So … I started another English paper piecing project a few weeks ago. I love preparing English papers and in this time of uncertainty I felt the need to sit quietly with my thoughts and sew like crazy. For a fleeting moment all is well with the world. Despite the productive handcrafted work, I struggle with creativity, and as such, this quilt is very much inspired by a quilt I fell in love with when I saw it at the 2018 Tokyo Quilt Festival:
I couldn’t get enough of this quilt when I saw it! I think it was the traditional style of quilting – a grandmother’s flower garden quilt – made from Japanese fabrics that I love so much. In fact, I recognized many of the fabrics and some fabrics were in my own supply. I kept the background fabrics and the general layout of the quilt according to the original.
I brought in some of my own elements – fussy cutting materials, a bright color palette, and instead of adding borders, I made my own “border” fabric by replacing the border fabric with more hexagons in a wide variety of red fabrics. When I first started I quickly realized that the hexagon size I had been working with (¾ “hexagons) was significantly larger than what the original quilt was made of.
Click on an image to enlarge it.
All of the photos here are of the quilt with all of the paper removed except for the outside edges. I have included these photos of the quilting back as many of my readers have asked to see the back of my English quilting paper quilting tops.
I cut my fabric hexagons using a template and rotary cutter (instead of cutting fabric squares) for my quilts because I have mine have something about neatness, although you can’t see the back of the quilt after quilting. I’m still an avid glue baster and haven’t experienced any problems removing the papers. Boring yes, difficult no. I press my quilts once the papers have been removed with a warm steam iron – lots of steam and I don’t use starch spray.
Pandemic Quilt 2020
Quilt top measures 55 cm x 73 inches.
Start: May June 2020.
English piece of paper.
137 hexagonal flowers.
¾ inch hexagons.
TOOLS AND NOTES
¾ inch hexagonal papers
¾ inch hex template with 3/8 “seam allowance.
Water-soluble bast glue – Sewline.
Straw needles – size 11.
The Bottom Line 60wt thread from Superior Threads in
neutral tones including a dark beige – color # 654 – for that
red hexagonal border.
Months of pandemic madness and fear were embroidered into this quilt. I’m in Melbourne and we’ve been living with Covid restrictions for months and a tougher lockdown since early August. Many people face great difficulties, but we do this together to save lives. No one is untouched by the sacrifices made every day, and I was comforted by being able to focus on my seams when everything else seems to be untangling. This quilt will stay with me as a memento of a time like no other. And of course I have to thank you Chieko Yamaguchi for inspiration!
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