While I have named this recent finish “Plumage”, I think “Into the Corner” would perhaps have been a more fitting name. The reason being is that I sort of got painted into the corner with this one. My plan all along had been to make this a quanket – backing the quilt top with a fleece backing. However, in letting the top’s design take the lead, it ended up being 66″x66″ which is larger than the readily available 60″ wide fleece at the fabric stores. I was truly flummoxed by the situation I had gotten myself into, and set it aside for several days to let my brain storm on how to get out of the corner I had backed myself into. I tried to find extra wide fleece, but had no luck. Finally, the light bulb came on! When I first started making quankets back in the 90’s, fleece was not a common item in the fabric shops, so I would use blankets, cut to size, for the backing material. Perhaps not the most cost effective option, but I really like backing my quilt tops with blankets (now fleece), as it makes them so soft and snuggly. For this, I purchased a black minky blanket that worked perfectly for getting me out of the corner and getting this finished for my niece and her partner as a house warming gift.
I chose the name Plumage for a few reasons. My niece loves birds, and has two beautiful pet birds, Alex and Tycho. The second reason is to honor my granny and my sister – my niece’s Mom. My granny loved to make costumes and participate in her clubs’ costume and hat parades (the VFW and the Grandmothers Club). When I was a kid, it was so cool to see my elderly grandmother get dressed up in some really outrageous costumes, showing me that being playful is not just for kids. This must have rubbed off a bit on my sister, as she often participated in her works’ Halloween costume parties. Through the years, some of her ‘plumage’ included, a crazy cat lady, Humpty Dumpty, Carmen Miranda, a gorilla and a viking.
The outer border for this quilt was material taken from the ruffled skirt of my sister’s Carmen Miranda costume. Those ruffles were so long – even after taking the skirt’s two bottom ruffles to do the border, there was still a nice peasant top leftover! The other fabrics are Wilmington’s Tropical Flair Hello Angel Birds in Paradise panel and coordinating charm squares. I also used fabric from a couple of my sister’s shirts. The center design is based off of Robin Pickens, Wind Drifter pattern.