Hope you all had a relaxing Easter - with lots of stitching opportunities!
I've been a bit remiss posting about my Wheat and Woods quilt - not since the beginning of December - but the borders have been steadily growing.
Once I had attached the side borders, then I needed to draw a pattern for the corner - nothing complex, just a continuation of the curves around the outer edge:
Then I appliqued the long edges, joined them to the top and added some extra broderie perse to fill the corners and blend over the seams:
I hope you like it - I'm very happy how it turned out. The aim was to design a quilt with lots of needleturn applique (because I love it) and to incorporate many different repro feature fabrics - all in brown, tan and gold tonings. Seems right to finish a top in Autumn with these autumnal colours?
Mostly I use the back basting prep technique for needle turn applique - where accuracy is important. Recently I spotted a good tutorial for this at Scraptherapy blogspot. Just mentioning it as I get asked about this method sometimes and I'm way too lazy to do a tutorial, sorry.
The applique method for the outer border was a cross between broderie perse and tile quilting ("broderie perse tiling"?) - just pinned and needle turned around the cut edges of the fabric scraps, no accuracy or precise placement needed.
There were a few fiddly measuring moments (and revisions) along the way, but the outer border was a breeze and very relaxing to stitch. The top finishes at 2 metres square (about 79 inches).
Off to the hand quilting queue for you!
Remember my 2016 resolution to become a better piecer (the piecing without papers)? I was seated next to an expert hand piecer at a recent Quilt Group meeting and she recommended this book:
It is going to be a favourite for sure - wonderful detailed hand piecing instructions for all sorts of angles and shapes. I used the Easter break to start studying...
...and then, uh-oh, a picture in the book had the pulse racing! A gorgeous antique hexagon quilt made in 1875, maker unknown. You know the feeling...'got to make this one' and 'timing is right for more hexagons'!
I've long been a great fan of Susan at Thimblestitch and her amazing mini EPP hexagon projects - the latest being a mini quilt made entirely with 1/4 inch hexagons. I have a small packet of 1/4 inch papers languishing unused and they are unbelievably small - too small for me! But what size to use for this new quilt? I want to make a mini quilt - relatively mini - and am going to use papers.
A quick check around the house to see what sizes I have used before in my quilts.
3/4 inch hexagons in these three quilts:
3/4 inch and 3/8 inch hexagons in this one:
1/2 inch hexagons in this one:
1.25 inch hexagons in this one:
1 inch hexagons in this one:
I've decided on 1/2 inch hexagons for the new quilt (called Hexagon Star) - that will make it about 32 inch square finished. There's no pattern but it should be easy enough to work off the photo.
I already have papers, recycled from use in my Ann Randoll quilt. I'm using clips to hold the fabrics around the papers (no glue) ready for thread basting. The basting will not go through the papers. That way I can easily recycle the papers by popping them out once the hexagons are stitched together. Nothing new here but just the method I prefer.
And the fabric choices? There will be a little bit of fussy cutting but am hoping overall for a scrappy, not-too-organised look, as in the original. The fabrics will be from my current stash, largely repros and the colours will be cream shirtings, double pinks, pink shirtings, dark browns, reds (dark pink tones) and grey. Always exciting to have a new start isn't it?!
Over the Easter break I managed a little finish - a Sewing pouch. Ready made zip pouches have been a popular decorating project for many quilters and I finally acquired one through Quilt Group. The time was right to set about covering it in clamshells - with 5 inch squares of Regent Street lawns and shot cottons scraps.
I glue basted the clamshells the method I have found works well- Sue Daley's Clamshell method on Youtube.
With a few stitches I tacked the sheet of clams to some backing fabric cut to a rough size to fit the pouch. Then I used some perle cotton to add a little quick quilting.
The tricky bit was the last bit (always seems to be the way!) - stitching it to the case. It needed to sit snugly in around the braid edges of the case frame (so as not to show the bright red fabric of the case facing). I resorted to a curved needle at this point - much easier to ladder stitch it to the pouch.
Back to those hexagons .... :)
PS. Funny thing about this new EPP hexagon quilt ...the antique inspiration was pictured in a great book, but one that is all about piecing without papers. Jinny Beyer actually talks about EPP as "cumbersome" and "extremely time consuming" and "rather a waste of time when sewing with cotton fabrics" (not a fan of paper piecing!). So I can only suppose the quilt was hand pieced without papers - pretty amazing. And I wonder if half inch hexies would have been done that way ?? Too tricky for me - I will stick with papers for this one!