Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Striving Higher

For this past Christmas, I finished two quilts to give as presents. The first one ended up being a pinwheel design I blogged here, here, and finished here. The other one I talked about here, but never put up any photos of when it was finished.

My original idea for both of these quilts was from the little zig zag quilt in this post from the blog a Stitch in Dye. But, as you can see, neither of the two quilts I made ended up looking anything like it.

The second quilt I originally planned to craft from white and orange and brown patterns and solids in cotton. However, I found that it was nearly impossible to find a variety of prints that matched in those colours, in fact, it was very near impossible to find any prints in those colours. I had a few in my stash, but not nearly enough to make a whole quilt out of.

One day whilst I was at Fabricland on another mission, I stumbled across two matching shiny home decor fabrics in different shades of orange. And, they were on sale. I wasn't too sure about the content of the fibre (and still am not sure exactly what it is... satin, nylon? Something a little plastic-y, but not scratchy). They were stiffer than what I was hoping for, but I figured they'd make an okay quilt, seeing how they were home decor fabrics to begin with.
The shiny orange fabric was quite nice on both sides, reversing to an opposite design on their reverse sides, so I knew I would be able to use the two fabrics as if they were four.

I can't remember how much fabric I bought, but it ended up being just a little short of what I needed, so I had to go back and get more fabric to cut a few more blocks from.

For the backing, I used some chocolate brown broadcloth. The broadcloth dictated how big the quilt ended up being, as they only had three metres of it. I had to piece it together to make it wide enough, I ended up putting a wide section in the middle and two smaller side sections, rather than having a seam down the centre back.

The quilt block pattern I stumbled upon on the internet when looking for a quilt idea using squares (rather than triangles, I was triangled out after the first quilt!). The pattern is called "Bento Box." The fact that the Bento Box pattern is actually squares and rectangles meant that it would take even less sewing time than squares. I can't find the original picture now that I had used for an idea, but Google of course has a whole wealth of other Bento Box quilts.

Although, this quilt ended up being very labour intensive. I was able to finish it in a couple of weeks, but it did take a lot of non-stop work. I decided on sewing all of the seams flat because a) I liked the way it looked, and b) the nature of the fabric meant it unraveled very easily (and there are still orange threads all over the house). Sewing the seams flat made a nice look and gave the quilt a better durability. In the end I used a little over 3 spools of orange thread to finish the project.

I planned the quilt out by using Microsoft Excel. I played around with a few different designs of block placement before I decided on this stair-type option. Unfortunately the height of the blocks meant I ended with the bottom section not being complete boxes, but in the end I don't think it hurt the design at all. This is a "tv watching sized" quilt, and was a little too short without those additional two rows of blocks on the bottom.

The centre of this quilt is two layers of a polyester batting. I wanted a puffy sort of look with the chocolate brown cotton ties, and found that I needed two layers of the batting to get that effect.

Unfortunately these aren't the best photos, but I don't have a great digital camera at the moment. You can click on any of the photos to make them bigger and get a closer look.

Overall, I quite love this quilt. And it's very warm and comfy.


Percy2626 said...

Looks really nice. Have I ever shown you photos of the quilts I made in Taber? I think I'll put some on my blog. I've been wanting to do more lately, but still working on organizing stuff. Are you working on more now or too busy with school?

Jillian said...

I still think that brown and orange only look good on Brownies, but otherwise it is a nice quilt. I like this banner better than the last one.

Anonymous said...

Nice Quilt Michelle.
I should try making some as I have lots of material - instead of thinking about scrapbooking and not doing it.
Jennie Frances

Miss Jodi said...

I seriously LOVE it! Kudos Grace.