Purple Irish Chain Quilt
Woo hoo!! I am proud to announce that the Purple Irish Chain Quilt is finally finished. It has been a great lesson for me to experience the journey of this quilt and learn about my own weaknesses where color is concerned. A close friend of mine had made a quilt inspired by an antique she saw in a museum, and I was so taken by the bold colors that I decided to make one, too.
What I forgot to include in this equation was that I don’t really like purple. So while I really loved the fabric in the strips I cut for the quilt, I never really loved the purple background. In retrospect I should have just gone with a white or off-white background, but the quilt was going to be for my then 5-year-old daughter and I didn’t think a white quilt was a great idea for an active little girl. The purple stayed and I carried on.
Because I was less than enthusiastic about the quilt I kept avoiding it. I didn’t want to finish it, but I didn’t want to abandon it either. I was stuck. Eventually I finally struck upon the idea of giving the finished quilt to my friend for her daughter. By that time our daughters were much older and bigger, and the original quilt she had made for her was too small. Perfect! I could replace the original quilt with one big enough for her bed.
And here’s where the story has a twist. I plodded along with this quilt, not liking it at all, neglecting it horribly, until finally it came time to choose the backing and binding. I went to the local quilt shop, picked out some sale 1800s fabric and texted my friend a picture. Mostly I had chosen browns and yellows in keeping with the antique flavor of the quilt she had made but I threw in a pink print because it caught my eye — no shocker since my favorite color is pink.
Whammity wham, just like that, I fell in love with the quilt. The pink made the whole quilt glow with a warm, lovely color and suddenly the purple felt rich and cozy instead of harsh and awkward.
Lesson learned. Never give up on a quilt until you’ve completely finished it, and if you’re hating the colors, try adding something else in to make the best of the combination. I’ll always remember that now.
Meanwhile, I’m happy to say the quilt is finished and has been sent along to its new home. I don’t know if I’ll ever make a purple quilt for myself, but you never know!!
P.S. If you want to know more about the fabric I used in the quilt, you can see the blog post Purple Irish Chain Quilt Fabric.