The quilt below is for someone who shall remain nameless for right now. While I’m pretty sure he doesn’t read my blog, it’s possible his mommy does. 🙂
The quilt measures about 84″ square and is structured around the 50″ center block. Yes! FIFTY inches, which is why I call it the big-block quilt. I actually found the block design in the book One Block Says It All by Toni Phillips and Juanita Simonich, published in 1998. The book features patterns for 10 60″ blocks, with instructions for interchangeable borders to create bed quilts.
For my purposes, 60″ was too large. If you look at the photo above, you can see the center block is created on a 5-grid. That made it easy to rescale to 50″: just make each “unit” 10″ finished instead of 12″. For example, the tan and blue half-square triangles in the corners of the center are each 10″ units, as is the variable star at the very middle. Each set of two flying geese is a 10″ unit, also.
Remember the wonderful cats and mice fabric from the center? And some of you commented on the postage stamp cloth, too.
I like several of the blocks in the book and used another of the designs in DeLight!, a quilt I made last year. However, the size provides a design challenge. Whether 50″ or 60″, the large size makes proportional borders challenging. For borders to “stand up to” the center, they need to have appropriate visual weight.
I created that proportion in a number of ways. First, the blue stars border contains the center completely, and its relative width stops the eye from extending the size of the center. Second, the center border of broken dishes blocks has a lot of visual weight of its own. It is in high-contrast values, with a large variety of fabrics to hold attention, and it is scaled larger than the center variable star. The second blue stars border echoes the first, creating even more contrast for the broken dishes to play against, and for the outer sawteeth border. That last border has half-square triangles that run around the outside edge, drawing attention with them, and increasing their visual weight. (See my posts on proportion here, here, and here.)
I honestly wasn’t sure this would work, but I think it did.
And the back… A couple of years ago I planned a project with my granddaughter. We were going to use some John Deere logo fabric and a few other things to make a quilt for her little brother. Unfortunately life got very complicated, and we weren’t able to make progress on our project. I checked with her and she agreed I could use the parts of our project for this instead.
I expect the quilt recipient may well want this side showing on his bed. 🙂