Miss California Poppy close up
The inspiration for my quilt's name comes from the following poem:
Miss California Poppy, gay
Is happy all the live-long day,
And though some poppies grow much taller,
She's brighter, she's brighter even though she's smaller.
(unknown 1930s children's book)
As soon as I saw this week's challenge, I knew I wanted to use some fabric with large poppies. I have also used this fabric for curtains and though bright and bold, I love it because it reminds me of California (poppies are California's state flower), which is where I grew up. With this California theme in mind, for the quilt top, I first cut my poppies so that I could layer them and make them appear abundant (this also ate up more than 1/8 yard, surprisingly!). It also gave me a chance to practice applique again. I also wanted the poppies to take on a framed look (or perhaps I was just itching to try another new technique), so I reverse appliqued my California template. Although I probably had enough poppies at this point, I love them so much that I appliqued a few more and did some light embroidery as well. Finally, since California is known as the Golden State and I typically think of it as being sunny (which it isn't, but I have a rosy view now that I am in the Midwest), I appliqued a sun to the quilt top as well. Since part of the challenge was to also use stripes or plaid, I used a herringbone background and emphasized the stripes by quilting down the horizontal lines.
I normally use plain quilt backs, but having researched California's state symbols, I decided to spice it up a bit. First, I discovered that California has a tartan! Ooh, how I really wanted to use this on the front, but the plaid was a bit too clashing for me. So I printed it onto fabric and decided to use it on the back. Next, California's colors are blue and gold. These colors are also in the tartan so I decided I would create a row using the tartan and blue and gold. Finally, California's state bird is the quail. How could I resist?! I found a quail image online and used that to create a quail applique.
For the quilting, I quilted around the appliqued poppies, California, and the sun. I was careful to avoid quilting on top of the quail because I like it better without the lines going through it. I also quilted following the horizontal lines of the herringbone to play up the stripes part of this challenge. Finally, because I liked the quail, I wanted the quilt to be able to hang from either direction. I like attaching the quilts to the wall directly, so I placed little triangle sleeves on both the front and the back of the quilt. I put them at the top and the bottom so that perhaps they would look a little like the corner tabs used to hold pictures in photo albums. Looking at the quilt now reminds me of a gigantic California postcard!
This quilt was made in Milwaukee, WI and is 18.5" X 22".