Purple Passion – Finished

The quilt turned out a bit larger than I usually make – the addition of the drop shadow sashing added 2.5″ to the width and 3.5″ to the length and the outer border added another 6″ – finished size: 54″x 72″. But the drop shadow sashing was needed to brighten the whole thing and make it less “pink” and the top needed the wide outer border to give the quilt definition.

In the end I did quilt-in-the-ditch along the sashing and the drop shadow. I quilted with a block single run embroidery. The border was also quilted with a long, narrow embroidery which turned out well. I used a purple variegated Sulky 30wt cotton. (Can be annoying because if you don’t use a 90 top stitch needle the thread is prone to fraying and breaking. I used a 90 stop stitch needle and I still had some breaking.) However, the quilting went relatively smoothly overall.

Quilt Top

I’m pleased with how the quilt back turned out as well – the large pieces of fabric with narrow contrast elements plus the pieced strip worked out well and the horizontal stripe adds more interest. I must say, I like the Grunge (Moda) fabrics – the tonal quality of them adds lots of life to a fabric, very useful for quilt backing.

Quilt Back

You won’t notice it but I added a piece of the turquoise contrast fabric to the binding “just because”.

That’s quilt #5 since August – five quilts/four months – not bad. That’s it for quilts at the moment – now onto a Kantha jacket for a friend, then a couple of pairs of cords for me and a wall art piece based on a photo I took in Italy in April. No end of projects, just not enough time.

Purple Passion – Quilt Back

Assembled the back for Purple Passion yesterday. The point was to use up leftovers and retain enough of the purple grunge fabric to be able to bind the quilt without having to buy more fabric!

Purple Passion – Quilt Back

I used leftover blocks from the quilt top, cut in half to assemble the narrow pieced strip, then used large blocks of the leftover fabrics to create a wide strip. I decided this time not to insert the strip but to use it as a panel on one side, instead.

Then I set up the quilt sandwich – I’ve described how I do this somewhere in the blog but can’t find the specific post. When I started quilting, I would tape the quilt back to the floor, lay the batting on top, then position the quilt top, smooth out the whole thing and pin.

Pinning The Quilt Sandwich

But getting up and down has become difficult – it’s an age thing – and one day I tried rolling each layer on a pool noodle, and working on my dining room table. That made assembling the quilt sandwich quite a bit easier.

One day it dawned on me that 1 x 4 boards would provide some weight and allow me to apply a bit of tension to each layer as I progressively pinned the sandwich. That’s what you see here. Each layer is rolled on a board, the layers placed on top of one another. I will pin the exposed layers, roll that part up and continue pinning until I’ve reached the other end, taking care to keep the quilt back as smooth as possible. I’m working on my cutting table which is a good height for this step – I don’t have to bend over as I did on my dining room table – much easier on my back.

I’m now ready to begin pinning. Once that’s done, I will stitch-in-the-ditch to stabilize the sashing and outline the narrow drop shadow border. Then I’ll quilt each block once I’ve created an embroidery for this quilt.

Purple Passion

I described the start of this quilt ten days ago. Here’s the quilt top completed.

Purple Passion, Top

Turned out to be a real challenge to distribute the colour when I tried laying out the blocks! Because I had decided to use three different fabrics in each block, that meant I was continually running up against the same fabrics when I juxtaposed blocks in a row and across rows. I did a ton of swapping around to little avail because I would find that same fabric in an adjacent block. Also I wanted to alternate the diagonal blocks with fat pointed ends coming together in sets of four at the same time I was trying to distribute the solid blocks. In the end, I just started adding the contrasting turquoise sashing and stitching the blocks together in rows! That’s what you get when you’re not working from a pattern or a set of instructions but trying to improvise as you go along. The result is OK but not spectacular – I’ve ended up with clumps of colour rather than it being distributed more evenly. The problem would have been less severe had I elected to use fewer fabrics – twelve turned out to be too many.

Now on to the back. I picked up more purple grunge fabric yesterday. I will need to create some kind of insert to widen the length of backing. I will have to look through my Pinterest collection of quilt back photos for ideas.

I came across another face the other day:

“Face”

It was sitting on a friend’s kitchen table. A rather scary face – mask-like – with big eyes and a grimacing mouth. I also saw an ad recently (can’t remember what it was for) that subtly used sink faucets as faces in the background. I’ll have to keep an eye open for it – not great advertising if I can’t remember who was doing the advertising!

New Quilt

A while ago I came across a photo of a quilt constructed from a block I thought was interesting – two equal diagonal cuts creating three pieces – two triangles and one six-sided, double pointed polygon. In the photo, the triangles and polygons were mixed and matched in the piecing of blocks.

The blocks appeared to be perhaps 15+” square (the quilt was a 3×3 array incorporating solid blocks, sashing and borders). A block that size is problematic for me because the widest embroidery hoop I can use for quilting is 250mm (a shade under 10″, my preferred hoop is 200mm square (~8″). So my plan was to downscale the blocks to a size I could manage. I created four 9.5″ squares from 10 different coordinating fabrics.

To cut these blocks into sections I realized I needed a template of some kind so I constructed one out of quilter’s template plastic.

9.5″ Block With Template

To keep the template securely positioned, I used double sided tape on the back which stuck it to the top layer of fabric (I was using a “stack ‘n whack” technique so the triangles were interchangeable).

Cutting The 9.5″ Block

The template plastic is not thick enough to use with a rotary cutter, however, the edge of the template provided me a reliable guide for positioning my ruler.

9.5″ Block Cut

With the 9.5″ blocks cut, I laid out the elements for stitching:

Cut Blocks

I chain pieced the blocks – sewing one triangle to one side of the polygon, pressing, then sewing the second triangle to the other side, pressing, then trimming the resulting blocks to 8.5″.

Pieced Blocks Trimmed to 8.5″ – Laid Out

I now have a 5×7 array on my floor. I have two interesting pieces of turquoise fabric that coordinate well with the fabrics in the blocks which I plan to use for sashing. I also have lots of dark purple grunge fabric (Moda) for a wide border.

What I haven’t decided is whether the polygons should all point in the same direction or whether they would be more interesting pointing in all four directions – at the moment they’re pointing the same way. I can also see from the photo that I have to revisit the block distribution because the pink bits are clustered. I have six extra blocks which I might substitute for a few of the pinks.

Lots of headway on this quilt today. I’ll pick it up again tomorrow.

Oh, and I finished the binding on the strip quilt yesterday, as well.

Strip Quilt – Almost Completed

The quilting is done – just the binding left to do. I’ve decided to bind the quilt with the same background fabric which will accent the colourful blocks and strengthen the off-centeredness of the design. A coloured binding would pull your eye away from the design elements – a binding in the same backing fabric will blend with the borders.

Finished Quilt Top

The quilting itself was a challenge because I’d chosen to quilt it as if it had been regular blocks but I was short a vertical sashing on one side and across the bottom which left me having to resize the quilting design at least once in each column – you can’t really see the different size blocks but it meant measuring each “block” as I was quilting to make sure I was using the right size design to fill it.

Also, I had difficulty with the quilt backing – I’d been careful to smooth it out when I wound it onto the 1×4 board, but there was a small uneven distribution of backing fabric toward the strip insert resulting in backing overlaps within a couple of blocks which I didn’t discover until after they’d been quilted, which meant I had to unstitch those blocks, spray them with Best Press to shrink the fabric as much as possible, before rehooping the block and restitching it.

Finished Quilt Back

In the end the quilting worked out, the backing is laying flat, and the borders turned out balanced – in particular, I was able to start and stop the embroideries in the narrow border so they abut perfectly!

Tomorrow I’ll add the binding and the quilt will be finished.

Then on to the next one.

Quilt Back

Quilt back is also completed. I used the leftover bits to create four blocks like the ones on the top, and inserted uncut blocks of the original strips. With sashing I was able to get a 12″ strip to insert in the back. Now I’m ready to assemble the quilt – I’ll get that done later today. My next task is to create an embroidery design for quilting the quilt.

Quilt Back

The back looks wrinkled even though I’ve pressed it, but it will be taut once I’ve pinned the layers together and hooping each block to quilt it will tighten all the layers so the quilt will lay flat.

Quilt Top Done

Just finished applying the borders to the quilt panel to finish the quilt top. It does look the way I wanted it to – dense toward the upper left and more open on the right and bottom. The last column of blocks went quickly since there was much less piecing involved in constructing them.

Completed Quilt Top

However, I did have to go buy another 1/2m of background fabric in order to set up the 6.5″ wide border strips. Fortunately, I’ve found backing fabric in my stash so I don’t need more fabric for the back of the quilt. I do have enough leftover strips to piece a strip for the back but I don’t know what I’ll use to bind the quilt – I may use the pale grey Grunge (Moda) fabric rather than bring in another colour for the front. I’ll see what looks reasonable once I’ve done the quilting.

Final size approximately 48″ x 64″ – a good size for a lap quilt.