Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Colorado Quilt

UPDATE: You can now purchase my Welcome to Colorful Colorado quilt pattern on Craftsy!


This quilt was Jesse’s 30th birthday present, and it was quite the process. Last year Jesse won a very large stack of Oakshott cotton at a Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild event that I brought him along to, and he very graciously gave it to me! I knew I had to make something for him with it, so the fabric was the first decision I made in making this quilt. I decided on Colorado for the theme, since he was born and raised there, and chose to use lots of graphic shapes for the pattern.

I started in June, giving me plenty of time to finish it. I didn’t want him to know that I was making it, so the only time I could work on it was when he wasn’t around. Fortunately, I found a few hours here and there each week. But, boy, that was stressful! I never want to have to quilt in secret again:)


The Oakshott fabric (oh my goodness, I love this fabric!) came in fat eighths, which definitely added complexity and time to the quilt. It all worked out in the end, but having fat quarters would have helped tremendously - not that I can complain, it was free after all. I drew everything in Illustrator, figured out the sizes, and also assigned every piece to a color since I was limited on fabric. My brain got a total workout on this one!


The quilt works both vertically and horizontally. Vertically, it’s like your standing in a field, looking at the sun setting behind the mountains. The large brown piece on the right represents the flat irons, which are located in the Boulder area where he grew up. If you hold it horizontally, it reflects the map of Colorado. Jesse actually taught me this, but Colorado is divided into thirds, with the mesas on the west (the reds) the mountains in the middle (blues are rock, white is snow, and green is the trees) and the plains (yellows, greens and browns) on the east.


I decided to name the quilt “Welcome to Colorful Colorado”. It only seemed fitting - a colorful quilt to represent the state’s motto. I used freezer paper and fabric paint to do the label on the back, and a facing finish binding to complete the quilt. 


I gave him his quilt last weekend, and he loved it! He’s so excited to have a quilt all his own.

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