Saturday, July 7, 2018

Life in the garden -a quilt top

I finished the quilt top which I am calling "Life in the garden" last night.

I am heart-skippy with delight over it! 
It was a LOT of fun to make. 

This post is about how I made it, and what I like about it.

It started with two things: a discounted pile of 15 precuts called "charm squares" which had  a bee theme: honeycomb, bees, and also butterflies. 

I had be re-reading Gwen Marsden's book "Liberated Quiltmaking II" on improvisational piecing. She spoke about using a toile piece in an improvised quilt -and used a Welsh vintage quilt as inspiration. I decided to make her instructions for square in a square blocks, and to use some old Debbie Munn fabric as the centres: time to use this up! This gave me quite a few squares. I also added some cats -as what is a garden without cats?

I used up all the charm squares by adding borders to them. As some of them were quite dark in background, I added some dark borders. 

I added a number of fabrics to the mix -toiles and soft patterns on white fabrics -everything with a garden theme. 

I played with the design quite a bit. I didn't want to have too regular a pattern of lights and darks, but instead let the movement of the tones encourage the eye to move around the piece. 

Then, as I pondered about the way to finish the quilt following the white stop border, I saw a small quilt on Instagram which Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville had completed this week -with a scrappy strip border. I had saved all the strips from cutting this quilt -so I started to make the outer border in a fairly random fashion. So long as no two fabrics were together that was it! Add some yellow corner stones and it was done.

I have a pretty black and white fabric which I found disguised as a couple of pillow cases and a doona cover, in a op shop, which will be the back. Add a thin piece of batting -you know the leftover bits you always have from a big quilt-and it will be done. 

I loved the playfulness of the quilt making - I didn't have a design in mind when I started. I liked the way I was able to incorporate things from my stash, including fabric which had been there far too long. I liked the scrappy strip border -again it used up tiny bits which might otherwise get tossed out.

There is a narrow space near my door, with a quilt hanger. When it is finished, this will go there. 

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