The impatient quilter

>> 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!

14 comments:

sew nancy February 21, 2008  

I love this style quilt and yours is looking very nice.
I've been dreaming of finishing my quilt and starting another but, I think it may have to wait as I have a new baby and will be moving very soon.
Also, I nominated you for a You make my Day award on my blog.

LeeAnn February 21, 2008  

That's so beautiful! I am still deciding what design I want for my next quilt of blues!

Belinda February 21, 2008  

It's looks lovely! Don't worry about your corners. Once it's quilted you won't even notice.

Nanette Merrill and daughters February 21, 2008  

I love it. I love white and open space on a quilt. I'm in a blue phase myself. I'm making a blue and white quilt presently. I love irish chain. Your's is turning out so sweet. Love love love it.

kat February 21, 2008  

how lovely! i am an impatient viewer... hurry & finish, so we can see!

denice February 22, 2008  

Very nice. Love the fabrics.

Kim February 22, 2008  

Looks great - reminds me I have to stop reading blogs all day and get back to my sewing :)

Kerry February 22, 2008  

I really love what you did with those wonderful blue prints - Beautiful!!

Jayne February 23, 2008  

I love blue and white together. You have such pretty fabrics to work with, too. I'm not a quilter (not enough patience & skill) and so I really admire others' quilts. By the way, I printed out your lattice scarf pattern for my mom who knits. She's 80 & knits or crochets almost every evening and was looking for something different to do. She really liked it. Thanks for posting the pattern.

Sarah,  February 23, 2008  

Wow, you've been busy! I can't believe how much you've done.

Net February 26, 2008  

It's very beautiful! The blue fabric selection is lovely and I bet the finished quilt will be amazing!

Hurrayic February 26, 2008  

Love the colors. I like the use of white with them. This is quite an undertaking. Looks wonderful.

metrosupialdesigns October 27, 2008  

Thanks for the style inspiration! This quilt is lovely. I've been collecting orange and pink lately with something in mind and I think this is it!

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