Tag Archives: Philip’s quilt

Time to quilt . . .

Yesterday, I completed Philip’s quilt top. For the curious, this is what the back looks like.

Back of quilt top
Back of quilt top

Yes, I press the seams open; I want the top to lay as flat as possible. The back has its own pattern and looks nearly as colorful as the front.

Here’s the front of the quilt:

Philip's completed quilt top
Philip’s completed quilt top

The quilt is for a full-size bed (54″ x 75″ mattress). The quilt measures 68″ x 91″, large enough for a 7″ drop along the sides and a 8″ drop on the ends. There are 192 individual squares in the top, twelve columns times sixteen rows.  Because the pattern is symmetric, I could only use an even number of columns and rows. Had I used fourteen columns times eighteen rows, there would have been 252 individual squares, and the top would approach queen-size.

I bought purple flannel for the backing. I sewed two lengths along their selvage edges and pressed the seam open. Then, I spread the backing on my worktable, seam side up.

I spread the quilt top on top of the flannel, smoothing it out. I put no batting between the two layers because the top consists of a layer of muslin foundation and the fabric sewn to it. The flannel backing provides warmth and a slight pile without adding weight, as batting would. The three layers of fabric are warm, and they breathe, allowing some body heat to escape. Otherwise, you’d cook (in the morning, stick a fork in you; you’re done).

I safety-pinned everything in place; it took about three hundred safety pins: one in the center of each square and one at the four corners.

I quilt using white thread and a long stitch length, marking as I go. I mark the quilt in a simple grid pattern using an acrylic ruler and a table knife. Once I’ve positioned the rule, I run the dull edge of the knife along it. The knife leaves a shiny crease that I use as my stitching line.

I’ll be at this for a little while . . . later, sweet ‘taters!!

Philip’s quilt top . . . 71% complete

Today, I sewed the first round of framing squares around the quilt top.

First round of framing squares
First round of framing squares

When I was buying fabric, I came up with some “medium” purples:  too light to be considered “dark” and too dark to be considered “light.”  I went ahead and used one as a dark fabric (third pinwheel from the right, middle of the column).

The rest of the medium fabric I used along the outer edges. Look at the light pinwheels: one half is a little darker than the other half.

I also bought some deep purple, darker than the purple I’ve used so far. (Deep Purple?? Raise your hand if you remember Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water.”  Go on, this is the internet; nobody can see if you raise your hand or not.)

Now, I need to sew the final forty-eight squares to finish the quilt top.  I’ll primarily use deep purples until I run out of fabric, then I’ll revert to previously used purples (dark and light).

Quilt body complete . . .

Today, I finished the body of Philip’s quilt:

Complete quilt body . . .
Complete quilt body . . .
Quilt body detail . . .
Quilt body detail . . .

I must say this was an interesting experience.

I had only two colorways to deal with: light with dark, or dark with light.  I cut ALL the fabrics, grouped them together by block, and stacked everything by my sewing machine.

I sewed the squares taking the first piece on top of the stack, and worked my way down. While the colorway stayed the same, the combination of colors was all random.

Same with sewing the squares together into blocks.  There was only one way to sew four squares together, and I took the first two squares off the stack of each colorway.

When I laid the blocks on my worktable, it was a disaster!! (Sorry, no photos.) It wasn’t quite what I had in mind.

So, concentrating on the dark pinwheels (since they were more noticeable), I swapped and rotated blocks so at least the core of each dark pinwheel was cohesive. I grouped same and like fabrics together.

I like the results much better . . .

What I particularly like is how the pinwheels seem to fade in and out: the core of the pinwheels generally match, but the arms don’t.  There’s even a mistake in one of the dark pinwheels, and I left it where it was.

My next step is sewing two more rows all around the piece. I’ll complete the arms of the existing pinwheels and use deep purple fabrics to frame the piece, mimicking the pinwheel arms. I have a medium purple that I’ll use to complete the light purple pinwheels, making the outer edges darker in general.

What do you think of this?

Philip’s Quilt . . . status update

Last Monday, I bought (most of) the fabric I’d be using in this quilt. I have four different yellow fabrics, five different green fabrics, five different light violet fabrics, and seven different dark violet fabrics.

This pattern is one of contrasts.

Philip's proposed quilt
Philip’s proposed quilt

The largest shape, the pinwheel, alternates between light and dark violet, rotating around a small yellow square, with green 4-pointed stars in between the pinwheels.

For the body of the quilt, I have to color the squares two different ways:  dark violet with light, and light violet with dark, as shown below.

Colorways for body of quilt
Colorways for body of quilt

When I’ve made this quilt in the past, I’ve taken pains to ensure all the pinwheels were made of only one fabric apiece, only to realize you don’t see that distinction from a distance.

This time, I’m treating all the light violet fabrics as “Light,” and all the dark violet fabrics as “Dark,” using them interchangeably.  Same with the green and yellow fabrics.  In my mind’s eye, I see this as a “scrappy” quilt while maintaining the light/dark contrast.  Below, I’ve laid out a couple dozen squares to get a feel for what the quilt will look like.

Laying out squares as an experiment
Laying out squares as an experiment

Tell me . . . what do you think of this idea? Do you like it?

Last week, I sewed a total of one hundred eight squares, out of a total of two hundred fifty-two. I’ve completed about 40 percent of what I need.

Now, I need to stamp more muslin foundations.

Philip’s quilt . . .

Today, I’m starting on a new quilt for my friend Philip in New York City.

This is the pattern in the chosen colors.

Philip's proposed quilt
Philip’s proposed quilt

I’ve used this pattern before, with its light/dark contrast for the pinwheels.

I started shopping for fabric today; I have one more store to check out.  I’m pleased with the choices. I’ll show them to you later . . . they’re currently in the laundry.