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“Circles” Theme Lap Quilt

This piece is a ‘lap quilt’ in name only. Its size lends itself to that use, but by virtue of the wild fabrics selected and the delicate hand stitching on both sides, its true purpose is as a decorative work of art. Being double-sided, it serves beautifully across the foot of a bed, or even better, gracing the back of a couch or chair, where it can be variously arranged and layered to show portions of both sides at once. In fact, we consider it artful enough that we left one (narrow) end of the turquoise border open, so that a decorative rod can be slipped through in order to hang it on the wall, displaying either side!

This piece had multiple challenges. The first was to create two sides that simultaneously ‘went together’ for purposes of display, but also stood on their own as a look. To that end, the overall color scheme holds for both sides, and some of the fabrics are ‘cross overs’, being used on both sides of the quilt. The best part: it was all done with remnant fabrics we had been hoarding for just such a use. Another challenge was all of the hand work involved—reverse, hand stitched applique, stacked layers of hand stitched applique, “negative space” applique, etc. Yet another challenge was the variety of fabrics we chose to use. There are some ‘traditional’ quilt fabrics, but there is also drapery fabric, upholstery fabric, stretchy rayon blends, fleece, felt, bits of leather (!) and a kind of undefinable black circles ‘netting’ direct from the New York Garment District. Getting all of this to go together was most definitely a challenge.

Each side was designed individually to go with the “circles” theme, using some common fabrics but also enough different ones to change up the look from side to side. We then quilted them with lightweight batting using semi-circles and arc shapes to carry on the Circles theme. Finally, a lovely turquoise patterned drapery fabric was crafted into the border, again with one of the narrow ends being left open for a hanging rod if you want to go that way (hanging in the direction it is held in the photographs). With all of these challenges, this piece was very, very satisfying to complete, and we are very happy with the results. It has so much color and variety, it will really brighten up any space where it is displayed.

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