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″.
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:
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just finished! Label and all. Took the better part of three days to quilt all the blocks. What I like about this embroidery is that it fills the block completely. In fact, after I pin basted the layers, I didn’t stitch in the ditch to tie the top / batting / backing together. I left the pins in and simply embroidered each block – 48 blocks, plus the borders (24 repeats) and corners (4). I used a 200 x 200 quilting hoop for the blocks, the grand endless hoop for the borders – I love using the endless hoop because I don’t have to remove the hoop from the machine, just move the quilt edge along after each embroidery (once I figure out where I want to position it for the placement I’m after). The borders go very quickly.
The backing started out with 2 1/2″ strips – sewn together in pairs – had I thought about it a bit more I’d have been better off using 4 1/2″ WOF cuts and cut the triangles from those – the diamonds would have stood out better. Not that there’s anything wrong with what I’ve done. I will have to try another quilt using half diamonds from a single fabric to see what that will turn out like.
My plan is to cut two 16″ WOF strips from the dark print and 1″ strips from the soft, pale blue/grey (which will give me 1/2″ inserts). I will do an improvisational strip like one I used on the back of an earlier quilt – but this time the strip will be much wider and will be the top of the quilt.
I have been thinking about the back of the new quilt as well – I bought a couple of sets of fat quarters in shades of teal (dark and light) when I visited Keepsake Quilting two years ago – one of the sets includes just 6 pieces of fabric – that will be enough to do something within an overall backing fabric – no idea yet what colour the backing should be – somewhere in the teal family, I’m guessing, to go with the top. Tomorrow I will cut the fabrics for the top and begin piecing and see what I end up with.
I love starting new projects – I never quite know what I’m going to get.
Just finished piecing the centre portion of this quilt top. I will add 4″ borders in the off-white background fabric. I’ve got a medium/dark grey small print fabric for the backing – have no idea yet what kind of piecing I will do. I have plenty of left overs from the blocks (part of my Fossil Fern stash) so I will do something with it.
I saw photos of shadowed block quilts a while back – squares, rectangles… It was something I wanted to try. It’s a relatively simple pattern to figure out – I did deliberate a bit before deciding on that charcoal colour for the shadow. I auditioned dark reds, lighter greys, but this grey seemed to make the coloured blocks float which is the intention of this quilt idea.
Now to come up with something for the back of the quilt.
Just finished – the second charms quilt. The goal here was to use up more of the leftover charms from the first charms quilt. I had to add some strong batik 5″ blocks to those I was able to select from the charms packs because I didn’t have enough strong coloured ones otherwise. The strips came from my scrap boxes I didn’t need a lot of fabric (I chose all darker colours) – 1″ x 5″ strips (70 in all). The blocks were easy to assemble, deciding on an arrangement took a couple of days, first auditioning all 140 on the floor then tweaking the placement over a few days.
The big decision was whether to border the quilt in the off white fabric or to use the darker grey – I obviously chose the darker grey. Glad I did although the quilt would also be interesting with the background fabric as border – in which case, looking at the quilt now, I can see if I had done that I could have stuck one or two triangles in the border along with a couple of strips! Didn’t think of that at the time. Something to keep in mind for my next quilt.
The back uses some more charm pieces to make “flying geese” blocks. My pinterest feed had instructions for making the blocks – since I’d never tried them I though this a good opportunity to have a go at some. In the photo you can’t really see the teal colour in the backing fabric but there is some. That was the reason I decided to border the strip with a strong turquoise. It does bring out blue in the backing.
My backing was wide enough that I was able to salvage almost enough fabric for 2 1/2″ binding strips (I had a bit of backing leftover which I also used and incorporated one orphan strip to complete the binding. It blends rather well with the whole).
That’s two completed quilts in four weeks. Now on to a quilted jacket/coat that I want to take to San Francisco in a couple of weeks.