13 September 2010 to 22 September 2010
Tim's niece
Goose in the Pond
Level of completion: 
Completed and given away

My first commission! Tim, who got Lost in Translation, asked if I'd be willing to pick up a small quilt commission for a niece due in just a few months. I agreed. Something for a girl, but he left the fabrics and the pattern up to me.

I'd been looking longingly at some of the fabrics over at Reproduction Fabrics, especially some of their older fabrics. I'd had the idea of doing a quilt that was only loosely anchored in time; once the initial newness was beaten out of the quilt, I wanted it to be hard to tell how old the quilt was.

I'd also been fascinated by the huge blocks of the old Goose in the Pond block -- finished sizes of these blocks are usually around 15" square. Six of those blocks would do quite nicely, I thought - 30"x45". Dainty, compared to my usual queen-sized behemoths!

The fabrics

I asked Tim if it would be okay to tackle this quilt from a historical angle, and he agreed. I chose reproduction fabrics known as "double pinks," which were popular in the latter half of the 19th century:

Textile Design gives 1860-1920 while Dating Fabrics, A Color Guide has 1850 to early 1900. I think I would extend those dates from the early 1800s to the 1950's. They have also been a favored reproduction designs of the late 20th century.
-- from a great blog post on Cottonopia with photos of actual 19th-century double pink fabrics

The block

This block dates to at least the 1860s, and I've seen mentions indicating it's probably older than that. There aren't any photos of this quilt block on flickr that are available under Creative Commons, so I'll just have to provide a few links instead:

  • This photo of a single block lets you see just the piecing by itself.
  • This small quilt shows how you can make an intense and bright quilt with just two colors.
  • This quilt top shows how the block can be set out with lots of whitespace to give room for quilting motifs.

Mine will be paler pink on the interior and more intense pink on the exterior. The prints on both pieces of fabric are almost identical.

Yes, like I'm going to piece endless checkerboards by hand. Whatever. I'm going to automate this process as much as possible.Stripes ahoy

['Stripes ahoy']

I'm trying to cut wisely. Instead of cutting tons of 1.5" squares to make checkerboards, I made long strips and sewed them together. I'm cutting out the pieces I need, layer cake style, as I need them. Much faster, much cleaner. Sewing lots of individual squares leaves so much room for error. Sew smarter, not harder!

The name

What else would you name a quilt for a baby girl that's got a design with the word 'goose' in the name? (Though, Tim, if you tell me the girl's name is Lucy I'm going to be mightily spooked.) I think we'll just call this one 'Lucy' for short.

As for commissions - I've been asked about them before, but this is the first one that's been followed through to completion. I'm not charging for labor in this instance, just materials; these were fabrics and a pattern I'd been wanting to try anyway, and Tim was willing to front the cost for my curiosity. This isn't a hobby I want to make money on, but Jeff had a good point a few months back: if other people want to help purchase the materials for my hobbies, and enjoy the results, perhaps I should consider learning to be okay with it.

Tomorrow night, Amy learns how to batch create half-square triangles!