Tuesday, May 25

one wild and precious life

When my old friend Emily requested a baby quilt for her cousin's little offspring I was psyched. When she suggested an African animal/safari theme I was ecstatic. Not surprisingly, I bought a bit too much yardage of the Michael Miller fabrics used in Differing Rays of Light (I have to learn the fine art of measuring my fabric needs with great precision), and I was looking for an excuse to design another quilt with them. On top of that, another friend (Megan) recently bequeathed unto me a host of material she bought in a marketplace whilst living in Uganda. I quickly computed the following awesomeness equation:

safari fabric + Ugandan fabric = awesome African-themed baby quilt at the request of a friend whose heart, in many ways, is still in Africa (Tanzania, to be exact).

I went about the business of graphing a quilt top based on a series of 5 1/2" blocks. I decided to try the 'crazy 9-patch quilt block', which is a design I've seen in many beautiful quilts lately. At first glance it seems like a challenging undertaking, but in reality it's really quite simple.

The blocks are placed in a strategic pattern with Kona Ash for the sashing, and a border in Kona Lime that is 2" wide on two sides and 1" wide on the opposite sides.

The backing to "one wild and precious life" was a great big surprise to me.

I decided to try to use up whatever substantial pieces of the safari prints and solids I had left over, but the scraps' strange sizes left me limited in my design choices. In fact, they are cut and arranged in the only way I can mathematically conceive them fitting together and creating a 41" square quilt. I'll be honest, it was a close one with very little fabric to spare, but I think that in the end I might actually like the back better than the front. But why play favorites?

Emily's cousin's baby's quilt is named for the last line in Mary Oliver's "Summer Day". Oh, I like it so very much:

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

1 comment:

  1. I'm the oh so lucky one to have received the One Wild and Precious Life quilt! I absolutely LOVE it!! And readying about its creation makes me love it even more. (and a bit of my heart remains in Tanzania as well.) Thank you (and of course Emily!) for this wonderful gift :) It will be cherished.