Saturday, August 25, 2018

Lars's New Quillow Plan: Can I Finish This In 9 Months If I Haven't Started It Yet?

New Plan for Lars's Quillow, 74 x 98
Reality check: Lars starts his senior year of high school this coming Monday.  We are just nine months away from his senior year Quillow Blessing at church.  In case you're not familiar with this tradition, the annual Quillow Service at Christ Lutheran is when the graduating seniors parade to the front of the church in their caps in gowns while their baby pictures are flashing on the screens and the choir sings bittersweet anthems about letting go and launching them into the Big, Scary World, trusting in God to protect them.  Then the parents wrap a special quilt around the shoulders of their son or daughter, specially made for the occasion (many families do a quilt that folds up into a pillow, hence the term "quillow"), the pastors say stuff that makes everyone cry, and we do a special blessing.  This is a day for waterproof mascara, for sure.

Lars-Of-Ours, My Rising Senior
So anyway, Lars is going to need a quilt for this, and it needs to be completely finished by the beginning of June.  He and I collaborated on a design for this quilt over a year ago in EQ8, and although I absolutely adore the design we came up with, I've decided it's not suitable for his quillow for a number of reasons.

My Original, Unrealistic Crazy Person Design

What are those reasons, you may ask?

  1. I haven't started it yet, and do you see all those tiny pieces?  Let's be real, folks -- there is NO WAY I would get this finished on time.
  2. Lars's "quillow" is going to be a bed quilt for his college dorm, not a pillow, so I need to think about what it will feel like to sleep beneath the quilt.  A quilt with a bazillion pieces is also a quilt with a bazillion heavy seam allowances.  So I do plan to make the original quilt eventually, but as a wall quilt rather than a bed quilt.
  3. If I locked myself in my studio for the next 9 months, working nonstop with only peanuts and M&Ms to sustain me, and miraculously managed to finish this quilt on time...  Then what if something BAD happened to the quilt at college, like it was stolen or ruined in a laundry mishap or something was spilled all over it -- can you imagine how devastating that would be?  I need to design a quilt that I can make with a reasonable investment of time so that, in the unfortunate event it's lost/damaged/stolen, my son won't feel responsible for the loss of a family heirloom!
  4. Again, although I love the stained glass inspired cross design on its own, the interior designer in me is thinking about how this bed quilt will fit into a typical college dorm room that my son will be sharing with a roommate.  These are small rooms that get cluttered up very quickly, and I think a simpler, more graphic/modern quilt design is more likely to look good in the room with whatever else he and his roommate have going on in there.

Lars, of course, is bummed that he isn't getting a giant stained glass window for his quillow quilt, and he reluctantly gave me two criteria for coming up with an alternative design:

He wants it to be purple.

He also wants it to be "Cooler than everyone else's, and not just because all the squares match up, either."  

Hah!  I said it's not a competition to see whose parents can come up with the best quilt, but then he explained that I have been making cool things his whole life and he wants his quilt to be something special that only his mom could make...  And how am I supposed to argue with that?  He has been sleeping under this quilt for the past 6 years, and my quiltmaking skills have improved quite a bit since I made that one for him.  

Lars's Current Bed Quilt, Made in 2012
So I'm going to translate "cooler than everyone else's" into "cooler than the last one you made me," because that's what I think he was really getting at. 

One of the things I love most about the cathedral window quilt design is that I based it off of a design that Lars created in an EQ Intermediate Piecing Design class we took with Barb Vlack back when Lars was 13 years old.  (Yes, EQ software really is so easy that a child can use it!)  Wanting my new quillow design to also be a collaboration between mother and son, I went back to that old EQ7 Project File from the 2014 class to see what else I could use as a starting point for the new design.  

Lars's EQ7 Design from 2014 Class
I like how this design incorporates curved piecing and is similar to the Drunkard's Path blocks I used in his previous quilt, but with the greater complexity and "cool factor" of the arcs of graduated flying geese.  Since I can print my foundation paper piecing patterns directly from EQ8, as well as templates for the curved background fabrics, it won't be difficult to piece accurately, either.  

So the first thing I did was to resize the quilt to a size appropriate for an XL Twin dormitory mattress, scaling the block size up to 12" for a bold, modern scale (reducing the number of pieces and seams is an added bonus).  Each circle is made up of four blocks, so those are 24" circles.  Then I offset the rows of circles to create a half drop pattern repeat.  
Is It Purple Enough? Is It Cool Enough?

Now, THAT is a quilt design that I am excited to turn into a real quilt!  I am not 100% sure what Lars has in mind for the color scheme beyond the Purple Imperative, so I created a few different color schemes for him to choose from.  I may even drag him off to the quilt shop with me to select the actual fabrics.  

Or Will He Prefer Purple with Red and Gray?
I know I want either solid fabrics or nearly-solid fabrics for this quilt, with a dark, saturated purple background.  I like the Modern/Amish vibe that gives me, and I feel like it keeps the quilt from looking too cutesy for a young man.  Of course, I've never been one to limit my sons' color choices to brown, navy or gray.

Or Purple With Royal Blue and Chartreuse?
The more I play with different colorways, the more I like this design.  

Or Purple With Light Blue and Red?
Wouldn't it be a cool fabric print for drapery panels, printed on linen with a 24" repeat?

If Quilters Designed Drapery Fabrics
Okay, so THAT was probably not the most productive use of my time today...  FYI, you can NOT do that with EQ8.  I exported the quilt rendering photo as a JPEG from EQ8 so I could share that with you here on my blog, and then I imported that quilt design image into a separate interior design software program and rescaled it so I could use it as if it was a drapery fabric...  I am proud of myself for stopping at that point, because I REALLY wanted to PhotoShop a lovely mountain view behind those windows, drape a snuggly throw across the arm of the sectional, and top it all off with a fabulous contemporary chandelier.  This is what RESTRAINT looks like.

And now, my lovelies, I'm signing off so I can wrap up some last minute errands and details for my younger son's birthday party that is happening this evening!  Son the Younger turned 15 recently and is about to begin his sophomore year of high school.  Which means I will have ANOTHER quillow quilt to design and create as soon as I finish Lars's!

Birthday Boy Anders, My Rising Sophomore
Anders is going through a phase where he thinks it's hysterically funny to cower in fear whenever Mom takes his picture.  Fun times!

I'll be linking today's post up with:


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I like the flying geese and as you can do foundation piecing you should be able to get it done as long as you put your others things aside and buckle down and do it! I like the purple with the light blue and red flying geese - but I'm sure he will have his own color scheme of course.
Happy birthday to the next up - you will have an empty nest before you know it.

MissPat said...

I lobe the purple, royal blue and chartreuse version, but then I love purple and lime green together anyway. So since it's Lars' quilt, I guess he has the final say on color selection. Sure you can get it done in 9 months, if you start right now and chain yourself to the sewing machine and ignore all squirrels. Oh, and don't forget to stock up on the M&Ms. You should probably have them shipped automatically by Amazon once a month.

chrisknits said...

I can't say which one I like the most. They are all "cool" in their own way!

Ramona said...

What a wonderful tradition your church has for seniors. It certainly is something you all will remember. Your new quilt design is awesome. I love the curved flying geese and any of the color combinations would be beautiful. You are right, it’s a great design for a man. I look forward to seeing your progress.

KaHolly said...

WHat an absolutely delightful post! Well written and entertaining as well as engaging. I rather love the quilt Lars has been sleeping under all this time. Good luck on your ambitious goal!

Run 'n Stitch said...

What a lucky guy your Lars is! I love them all but the purple gold and red knocks my socks off. Happy quilting.

Bonnie said...

You can do it...just recruit family members to make dinner, clean house and do the laundry weekly. I'm sure you can get it done! I love the design you've done. As for color -- eh, don't like the top color... the others work for me. But honestly I never like the colors of the fabrics in EQ. But they do give you ideas of how the finished project will look. You've done a great design. Hum, I even like it as drapes although a little to out there for my house! Enjoy the process of making the quilt. Does he have any idea of where he wants to go or what he wants to study?