Beginnings: Debbie Barrett

This month, Debbie Barrett shares her inspiration in choosing the fabrics for her mystery quilt, a journey that took her from masculine to romantic. Share your own journey in quilting and what inspired you as you began the process of making a quilt. If you’ve ever felt the urge to say more about your quilt, here’s the place. Please send your photo(s) and story to the newsletter editor.


Romantic blue fabricsI am entering my 10th year a quilter. My first tentative steps in buying cloth were rapidly succeeded by an online buying frenzy of must have fabric lines. Obviously time passed much quicker than my (1) ability to find the perfect pattern and (2) time needed to bust the growing stash, and although there are still some fabrics that I definitely like, I find that my tastes have changed the more I am exposed to other quilting styles and techniques. I was hoping find a project to use up some older fabrics and a few judiciously selected new ones. The mystery quilt through our guild was the perfect opportunity.

bg-debbie02I had always wanted to do a “blue quilt”. I’m not naturally drawn to the colour, but started to accumulate a few pieces that I assumed would be some sort of masculine quilt. Unrelated to this, I had also bought yardage from the Anna Griffin Sigourney line few years ago. It was a gentle muted blue, almost grey with a romantic feel to it and a coordinating border print. The mystery quilt became a focus for using up some of the fabrics I had accumulated, because the yardage requirements were quite open to being done in a scrappy fashion and value seemed to be the most important element. I thought I could quell my anxiety about doing a mystery and not being pleased with the outcome, if I limited the fabric colours. I started with the blue romantic floral and easily chose some dark navy in 3 different pieces. The medium value was less easy, but I thought that the grey tones in the floral would be best matched with medium gray prints that had some geometric patterns. I had a few white scraps and added a few more ½ yards of white to maintain the scrappy feel. At this point the border print became too obviously “yellowed” and although I keep going back to it, it isn’t going to make the quilt top.

bg-debbie03As I started to construct the blocks, I was a little disappointed as I sensed that the dark was “too dark”, but I persevered and by the time the layout instructions were sent, I was captivated by the result. I won’t spoil the outcome for you as I do plan to have the top finished for the June guild meeting, but suffice it to say, that I will change the final construction of the top in an effort to maintain the airy romantic feel. (The blue fabric for the men in my life has been repurposed!)

Debbie Barrett