Tomorrow I’m off to the latest Patchwork in the Peaks quilt retreat, organised by the lovely Ms E of Busy Needle Quilting (hooray!!!), so I’ve spent a good part of this week pulling together everything I need to take with me. Fabrics for the group project, WIPs I want to work on, a bunch of fat quarters for our regular game of Dice Swap and, of course, quilts for Show and Tell. It was while I was going through my finished tops to dig out something for Show and Tell that I got somewhat distracted by an old quilt top that I keep meaning to quilt. It’s my Flumpagon quilt, and I thought that maybe I should take it with me, to try and get some quilting done during the retreat. Sounds quite a reasonable idea, doesn’t it? So this morning I decided to get to work to piece the backing, so that I could pack it with everything else. Somehow, the backing fabric was in three pieces, two of which were around 46″ x width of fabric, and one of which was 18″ x width of fabric. Ok, ok, I thought, this is do-able, I’ll just have to cut it up a bit and piece it cleverly together. Then I got started. And this was when my latent OCD went into overdrive! The backing fabric is made of beautiful coloured diamonds, which remind me of a harlequin pattern. At first glance, it looks kind of random, but it’s not; and being me, I realised that I was going to have to do a fair bit of pattern matching if the quilt wasn’t going to bug me horribly every time I used it.
And so I got to work matching up the diamonds. I found the pattern repeat and chose one line of diamonds to work across, and I matched up and pinned the point of every single diamond along that line.
Then, using an open toe foot, I slowly sewed along the pinned line, making sure to sew right through the intersection between the diamonds. This was repeated several times until I’d managed to cobble together a big enough backing piece from all the smaller cuts of fabric I had.
All in all it took a good 4 hours to produce a quilt backing measuring approximately 55″ square. There was a fair bit of unpicking, as well as some Very Bad Language, but in the end, I have to say I’m very pleased with it.
After all, can you see the joins??? A touch OCD? Maybe. But I’m currently suffused with that smug feeling of a job well done, so all in all I have to say I think it was worth it 🙂
Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.
Well, for the first time in ages, I finally have a quilt top finish to report! It’s my Flumpagon quilt (hexagons with elephants…), and I’m loving how it turned out.
I started this quilt a while back, when the Fat Quarter Shop was having a sale on patterns, and this little cutie by Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet caught my eye. It’s her Cherry Blossom Table Runner – just beautiful!
I decided that it was also the perfect excuse to buy some fabric I’d been drooling over for a while – the Madhuri range by Riley Blake Designs, it’s gorgeous, full of bright colours and beautiful patterns, but most of all, elephants. And this would be the ideal project for it. After all, who wouldn’t want an elephant themed table runner??? So I was seriously excited when my order arrived!
The first hiccup came when I looked at the pattern – the table runner dimensions were given as 36″ x 64″. That sounded awfully large, so out came the tape measure and I measured the table. It’s actually 40″ x 54″. Oh dear…
So what to do? Ok, I could have just made the table runner shorter, but even so it would have been almost as wide as the table. The dimensions were all wrong. So I did what I always do in such situations. If in doubt, make it bigger…
Instead of the 17 blocks Lori put into her table runner, I made 23, and set them as an almost-square, instead of a rectangle. Then I added my borders, a skinny pink one to match the setting blocks, and then the elephant one. It ended up measuring 49 1/4″ x 52 1/4″, and here it is. It’s so pink and lovely!
It was also lots of fun to make. Ok, so matching all the points drove me to distraction, and I had to creatively add some cornerstones to the borders due to how the elephant fabric had been cut. I had ordered the right amount of yardage for once, but the top and bottom of the elephant fabric was cut right through the middle of the elephants. So I had nine lines of elephants marching across the fabric, and two half lines of elephants… This was meant to be a Flumpagon quilt, not a flump massacre quilt, so a solution had to be found. It’s not ideal, but oddly enough, I kind of like it 🙂
Here is the fabric I have set aside for the backing and the binding – the red is for the binding and the diamond one for the backing.
And finally, here it is being examined by Chief Quilt Testers Mr. Boy and Mimi Bubba…
All I have to do now is decide how to quilt it, and decide whether I can bear to give it away. And that will be another story entirely 🙂
Linking on up to Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.