Night Circus Quilt

The Night Circus in Progress (1)For our 6th year of making quilts inspired by books, The Undercover Quilters have chosen The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  This book is amazing!  It's so visual and  even if you've only seen the cover you'll know why the predominant colors are black, white and red.  This book is so visually rich that I had a bit of a time coming up with a design.  Fabrics are lusciously described and for a while I thought I might do something relating to one of the main character's dress.  Anyway, I did a sketch a little while ago of the tents and couldn't get it out of my mind.

I wish I'd gotten a photo before adding the circus tents.  Anyway, for the background of my piece I started with an improv/liberated hourglass block in the center. I added various strips randomly around the center until I decided a little bit of red would be nice.  I used my skinny strip method to add the 1/4" red strips, then added another round of black and white prints.  This year we have set a minimum size of 36" x36", to conform to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show rules.  I added enough so that it's well over and I won't have to worry about shrinkage during quilting.  This is about 45" x 47" right now.  The Night Circus in Progress (2)For fabrics I used a bunch of the black and white prints I've been collecting for no apparent reason (handy here though!), some red prints and solids and some silk that is to die for!  It doesn't show up that well in photos, but in person it really shines.  It's the red on the largest tent, red on the top right roof and the white in the top left tent.The Night Circus in Progress (3)

I do have a plan for that blank space and I'll show you that next time.  Don't want to give away too many secrets now!  I hand appliqued the tents and have more hand applique to do before it's done.  The main parts of the tent are created with gentle improv curves.  I created the tents somewhat randomly as far as size and shape.  I knew I wanted one to be larger.  The top left tent was changed because I originally made it with just black and white stripes, but it really blended in when I laid it on the background.  I added the red on either side and that helped tremendously.The Night Circus in Progress (4)

I am also in the middle of starting my next Novel Idea quilt, so I'll post about that soon.  I guess when I said I'd be working in solids this year, I should have said that's what I'll do for my improv work.  For the book quilts anything goes!The Night Circus in Progress (5)