A Quilt for Me!

I have been quilting for about a year and a half and have made ten quilts in that time. This is the first one I am keeping for myself; the others have gone to family or coworkers. The block is called a disappearing 9-patch. It starts out as a large, normal 9-patch block, which is then cut into four equal smaller blocks and turned in different directions to give it the scrappy look here. There are more geometrical ways to organize the blocks, but I have done organized. I wanted to do random.

This is also the first time I have done a quilt with scraps. Some of the pieces were not actually scraps, as I purchased them specifically for this quilt, but close enough. In order not to become too scattered with my color choices, I selected a blue and a green fabric that I loved and built from those two pieces. This ensured that my color palate had a common base, preventing weird greens from being incorporated. Greens can be particularly tricky to match!

I enjoyed making the blocks and putting them together. Since some of the squares had colors that weren't perfect blends with others, I laid every block out on the floor and intentionally chose which block to put where and with what orientation. Once I had the top sewed together (instead of sprawling across the floor), I wasn't sure if I liked it. It looked like I had perhaps overdone the random scrappy effect. But I took the top to the local quilt shop to choose borders. I was not encouraged when she was honest and said "I never would have put those colors together." But once I chose borders (which took me about an hour and a half) and sewed them on, I liked the top a whole lot better.

This second picture is a close up to show the quilting design. I have long been obsessed with oblong leaves that are wide and round at the base and angular at the top. Many of the prints in this quilt were floral or vines, so I used a leafy design for the quilting. 
This was the first time I did meandering, and I love the result.

I hand-embroider my signature which is in the third picture. It is my initials, modeled after something J.R.R. Tolkien did. On the spine of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books, he has his initals stylized to look like an elvish symbol. I love this and designed my signature after that idea. I also put the year in which I completed the quilt.

The third picture also shows the borders better. They really pulled in all the colors I had used to tame the wild top.
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