>> Thursday, February 21, 2008
I started a quilt at the workroom a month ago by cutting out strips of blue patterned fabrics I had collected from my stash. I started cutting fabric before I'd decided exactly what to do, mainly because a quilt is such a big project I thought I should just start or I never would. I thought I might just do horizontal bars of the blue prints.
Since then I was re-reading Jane of Lantern Hill for the nth time and discovered something funny. When I was little and read the book she described her bed as a wooden "spool" bed and I imagined something shaped a bit like a wooden spool of thread, but shorter and wider in proportion. Reading it again now I realize that a spool bed is actually one with turned wooden posts, which is exactly what we have(this links to an old post that has lots of "before" pictures of our house too).
So when I came across her description of three quilts that her father gave her for their new house on the island I looked them up online. The one she put on her bed is an Irish Chain, and I decided that was exactly the pattern I would like to do for mine. It's fairly easy to make, and pretty and has that lattice look I like. Also I wanted lots of white in the background so all the prints wouldn't look too busy.
It's very simple. First I cut 6" squares, then divided each one into thirds, ie. 2" x 6" strips (below right). Then these are sewn together alternating the colours with plain white (below bottom left). You do colour-white-colour, then half as many that are white-colour-white. Each of these are then trimmed into thirds again (below top left).Then you piece together squares that look like a checker board. At this stage I trimmed each square again to make sure it was just the right size. These squares are then alternated with plain white squares. Once you put it all together, you don't see the checkerboard pattern, but a lattice, ie. diagonal lines of coloured squares. Especially if you kind of squint your eyes when looking at it.
I laid out all the squares onto a sheet so I could see how the quilt would look and Bradley helped arrange them so that there was a good balance of patterns.
So far I've sewn together all the rows, and now I need to join the rows to each other to finish the quilt top. Which I'd like to do in time for the Workroom quilting Sunday and then I will work on basting the quilt top to the batting and backing.
I say impatient because I've rushed through a lot of this and it's not as perfect as I'd like. Little mistakes tend to compound and the squares don't meet perfectly at the corners throughout as they should. I realized partway through that I should be using the hem guide that came with my sewing machine and it's made a huge difference. I've had to rework a few pieces to make them the right size, but it's going together fairly well now and will probably be nice once it's done. I hope!