Charley Harper Quilt
Friday, April 11, 2014
I fell in love with this Charley Harper fabric immediately, and I'm pretty sure I bought the entire collection the first day it was available. I didn't have a specific design or pattern in mind for it, so I searched for inspiration while waiting for the fabric to arrive.
When I checked out Elizabeth Hartman's book, Modern Patchwork, I was immediately struck by her Rapid City Quilt pattern. The pattern's aesthetic fits perfectly with the mid-century modern Charley Harper fabric, so it seemed like a perfect pairing.
Knowing that I was going to use the entire fabric collection in one quilt, I wanted to add my own selection of coordinating fabrics to make it more custom. The fabric line has two different color stories (blue/grey and orange/red), so I was also hoping to use these coordinating fabrics to tie the entire collection together.
Because the background grey that I used is very similar in value to some of the Charley Harper fabric backgrounds, I modified the pattern a bit. Each mini part of the block was fussy cut and the Charley Harper fabric was framed by coordinating fabric. The pattern, as written, only used four pieces of fabric for each smaller part of the block. All of the rest of the dimensions in the quilt follow the pattern exactly.
The backing also followed the pattern, with the fussy cut modification for the for parts of the feature block.
I followed the quilting guidelines in the pattern, which is based on Modern Quilt Studio's signature free motion pattern (also used previously on my Plain Spoken Quilt). I was nervous to start quilting this one, because it had taken so much time to develop the top and I was worried about ruining the overall design, but I'm super happy with the finished product!
Putting this quilt together was so much fun. It felt like I was making 64 mini quilts as I worked on the smaller portion of each block. As the blocks were combined into larger pieces, it was great to see how everything was coming together and unfolding. Lots and lots of pressing and squaring up went into this. I've finally realized that taking time to properly press and square up smaller portions of my quilts results in a much neater finished project and makes everything so satisfying! It was definitely time consuming, but I've found that the quilts for which I put in the most work, are usually my favorite.