A week ago today, I started this quilt, and what a week it’s been!
Day 1: I traced my shapes on paper-backed fusible web and fused it to my fabric. I cut out all the shapes and removed the paper backing. I laid the shapes on my background and ran into my first problem.
I traced my shapes a bit larger with the thought of adding extra space between them, but it just doesn’t work out that way. What I see as black lines separating the shapes in my drawing translate into gaps between the shapes on my quilt.
Days 2 and 3: I trimmed the excess from the edges of my shapes. I laid them out on my background with better success than the night before. I fused the shapes in place, trimmed the excess background fabric and encountered my second problem.
When my brother asked for a baby quilt on Thanksgiving, I had in mind a small piece, about 45 inches square. What I currently had was both narrower and longer than expected (32 inches wide by 64 inches long). The “baby” in question is an active three-year-old, so longer was probably better, but narrower was not.
I went ahead and stitched the shapes in place.
Days 4 and 5: I went to buy batting and flannel for backing. The smallest package of batting was crib-quilt size (45 inches wide and 60 inches long). I pieced the excess background fabric I had cut off earlier and added appropriate borders all around. The piece now measures 45 inches by 70 inches.
I already had a piece of batting large enough for the purpose. I’ll use the batting I bought at a later date.
I pieced the flannel for the backing; I layered the quilt sandwich; and, I safety-pinned everything together with a couple hundred of ’em (I’ve got the pin pricks to prove it).
Days 6 and 7: What else? I’ve been quilting.
I remove the safety pins in the area I’m about to quilt. I mark the top with the dull edge of a table knife run along the edge of my acrylic ruler to make a shiny crease. Then, I straight-pin the three layers together, across the marked line. I roll up the excess, take it to the sewing machine, and stitch.
My first two stitched lines form an “X” through the middle of the quilt. After that, I mark, pin, and stitch outward from the center, rotating the quilt ninety degrees for each new line.
Here’s where I am now:
What do you think of it?
When our family gathered on Thanksgiving, I took some of my Celtic Knot quilts to show my brother who had never seen them.
He handed one of the smaller pieces to his granddaughter, who politely said, “Thank You!” and marched off with it. (Getting it back from her was not pretty.)
My brother asked me to make a Celtic knot baby quilt for her for Christmas.
I went around and around, working on different knots comprised of three strands. The knots I came up with involved hundreds of pieces . . . too many pieces for a mere baby quilt.
Then, I had an idea: rather than fool with a lot of little pieces, why not make the pieces bigger and deal with just a few pieces.
This reminded me of a piece I’d made over a year ago:
The beauty of my technique of “large-scale” Celtic knots is that I’m not constrained to use a narrow strip of bias tape. The knot is viewed as a series of shapes that I can enlarge or reduce as need be (like now).
I came up with a much simpler knot that works in three colors:
This morning, I traced and fused the majority of the shapes to red and blue fabrics. I’ll spend some time today cutting out the shapes. I’ll trace and fuse the shapes for the third color later today.