When I can’t sail, I quilt. My husband and I have been sailors for over 30 years, so naturally, when the grandkids came on the scene, we taught them that a nice onshore breeze is synonymous with good sailing. We often say, “Nice onshore breeze, we should go sailing!” Now that they are a bit older, we merely start the sentence, “Nice onshore breeze”, and they finish it 🙂
I made this quilt as a gift for my granddaughter’s 4th birthday which was earlier this month. When trying to get ideas for a design, I asked her what her favorite color is (blue, at that moment) and her favorite animal (cow, at that moment). I opted to design around her favorite color, as while I like cows, they were just not sparking much creative inspiration for me.
But, I didn’t have much in the way of blue fabric left in my stash (no cows either). With more time on my hands during the past several months, my stash has been substantially depleted. The pandemic has also made fabric acquisition very challenging! I was able to order three jelly rolls – two in a blue colorway, and one in aqua, however getting solid fabrics has been nearly impossible – both online and in stores! Where once there had been a dozen or two of various Kona solids on the store shelves, now there are seldom more than a half dozen. Fortunately, on one of my rare trips to the fabric store in the past two months, they happened to have turquoise Kona fabric. Needless to say, I scooped some up right quick to use for the back. I incorporated the leftover fabric from the front to create a strip down the back, which helped get around the issue of the solid fabric being only 45″ wide and my needing 54″ for the width. Warning for fellow quilters (in case you haven’t already found this out): the jelly rolls were supposed to be 2.5″ wide, however they were not! I am so glad that I checked them before I began assembling. The blue rolls were 2.75″ while the aqua was 2.625″. So, I trimmed the blue to be the same as the aqua.
As with the past few quilts I’ve made, I did this using the quilt as you go (QAYG) method. I built the quilt in three horizontal panels roughly 20″ x 54″, so quilting it on my domestic machine was much easier. I kept the quilting pretty simple, doing wavy lines. Because the front reminds me of ocean waves, my intention for the wavy lines was to emulate an onshore breeze across the water.
What do you do when the scraps get out of control? Make a quilt of course! In the process of putting away my latest project’s scraps, I found I could no longer squeeze scraps into my blues bin. It was like packing a really full suitcase, but even if I had sat on it, I was just not going to be able to cram even one more teeny weeny scrap in it.
So I dumped the scraps onto my cutting table and started by cutting 2.5″ x 3.5″ rectangles from every piece of fabric that was big enough, ending up with close to 500 rectangles. My original plan was to just join them randomly: since there were so many different fabrics, this would work well. As I began organizing and grouping them by their color values, the idea of doing this scrappy quilt as a twist and turn Bargello came to me – an idea that had been tickling at the back of my brain for awhile.
A couple years ago, I had made my first Bargello quilt based off a pattern I had from a 1993 issue of a Quilters Newsletter magazine. During the process of making it, I Google searched Bargello quilts and was awed by the twist and turn Bargello quilt designs. At that time, I was ready to move onto something different, but the idea of doing a twist and turn Bargello quilt at some future time seemed appealing.
I sometimes like to use obscure names for my quilts: sometimes they are something personally meaningful to me, but sometimes, I just like quirky. I typically don’t divulge the deeper meaning, but I think even a Google search on this one would be challenging to find what 3273 K is. This is 3273 Kelvin, the temperature at which a flame burns blue, creating a pinpoint blue flame (also one of my favorite David Grey songs).