Now that I have shared my finished mini quilt with the design group that I created based on the inspiration photo of the rusting truck I shared in the Finding Design Inspiration post; I can share it here as well.
After considering the inspiration photo for a few weeks, I talked it over with my husband and decided to focus on the curves that start in the upper right-hand corner of the grill of the truck and echo up to the hood, window, and cab frame.
Once I had an idea, the next step I needed to take was to select my fabrics. I really love that the design group is pushing me to make use of the fabrics in my stash, but I was concerned that my idea to focus on the silvers of the grill/hood and truck rust was going to be hard to interpret. Once I allowed myself to really consider rust, I remembered how water dripping off of rust is orange. By adding orange into my selection process, I felt like I was able to make a really great selection to work with.
After fabric selection, I moved straight into cutting the fabric. My first step was to get all the fabrics into roughly the same size, which was dictated by the smallest fabric in my selection (the dark maroon). Then I stacked all four fabrics on top of each other. I used a pencil to roughly plan out the curved shapes that inspired me in the photograph, but I cut the stack of fabrics freehand with my OLFA rotary cutter.
Once the fabric was cut, it was a simple matter to mix and match the four groupings of four fabrics. The curves were gentle enough that I overlapped the fabrics and sewed without glue or pins. Due to the slight improvisational nature of the quilt, I knew that the blocks were going to be slightly different sizes. I squared up each block after it was done piecing and pressed my seams to interlock and match the center seam as nicely as possible for the final quilt top construction.
I spent a few days considering how I wanted to quilt this piece. My first instinct was to use the grid of the grill as inspiration and to create an off-angle crosshatch. I was concerned that it would distract too much from the really fun mid-century vibe that the finished quilt top had, though.
My friend Colleen @busybean and I were discussing how to quilt it, and she recommended that I give Procreate, an app that I could purchase and install on my iPad a try. I was able to take a quick snapshot of the quilt top and freehand sketch out different quilting ideas and turn the quilting layers on and off in the program which gave me a lot of confidence to move forward with my initial instinct.
I used 50wt Aurifil 2235 (orange) to for the quilting, and it honestly blends in across the full range of colors better than I had hoped. The straight lines are spaced every 1½-inches and use the off angle lines of the maroon portion of the lower right hand block as the basis for the angle and spacing across the whole quilt.
I bound the mini quilt, which finished at 22-inches wide by 34-inches tall using the only fabric that I had enough left to use: the orange/yellow cross weave. I added folded hanging tabs in the upper corners of the back, which were also very convenient to place my hands in as I crouched down behind the quilt and held it up for my husband to photograph.
The backing of the quilt is Kona Silver. As we were passing through Government Camp, Oregon, just to the south of Mount Hood, I stopped by the post office to ship the Rust Mini Quilt off to a friend. I love making quilts, and I love it even more when they really speak to someone and find a good home!
Looking back at the inspiration photograph, I am really pleased with what I was able to create based on its inspiration. I also really love how the colors in the Rust mini quilt really pop against the green forest backdrops in the areas we were in for a few days after I finished its binding.