Beth, RPS shop owner and my friend, suggested the Modern Background Paper line by Zen Chic as a low volume background. I was only too happy to shuffle through her stack of bolts to choose several fabrics. I wanted the crosses to pop against the background, so I chose bright solids (sorry, I didn't write down which solids they are). I was really feeling the red, orange, and purple that day (probably because I love fall and fall. is. HERE!).
Look at those text fabrics!! Wow.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you want to try improvisation, this is a great technique to start with. You could fill each spot with a wonky cross if you wanted. I chose to leave negative space in each row to give it a more randomized/modern look. One cross in each row is skinnier than the others, too. But really... there are a million options for wonky crosses! Try them!!
In the class, I give instructions for piecing a backing like this out of your extra fabric.
I considered quilting each wonky cross individually as I have in the past, but I couldn't figure out the best way to go about it within the deadline I set myself (one week). I wracked my brain for another option and the spiral from the center just made beautiful sense to me. Not that it was fast... but it took less brain power to execute, that's for sure. :)
I used my free motion foot for the first 10 circles or so, and then graduated to the walking foot. I find it much easier to maneuver the FMQ foot in small spaces and then let the walking foot (and my poor, poor arms) do all the work. I didn't mark the space between the lines simply because I trusted myself and it was easier not to. :) In the future, I'd love to quilt an off-center spiral on a quilt like this. I love to get lost in spirals and bagpipes from the Outlander soundtrack...
The quilt measures out to 38.5" square - a perfect autumnal (or whatever you want!) wall hanging. Won't you join me for a class? :)
Quilt picture outtake: It came out blurry but it looks kind of cool. Also, there's another quilt behind me, and a storm is coming! Or maybe it's just Mordor.