This week I'm sharing the first quilt that I ever attempted to design - a bento box style block, which I wanted to make strictly from a stack of Kate Spain holiday charm packs that I had panic-stashed. At the time, I was curious about the whole precut craze, and wanted to see what I could do with them, but I didn't see lots of blocks that really appealed to me at the time, so I decided to adapt an existing block design that I really liked and see if I could do it with what I had on hand.
While I totally identified myself as a quilter when I was working on this quilt, I didn't have any faith in my quilt math. I hadn't really attempted any, and as far as I knew, I wasn't all that great at math. I remember high school geometry and I weren't exactly buddies. In fact, I barely passed geometry in high school. It absolutely did not click for me, not one bit, so quilt math was a bit daunting. I enlisted my husband's help with the math on this, and I was pleasantly surprised when it all worked out! Gosh, I was so thrilled to feel like I was really "getting" quilting.
After making just five blocks, I discovered that I was quickly running out of fabric. If I remember correctly, I was working from two or three charm packs, so I went to my notebook to try to figure out how I could make these blocks work in a finished quilt top. Negative space was totally the way to go, so I worked on a couple of ideas and wound up moving forward with this one...
I started by adding some sashing in Kona Coal, my first Kona true love gray, around each of the blocks to make them a bit larger, but also to set them off from the white negative space I planned to use in the quilt top. I thought that the Coal would make the blocks stand out, but I think if I were to do it again now, I think I choose to sash the blocks in white and then use the Coal for the negative space.
This quilt was also my first try at straight-line quilting - and I remember thinking, is it over yet??? repeatedly. I didn't realize how much more time-consuming straight-line quilting can be when compared to free-motion quilting. After finishing the first line or two, I seriously contemplated pulling them out so I could just free-motion the whole thing, but I stopped myself and convinced myself somehow to stay the course.
Looking at this quilt now, I think my favorite part is the back. I love the simplicity of it and the quilting is super impactful because of all the solids on the back. I think it's the one part of this quilt I could see myself making again now, even after all the changes to my style over the years. It's still a family favorite that's constantly in rotation, regardless of the season, though, so it's well loved!
Now it's your turn! Link up your recent blog post sharing a blast from your past and make sure to link back to my blog and visit some of the other Quilty Flashback Friday participants too!