I finally finished my project of the past two and a half months, the Paintbox Wall Hanging.
It looks so pretty up on my bedroom wall! It's 48" square, which is larger than it looks in the photo with the giant cat and bed in the foreground. It was inspired by this Paintbox Quilt by Elizabeth Hartman. She has a tutorial for that quilt, but I did my own thing. I made 49 six inch blocks, each one featuring a different solid color and matching scraps. I used our Quilter's Candy Solid Stack, because then I had the equivalent of 2 charms leftover for future uses and reference. I could have also used a strip set. There are 56 solids in the pack, so that gave me some wiggle room to throw out colors that didn't play well with the rest. In case you are curious, the colors I didn't use were: White (it's the sashing), Cream (too close to White & Beige), Espresso, Wine, Ivy, Indigo, and Turquoise. For the binding I used Solid Beige in order to really let the blocks shine.
This time around I made my quilt sandwich using the method Elizabeth Hartman describes in her book, and I love it. I have no wrinkles in the backing (except in one corner where I broke my own rules and quilted from the edge in). This is the largest quilt I've ever quilted myself, and I'm rather proud of the quilting. I stippled the entire thing with my free motion foot. I must say I rather like stippling--no marks to follow, no lines to stay on, just anything-goes movement. In her book, Elizabeth compares the rhythm of stippling to "doing the robot dance", and it's so true. (I feel like I'm gabbing on and on about Elizabeth Hartman here--suffice it to say that she was very influential to this project!)
I think this is the most fun I've ever had on a quilting project. I never got bored or tired of it. My goal was to do a set of colors (7-8 blocks) each week, and that worked out really well. With chain piecing they flew together. The only downside is that I'm not sure if making a quilt like this for my bedroom is such a good idea. Last night I kept staring up at it, mentally rearranging the blocks, "Why did I put Kiwi there? I should have switched it with Sprout..." etc. Hopefully after a few nights it becomes more a part of the background and I stop nitpicking it. The folly of trying to arrange blocks systematically! I do love it though, and it's just the thing to bring color to the bare walls of the bedroom.