Monday, 13 May 2013

Starting a big quilt

I started a new quilt on Friday night. It's one I've been designing in my head and on paper for a while, and I finally made a decision on how to achieve it. Unfortunately it requires me to draft a full-size pattern to work from.

It's 1.7 x 2m, and the background is pieced from curved shapes - 125 of them as it turns out. I started by taping together large sheets of paper to get a piece big enough, then drafted the shapes in pencil. Then I drew over them in a black marker, numbered all the pieces, added registration marks on all seams, and photographed the whole thing in sections for future reference.


Then I had to cut them apart. The cut shapes are the final design, and it doesn't matter if they're not perfectly along the lines, as long as the curves are smooth.


Then I pushed the pieces back together into position, and started selecting fabrics. Note the supervisor on the sofa; it was probably about 2am by this point, but I couldn't leave it like this, so kept going - luckily Simon had taken James and Eleanor away for the weekend, so there was nothing to get me up on Saturday morning!


I used a funny assortment of household items (different coloured straws, cutlery, plastic cups, coins, even balls of yarn!) to represent the different fabrics, as I chose which pieces would be cut from which prints:



(Note the other supervisor on my folded quilt - I kept blocking access to his basket under the table shoved to the side, so put out the quilt as a replacement; arthritis stops him from jumping onto the sofas.) I finally got to bed at about 4.30.

Then came the slow task of pinning each pattern piece to the selected fabric, drawing around it with a contrast marker, adding the 1/4in seam allowance as I went. I also marked the registration marks in the same black and white permanent markers (all in the seam allowance or on the cutting line, so none will show in the finished quilt). Oh, and cutting them out. I keep them pinned to their pattern piece until I use them, at which stage I also write the piece number in the seam allowance. More on these next steps tomorrow...

4 comments:

Laura Lochore said...

You're PIECING it? you are a crazy woman!!!

Esther said...

this looks amazing already, I will enjoy following your progress.

Frances Arnold said...

WOW....this looks like a lot of work,but hopefully a LOT of fun!!! Cant wait to see the process.....

CitricSugar said...

Oh, wow…. This is going to be amazing…!