The Planning of Quilts
Believe it or not, I do have a specific plan and general colour scheme for this Sister's Choice quilt. It began as a quilt for me (only the second quilt i've started for me--Lord knows if i will ever finish it), but I made 2-4 copies of each block as I went along, since I wanted to send my sister a set (she will also send me some...someday :-). I thought I could use the other extras for other projects that might come up. I wanted these to be extremely "scrappy" quilts, i.e. with as many different fabrics as possible.
Then... I found out that my former husband's niece just got into Harvard, so I thought with some of the nine-patches, I would make her a congratulatory, going-away-to-college-quilt. I asked her mom if she thought Mia would like a pattern like this (sent her a pic of a similar quilt) and what her favorite colours are.
So this first one, for my ex-niece, will be 54 10" star blocks, 6 across by 9 down, plus borders. The blocks are tending toward red and pink, so I'll try to use lots of reds and burgundies for the star points and then maybe a red or burgundy border. Will have to see what the quilt seems to call for when it gets to that stage.
To make a long story short: it isn't that I have no plan at all, but I like to let the quilt develop a bit as it goes along. My sister always says, "The quilt will tell you," and she's right.
I've also made quilts with just a few different fabrics and with just a couple of main colors and I find those easier and faster to make, but these days, i'm feeling especially drawn to scrappiness.
I think I love scrappy quilts partly because my grandmother made lots of "true" scrap quilts, from sewing leftovers (she and our other grandmother made most of our dresses--and we were six girls!). So scrappy quilts feel cozy and loving to me. I also enjoy the challenge of making disparate colours/patterns work together. It feels a bit like solving a puzzle and a labour of love combined. When making quilts for kids, I like to try to include little surprises, e.g. the tiny cat in the middle of a nine-patch or a dragonfly or bunnies flying airplanes. In this college quilt there will be coffee beans, musical notes, tiny valentines...various stuff I think Mia might need to get her through her first year at college.