When I read that these fabrics were inspired by the Portland waterfront – one of my favorite places to run, bike, and admire all the bridges – I knew I had to put them to some use. I think it’s actually harder to create a quilt when your focus is on the fabrics, because you don’t want to cut them up into small pieces – you want to admire them whole cloth! But, of course, the point of a quilt is piecing together small bits of cloth . . .
My compromise was to use a variety of 8″ blocks – some 10″ square, some assembled in four 3.5″ blocks, and some assembled in two 3.5″ x 8″ rectangles. In this way, I kept the fabric pieces relatively large, but I built in some variety above and beyond just a “bunch of squares.”
The fabric is from Violet Craft’s Waterfront Park collection, in colors breeze, navy, and clementine. I used Robert Kaufman’s Brussels Washer Yarn-Dye, in color denim as the outer border – this is gorgeous fabric, I love the variations in the dye and how soft it is. I used white fabric from my stash to sash and bind the quilt. My favorite block is Bridgetown – the design is based on each of Portland’s many bridges that span the Willamette River. I can recognize and name each one of them! The yard of Brussels Washer was just the tiniest bit too short to finish up the border, so I used a bit of the leftover Bridgetown to finish off the upper right corner – I think it looks like I meant to do it!
For the backing, I like to use up the remainder of the fabrics from the front – it creates a quilt that is almost two-sided, and it keeps my leftover fabrics stash from becoming too huge I cut apart the remaining fabrics in whatever widths each dictated in order to span the entire length of the quilt. Then, I used the remaining small pieces to piece together one long row . I measured these all, figured out what additional length I needed, and cut 3.5″ white strips to piece in between.
The quilt is sized for a twin-size bed, which makes it approx 72″ x 90″. My one dissatisfaction with the FO is that I didn’t get it cut as straight as I would have liked, so the border at the top came out looking crooked. I told myself that it gave the quilt a more modern bent to have the inner frame a little off-kilter from the outer frame.
I quilted it by stitching straight lines diagonally through each of the large blocks, then I freehand quilted in the border. How to quilt is always a difficult question for me – I want the design to add to, not detract from, the pieced pattern. I usually end up dissatisfied with my choice of quilting pattern – when the focus is on the fabric, not the finished design of the FO, it’s hard to come up with a quilting pattern that complements or accentuates the fabric patterns.Pin It