Friday, February 04, 2011

Testing

Yesterday was (briefly) lovely and bright and sunny so we took the chance to pop outside for a little quilty photoshoot.

Now knowing as you do, my long standing predilection for bright and crazy all the colours of the rainbow in quilts, and knitting, and life in general, and you would be forgiven for being a little surprised at my decision a year ago to make an entire quilt from just four fabrics, all from the one colour family.  Truth be told it surprises me a little, it must have been a decision made under the influence of early morning sickness for which I cannot be held responsible.

Happily we can report that my colour sense, or lack thereof, has returned to normal, and so when I went to pick out a colour to join together my 12 quilted blocks, I toyed only briefly with the creams, the pale grey spot on ivory and the mottled off white that would have blended seamlessly with my quilt blocks.  We found some colours that went well with the blocks and I could have made it up with any number of them and the quilt would have been ... nice.

It just wasn't me so I pulled out a toothpasty mint with little white polka spots and one thing led to another and my finished quilt ...

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is bordered with a brilliant lime green polka dot.  En mass it would be too much, and I don't think I would have used it for a wide border but it's perfect for this little inch strip around the edge.

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I love the way it makes all the blocks pop, and somehow it seems to lift the quilt out of being a bit too old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy and into something modern and crisp that I want to have in my quilt pile rather than relegated to be the first one grabbed for sitting out in the garden.

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I used a fairly standard quilt-as-you-go technique to join the blocks:

First I cut strips 1.5" and 3" wide.  The 3" wide strips I folded in half lengthways and ironed and then made a sandwich along a raw edge of a quilt block of 1.5" strip face down onto the front of a block and then the folded strip along the back, raw edges to raw edges.

I sewed a 1/4 inch seam through all of these layers along the right hand edge of each of the blocks, then to join the blocks I lined up the other side of the 1.5" strip with the block to the immediate right of the one it was already attached to and sewed another 1/4 inch seam, right sides together.

That joins the front and I simply pulled the folded strip across the gap at the back and hand sewed it to the other side as if I was putting on a binding. To make it easy on my fabric cutting I joined blocks into rows and then rows into a quilt but I think it could be done any way you like.

For the edges of the quilt I added quilt as you go borders but obviously there's nothing to join them to, so I machine basted the raw edge and the folded edge together and then used 2" wide strips of white and red leftovers to make the binding which was sewn onto the green border, and you can't tell that there's wadding missing on casual acquaintance with the quilt.
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I suspect that this may be my one and only quilt as you go quilt; I liked the ease of the quilting, and it was a distinct plus to have got so much of the quilting done before Kitty made her appearance, but it was annoying to find that some of my blocks had quilted down smaller than 12.5" square and somehow it just wasn't as satisfying as sitting down and stippling a whole quilt top.

But now that it's finished it's a useful little lap/sofa quilt - size wise it will wrap my feet and tuck up under my arms, so I presented it to our impartial judge for analysis:
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She measured the accuracy of Mummy's quilting,
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Assessed the balance my use of her favourite red across the quilt as a whole.
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Checked its wriggly potential. And proclaimed it:
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"Eeeeeeeeeeeee! Eeeeeeeyye ! Baaaaablumaaaah oooooohmmm ya ya."

Who knows, but she's smiling and she loves sticking her fingers into the flying geese block.

So that's one of January's crafty challenges met and mastered.  February's? well I've done a teeny tiny bit of cutting out for the handprint quilt.  I may have some work to do. 

5 comments:

  1. Lovely quilt, it has turned out really well.

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  2. It looks lovely. Your blocks look very balanced what trickery did you use to hide the smaller squares?

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  3. I love it...it turned out so great! And I agree wholeheartedly with the choice of the green...it does make everything pop!

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  4. Yay! But has it had the Posset Of Approval?

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  5. It is positively beautiful! I love the green, too. :)

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