It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

It all began with a roll of white and cream fabrics that come pre-cut at 2 1/2 inches wide in a package of 20 fabrics. And every now and then, I like to make something up and not do a standard traditional pattern. But how to showcase the whites?

I also had a set of brightly colored fabrics I wanted to use, but the best designs come from limiting my palette. So I chose 5 solid (or almost solid) colors, 3 patterns, and a white with a little pattern. One of the patterns had a gradation, so it really looked like many colors.

strips dark to light

I stitched a bunch of groups of 4 together ranging from some that were all white to some that had no white in them at all. The idea was to group them together in blocks of 16 squares that ranged from light to dark. And then to arrange them so there was a bit of gradation on the whole top.

I tried a few arrangements before settling on the final one. My goal was to make it look like there wasn’t really a pattern when secretly there was.

This sat on my wall through the Christmas holiday while life rushed on, and I thought about how to do a border. It may not look like it, but there are really 3 borders on this. The innermost border and the second border are the same checkerboard pattern of all the colors with a white-on-white print on the first and a black-on-white print in the second.

Borders

The outermost border is all from only 2 fabrics, the gradated fabric and a black with white text print. Much to my frustration, the same text print as the first 2 borders did not come in a black-on-white. So I’m not going to show you this fabric close up. The only trick with this border was to make sure that the gradation rounded all 4 corners without a visual jump.

I quilted it with a blue thread on the back and a clear nylon on the front. I’m a big fan of stitching in the ditch, which for you non-quilters is stitching in the seam between the rows. Unfortunately, because of the sheer size of this thing, I had to turn it in my machine and ended up pulling the center rows in opposite directions which resulted in a wonky center. Since viewing the pattern (or non-pattern) is dependent on perfectly straight lines, I had to fix that. So I spent a meditative week ripping out all the bad stitching and a few hours on the weekend restitching the quilting. ABSOLUTELY worth the effort.

Dark & Stormy Night – 92×92

And why did I call it Dark & Stormy Night? Well it’s true that I love mysteries. But really it because of the story that is on the print text fabric. It never does actually say it was a dark and stormy night. but it is very noir in its own right. See for yourself.

“Ray’s been shot Frank.”

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