Then when I had piles and piles of blue squares, I decided to add in a few red ones (also from a muted color palette) to brighten things up. Otherwise, this would truly have been a "blue period" quilt for me - and I just didn't want to go there!
Eventually, all these squares led me back to the variation on a flag theme.
I tested out a lot of ideas to get a three-dimensional look and various ways to get the threads and everything loose... going for a semi-deconstructed look. I hand-dyed the batting and cut up small squares of batting to sit under each fabric square. It was supposed to be navy blue, but turned more purple, but that's another story. Batting takes in color with a mind of its own.
I hand embroidered the raised squares to the quilt top with pearl cotton and left the connecting threads loose on the top.
There are 735 squares, yep I counted them!
The white dove is hand pieced together, covered in tulle and lace and machine quilted (my hand is in the photo to give it some scale). He's hanging on ribbon, adding yet another dimension to the whole look.
I'm pretty happy with the final product.