Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Another Quilty Tip

This morning, when I woke up in bed, I had quite a surprise facing my bleary eyes.  I refer not to the fur ball one of the cats had kindly left me on my candlewick blanket (delightful, but soon sorted by the washing machine) but to the crazy colourful scene playing out over yonder.  I imagine it might be how those hippies felt in the sixties when they were tripping, get it?


You may be wondering why my latest quilt, the scrappy trip-a-long, is in my bedroom. It is not because it is finished and gracing the bed already (I wish!) but because now I have a substantial number of blocks made (twenty), I really needed to see them laid out.

The ideal way to see how your quilt is coming together as you make it is to have a proper design wall, of course.  This is basically a very large piece of board which is covered in flannel on which you then arrange your fabric blocks. You can buy these custom made, for quite a few pennies, I expect, but the question is, where do you put such a thing?  Where do you happen to have enough space and where it won't be completely in the way, too?

As I mentioned, the design board is covered in flannel, that's because due to the furry nature of the fabric, when you put cotton blocks against it, they basically "stick".  The other day, it struck me that our wall of wardrobes was a nice large blank space.  Off I went into my quilty den, in search of my stash of old flannelette sheets which I hoard for backing quilts.  One pre-loved flannelette sheet and four old skirt hangers (from a thrift shop) later, and I have myself a temporary design board.



I actually need my steps to reach the top!  Because my blocks are not entirely flat (because I haven't pressed all the seams yet), I have used a pin in each corner to help keep the blocks stuck on. 

The beauty of this arrangement, along with its "cheapness", is that it is not permanent, so when I do not need my "design board", I can simply roll it all away and it shall take up precious little space to store.  I now need to get a larger sheet as I've still two rows of blocks to add to the bottom!

It really does help with a large quilt such as this, with such a scrappy nature, to stand back and see the patterns emerging.  Taking a photo and looking at it on the screen helps you to see the quilt top in a whole new light and pin point areas which either work really well and can be replicated or don't work well and need to be moved around.


I am in a bit of a quandry with this quilt.  On the one hand, I want to just enjoy making it and not be too "controlled" with it, that is the idea of a scrappy quilt after all.  It's meant to be a bit crazy but I feel it needs a bit of order to allow a pattern to emerge, then again I do not want to have all the leading diagonals in the same colour or fabric as this creates too much of a distinct pattern for my tastes.  My head naturally likes a bit of tidiness and order so I am having to fight to allow the scrappy-ness to join in! 

This quilt top has certainly sent Charlie Boy into a trance!  I think he's dreaming of the day when this top becomes a quilt and he can cosy up in it.


Just hold the fur balls please, furry friend!

27 comments:

  1. Well.....my, my, another gorgeous quilt. I would choose a dark border to show up the wonderful bright colours I think, but that choice is yours.
    Julie xxxxxxxx

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  2. A lovely way to wake up in the morning and see the scrummy quilt staring you in the face - it is gorgeous! - I love the happy colours ..... fully understand about fur balls too .....

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  3. It is interesting how things you don't notice 'in the flesh' with a project become really obvious as soon as you photograph it, things you just wouldn't ever think about really stand out in a photo. Brilliant idea for an easy project board,off to oxfam for a nice furry flannel sheet tomorrow...

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  4. Can't live without my design wall. I am lucky to have a good 2 x 2 meter piece of wall where I simply have pinned a flannel sheet upon. This idea is great for larger quilts. I will give it a go next time.

    Your scrappy quilt looks delightful already. I doubt you need to any changes to it. It feels in order and scrappy at the same time already. Curious to see the outcome. Have a lovely Tuesday.

    Annette
    www.myrosevalley.blogspot.com

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  5. That quilt it simply wonderful. I like the way you have 'laid' it out in your pictures as it looks liked organized scrappy, so best of both worlds. I bet the more you look at it the more you want to rearrange and organize it x

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  6. Wow - that's tremendous. I can imagine that it's difficult to let go when it comes to the block combos. Great idea with the flannelette quilting wall too!

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  7. Hen, your quilt is coming along so beautifully!! I love all the pretty colors and how wonderful to wake up to see such prettiness!! Love it, and how cute is your kitty!! He definitely has the right idea! xo Heather

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  8. Your quilt looks beautiful! I love the mix :)

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  9. Another wonderful quilt! Great idea to use your wardrobes! :) x

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  10. As an actually elder-hippie, I can say that your quilt top would have been well loved by us! :-) I adore how it goes in the diamond patterns, but with different colors. Gorgeous!! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  11. It's looking really good already. It's hard to fight the urge to keep re-arranging isn't it. Great idea for the design wall (as long as you don't need to get into the wardrobe!)

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  12. It's becoming such an entirely beautiful quilt. I'd be quite happy to see it every morning!
    Claire

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  13. GORGEOUS!!!!
    My immediate thought though (and i hope you don't mind me saying), is that maybe switch top right with bottom left, so that you balance out the deeper shades of red diagonals.
    This quilt is going to be absolutely breathtaking!!
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  14. Hen...I meant top right "diamond" switch with bottom left diamond, I hadn't realised each diamond was made of four blocks till I looked more closely.
    PLease feel absolutely free to ignore me completely by the way!!!! hahaa!
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  15. I'm with you, Luce, but no need to fret as I have not arranged the blocks yet, just bunged them up as I've been going along. Still almost as many to make again yet until the blocks are finished so it will all balance out in the end. Here's hoping anyhow!

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  16. I think the quilt is coming along perfectly just as it is. It's so bright and cheerful. Thank you for the tip, that's very helpful!

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  17. This post makes me giggle in the most wonderful way! Your scrappy quilt is going to be so lovely. Elizabeth

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  18. It is going to be a lovely quilt with great colors and what a fantastic way to display it so you can look at the whole creation at once!! Iowa, USA

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  19. Your quilt is looking gorgeous, I like your idea for a design board.

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  20. That is exactly what I do for my design wall and I also use both sides. I am not such a good finisher and I have two quilts pinned on there. Both of them WILL be finished this year. Love how your quilt is coming along.

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  21. Hen, it's simply scrummy in its delightful scrappiness, takes me back to my hippy days LOL..i LOVE it!! cheers...Marian

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  22. Such a lovely quilt! As I am not a quilter (although I wish I were) I truly enjoy viewing other quilters assemble their beautiful masterpieces. And, the way you have it displayed makes it truly a joy to see. Also, your kitty is a little love bug. Thank you so much for sharing. Carol xx

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  23. Beautiful! I have been wanting to make a quilt like this for far too long, I am going to follow your progress and hopefully steal your ideas :) x

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  24. Thank you for such a good idea. I have some flannel sheets and have never thought of using them for a design board, but now I will. Love your quilt.

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  25. I like your scrappy along, I am only on block 6 ..Did you ever get around to reading Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher ?

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  26. Gorgeous quilt! ...and those cats look like they are in heaven (well apart from the one on the windowsill! :-))...really made me smile..

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