This is the quilt that I ended up with as the answer to the #UANDUQAL. I adore riffing off of quilts in the Unconventional and Unexpected book by Roderick Kiracofe. Trying to keep with the same look/feel/vibe of these quilts while using more modern day fabrics never gets old.
The Lattice Quilt in red
It was quite the challenge in many ways and I wrote quite a bit about the journey over at my personal blog. I also combined this challenge with another one over at AHIQ blog, the #AHIQRED challenge where Red is considered a Neutral.
Original Inspiration quilt
There are several more quilts in the book that I have bookmarked for future interpretation attempts. So much joy in these charmingly make-do look quilts. It often makes me think that we could take our quilt-making attempts a little too seriously at times! Thanks Sujata for the great QAL! You gave me the perfect excuse to try making yet another quilt in the book!
For the UandUQAL organised by Sujata Shah I am reproducing the
Overlapping Octagons quilt from Roderick Kirakofe's book,
"Unconventional and Unexpected". I haven't done much to it over the last
few months; this is the present state of this lap quilt.
have made octagons with red centres surrounded by predominantly dark
blue strings. With this choice I aimed to use up most of my blue and
red Civil War reproduction fabrics, and with the red I succeeded and
have added more modern reds, but the blue were all so dark I soon
started introducing flashes of other colours.
present they're not overlapping, but I have more red squares cut, and
here I've positioned them where red squares will go in the final design.
I am pleased that the overlapping octagons have now emerged.
octagon blocks have Y-seams at each corner, and inserting the second
set of red centre blocks will involve more Y-seams. I wasn't happy about
this at the beginning, and so tried making hourglass blocks in the
corners, as shown here:
is one of two hourglass blocks I retained, before I gave up on them. At
each of the corners of this hourglass block five fabrics come together
making very bulky seams which I couldn't get to lie flat.
Y-seams, however, means joining only three, which will lie much more
easily, especially if the last string in the side panel continues into
the corner triangle, as here below.
Sorry about the fuzziness!
In this corner above, one of the four string sets
ends in a separate triangle; this is one of the string sets I originally
joined to an hourglass block. I rejected that method because of the
lack of continuity between the string set and its triangular ending as
well as the bulkiness of the join.
There was only one
thing for it: Y-seams. I dreaded the thought! Now I'm becoming an
expert! Practice makes perfect, they say, and I've had a lot of
practice! The secret lies in:
starting sewing the seam at the opposite end to the Y-join,
stopping two stitches before the point of the join and backtracking a
couple of stitches. That unsewn space gives you some room to manoeuvre.
starting each seam four stitch lengths further than the join,
stitching back two stitches to fix the seam and then stitching the seam
further until two stitch lengths before the point and backtracking two
to fix the seam.
The mistake I made when I first tried Y-seams was to start at
the point where everything came together. It's very crowded there! Much
easier to keep your distance from everyone else at the party. Approach
slowly and stand still when you're close enough. After following a
tutorial from Mary Huey on sewing tumbling blocks, it was plain sailing for me! Mary illustrates the process with lots of excellent, clear photos.
This "Scrappy Spring" top pieced in April 2019 has been machine-quilted and bound all in the same month.....I'm being a busy beaver trying to finish up some projects before I launch into new starts.
I quilted evenly spaced straight vertical lines one inch apart. Finished size of quilt is 55 1/4" x 62 3/4". I'm telling myself to make quilts that I may want to hang on my walls a bit smaller from now on because my latest pieces take up too much room for the wall space that I have.
Thank goodness I had enough of the purple/plum solid fabric for the binding.
Spring feels yellow and purple and white to me because of the forsythia, daffodils, grape hyacinths, violets, and lilacs that bloom in my yard.
And.....there's the RED in my two-year-old Japanese Bloodgood tree!
Over the past four days this has formed up on the design wall.....
It began with two blocks lying around....one small nine-patch block hand-pieced many many years ago by my then young daughter....
and this stray log cabin just lying about.....it all ended up to be 56" x 63".
Other pieces lying about from the most recent tops found their way in and then the large scale border fabric joined it all together. There are fabrics from secondhand used clothing in here....fabrics from clothes I sewed for myself and my daughters more than a dozen years ago....mixed with my stash.
It feels good to get more of my scraps into a completed top!
The third quilt made from hand-pieced tops given to me by my sister who had them on her ‘burn pile’ during a cleaning frenzy until I intercepted that disastrous plan and asked her to send them to me....is this one which I call “Duet Opus: Nolia and Me.”
After my sister saw the first two quilts I made from her deceased mother-in-law's tops, she asked me to make her and her husband a big one for their queen bed. I was happy to do this and she sent me two other colorful tops that she had hung onto after I encouraged her to throw NONE of these tops away.
This big quilt - about 96 x 96 inches - is made from these two original tops.....
As usual, I de-constructed the most colorful and interesting blocks....discarding fabrics that were too slippery, heavy, thin, or otherwise undesirable.....and added in fabrics from my own collection. You will notice the big patches of solid patches on the left in the first top ....also the bedspread strip at the bottom.....and there are two blocks with 'cheater fabric' in the second top.
I decided to use the tropical floral borders on the top and bottom of the second top as a unifying element and intersperse it throughout the many blocks of the final top.
After organizing and re-piecing blocks from both tops, I found I still needed a bit more length on one end so I pieced a row of eight smaller log cabin blocks from mostly my own fabrics.
I machine quilted this top in two half pieces and one smaller piece containing the end blocks - simple straight lines with the help of masking tape - and then I joined them in the middle, cutting away excess batting and fabric and hand stitching the backing 'join’ together....then finishing the front with the straight quilting lines. Worked like a charm although it took some effort to manipulate this heavy piece through my simple domestic machine. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! I decided I was going to be the boss of this thing!
Pin basting on the kitchen table....
Machine quilted in straight lines in two separate pieces.....
My trusty Husqvarna Viking machine.......
Here are a few shots of the individual blocks...
Orange double knit in this block....
Red double knit fabric in this block.....
Sharing the quilt with my aunts...
And here is sweet Nolia (1921-2010) at age 77...the hand piecer of the original tops....a woman whom I have never met but with whom I feel a warm kinship and connection because I have had the privilege to work with her fabrics and colors....she certainly had an eye for the joy and beauty in color and she has blessed me richly.