I finished piecing the quilt backing this morning. It needed a good pressing with some Best Press (a clear spray starch.
Would you believe it – I see a mistake! I’ll have to take the pinning partly apart so I can get to the spot where I have to rotate one of the rectangle blocks 180°! I didn’t pick up on that – not until just now as I’m looking at the photo.
The quilt sandwich is pinned. I’ve been setting up embroidery designs for quilting the blocks – testing them out on scrap fabric to make sure they stitch out correctly. Still haven’t decided which to use. Guess I need to sleep on it a bit. I hope to have made up my mind by tomorrow!
There! The block is fixed – the joins not quite so perfect but nobody, except me, is going to notice.
Here it is – the quilt top is finally assembled. All the shark’s teeth sashing is going in the same direction vertically and horizontally (that took a bit of correcting in the first couple of rows until I realized the top would look better with that fabric unidirectional rather than helterskelter. The four substituted square centres bring some life to the quilt and bring out the colour in the others.
Final quilt size is 52 1/2″ x 62 3/4″.
Next step is to create six more blocks for the back of the quilt. Past Friday I went to Mahone Bay to Woolworks and picked up one of the fabrics to use for backing the quilt. One length isn’t wide enough for a backing – I will splice it and insert a column of blocks with sashing.
It’s a lovely colourful quilt top – I like Kaffe Fassett’s sharks’ teeth fabric selection for the sashing – quite unlike the other fabrics, yet the right colour – it creates a very modern feel to what is a traditional block.
And I was right – the many imperfections in the blocks were amended when I added the sashing. I didn’t trim the blocks to a precise 9 1/2″ because I needed to keep the 1/4″ at each corner block point so I fudged the placement while adding sashing and the blocks have ended up as I wanted them.
I have just finished the 15th block for the Gathering No Moss (Kaffe Fassett) quilt. That’s half way. The block, by the way, is called a “rolling stone” – hence Fassett’s choice of name for the quilt.
Once people figured out the “quilt along” on Facebook (a “private” group for those who purchased the quilt kit) was mostly about us commenting on (and sharing photos of) our progress, the traffic has died down. I had decided to purchase the kit and join the quilt-along because I thought Fassett would discuss his decision-making regarding fabric design and choices for the quilt in some depth. Doesn’t appear to be the case. Had I realized that, I likely would have just deconstructed the quilt from the photo and done it in some colour set from fabrics I had in my stash and could pick up from The Woolworks in Mahone Bay. I wouldn’t have bought the kit.
Oh, well, I won’t do this another time. I have a greater sense of satisfaction when I’ve worked out how to construct a quilt from a photo and chosen my own fabrics, as I did with the Escher quilt. That was a real challenge and I was very pleased with the outcome. Here, although the quilt block is an easy one, it is fiddly – the four corners take time to construct – add one triangle, press, add the opposite triangle, press, add a side triangle, press, add final triangle, press – and hope you’re close enough to square that they will assemble with the rest of the block without too much distortion. But overall, there isn’t much challenge to the quilt once you figure out how to construct the block. In this case, I chose to change the block size, which required some testing out to make sure my pieces would match up, and I’ve changed some of the colour selections, but it’s still the “Gathering No Moss” quilt. Far less challenging than most of the quilting I’m used to doing.
Here is the panel at noon – with four rows now completed.
This time I worked on an entire row at the same time doing what’s called “chain piecing” – taking great pains to keep the elements in the order I’d planned on them having! At the bottom, second block from the right – not sure about this one. I want that centre where it is but the large blue and white dotted fabrics together are rather loud. Given the symmetry I set up, that pairing was bound to happen since I had five light and five dark fabrics.
In January I did something I have never done – I signed up to do a quilt along – this one with Kaffe Fassett. He (and the rest of the collective) have created a quartet of queen size quilts – same pattern but available in four different colour combinations. The quilt block resembles a cog wheel hence the name of the quilt: Gathering No Moss.
The project began when I received an email from Hyggeligt Fabrics in St, Mary’s Ontario advertising the quilt along. Over the years I’ve collected Kaffe Fassett fabrics – my diamond quilts, the Escher quilt all used fabrics from Free Spirit which produces and sells the Kaffe Fassett Collective collections. In years past, I’ve attended a lecture or two of his which I found underwhelming, but I’ve also watched Fassett lead a weekend workshop several years ago on YouTube from which I learned a lot.
I liked the “Delft” fabric collection well enough that I decided to buy the Gathering No Moss fabrics and join the quilt along. The zoom lectures begin on Wednesday – Aug 4 – on Facebook (why there of all places – I try to stay off Facebook). In any case, my fabric bundle from Hyggeligt Fabrics arrived last week. It’s a lovely collection of fabrics. The instructions are for a 77″ x 92″ quilt – a 5 x 6 array of blocks. I decided to keep the array, but downsize the blocks.
The intended quilt block is a 13 1/2″ square:
I did a mock-up of the intended block but I wanted to make a smaller throw size quilt so I downsized the blocks which turned into a block a bit smaller than I wanted. [ A finished 9″ block x 5 = 45″ plus 1.25″ x 6 for the sashing = 7.5″ will give me a finished width of 52 1/2″ – a largish throw quilt.]
Once I’d figured out the block construction and had dimensions for the 9 1/2″ block I was going to make, I got to work on the Delft fabrics. I simplified the instructions – rather than work with the chart describing what to cut from which fabric, I sorted the fabrics into light/dark and medium. The centre blocks I cut from the small medium colour fabrics; then I cut rectangles and squares for the corner blocks from the darks; finally I cut rectangles and squares (which I cut into half-square triangles) from the lights. The cutting went reasonably quickly.
I carefully laid out the centre blocks in a numerical order – Row 1: 1,2,3,4,5; Row 2: 2,3,4,5,1, etc, until I had six rows of five blocks. While I liked the colour of the Delft fabrics I thought the quilt could use a bit of additional colour – I went through my stash of Kaffe Fassett fabrics picking six bright ones, cut a centre square from each which I then substituted into the array on my table – one in each row.
Next I laid out the pieces from the dark fabrics B,C,D,E,F and the light fabrics G,H,I,J,K in an array and began placing dark/light pairs on top of the centre squares – using a similar shifting pairing so that in the end each block will be unique.
You can see the lovely blue and “white” fabrics in the collection. I have so far completed six blocks. The remaining 24 are laid out in position on my cutting table. It takes me about 20 minutes to construct a block so I will need to work on these for the next few days. There’s sashing to insert between the blocks which will tie the whole quilt together – I just haven’t decided what width to use – I’ll make that decision when I have all 30 blocks laid out.
I knew from the beginning I wasn’t likely to follow the instructions. I like the block, so I decided to use it instead of creating something else. Deconstructing the block from the images of the Gathering No Moss quilt was straightforward. I will tune in on Wednesday to see what Fassett has to say – I’m sure I can learn some interesting things from him about colour flow and placement. I’ll report back as I make progress on the project.
I must say when I began this Drunkard’s Path quilt I didn’t anticipate the chorus of trumpets that would emerge!
I had decided to give this quilt idea a go (from a photo I’d seen) because I liked it’s modern quality – two fabrics and stark lines.
Trumpets – Front Of Quilt
39 Drunkard’s Path blocks – the rest is filler to create the overall layout.
Working on this quilt has let me consider all kinds of possibilities for using Drunkard’s Path in unusual layouts. I picked up a panel the other day which I think might turn into something quite interesting were I to cut it into squares and use both the Pie and “L” elements contrasting the dark and light tones.
Hoffman Skyline – Multi
I didn’t buy a full panel – the fabric is 106″ wide! – I bought a metre (40″) which is most of the pattern. Use the multi-coloured buildings cut out as, say, the Pie pieces with some kind of blender – a grunge of some colour – as the “L” pieces with the fillers done using fabric from the panel – I think I’d end up with something quite unusual. That might be my next project… (after a couple of garments).
Trumpets, Back Of Quilt
The back of “Let The Trumpets Sound” – I made several more Drunkard’s Path blocks using the leftover pale turquoise Pie pieces with different leftover red fabrics to complete the blocks. I didn’t use all the blocks I made – I still have four tucked away in a box now. Never know when I might find a use for an already constructed 6″ block, right?
I decided to do a hidden binding for this quilt to emphasize it’s modern qualities. I matched the colours in the binding on the back so it blended in precisely with the back assembly. I like how that turned out – you have to look closely to see the binding on the back.
Finished the quilt last evening. When all the quilting in the hoop was done (it went reasonably quickly), I added the binding. I didn’t want much of a binding but in the end I finished with a 1/4″ binding on the front (3/4″ binding on the back) which had to be hand-sewn. I never do hand sewing if I can help it – but in this case the binding on the back was wider than on the top and I didn’t want a machine stitched seam next to the binding; so hand sewing it was.
Charm Quilt – Finished
I’m pleased with how the back turned out, as well. I was able to use the column of HST I’d taken from the panel on the front, added a few sashing pieces that evoked the colour pallet of the front with a slightly darker grey fabric.
Finished Charm Quilt Back
This could be a quilt top on its own!
Now, I’d intended working on this quilt as a demonstration for the “quilt in the hoop” class – it was cancelled a week ago, the gals couldn’t make it yesterday, so far only three are able to come next week. I just kept working on the quilt and I finished it. So for the class (whenever it happens) I’ll work on my sample muslin piece. For now, I’ll be back to working on the bargello table runner.
Finished this quilt a couple of days ago, now. Although a very simple quilt, I find it’s simplicity appealing and I’m happy with how it turned out. I particularly like how the two narrow borders frame the inner panel bringing out the darker greys and highlighting the golden colours in the batik fabrics.
Nine Shades Of Grey
I’m happy with the back as well. Finding a way to use the small half-square triangles along with the cornered blocks was satisfying.
NIne Shades Of Grey – Quilt Back
I elected to bind the quilt in the same fabric as the wide outer border so the binding would be relatively invisible. I also didn’t use a decorative stitch to apply the front of the binding – I just straight stitched it down – harder to do accurately than working with the decorative stitch which is more forgiving! But I didn’t want to introduce any distracting detail into the overall simplicity of the quilt.
Here is one of the quilt tops I worked on during the weekend. I stitched and trimmed 95 blocks – this layout uses 88 (8 x 11 will stitch up to 44″ x 60.5″ with a 3″ border I will end up at 50″ x 66.5″ – a good lap size quilt).
Nine Shades Of Grey
The point of the quilt top was to assemble something fairly simple that I could do in that sewing retreat setting without having to focus carefully on what I was doing. I had five bright batik fabrics to allocate to ten blocks each of the nine grey fabrics – I thought that would give me plenty of latitude. Was I wrong.
Distributing the grey tones wasn’t so difficult but the batik triangles in the corners? Very difficult to get them to work out – still not completely happy with how some of the adjacent triangles are from the same fabric! I’m leaving the blocks on the floor for now so I can walk past it and think about how to exchange some of them.
Then I decided I would insert a single block of each batik fabric with a different grey corner – the question became where to put them and how to align them. I’ve decided the array looks best with the grey corners facing in the opposite direction to the bright corners.
That’s it for today. I see what I think in the daylight tomorrow.
Just finished. I’ve spent the past four days stitching the edges of the appliqué – the leaves and flowers, and creating embroidered flower centres. It’s been slow but steady. Whereas I did a narrow quilt border on the previous version of this idea (flowers on a black/white background), this time I took the flowers to the border edge and decided to do a hidden binding so the cropping of the flowers was easily evident.
Modern Flowers – II (Wishing For Spring)
This version of the idea is brighter than the previous one. I could continue with variations on this theme, but I’m going to stop here. This is wall art piece #9 – I’m aiming to have 12 pieces completed by the end of July – so I’m getting close. On to other ideas.
Last week I cut a set of “watercolour” jellyroll strips in to 2″ blocks – I want to try doing some kind of “watercolour quilt” with the fabric squares – a wall art piece, actually, not a lap/throw quilt. I thought this would be a quick and easy project – not so sure now that I’m trying to lay out the squares in some kind of dark/light array.
There are quite a few people who are doing these quilts – there are any number of tutorials on how to make one. They use a special fusible gridded interfacing – not going to bother with that – I am planning on simply sewing the blocks together in rows based on the layout I create on my cutting table. Also many versions of these quilts use the “watercolour” piecing as a background for something else – I may end up doing something like that but I have no idea what the top appliqué elements might be at this point. Anyway, this is the next project I’m going to try – let you know how I get along!
Just Finished. Today I completed quilting the remaining wide border, created an embroidered label, attached a narrow hidden binding to the quilt edge and hand stitched it into place.
Double Convergence – Quilt Top
The quilt is relatively small – 45″ square – which means it could actually be a wall hanging or a smallish lap quilt/throw. I decided to finish with a hidden binding because I didn’t want to complicate the quilt top any further. The wide border mirrored the double convergence and that felt like it was enough.
Double Convergence – Quilt Back
I used the fabric from the back for the hidden biding – stitched it on the front using a 1/4″ seam, then folded the 1 1/4″ strip under leaving me with a 1/2″ binding. You don’t really see the invisible binding unless you’re up close and looking carefully.
A bit of explanation about the quilt back – I needed a narrowish insert to accommodate the quilt width. I had a small amount of ombre fabric left and decided a strip of ombre as it was worked perfectly – no piecing, except to extend the length of the strip. There’s enough interest in the fabric itself that it accents well.
That’s quilt #7 since the end of August – I’m planning one more for the Parrsboro show this coming summer. Now to turn to wall art pieces – I have lots of ideas, I just have to begin creating!