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Earlier this year, I finally gifted a quilt to my brother-in-law and his new wife for their wedding. It was a little late by about a year, but not bad by my normal standards!
I don’t know about you, but as much as I love making things, I am quite careful about who I actually create for……some just don’t appreciate the effort that goes in to making something, and there’s maybe also a bit of self-consciousness from me that they feel I’m fobbing them off with something hand-made?
So, when my brother-in-law announced his engagement, I asked them firstly, if they would like a handmade quilt? And secondly, if they did, what sort of style/colours would they like so that I could be as certain as possible that it would be exactly what they wanted! They said they would and so I passed them a copy of Jen Kingwell’s ‘Quilt Lovely’ book (one of my favourites!) and they soon came back to me saying that they loved the Home Run cushion – which is based on the Kansas Dugout block – but in blues and greys please.
I was planning to hand-piece the quilt, and as my BIL is over 6′ it was going to need to be of a reasonable size. Eeek! Eventually, I settled on increasing the size of the blocks slightly to a finished size of 8″ (with a finished block layout of 6 x 8 to give a quilt size of 48″ x 64″) using the following cutting measurements;
I collected a range of blues and greys (and snuck some teal colours in too) – quite a lot of Carolyn Friedlander, some Jen Kingwell, Cotton & Steel, batiks and a few other blenders.
When I eventually finished piecing the quilt – which was quite a workout towards the end – I started looking for some backing fabric and came across some Wild & Free fabric in midnight by Maureen Crackenell that I had in my stash. It was a few inches short of the length I needed and then I remembered the diagonal cutting technique…..it’s not one I’d tried before but I have to say it’s like magic! Essentially, if your fabric is wider than your finished top, you cut the fabric diagonally from corner to corner and then slide the two pieces along the cut edge – so the sides come closer together – until you get the desired width/length that you need (I found this website calculator to be useful). As a bonus, if you’re using the right kind of fabric, eg. one with a fairly abstract pattern, you can hardly even tell there’s a join!
I went for a simple quilting pattern, stitching a quarter inch either side of the seam of the bigger sections to reveal a grid pattern, using an Aurifil variegated blue and yellow thread, which worked perfectly to knit all the colours together.
For the binding, I decided to try something new and went for a 1″ wide binding: the blocks were so bold, I thought it would help to tie them all together. On the recommendation of a blog post I saw, I went for a single fold binding and, whilst it worked well, I will go for my normal double fold binding next time…I just prefer the feel of it on the finished edge!
Now that it’s completed, I can say that I am really pleased with how it came out but, during the making process, I did struggle a little. They’re not my usual colour choices but actually, in retrospect, it’s good to go outside the comfort zone and try different things as sometimes it’s surprising how much you like the finished results. What with this and the Green Triangle Quilt, I seem to be doing it quite a lot recently!!!
Today’s sky::: overcast but still warm!