Time To Get This Quilt Off The Easel

hand made quilt in progress hanging over the side of an artist's easel. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.dawnchorusstudio.com

The design wall, aka my easel covered in some wadding!

The improv quilt for my sister’s 40th birthday has been hanging over the top of my ‘design wall’ most of  the weekend while I contemplate how much bigger it should be. It’s about 50″ wide at the moment and another row or two will bring it to about the same size as my August Rain lap quilt which is 51″ x 59.5″. It’s a nice size for a small throw or for one person to snuggle under…but is it really big enough? Would 60″ or 70″ wide (and correspondingly longer) be more practical? What do you think?

Fete - a handmade quilt in progress. Inspired by summer bunting the quilt is made with improv triangle shapes in red and related colour prints. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Fete, state of play at the weekend. It’s moved on just a little since Sunday.

This is how the quilt looked at the weekend (minus the yellow cast in these pictures) and I’m happy with how it’s progressing visually.

Y-Seam

Fete - a handmade quilt being pieced. Inspired by summer bunting this quilt is made with triangle pieces in reds and related colour prints.

This detail shows a small section in the centre that had to be fitted in place with a ‘y’ seam. It’s fiddly work!

The last couple of rows created a ‘dipped curve’ in the centre, which I decided to fill with a ‘mini row’ (top row in the picture above). The awkward shape meant I had to stitch it in place with a ‘y’ seam variation. It’s a fiddly job, but not difficult: you just find the centre of the piece you want to attach, match it up to where you want to fit it in, then sew out from the centre towards the end. Then you turn your work over and sew the remaining half from the centre outwards in the same way.

The finished mini row looks good and fills the dip, but I’m getting a bit concerned that the top’s becoming a bit ‘bubbly’ overall. The more small rows I add the more I notice it. When I square it up on the floor with masking tape it lays flat enough so I’m keeping my fingers crossed it stays that way when I come to baste it.

Designing A Bit On The Side

I decided the design needed a bit more oomph so broke up the rhythm of the horizontal rows by adding a couple of short vertical rows to the sides. It makes the surface pattern more exciting, and the deliberate addition of complimentary greens in one of the rows draws the eye further up the quilt. It’s probably my favourite part of the quilt at the moment!

Fete - a handmade quilt in progress, inspired by summer bunting. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.dawnchorusstudio.com

A detail of the left hand edge where I’ve added a small section at 90˚ in complimentary greens.

I’m pretty sure where I’m going with this now so I just need to get on with it – once I’ve decided on the finished size. Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts on that.

Fete - a handmade quilt in progress. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.dawnchorusstudio.com

And here’s the right hand edge where I added a longer section of pennants at right angles to the main rows.

Makower For Maxine

In spring of 2018 my other sister turns 50 (there are a lot of years between each of us!). She’s getting a quilt too. But with my track record I decided I need to get started sooner rather than later. I’m not planning on starting the quilt yet (see above!), but I thought I’d make a start on gathering some fabrics and scraps in the colour way she’d like: pastels, people, pastels!!! You don’t see many of those around here.

I was browsing in the fabric shop the other day (too much time on my hands obviously) and came away with this lovely print from Makower’s Heartwood Range (it’s called ‘Scenic’). I felt guilty for spending money as well as making an acquisition of new fabric, but I had an idea…

Piece of Makower printed fabric saved and sealed in a clear plastic bag, ready for a new quilt. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Thinking ahead and starting a new stash for my other sister’s 50th birthday quilt!

Pastels look great with greys (well, everything does, as I discussed over here: Design a Monochrome Colour Scheme). I can definitely work with pastels and grey without feeling I’ve overdosed on sugar. Which is good, because it means my sister will get her pastels and I’ll get to use a print I love!

Print from Makower's Heartwood range (called Scenic), 2016. Woodland scenes in grey on cream background.

Print from Makower’s Heartwood range (called Scenic), 2016

The lino/woodcut style is right up my street, and just look at the wee birds. And the fox and the rabbit! I’m not sure which direction the quilt itself will take just yet but I have a few starting points I’d like to explore. I’ve got about 4 leisurely months before I need to start piecing in earnest, so plenty of time for percolation to occur. In theory any way. Best laid plans and all that. I’m curious, what’s the furthest ahead you’ve planned a quilt, and did you get it finished on time?

I’m linking up with Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday, Kaja and Ann for this month’s AHIQ, Lorna for Let’s Bee Social and Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday. I’m looking forward to catching up, hope to see you there.

If you like a link party have a look at some more favourites:

Link Party page: Favourite Link Parties graphic © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Happy stitching everyone.

Signature: Stephie © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnchorusStudio.com

24 replies
  1. Pat in WNY
    Pat in WNY says:

    If your sister is tall, it might be good to make the quilt a bit larger. I just finished a lap/couch quilt for my husband that finished at about 56 by 65 inches, and it seems to be about perfect for his 5’9″ frame. Fabulous Makower print! I need to find a bit of that.

    Reply
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Thanks Pat – that’s a good point. My sister is taller than average, about 5’7″-ish, and that’s not something I’d considered. I think a bit bigger would probably be a safer bet. Hope you find some of the Makower – there are some other great prints in the range!

      Reply
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Thanks Sophie… I’m hoping for a pre-Christmas finish. *Hope* being the operative word. It was meant to be entirely finished by then of course, but I’m at least 2 months behind now. I needle to knuckle down and focus!

      Reply
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Audrey, hi! It’s been a while since I caught up with you! I’ve been thinking about you and hope you’re well, look forward to coming over to see you in the next day or two. Thanks for your lovely comment, getting out of the box is always fun isn’t it?

      Reply
  2. Linda Smith
    Linda Smith says:

    Love, love LOVE the Makower. Squares of the woodcut, alternating with hourglass blocks to make stars. (I am sure whatever you pick will be awesome)

    Reply
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      It’s gorgeous isn’t it Linda?! And I see on their website it comes in other colours too… I’m not sure what sort of patchwork I’ll make just yet, but I think I’ll be heading down the improv route again. It’s definitely my favourite way of working.

      Reply
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Thanks Ann. I think my starting point will be landscape or nature and this print seemed to fit the idea. Or did I fit the idea to the print?! It was great to link up with you and Kaja – I need to get myself organised and link up every month, somehow I seem to regularly miss the date!

      Reply
  3. Maureen
    Maureen says:

    Love the tiny triangle strip at the top! If you intend it to be a lap quilt to sit under whilst read or watching TV then I would say the proposed size is fine, but if you think your sister may like to really snuggle under it and possible sleep then go bigger. By the way, beautiful wild life fabric -English woods in Spring!

    Reply
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      I think you’re right Maureen, bigger = more snuggle room. And I’m sure she’d like to snuggle up with her partner too. My lap quilt was just that: my lap quilt, no-one else allowed (except maybe a cat)! The fabric is definitely “English woods” isn’t it? It inspires all sorts of images from bluebells and green shoots, to frosty mornings and fungi.

      Reply
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      I love your ‘lying down test’ Deb and I’ll give it a go today! It probably won’t even reach my knees, haha 😀 That’s really great advice, thank you!

      Reply
  4. Lynne Nicholson
    Lynne Nicholson says:

    Oh I so like fete. I love how the neutral background makes the flags look as though they are billowing in the wind. Kind of wish I was your sister.

    Reply
  5. Kaja
    Kaja says:

    I agree with the ‘go a bit bigger’ commenters – just makes it a bit more versatile and also space for more loveliness. It occurs to me that if you think the top edge is a bit unruly, maybe you could block it at the end? I’ve never even contemplated this, but some people swear by it.

    Reply
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Ooh good idea kaja, I hadn’t thought of that. Do people do it before or after they’ve quilted it? I’ve only ever done it with knitting. I think you lot have persuaded me bigger is better! It will definitely be more versatile…it may just take longer, haha!

      Reply

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