Thursday, 16 January 2014

Theo's Quilt

Ok, enough prevaricating this week, down to Theo's quilt (1 week to go). I was child free with nothing planned today, so there really were no excuses. I started off by laying out my wonky squares and staring at them for some time.

I didn't like them! Good start!

I haven't been entirely happy from the beginning, but I thought maybe I needed to see more of them together. But this morning I decided I really needed to trust my gut on this one. I think these fabrics are just too busy and there are too many of them for this design.

Probably it's no coincidence that all the quilts of this design that I like are constructed from relatively simple fabrics in a limited number of contrasting colours. Like this one on From the blue chair, where I found the helpful tutorial in the first place.

 And my favourite blocks from the ones I've made fit into this category much better than the rest too.

Perhaps if I'd been making a quilt with just these fabrics I might have liked it more. Especially as the main reason I thought this design might be good was so that I could have insects in the centre of the blocks, looking like they were sort of 'framed'. But I didn't have enough fabric for that so it was time for a plan B. And it needed to be a plan B that would utilse 40ish squares that, if you remember, I'd already cut out!

I wasn't in the mood for just squares, they really weren't inspiring me.

Triangles, on the other hand...

I just ironed them in half to start with to see if I liked the idea.

... I started to like a little more. But I decided I didn't want them to form squares either (as they do above). I really wanted nothing to do with squares today! So I rearranged the line up of the rows to get rid of the squares completely. And then I sewed and sewed, forgetting to take any more photos (sorry!), until I had to stop and go and collect children.

And here's where I am now.

I'm half way through the top. Much faster progress now I'm actually happy with how it's going. It's not a quilt I've ever made before and I didn't do anything sensible like go and find a tutorial before I started, so I could be doing it in a very silly way. I'm just sewing the triangles together in rows and then sewing the rows together. Is there some clever way of doing it that I'm missing? Hope not. But I have discovered a few tips along the way (probably I could have discovered these on a wonderful quilting blog somewhere before I started). Tip number 1 is don't try and press your seams open. This is my usual preferred ironing method but it really doesn't work well with the points of the triangles - definitely iron them all one way. And tip number 2 is don't sew right into the points of the triangles as you sew them together, they lie flat much better then. It's also very easy to stretch your rows unevenly as you sew them together so pinning them would be sensible, but I try to avoid pinning as much as possible so I'll just put up with slightly wonky triangles!

As for my original wonky squares? Not sure what I'm going to do with them, I hate to have wasted all the time they took, as well as the fabric. The obvious answer is to put them in the quilt back. But then if I don't like them for the quilt front, I'm still not going to like them in the back. I think they might annoy me there. And I do have a possible plan for the back already. So I really don't know. But I do still want to do a wonky squares quilt at some point - I just need to find the right fabrics and colours, and ideally I think make the squares a bit bigger.

Too many quilts to try and not enough time though! Back tomorrow with a photo.



  1. Those offset triangles are super! I totally wouldn't have thought of that but it is SO effective! Glad you got away from the boxes! :-)

  2. Thank you, it's coming on well at last now. And I started the back yesterday and I'm feeling quite happy about that too. I love your antique quilt top, really beautiful.


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