Sunday, 23 January 2011

Jen's Quilt - A Big Tree

I had another request from a friend to make her a quilt as a commission. We started picking out fabrics together at the store, and the she bought a bunch more and mailed them to me.

Originally, she wanted a copy of my Mossy Monkey Mechanic, but then she found another pattern, and another and another ;) One of the quilt pictures she sent me looked really familiar and turned out to be a quilt made by Anne of Film and Thread (my friend found the photo on someone's photo collection site and it took me a while to figure out where I knew the quilt from)

In the end, my friend let me decide whether to make her a tree similar to Anne's or a Lonestar (the one with diamond shapes, 8 pointed) as long as her aubergine fabric was the main fabric.

I picked the tree and made a bigger version of my Tree of Hope. A much bigger version. Queen-sized, to be specific :)

I started by laying out two strips of background aubergine fabric and playing with the layout of the tree trunk and leaves I had cut out.

When I liked the layout, I used safety pins to fixate all the pieces.

Then I took the 2 background pieces apart to have less fabric to maneuvre around the machine while I free-motion straight-stitched around all the leaves and the trunk pieces.

When that was all done, I joined the background pieces with a straight seam across, and sewed down the rest of the trunk (that went across the seam).

I also started playing around with borders. I had figured out measurement to use 3" (final) squares in rows of 4 all the way around. I forgot that I had cut the background fabric a bit bigger, for safety (not sure what kind of safety... where could I have possibly lost fabric in one straight seam???) Anyway, because of that, the number of squares I cut wasn't enough to reach all the way around, and 4 rows in the border would have made the quilt bigger than my friend wanted it.

(Looking at this layout now, I think I will add some more leaves to the right, the heaviness on the left bothers me a wee bit :)

So I downsized to 3 rows, still okay, and maybe less overpowering for the centre...

Here are the squares of the border sewn together - I love how quilts look better and better when the seams are completed - raw edges sometimes really make a layout look bad, but I've learned to trust that finished seams will make layouts and even colour combinations look better!

In between joining border blocks, I zigzagged around the leaves and the trunk. I only did the original seam to hold everything in place and not run into problems with shifting fabric. I didn't use any glue, interface or fusible webbing to hold this shapes in place, and didn't have any problems.

The border is now attached to the quilt center - looks great! Just didn't have a chance to take a photo yet. I'm also still waiting on a recent thread order to finish zigzagging around some leaves for which I didn't have a matching thread colour... I have 2 more months to finish this quilt, my own deadline, and since I'm planning some elaborate quilting, that'll be just enough time!

I love making a quilt for someone I care about, especially when they were involved in the design process!


Anne at Film and Thread said...

Now I'm curious. Was the person claiming that as their quilt?

I am crazy about the colors of this and LOVE how the border ties it all together. How are you going to quilt it?

Ly + Alan said...

Hi! I found your blog from the simplify quilting blog. I love the quilt you are currently working on. I'm also a quilter in my twenties...I'm hoping to start a quilting blog as soon as I have a free moment. =)


Shasta said...

This is beautiful - I really have a fondness / fascination for trees, and this one is lovely. Great border too.

Bella Linguini said...

That is so pretty and I love your color choices in there! The patchwork border reminds me of leaf piles surrounding the tree. Can't wait to see how you quilt it all together!