Sunday, July 08, 2007
I've met the Hoffman challenge of making a quilt with the challenge fabric, but I've once again failed to meet the challenge of making one that I like, that somehow expresses me and my tastes. Why is that? Other people can. I find it difficult to think backwards from the fabric to the design, and although the challenge fabric is intended to be very versatile, to me it usually suggests one avenue only, not necessarily one that I like. This fabric looked rather retro to me, even feed sack-like with its busy floral, so I went with a very traditional design, the kind that my mother would like. Hence the name "If Grandma Made a Hoffman". It was extremely difficult for me, because I don't like balanced, symmetrical designs, and I don't like a limited number of fabrics. The fewer fabrics, the harder the choice, because each one becomes so important. In this case, I changed the light color around the baskets three times, and I made the aqua triangle squares before I decided that they were too bright, and ripped them apart to use the back of the fabric. I'm glad I did. I'd REALLY hate this thing if I'd had to look at that garish color for so long!
The pattern is Grape Basket, and when I was trying to think of a way to set it, I happened to see an article in Quiltmaker about another traditional block called Grand Right and Left, and got the idea of putting the basket block inside the Right and Left Block. The border block is called Scrap Basket, and I liked the way it seemed to add some movement, but the design was still very static until I had the lucky inspiration of the curved edge. I'd never done that before, but it wasn't actually very difficult at all. To break up the flatness of the too-solid fabrics, I used a higher loft batting than I usually do, and quilted heavily. That did help; it has lots of texture, and the close quilting adds to the traditional look.
So I'm sending it on its way this week. Whatever happens I don't think I'll enter this challenge again; too much time making something I don't really like when it's done.