Friday, 18 July 2014

The Charley Harper Conundrum

In the spirit of sharing my creative process, I want to share my current quilt-in-progress.  I absolutely love Charley Harper's art, and when I stumbled on the line of fabrics put out by Birch Organic Fabrics I was instantly in love.  And my amazing husband got me a fat quarter pack of each fabric for Christmas! I saw a tutorial on their blog for a baby quilt using the fabrics, and I loved the way it really let the art of Charley Harper sing! However, I want this quilt for mysel, and I am a lot bigger than a baby.  I used the tutorial as a guide, and modified it to make a 48X60 inch lap quilt.


Then I fussy cut the fabrics with a large pattern to feature the main part of the design, and cut filler sizes from the patterns with a smaller, repeating design.  I laid them all out on the floor to figure out a layout I liked.  I loosely followed the pattern orders/shapes from the tutorial, but I didn't feel the need to be strict about it.  


Next, I cut strips of white to fill in the gaps above and below each patterned fabric to make three 12X36.5 panels.



Individual panels
I cut long strips of white 6.5 inches wide and sewed them all together into one long strip, then cut the strips down to 36 and 60 inch sizes.  These I attached in between the panels, and along the border.  No mitred corners for this blanket.

Charley Harper - the finished front
So that is the front finished.  Now I am trying to figure out what I want to do with the back.  At first, I was thinking to cut out a little dandelion puff, similar in style to the twigs pattern, and applique it onto a complementary brownish-grey.  But I wasn't loving the idea.  It seems so dark and heavy-handed, when the front is so white and fresh.  I turned back to Pinterest for some inspiration and found another tutorial for a different quilt using the Charley Harper fabrics that is a little more fitting in style to the front.

That tutorial is for a much bigger quilt than I have in progress here.  So I have been playing with an excel spreadsheet trying to layout a similar interlocking pattern that fits into my 48x60 size.  This is what I have come up with.


The solid colour links are the twig filler fabrics, and the small squares would be fussy cuts from the other fabrics.  Each square represents 2x2 inches.  What do you think?  Should I run with this design?