing equals having it for my own, and being able to see it up close.

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 19, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Thank you Heather!!

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 19, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Thank you Dianne!

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 19, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    I’m so so glad you love it, I just loved making it. It felt like once I had the design in my mind, I was racing to get it doing because I was so excited about it! I hope you enjoy it for may years to come. And one day, for sure, a real hug, in person. (We don’t really live that far away from each other in reality, you know.) xoxo

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 19, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Thank you Jacquie! I love that, and I love this technique! I will definitely use it again (but on to the other projects I want to do from your book first!).

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 19, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Thank you Seanna!!

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 19, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you Rachel, that means alot and I feel the same way about you!

  • Jesse Lu

    August 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I love this story… This looks like the most perfect quilt for Lisa ever. Bravo. And thank you for the inspiration. I have a baby quilt to make in the near future and have not been able to come up with anything. This is a great idea to mull over. 🙂

  • blair/wisecraft

    August 30, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Thank you! I think this idea would be so lovely as a baby quilt. And it is relatively quick to sew up!

  • sewkatiedid

    September 17, 2012 at 10:20 am

    eeekkkk! love it!!!!!

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