Welcome! I assume if you are visiting you are here for the Mirror Ball Dot Blog Hop. If not, well, “Hi Mom.” I’m kidding.
I got really excited when Mark contacted me to participate in this hop since I’d been a fan of his for years and well, I love a good challenge. My mind started racing just thinking about what to make. I formulated a plan, deciding to make something off The List, thinking I would use some of the new issue fabrics plus MBDs from my stash.
I emailed my fabric order to Mark telling him my plan. His response, “Sorry Elisa, I am making this very rigid in that I would like to use only 4 Mirror Ball Dot colors – all of which are current – and the 3 solid colors Michael Miller Fabrics Couture Cotton.” The idea here being we want to show a range of what can be done with a very limited palette.
For those of you who are good at math that is 7 fabrics. Seven. I don’t really count but I would say I typically use at least 20 fabrics in a quilt. Back to the drawing board.
I quickly came up with another plan and put in a request for MBDs in Clementine, Twilight, Starlight, and Celestial and Couture Cotton in Midnight (with the request: 1/2 yd if possible, but I can make do w/1/4), Royal, Peony, and Indigo (not necessary but would add depth, 1/8 is fine). And yes I requested and used more fabric than allowed. Challenge rules be damned. Stitch Outside the Ditch, indeed.
So my project–I’ve admired Amish quilts for years and have collected and read books on the subject for a while now. That being said, I have never made an Amish-style quilt, perhaps because I don’t have a huge solids stash, although I would like to change that.
There is a sub-category of Amish quilts that I find particularly interesting—kinder quilts—small quilts made especially for children. The proportions are smaller and their shapes can be more unique—quilts for a youth-sized bed for example. I’ve been particularly attracted to a One Patch quilt in Amish Crib Quilts from the Midwest: The Sara Millier Collection by Janneken Smucker, et al. The quilt below is full of the most common colors worn by Amish families were I lived in Indiana and served as my inspiration. Well, all except for that striking red-orange!
Early on I decided I didn’t want the dots in the print to be randomly cut, or rather, cut off, and so I decided to fussy cut my squares. This led to a little problem as I went to piece the quilt as all my MBD squares weren’t the same size due to minute differences in the screen print. The first two rows weren’t a problem. But by the time I did the next two rows (I was piecing in 4-patch units, don’t ask me why) I new I was in trouble.
At this point I changed my piecing to a single row method and made the teeniest adjustments along the way so that all my seams were lining up. I thought that I would ditch the top two rows, but they were important to the layout so after piecing the rest of the rows I went back and tweaked them so they would work.
I added my borders and incorporated the MBDs into the outer border in a random way, something I new I wanted to do from the beginning. This may be my favorite part. I quilted with black thread, typical of Amish quilts and used wool batting, again, traditional Amish.
Meet Breaking Amish—Amish country meets big city MBD pearlescence. It’s like an Amish disco party dance floor, if the Amish listened to disco.
Size: 33.5” W X 38.5” L
Fabric: Mirror Ball Dots by Mark Hordysynski for Michael Miller Fabrics, Couture Cotton by MMF
Batting: Hobbs Wool Batting
So, your turn—where do you find your quilt inspiration? Do you look at books of old quilts, buy pattern books/patterns, find ideas online, or just make it all up (I love that approach)? Leave a comment and share your sources—I’m always on the lookout—and I’ll draw one lucky winner on Tuesday, May 28 (It’s blog hop week so of course I am on vacation :)) who gets to pick a bundle of their favorite MBD colors PLUS a fantastic color card from Michael Miller Fabrics. I have to admit, that while I am not an orange girl I find the Clementine a bit irresistible.