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Or better titled, "My love affair with half square triangles continues."
My favorite way to make half square triangles is the 8 at a time method. If you don't know what that is, check out this blog post about HSTs and the three different ways to make them.
I'm not one to be too persnickety about squares being perfectly square, but this ruler does help those unruly edges that start to look more like rhombuses than squares. It also allows you to slice off those pesky dog ears with one swipe of the rotary cutter.
Before finalizing the name Indian Summer, I did about an hour of research on the etymology of the phrase because...to tell you the truth, I wasn't 100% sure...hmmm...I'm just going to come out and say it. I wasn't totally sure it was PC...meaning, I needed to type into Google – "Is "Indian Summer" racist?" before feeling confident that I could use the name as a quilt design.
After reading multiple forums and articles on the "history" of the phrase (I put "history" in quotes because there is some disagreement as to its true origin) I finally did conclude that an Indian Summer, no matter it's agreed upon origin, is a pleasant and positive term for a specific type of weather.
The definition most commonly known is "a spell of warm, dry, hazy weather after the first frost happening anywhere from mid-September to early December."
Scottish botanist, John Bradbury, noted for his travels in the US in the early 19th Century, is quoted saying this about the phenomenal Indian Summer weather pattern –
The air is perfectly quiescent and all is stillness, as if Nature, after her exertions during the Summer, were now at rest.
With that quote in mind, the more I read about Indian Summers, the more I began finding its defining characteristics correlating with the mood and look of my quilt – a certain quietude in nature; stillness in the air; a morning chill followed by the warmth of the afternoon sunshine. These were all experiences, memories and feelings I think of when looking at the subtle negative space and the comforting juxtaposition of cool blues, grays and lavender with the glowing warmth of peaches, pinks and browns.
This quilt pattern can be made using different colors and prints, but there is something really special about these specific colors together and the simple, unassuming look they achieve as solid fabrics. If you are interested in remaking this exact quilt, Fabricworm is currently selling quilt kits. The kit includes enough fabric to make a 36" x 51" crib quilt.
The solid fabrics used in this design and included in the kit are Birch Fabrics solid poplin: Shell, Peachy, Timber, Petal, Mineral, Periwinkle, Shroom, Slate and Cream. The backing and batting are not included in the kit, but to stay in line with the look of my quilt, use Pop Dots Stormy 100% organic cotton and Warm & Natural 100% Cotton batting.
I'll end this post with one last quote from a letter written by Frenchman, St. John de Crevecoeur, dated January, 1778. When making your own Indian Summer, think of this description...
- Sometimes the rain is followed by an interval of calm and warmth which is called the Indian summer; its characteristics are a tranquil atmosphere and general smokiness.