Process: Party of Four Quilt

As I mentioned in this post, I was going to share with you the process I went through while I was creating the Party of Four Quilt.

Let me recap for you how this came to be.  I took my mom to the Fun Quilts trunk show that my guild, the Flying Needles, put on last year.  Bill Kerr, who was an amazing speaker, shared a history of quilts and how him and Weeks come up with their designs and the wonderful backstories that went along with each of them.  Bill showed us the Party of Four quilt and my mom ohhed and ahhed over it, saying how she loved the fabrics and the pattern.  So while she was wandering around the church (which was where the trunk show was held) I made arrangements to purchase their kit to ensure I got the fabrics that she loved so much.

It came within two weeks and the fabrics were so vibrant.  After reading the instructions I set off to cut the material, but then came my trouble.  I’m the type of person who can can’t easily grab two pieces of fabric and sew them together and continue to do this in a random fashion.  That isn’t me.  I am systematic, planned, and enjoy order.  So I couldn’t do it.

I didn’t know how I was going to make this quilt top.  In the pattern they did include a little map, as you will, showing how they divided up the colors.  Problem was they were colors and not fabric samples so I couldn’t easily follow that.  So I took the color grid and a small piece of fabric and tried to determine which fabric piece could be the color on the grid.

Ok, I thought the picture would come out better then this, so let me walk you through. What I did first is listed all 16 colors that were on the grid from the pattern and gave them names to help me identify them, like light yellow, medium teal, periwinkle. Then I attached fabric that I thought fit that color name.

After that I went back to the pattern grid and made my own copy in my sketch book and used numbers to identify each square.

While I was piecing I went back and forth between the two pages.  I pieced colored 1 and 2, 3 and 4, ect until I had a bunch of two patches.  Once row 1a was done I worked on row 1b and then combined them to make the 4 patches.   It was going really well until row 8 when I was running out of the colors I had, which you can see by my circles on my map – trouble.  At that point I gave up on my map.  Once all the 4 patches were done I gave up following my strict map because once I laid it out on my friend Valerie’s studio floor I wasn’t happy with how some of the colors where against others.  With Valerie’s help we moved, rotated, and swapped blocks until it felt right.

Its funny, for someone who loves order, I’m really starting to enjoy the freedom of a bit of randomness – wait till you see my completely random quilt that I’m working on.

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1 Comment

Filed under Everyday Life, Quilting, The Process Pledge

One response to “Process: Party of Four Quilt

  1. jdpauls

    it is the most beautiful quilt. the colors are cheerful-i like how they pick up the shades in the piece next to it. i had no idea it would be tricky- next time i will try to ohh and ahh over a simpler plan.
    i am very happy to have this quilt and i appreciate the time and artistry that went into it.

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