18 September, 2014

Alturas Quilt Top Done!

My Alturas quilt top is done! That means I am also done with hand appliqué for 72 of these blocks. I won't lie, I'm a bit sad about that. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this quilt top and am thrilled with the way it turned out. The thing is, I really enjoyed making these blocks and I'm not sure what to do with myself now that is done. (More on that aspect tomorrow.)

You will notice that there is something you could call a border on this quilt. For long time followers and fans this must be tremendously shocking. I understand, I'm pretty shocked myself. These blocks absolutely needed something to set them apart though. Once sewn together the appliqué is more or less only 1/4'' apart. I wanted the appliqué to really stand out, so a border was needed.

Instead of following the original Alturas pattern I added more width (and another row of blocks from the pattern) to the border by using additional charm squares as the border. This was another way to showcase the fabrics I used as the background for the appliqué, quite a nice treat considering you don't see much of it under the appliqué.

And, shock of all shocks, I made the quilt rectangular. I adore square quilts but something about this begged to be a rectangle to me. That's why I added that extra row of appliqué. And a third row to the border on the bottom. That last part is totally inspired by Carolyn Friedlander (she who wrote the pattern) because she often has one side wider than another on her borders.

(This grey fabric is from my very first quilt. Can you believe that?! This is officially the last scrap of it that can be used.)

In the end I'm quite happy with my decision to add a few bits of yellow to the quilt. I'm not sure what it adds, other than a shot of sunshine, but it feels right. The grey/coral/navy/teal combo is pretty awesome all on its own. Yellow just amps it up a bit more. With winter just around the corner (thank goodness last week's snow is gone) this highlight will be well received.

I'm also happy that I made a few blocks with quite low contrast. I realize that, from a distance, they kind of disappear. That's okay. I think that this fact, along with the yellow, keeps your eye moving. Instead of just seeing all the appliqué, all the time.

There are so many old and new fabrics in here. Some I bought just for the project. Some that awesome readers sent in or local friends shared. Some, like I mentioned above, that are 16 years old! There are civil war prints, organic fabrics, modern prints, shirting, and even solids. Just missing batiks and novelty prints. Each block is unique and no appliqué fabric is repeated.

I've already got the backing fabric (more Botanics from Carolyn Friedlander), plus some Cotton and Steel for the binding. I even know how I'm going to quilt it. Now, who is going to baste it for me?


ChristaQuilts said...

This is just fabulous! I love everything about it. I love it when borders act as negative space giving the main design some room to breathe (rather than just an afterthought to make it bigger).

janequiltsslowly said...

I love everything about this quilt!

cauchy09 said...

such a lovely project! not sure, but i think it's made more perfect with the border.

Sondra said...

Beautiful work, Cheryl. You are very inspiring.

Charlotta said...


Esch House Quilts said...

Beautiful! I love it when some of the blocks disappear a bit. I think it makes the quilt more interesting. Love the asymmetrical border too :)

house on hill road said...

it's absolutely beautiful, cheryl! it's been fun to watch it come together, too.