27 October, 2010

The Red Quilt

I have a quilt top! I've been slowly making the blocks a few at a time over the last month, adding in a new fabric here and there as I got them.  There were a few false starts, like when I cut several strips 7cm wide instead of 8cm, but I got there! I laid them out last week, swapped things around, pondered and swapped and pondered and swapped and then numbered them and set them aside. But then I thought I could just maybe sew a few together, and then it was all the strips and then suddenly it was all the strips together and there was a quilt top.

Red quilt top

It's 6 blocks wide by 8 blocks long (125x165cm), just perfect for snuggling under on the couch.  It's funny looking at in the photo because I can suddenly see that there are some darker fabrics only on the edges and not in the middle, but I guess that kind of thing happens despite your best intentions! You could go mad trying to get all the fabrics not touching another of the same, obviously I didn't manage that in places!  I think if I were going to do it over again I'd put more larger prints with white in to break up the fabrics that are solid orange and red, and put less orange in, but I'm very happy with it as it is, and I LOVE the splashes of aqua.  I was going to back it with more of the red and orange small circle fabric, but Mat commented that it would be pretty busy and I think he's right, so I got some white fabric with tiny red starburst sort of shapes on it and I think that'll be perfect.

Red quilt top 2

Although I knew I wanted to make a red quilt, I got the inspiration for the style from Red Pepper Quilts (and looking at it just now I can see that she did the large prints with more white) and the technique for the block from the quilt-along over at Old Red Barn Co.  I wish I knew what it was called, I think of it as the '3 Strip Block' but the one at Red Barn has 5 strips so obviously you can do different numbers.

I experimented with free-motion quilting for the first time the other night and really enjoyed it, but have sadly come to the conclusion that my machine is not at all good at doing it - at least on such a large scale. The main problem is that the needle doesn't stop in the down position and there is no way to make it do that, so no matter how hard I try I can't stop the fabric shifting whenever I stop sewing. I tried moving it back but it just never started up again nicely. So I'll default the boring old straight lines, although Mum suggested doing diagonal lines which might be quite good.  That's fine for this quilt but I still have the Far Far Away quilt to do for Hazel and I definitely do not want straight lines for that - so if anyone has a good quilter they know of and could recommend I'd love to hear about them!  Now if only my old machine would break down so I could get a new quilting one...


  1. I am loving the red with the bit of aqua thrown in. Good luck on whatever you decide to do with the quilting. You know me I pay and get it done on a long arm quilting machine - slack I know but one of the compromises in my life :)

  2. I suspect that I'll end up being a 'quilt things that straight lines are ok
    for and pay someone to do the free-motion stuff' kind of quilter. I'm happy
    to pay for expertise on a quilt that I consider worth it - if that makes
    sense! Especially since I know how gorgeous a good job can be! Could I get
    the details of your quilter - you seemed pretty happy with her. I'm sure
    there are people in Auckland but it's always good to go with a personal
    recommendation! I'll get the Far Far Away quilt done properly, this red one
    is fine with good old straight lines :)

  3. I did actually consider hand-quilting it but since it'll be a big quilt
    (well the biggest one I'll have done at that point but only a single!) it
    might be a bit daunting to start on. I'd like to try my skills on a
    pot-holder or something first! My mum did the big King quilt on our bed by
    hand with a couple of friends and even then I still marvel at the amount of

  4. And you'll notice some of your fabrics in there no doubt! That Michael
    Miller Ta Dot really made it I think, it's just perfect. And the
    hummingbirds, though you can't really tell they're hummingbirds

  5. Yeah I think it does, sort of makes the red stand out even more. I'm just
    hoping it's not a fashion thing that will be out in a year or so and I'll be
    all "what was I thinking??!"

  6. That shop has closed down in the last couple weeks. I popped in a few months
    ago and saw the machines in the back but never went back as they didn't have
    much of a selection of fabric or anything other than very traditional
    quilting fabrics, perhaps they were getting ready to shut even then.



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