I've decided I like sewing mini quilts! A sweet thing like this, which, you know, I forgot to measure before I posted it off to a friend of mine, but trust me, it's little, only took me a week to stitch up. It did take me another fortnight or so to dust off my machine (or should I say, 'unearth my machine from the mountains of fabric and quilt tops') and quilt it up, and another week to bind it. So anyone that says hand-stitching a quilt like this is slow should keep in mind all the other things that go into making a quilt, like organising your sewing room. I'm hardly in there these days because it's so cold, and hand-stitching is the perfect 'by-the-fire' activity, so my studio has mostly become the dumping ground for when I'm tidying up my mess in the lounge room or from the dining room table. Just don't tell my kids that I'm simply moving my mess from one place in the house to the other. I'm always at them about that!
I made this mini partly so I would have an example of triangles in use for my shop, and partly because I wanted to test how far my love of English Paper Piecing could go. Would I get half way through making this quilt that could have easily been stitched on my machine in a day, and roll my eyes at myself?
Well, it turns out the answer is No. Like I mentioned in this post, I like not having to stitch in organised rows. I like it enough to choose this way over the 'fast' way.
I stitched this quilt using 3" triangles, the purple scraps from my Free Spirit Quilt, and the Skipping Stones scraps from a quilt I finally get to show you later this week (!), that I made for Free Spirit. I can't say enough how much I love this line. Just the most beautiful mix of neutrals, with all the variety between white and grey that you'd expect from Anna Maria Horner. I cut 6 triangles from each print , mix and matched them into bundles of 6, with two colours, a purple and a neutral, in each pile.
Then I stitched three triangles together, purple, neutral, purple, and then the other three triangles together, neutral, purple, neutral, to make two half hexagons. I laid them all out until I was happy with the arrangement, snapped a photo which would become my 'pattern', and took note of which half hexagons I needed to stitch together, and which would stay separate and fill the gaps down the sides. And then I stitched those I needed to together to complete the 3" hexies.
I was surprised when it was all done just how little you can pick out the hexagons. But I still like the movement of light and shade. It reminds me of looking through a car windscreen on a rainy night, seeing the city lights in smears rather than clean sparkles. That's why I've called it Modern Storm.
I used 180 3" triangles in this quilt and it looked the perfect ratio until I trimmed it. Then it wasn't quite a square. I wish I'd either left the zig-zaggy edge at the top and bottom, or added little filler triangles so that those hexies that were trimmed would be complete. It was an interesting exercise in the way the eye tricks you, and I'll be keeping it in mind next time I'll be trimming off overhanging blocks.
Don't forget I'm giving away a fat quarter bundle of Skipping Stones with some papers and thread in my Shape Family Design Challenge! Simply purchase a Shape Family pack here, arrange the shapes in a pattern, snap a picture and share it on Instagram with the #ShapeFamilyChallenge tag. Easy! You should head over and see what people are creating. So many patterns I would never have thought of! Exactly what I was hoping for in a competition like this!
So I'm curious to know, would you ever hand-stitch a quilt that could be sewn by machine? Or would you just put a heater in your sewing room? Which parts of quilt-making do you actively avoid?