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Hope Springs Eternal for 2021

Hope Springs Eternal for 2021

I’ve been spending some time thinking about my quilt project ideas for 2021 and my hope springs eternal. I’ve already mentioned my Christmas Quilt wool project for next year. Now I’m thinking about other projects to scatter throughout the year. At least, that is my hope.

Hope springs eternal
Hope Springs Eternal

Hope springs eternal in the human breast.

Alexander Pope

Speaking of hope, I have one stubborn little rose that’s refusing to give into our wintery weather. We had a very light dusting of snow last night and this little rose is not only holding on, he now has two buddies. The rest of my rose bushes have been bare for weeks. But this one little rose is holding on and refusing to give in. What can we learn from this little rose?

Never give up, never give up, never give up.

Winston Churchill

I’m taking it as a sign that things are getting better. We all have high hopes for 2021. I think that’s natural after a trying year like 2020. My hope springs eternal, too.

A Blended Quilt Project

One project I’ve been wanting to make since 2002 is a blended quilt. Wow, that’s eighteen years ago now. Anyway, the book is Blended Quilts by Marsha McCloskey and Sharon Evans Yenter. When I saw the pictured quilt at Houston Quilt Festival in the From in the Beginning booth. I was drawn to the border print and sashing in this quilt.

The booth had this gorgeous hero print seen in the sample quilt pictured. I asked permission to take this photo. At the booth I purchased the hero print, a few additional prints, and the book.

Chintz Hero Print

The Book

The book features sixteen quilts inspired by the 1800s. During the 1800, chintz prints, like the hero print, were very popular. At that time, chintz prints were expensive and often saved for one special quilt. Because these quilts were used only for special occasions, many survive in museums and private collections today.

The idea of a blended quilt is about taking large, medium and small prints and combining them into a harmonious whole. Fabrics flow from one to another creating a more abstract quilt. I love this idea.

Hero Chintz Prints

I just love large chintz prints. They are getting a bit harder to find. Why are they getting hard to find? I think it is the printing cost. These gorgeous chintz prints achieve their look by the number of colors used. And, many have as many as 20 colors in print. This one has 15 colors.

In the printing process, each color requires a separate screen. Each additional screen adds to the cost. So a 20 color print requires 20 screens. Sadly, this adds so much to the cost of printing the fabric, most large scale prints today have been reduced to fewer colors.

The Other Fabrics

As mentioned, I was drawn to the the sashing and border fabric in this quilt. Part of the reason for that is because as soon as I saw the hero print, I knew I had the exact right sashing fabric in my stash. I discovered this striped print at a store in Green Bay, Wisconsin on our 2000 Packer/Quilt weekend. I don’t remember the store name but what I do remember is that the store was closing. We happened to find the store for it’s final close-out sale. There were no fabrics left that went with the striped print but I bought it anyway because I loved it.

Two years later when I happened upon the booth at Quilt Festival and saw the quilt on display, I knew it was the quilt I would make with that striped print from Green Bay. I didn’t have the striped print with me, but my color memory is surprisingly strong. When I came home from the show and pulled out my stripe print, it was clear I was right. The two were perfect together.

The second border and binding fabric pictured were found on a trip to Hancock’s of Paducah around 2004? 2005? This is not the way I typically gather fabrics for a quilt.

A Different Way to Plan

With most of my quilts, I bring the fabric with me to the shops and try to match coordinates and blenders. For this quilt, I would just see a print in a shop and “know” it would work. I have no idea how, but I just know it when I see it. Sometimes I’m wrong, but most of the time, they just worked.

The quilt calls for 10 block prints. While at the show I was able to purchase a few of the prints needed. The remainder I purchased over the next several years. This quilt came together in the strangest of ways and definitely not my normal way of planning a quilt.

I eventually settled on the 10 prints pictured for the blocks. I selected five light and five dark prints. Now, I would probably make a few different choices if this were one of my more traditional quilts. But, for a blended quilt, it think these will work well.

For the setting squares and setting triangles I chose two more fabrics I magically located on other quilt shop trips. I’m thinking I’ll call this blended quilt “Serendipity”. The word certainly fits they way the fabrics for this quilt came together.

So, this quilt has moved to the forefront of my “quilts to make in 2021” pile. It’s an old style, even as a revival quilt, but I’ve always loved this style and definitely want to make a blended quilt.

What quilt projects are you hoping to create in 2021?

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