Bamboo – Further Along

Making headway. The width is now about 42″, with the fill-ins being place-held with batik blocks; the panel length will approximate 62″ – with borders added the quilt top will end up a reasonable size for a lap quilt.

Tentative Layout

So it’s looking like I will want between 7-10 more “bamboo” blocks – that’s getting to be within range (it was beginning to feel as if the end of the project was nowhere in sight). I’m giving up on getting any overlap between the blocks – bits of sashing to make blocks fit is going to have to do.

Truth is I’m feeling pressure to get this quilt done. I want to get onto a bit of garment sewing – I need to make a pair of pants and maybe another casual jacket to take to Florence at the end of April – that’s just a month away.


It’s All About Pink – IV

I haven’t worked on this quilt since Dec. 31. I’ve read 5 mystery novels, watched some interesting series on TV, added elastic to the bottom of two sweaters, continued repairing socks in the “repair socks” basket (five pairs completed, six left to do), knit a new pair of socks and close to finishing the first sock for another pair. But no sewing on this quilt.

However, yesterday, I pieced the quilt back. Today, I pinned the quilt sandwich.

It’s All About Pink – IV

Yesterday, I also set up an embroidery to fit a 150mm x 150 mm block; I still need something for the borders – I’ll probably use one of the decorative stitches for the narrow border and something related to the block design for the out border – have to do that now.

And then the quilting in the hoop will begin.

It’s All About Pink – III

Here’s the quilt top assembled:

Quilt Top With Borders

I like how the pale narrow inner border finishes off the pieced centre. I was just lucky with the outer border – not many fabrics to choose from and at first I passed over this one, but in fact the “golden” shade within this pink brings out all the tones in the top.

Next…. Now I have to piece a 14″ strip for the backing – this top has finished at 54″ wide. For the back fabric panel I need another 14″-16″ to allow enough excess width to assemble the sandwich.

Dots – Completed

Dots – Completed

Having given the piece a name, I realized the majority of the fabrics I used to construct the piece had dots in them! So to take the idea further, I appliquéd more dots of various sizes to add further detail to the piece, and stitched around the outside edge with rayon embroidery thread using a narrow blanket stitch. Although difficult to see, the 1/4″ binding is also a dotted fabric. Finished size: 12.5″ x 17″.

12 X 12 Quilt

I mused about the teal/indigo fabrics I had for a couple of days and decided in the end to limit the quilt to just the set of twelve fat quarters (I put the rest away). To use my set of twelve indigo fat quarters, I decided to make a 12 x 12 quilt based on Elizabeth Hartman’s “Low Volume Tiles” quilt from her Craftsy Class: “Inspired Modern Quilts“).

I based my quilt on Hartman’s design but had to adjust the sizes of my small blocks because once I cut the first 13″ square I knew I had to fiddle to cut a second set of 12 blocks – there wasn’t enough fabric for a second 13″ square. So the dimensions of my small blocks are a bit different than hers in order to be able to use the fabric I had – there was just enough with a 5″ x   8″ leftover piece of each fabric which I used in my side borders.

The idea behind this quilt is to take 12 fabrics, cut 13” (or whatever large size) blocks you want by stacking and cutting them into the same 12 sections. Next you sort them shifting fabric #1 to the back of the stack for the second small block, fabrics #1,2 to the back of the stack for the third small block, fabrics #1,2,3 to the back of the stack for the fourth small bloc…. You get the idea:

12 Blocks – Stack ‘n Whack – Sorted

When you’ve done the setup, each stack has 12 fabrics, arranged so that a different one of the 12 fabrics is at the top of a stack before you begin laying out the large blocks and the fabrics in each stack are in the same sequence, just shifted by one so when you sew the blocks, each block has all 12 fabrics with no repetitions!

I intended to end up with 10 1/2″ blocks (having started with a 13″ square) – I trimmed my stitched sections to 11″) and assembled them into a 3 x 4 array:

12 X 12 Stitched Together

That’s a small quilt, however. I had cut a second set of 12 small blocks from the residual fabric from my indigo fat quarters – so I stitched together the second set of twelve blocks. It turns out that I was lucky to have chosen 13″ as my starting size because I wouldn’t have had enough fabric to create the second set of 12 blocks had I started with 14″!

One other thing – I removed one of the light fabrics from the collection before I began cutting, substituting a bright green for block #12. I wanted one colour to pull the other fabrics together.

My Finished Double 12 x 12 Quilt With 4″ Borders Added to the Sides

My finished quilt top is a 4 x 6 array with added 4″ side borders to give me a final width more in proportion to the length. Finished quilt: width 50″; length 64″. I lost a tiny amount from both width and length with the trimming I did in order to able to fit the blocks together. But in a design like this you can’t tell where the trimming occurred. You really aren’t able to see the “blocks” or where the main joins are.

Now to come up with an idea for the back. Yesterday I bought some backing fabric and 1/4 m of four teal/indigo batiks to add to some others I have but didn’t use in the quilt top. I had to do that because I didn’t have a single scrap left from the original fat quarters I started out with.

Starburst Quilt – Finished

It’s called “Starburst” (pattern from the Missouri Quilt Company)  but with this combination of fabrics in this particular layout you don’t really see the starburst, unfortunately. I’ve also mentioned earlier that the background fabric didn’t set up enough contrast, particularly with the paler batiks to highlight the starburst effect.
However, I’m happy with the finished quilt. The dark narrow border and binding help strengthen the contrast and the quilting design used draws a bit of attention to the diagonal lines.

The back, on the other hand, I think has stronger contrasts:


While the dark elements blend into the backing, the lighter “framing” makes the whole design come alive. So on the whole, I’d say the quilt worked out quite well. It’ll get added to the collection.

Now back to “Wind Waiting” – the pilots need quite a bit of thread painting – that’s up next.

Double Vision Quilt IV – Completed

Finally done – the binding turned out to be a very fiddly job – I decided in the end a single fabric binding would clash with the border no matter what fabric I chose because the gradation from the dark burgundy to golden yellow was so great. The solution: to have the binding mirror the border with the joins aligning as closely with the border slanting seams as I could manage it.

Finished Quilt Top

Finished Quilt Top

It’s taken three days of measuring, sewing, unpicking, re-sewing, to make the joins look continuous. I’ve done a pretty good job although close scrutiny would show I missed by a wee bit on some of the connections but hey, this is a quilt after all, so I decided to live with the minor imperfections that showed up when I was stitching the binding on the right side.

Binding - Detail

Binding – Detail

In the end I decided to piece a simple back since the front is so complex and for some reason (which I can’t explain) I thought placing the strip on one edge was what was called for. The binding I knew would also add some interest to the back.


Finished Quilt Back

I quilted using straight vertical and horizontal lines midway between the circles. So far, I haven’t quilted the border although that is still a possibility. It’s probably a tiny bit wide to leave unquilted. For now I’m putting the quilt aside to move on to other projects.