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.
Just done. Label and all. I’m pleased with how the quilt turned out. I like the contrast between the two muted background fabrics and the individual swatches – each is strong and colourful, yet they blend well.
I wasn’t sure about the bold batik I used for the back – whether it complemented the insertion or not, but now that the quilt is completed I’m happy with the result.
This quilt I think has found a home in my living room- it fits in better than the quilt I had there.
One of the things I wanted the ladies in the quilting class to learn was how to look at pictures of quilts and deconstruct them. So I hunted for quilts I thought would be relatively easy to analyze. Among the photos I sent them was a charm quilt. “Charms” if you don’t know are precut pieces of fabric 5″ square. I had several charm packs (a charm pack is 40 of these 5″ pieces) in my stash and thought I should give the quilt a try. The original photo sashed and bordered the charms in alternating darker and lighter grey. I took my charms to the fabric store to see what would work with the charms I’d selected. Dark and light grey for the sashing was going to make those small coloured blocks pop. So I cut the strips I needed and quickly assembled the quilt top. What I particularly like are the vertical strips from one row to the next linking the rows.
I made a few more bordered blocks, cut half of them in half to assemble a strip for the backing.
The quilt sandwich is pinned and ready to be quilted.
However I still had a large number of charms not used in this quilt so I thought I’d have a go at another quilt idea based on two blocks: half-square triangles and strips. The quilt I had in mind would need 140 4 1/2″ blocks. So I made 70 half-square triangles and 70 blocks with 1/2″ strips down the middle.
Here are the blocks laid out on my office floor. I’m still auditioning them – trying to find what for me is the most pleasing arrangement. That’ll take a day or two of coming back to look at the layout and tweeking it a bit more. Once sewn together, I intend to border the quilt with the darker grey fabric I used in the first quilt, backing and binding – I don’t know yet.
One of the things I’ve been teaching in the quilting class is how to deconstruct a quilt design. To this end I’ve shared images of quilts with the gals and helped them break down their construction.
One of the quilts I shared was a photo of a quilt made from “charms” (5″ blocks) bordered in two neutral shades. I’ve had 4 charm packs in my stash for some time and I thought this would be a good way to use them.
I selected the most interesting blocks from 3 of the charm packs (the rest I put into a scrap pile and a use later pile). I auditioned the chosen blocks, sorted them into rows, then bordered half with the darker fabric, the remaining I bordered with the lighter.
What caught my attention with this quilt was the contrasting sashing linking the blocks vertically.
I used some leftover charms for the back keeping the motif intact in the inserted stripe. I thought about backing the quilt with the darker border fabric, but I happened across this batik and thought it would bring a bit of life to the quilt.
I think I will bind the quilt with the darker grey. I still have to think about the quilting motif and whether to include the block borders in the embroidery or not.
I actually finished the quilt before I went to Toronto to visit my sister’s kids and grand-kids 10 days ago. I was happy with the border and how the mitre worked so well; with the splashes of colour; with the quilting design and how well it filled the block…. I was pleased with the second side and how it used the leftover bits and I had enough border fabric leftover to add a stripe to the back.
The only thing I might have done differently was to use a lighter thread for the border. I chose a dark variegated thread to blend into the border but I could have used a little contrast.
The quilting shows best on the second side:
The class meets again tomorrow – our focus will be on embroidering in the hoop – how to hoop, how to center the block, how to precise position the design, how to embed thread ends within the quilt. And we’ll discuss various ways of binding a quilt.
I will try arranging another get together in a month to show off the finished quilts.
The class came about when I showed Bonnie this jellyroll quilt made from a jellyroll I’d “won” one evening at an event at her shop Sew With Vision. “Good idea for a class she said.” I agreed to do it.
However I had no interest in taking another jellyroll and repeating the quilt for the class so the challenge I set for myself was to create a strip quilt with just two fabrics. I picked out two contrasting fabrics and got to work.
I joined pairs of strips – one light, one dark. Cut triangles (8 from each pair of strips), joined pairs of triangles to make 6″ blocks, trimmed them, assembled large blocks from four small blocks alternating colours at the center of the big block.
I’d made five large blocks when I thought I needed a bit of colour to make the quilt work.
I inserted a colored center into 3 blocks and stopped there. I finished the remaining blocks today and laid them out on the floor:
Not enough colour. So I added a bit more
That’s it. I was going to add sashing but I think any sashing will disrupt the improvisation so I think I will leave well enough alone although I will probably lay out a couple of sashing strips to see how they look.
I’m stopping for now.
Finally finished. I started this quilt about ten days before heading to Peru – got 20 blocks sewn before I departed. I resumed sewing the top when I got back. The fabric is Cockatiel Bali Pops by Hoffman Fabrics which I’d got as a “gift” the night I attended an event at Sew With Vision (the local Pfaff / Husqvarna dealer) in September. Although on the surface the construction technique seems simple enough all of the blocks edges are on the bias so it takes a lot of attention to match the seams when joining blocks.
Because these are not colours I’d usually use I wasn’t sure what to do about borders and backing. In the end I chose to highlight the peach tones and the dark grey on the top, and bring out the lighter greys on the back. The inserted strip is constructed from the small pieces of leftovers – fortunately there was enough to create the strip length I needed.
Final dimensions: 50″ X 60″