Gathering Threads

Spring Bouquet Quilt Top Complete

Posted by on Apr 07 2013, in Quilting

It’s done.

After seven months, almost to the day, I’ve finished “Spring Bouquet”.

You can see my progress over that time in my updates:  #1, #2 and #3

It seems appropriate somehow that I reached the milestone in spring. It’s still chilly and not much has started sprouting in our neck of the woods but the sun does seem to be doing its best to sneak through and yesterday, I got into the garden and started to dig and plan.  Maybe in a few months, this is what it will look like?  Alive and bursting with colour.

My thoughts on the pattern:   Very doable. Even though this was my first applique project (yes, really!), I found the process very straight forward. I think that anyone with a bit of staying power and moderate sewing skills could tackle this project and find success. For folks with still developing skills, the pre-cut, pre-fused options would offer a reasonable shortcut.

The pattern pieces were complete and instructions for the applique and the layout were straight forward. I would have liked a centre mark on the applique guides – although it’s fairly easy to find the centre of a symmetrical layout, the assymmetrical ones were a little fussier.

The background fabric must be cut larger than the 16 1/2″ the pattern recommends. Whether you use needleturn or fusible web, the stitching process means a lot of handling for each block. I cut my blocks 17″ and then trimmed them. I was very glad I did, otherwise I know my quilt top would have been quite cock-eyed.

My only beef with the pattern came right at the end. The cutting directions for the pieced 3/4″ border were very brief. I wanted a continuous pattern, like the sample quilt. Dusted off my math skills, and calculated that 12 blocks of 22 colours would fit perfectly into 264 blocks. OK, so off I go, cutting 22 strips of cream and 22 strips of batik. Piece strip the pairs, cut them apart. Sew them into long chains, making two pair of the final four patch separately so I can attach them in the corners, only to discover that I would have needed to mirror half of the long chains if I wanted the four patch pattern to work out evenly at the corners….

Grr.

I know it’s a minor thing and I like the workaround I came up with. I inserted 4 2″ patches into the corners and it looks very nice but if something requires specialized knowledge or an extra step, I think it should be spelled out in the directions and these weren’t. Maybe it’s something ‘quilters’ know and just assume everyone else would know how to make a continuous four patch border but I’m a garment sewer and you know what they say about assuming…. :)

Now that it’s done and scheduled to head to my long arm quilter’s this week, I’m hoping to turn my attention to some garment sewing for spring. I still want to finish up the embroidered coat I started last winter and I’ve got a couple of fun vintage patterns that I’m itching to try.

Comments

  • Claire, this is breathtakingly beautiful! what a labor of love…truly an heirloom to be passed down through the ages.
    I hope you don’t mind it I pin it so others may enjoy it, too.

    fondly,
    Rett

  • Claire

    Thank you, Rett. I’m so glad you like it. And no need to ask – you may pin anything I make with abandon! :)

  • Jenny Jo

    It’s really, REALLY wonderful! That four-patch border just fits so perfectly with all the florals. And great job figuring out how to “fix” it.

  • Claire

    Thanks, Jenny!

  • Wow!!! That’s absolutely gorgeous. Did you do it needleturn? I could never finish that in only 7 months. Brava! And yes – your workaround for the patched stop border is really pretty. (And I would have done the same thing, not seeing the need to mirror two sides of the patch placements)

  • Claire

    Thank you, Lynette. I’m glad to know the fourpatch thing it isn’t a quilting secret I just didn’t get taught, because I didn’t know the secret quilter’s handshake :) And no, I used mylar templates to turn under the raw edges, then machine appliqued it. It’s a great technique I picked up from Erin Russek’s blog.

  • Gorgeous – you did Edyta proud! I’ve bought the pattern – that’s as far as I gotten. Thanks for sharing!

  • Great quilt top!

  • Claire

    Thanks, Corina. I’m really looking forward to seeing it all quilted.

  • Claire

    You’ll enjoy making it, Angie. Edyta’s done a great job.

  • I’m about to begin this same project – that is so good to know about the border! I wouldn’t have thought of it either.

  • Claire

    Good luck, Fran! I saw on your blog that you’re going with the BOM option and that’s definitely a great way to go on a big project like this. It breaks it into little chunks and mentally, I think makes it much more ‘do-able’.