Winter’s Lane quilt

Winter's Lane quilt 2

I found this collection of beautiful fabrics – Winter’s Lane by Kate & Birdie Paper Co – at Bolt, one of our wonderful local fabric stores, and figured that even without a quilt design in mind, I could come up with something on the fly.  As with many fabrics like this that are so striking in their own right, I was loath to cut them into small pieces, so I used large blocks of the prints, accented with small color-coordinated blocks from my fabric stash.

I bought 1/2 yard of each fabric, but could have easily gotten by with quarter yards.  I also bought 2 yards of Robert Kaufman Essex Linen, which just happened to be the perfect background fabric :)  Here were my cuts:

From the prints:  9 blocks 10.5″ x 10.5″
From the solid colors:  48 blocks 2.5″ x 2.5″

From the Essex Linen:
6 blocks 10.5″ x 6.5″ (for piecing vertically in between the printed blocks)
48 blocks 2.5″ x 2.5″ (for piecing in rows with the solid-colored blocks)
2 strips 2.5″ wide x 42″ long (for the vertical rows in between the printed blocks)
2 strips 2.5″ wide x 46″ long (for the horizontal borders on the outside of the printed blocks)
2 strips 7″ wide x 50″ long (for the vertical outer borders)
2 strips 7″ wide x 54″ long (for the horizontal outer borders)

Winter's Lane quilt 1

The piecing was relatively simple – then came my usual quandary, how to quilt it?  I swear, for some reason this is a more difficult decision for me than how to piece the fabrics together . . . I decided to straight-line quilt, using the borders of the 2×2″ squares as guides.  I was originally intending to run the quilt lines both vertically and diagonally, to end up with small squares of quilting, but after I finished quilting the lines one direction, I felt like it might make the quilt too “cut up” to run the lines the other direction, too.  Plus, I was ready to be done :)

Instead of creating a design for the backing, I used simple red flannel, which I think makes the quilt cozier and more in the spirit of winter.  I used the same flannel for binding, as well.  In order to trim up the quilt, I took approx 1″ off all the way around, so the final dimensions are approx. 50″ square.

Winter's Lane quilt 3

I really like this size of quilt, but I worry that it’s not too functional – obviously, it can’t be used as a bedspread.  I think it’s ideal for a lap blanket or a quilt over the back of a couch or chair, but is that how most people use their quilts?  I don’t know whether it would make my FOs more user-friendly if I made them all bed-spread size – I guess I hate that because then they have to be so vertically oriented, so much longer than wider, that it really dictates what design you can use.

Any quilters out there:  How do you design what dimensions to make your quilt designs?

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