I finished my lasagna quilt today. A lasagna quilt, as I’ve said before, is a quilt where you join a large number of pieces end to end to form a long ribbon, usually around 15-20 feet long but only 2-3 inches wide. You then fold it in half, cut it, and sew the two halves side by side. Doing this again and again gradually results in a wider and wider quilt that is distinctive in its randomness. The fabrics, ideally, should belong to the same color palette or plan, but the results of which pieces end up where, is less controlled.
I think it turned out reasonably well. I had planned to make it with a pink border and a black trim, but the initial tests with the border looked a little too rocky. So I didn’t do a black border, but simply extended the pink out further.
The main body of the quilt, as you can see, is a mix of black, white, pink, and green, with occasional flashes of purple. It’s an odd color palette, to be sure, but I think it works in part because it’s unusual. It’s not orderly or procedural or pieced in the same way that most other quilts are, but there are places where pieces of the same color and pattern wind up next to one another. I’m also not sure that I like the longer stripes within the quilt. So I think one of the big takeaways from a lasagna quilt is that no piece should be longer than a few times the width of any strip.
If I were going to be especially and exceptionally geometric about it, I think I’d say that no piece could be more than 10 1/8″ long. That would be a multiple of the golden ratio of the width of the strips (2 1/2″), which would help make the whole thing more pleasing. In fact, cutting each strip to that kind of length requirement, would yield a very pleasing set of proportions that people would like without necessarily knowing why they liked it.
If I have one dismay with this quilt, it’s that something shifted during the blocking and trimming of the main block, and then the attachment of the pink border was off. As a result, the main block of the quilt appears to spill out of one corner. It’s an interesting effect, and one which could be exploited to good usefulness if it were planned. … so of course I planned to do it that way. Right?? OR not. It wasn’t an intentional effect, simply part of the overall learning process.
My other goal was to get better at assembling corners. The mitered corner is one of the marks of a well-made, hand-made quilt, and they’re very tricky to get right. You can do it through cutting and assembling the bias tape yourself at each corner; or there’s a shortcut that marks a master quilt-binder. I am not good at the shortcut, but at least I can say now that I have learned it.
So I’m not planning on putting this quilt up for sale on my Etsy site, but I do plan on holding on to it for a while rather than giving it away as a gift immediately. Would you buy it, if it were for sale?