I finished a new quilt for our living room! I’ve been meaning to make one for us ever since making my first one for my sister last year, and decided to make it one of my Minerva network projects so I’d actually get around to doing it.
This is my Minerva project for Feb and March combined since quilt materials can get quite expensive. I resisted my typical urge to Use All the Prints and picked solids from their cotton poplin range instead. This smooth and soft cotton was really great to work with and gives the finished quilt a lovely silky drape. Inside is a double layer of cotton wadding for extra puffy cosiness, and I used purchased wide bias binding around the edge.
I did my usual dozens of design options in Illustrator, but went for a simple random-colour HST (half-square triangle)-based design in the end. Mostly because I wanted to take the lazy route and use Thangles again to be honest. I do really want to make the tumbling block and flying geese designs at the bottom-right some day though. My sewing room spare bed definitely needs its own quilt next…
My technique for making quilts seems to be the “intense sprint” kind of approach. I just know that if I cut all the triangles and left it for a while, I would literally never pick them up again. So I spent a pretty hardcore weekend getting the top completely finished in one fell swoop. The process goes a bit like this: cut strips to width; pin Thangle templates to strips; sew; pull off Thangle template paper; press squares; lay squares into design; pin each row together and mark row order; sew each row together; sew all rows together. If it sounds like a lot of steps, it FEELS like a lot of steps while you’re doing it too. The peeling Thangle templates and pressing steps were an especially brutal 2-3 hours bending over the ironing board, ugh. After that I had a bit of a break before doing the quilting and binding, which was luckily much faster.
The downside of the sprint approach does mean I got a bit sloppy with matching up my points perfectly. The quilting pattern is less than perfect too as it was really difficult to drag the quilt through my machine’s rather small arm. I ended up applying the edge binding by hand as I was sick of manoeuvring the quilt through the machine by that point. Luckily the imperfections don’t spoil the effect or enjoyment of the final quilt for me.
The finished size is 36 x 48″ (9×12 4″ blocks) which is a good size for me – it looks nice on the back of the sofa when not in use, covers the legs and lets my cat fully sprawl out as he’s wont to do. Luckily I don’t really like overly large quilts since I don’t think I’d have the floor space to lay out anything larger, much less the will to drag it through my machine.
I’m pretty happy with how this quilt turned out – it brightens up the living room, is helping stave off the last of the winter cold, and does a good job disguising our rather tired looking sofa. The cats dig it, too, which as we all know is the real reason we sew stuff, right?