Tuesday, January 31, 2017

COMPLETED TOP: Meadow Quilt

As anyone who knows my quilting can tell you, I'm not very good at following instructions.

Sure, it says to do 12 blocks of 3x4 but I want a quilt that's bigger, so I'm going to make it 4x4.

Yes, the instructions for the quilt indicate that there are twelve quilt blocks but I'm tired of making them, so I'm just going to make eight of the blocks, split them in two, and then do nine-patches for matching quilts.

Of course I can make an open bag out of a closed bag pattern! Don't be silly; it'll be easy!

The Meadow Quilt, designed and taught by Lizzy House, is a 4x5 arrangement of 12.5" 'flower' blocks with coloured-in sections between the flower petals. She teaches it as a class, and I attended the one in Sydney back in 2015...and then left the pattern for forever. In December 2016, I finally decided to get it done (see the hashtag #SelWIPsItGood) and did the cutting and sewing in January, before completing the sewing-together at the first sew-in for the Sydney Mod Squad quilting group.

Summer meadow

There were issues, of course. The block itself as given by Lizzy involves curves and bias cutting, and then, on top of all that, the pattern doesn't precisely fit. Lizzy's advice was to ease-ease-ease, then starch the living heck out of it.

My #meadowquilt block at the #sydneymeadowquilt class today!

Which I did, but every block I made had a wobble to it. It was a PITA.

Summer meadow

In the end, I went by trying to keep the blocks flat, rather than trying to keep the seams at a quarter-inch. Which is why the circle in the centre is weirdly positioned, and the seam practically runs over it.

And that was all the blocks! It was so frustrating!

In my despair, I cried out to the quilters on Instagram, and they heard my cry and delivered me to Renee at Quilts of a Feather. Renee had created a fix it tutorial for how to make the blocks lay flat, and reading it was very helpful! Of course, you needed to read the fix before you'do done the cutting out, which was too late for me...

In the end, I squidged the edges, but the fix would be helpful for friends who have the quilt pattern and haven't yet completed one (just like me, only even more delayed).

Then there was the small matter of the layout - as noted, the usual layout is a 4x5 rectangle. Which looks lovely but is kind of...boring.

I...modified it a little:
I may be a little bit of a design rebel...  #meadowquilt #sydneymeadowquilt

At first, I was going to make the 'colour blocks' between the flower petals different colours, but then I decided that I liked the colour fill, so I rearranged:

Meadow #summermeadow2016

There were issues sewing it all together, of course:
Meadow #summermeadow2016

But I had a plan! (In my quilting bullet journal; I'm not a devotee, but it is pretty convenient in many ways.)

Meadow #summermeadow2016

One thing that Lizzy said was that if you make all the 'eyes' (the centre piece of the block) then you'll make the quilt, because those eyes are pretty useless for anything else...and they're watching you. Which, yes, is a little creepy, but accurate.

Meadow #summermeadow2016

Even once I had all the blocks, there was some residual anguish about putting it all together. This is customary and should always be ignored. My first instincts are usually right when it comes to quilt design - or, at least, everyone is too polite to say my design sense sucks to my face - but the second-guessing takes a toll:
Summer meadow

And yes, I unpicked a block to get the Chinese characters the right way around. It wasn't too terrible, just a bit of a pain. However, a quilter's gotta do what a quilter's gotta do...
Summer meadow

The result is pretty good, though - I like it as much as I thought it would. And although I worried that the three-quarter fills might look a bit out of place, most people seem to like the variation in design, too.
Summer meadow

I think this will go as a wedding present to a couple who are getting married this year. I'll have to get it quilted before then, though - luckily, I have quite a bit of time on my hands in the coming months thanks to a work redundancy...

3 comments:

  1. You are such a terrific Rebel Sel, I love it!!

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  2. I love that you've changed it up to suit you! I found it tough going too, but when I sewed the blocks in batches I they seemed to fit together ok? Perhaps I was making the same error each time until the error cancelled themselves out - he he he ... mind is finished and being used ... just need to photograph it for a blog post (I find that the hardest part!)

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  3. My friend and I took lizzy's class march 2015. We are only coming back to it now. We curse that we didint see quilts of a feather fix before cutting everything out too. Love your take on the free flowing design. Lovely!! Must get back to the scary eyeballs

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