By Patricia Belyea
WAUCONDA WA Two requests dictated the design of Indiglow.
1. A king-sized commission, my brilliant client wanted a quilt made with Japanese textiles. No problem!
In showing my client options of yukata cotton patterns, she choose two extraordinary bolts that led the design of the quilt. The first superstar was blue-on-blue, filled with household motifs. The second was dark indigo patterned with loopy orange linework.
All the rest of the fabrics for the project were blue-on-blue.
2. I was asked to keep the design simple. That was a challenge for me.
So I let the fabric do all the work. The seven blue-on-blue yukata cottons combined to make the whole composition glow. Then, adding two stripes of the indigo with orange linework brought everything to life.
Another challenge was the size of the quilt. The king-sized project did not fit on my design wall. To create a natural scatter look for the yukata cotton patterns, I had to devise a plan.
The finished block size for the quilt top was 8" square. For the back I used more blue-on-blue yukata cottons, plus the indigo with the orange linework, cut into 12" blocks. Again a plan was needed to create an overall scatter look.
For this huge assignment, I needed a long-arm pro. I shipped the quilt project to Shelly Pagliai of Prairie Moon Quilts in Missouri. The Hobbs silk batting, the third layer, was delivered directly from an online store in Florida.
Shelly riffed on the loopy orange linework for a perfect custom quilting design. Then she returned the quilt sandwich to me.
To finish, I trimmed the quilt sandwich, added a designer facing, and signed the quilt with my appliqué signature.
For the delivery of the quilt, Victoria whipped up an indigo and white rice-bag-style sack with an op-art Okan Art label on the front.
Once the quilt arrived at the client’s country home, she was surprised to learn that the quilt was reversible. I explained that the back is 50% of the quilt design and so it needs to get due consideration.
The terrors of shipping
Twice this quilt project was lost in transit.
When Shelly shipped the quilt back to me, the package went astray at a FedEx facility in Kansas City for one week. Then, when Victoria sent the finished quilt from Seattle to Michigan via Priority Mail, the package disappeared from the system for two days.
The thought of losing the quilt was the biggest challenge of all to me!