Liberty nights

I’m publicising my nightwear again. Completely decently I promise. Fine lawn is cool to wear and folds up small and light for travel. Add a busy print and it’s more decent in the opacity sense. Liberty Tana is of course perfect. I made a kimono style robe for summer traveling some years ago from a beautiful orange tulip Tana. I’ve been wanting a gown to go with it. I decided to use some of the left overs from the lattice patchwork, including the tulip print.

While working on the lattice, I found this second hand purple dress. It didn’t fit, but I rather thought the fabric might be Liberty Tana. It was home made, so no label to identify it. I now think it probably isn’t, but it’s very close in quality.

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I used a little of it in the lattice. I deliberately kept the skirt whole, figuring it would be good for something needing acreage. Then I realised I could build a patchwork bodice, and use the skirt for this gown. I got a few squares out of the purple, enough to tie the bodice in visually. Measure the pattern. Work out a good size for the squares and how many are needed. Start laying them out:

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Assemble the rough shape. This is for the front.

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Then cut the pattern out of it, cursing when you realise you need to put darts in it.

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Assemble the bodice, all with flat felled seams to keep it single layer and minimum weight, maximum cool. Adjust the skirt so it can be attached flat to the bodice. To maximise fullness neatly, I put an inverted pleat at centre back. The hem is the original with a bit of tweaking where I redid the seams.

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A quick pic of it on. It’s baggy deliberately but the colours, though strange, work for me. No smile, I had a grump on.

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The neck and armholes are finished with teeny straight grain facings, a trick I’ve adopted from my medieval costume work. It uses little fabric, is fairly quick to do and strengthens the edge.

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Here it is with the robe over. I’m pretty happy with it.

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and a gratuitous label shot. In this case the label is recycled from a now too small shirt.

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Lattice is Layered

I had meant to do just one post to cover the latest stages of the insane lattice quilt. I’ve broken the prep of backing and binding down into two separate posts or this would have been a huge monster post. This post is really just a pic-fest celebrating having gotten this far.

Using proper layering technique as taught to me by a good friend makes more sense when working on a queen size quilt rather than the small cot quilts I’ve done more recently. There is just so much fabric and batting to deal with. This is the (wool) batting half laid out. The backing is already positioned underneath it.

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The patchwork beginning to be added, still folded in quarters.

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Last chance for pictures of the back of the patchwork sans papers

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All layered and safety pinned

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A final arty shot

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Now I need to refine my plans for the quilting pattern. I started to chalk it in but I’m glad I had to leave the house for an appointment because I’m not happy with plan A. More thoughts needed.

Quilt Pre-Binding Experiment

I spent all day Sunday getting the lattice quilt ready to layer. This was the second stage after piecing the backing. This lovely cotton shirting woven satin stripe fabric is what I landed on for the binding.

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It looks good with the backing (and you will see it with the patchwork a little later)

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I had spent a bunch of time thinking on how I was going to bind this quilt. The way I had stitched the blocks meant that I couldn’t open the edge seams without cutting the fabric or unpicking the hand stitching, neither of which I was up for. I usually apply the binding after the quilting is done. However if I did it then, I really didn’t think I could apply it this close to the edge with the squishy batting as part of the mix. So I thought I’d try sewing the binding strips on before both layering and quilting. It worked fairly well, but I had forgotten that all the edge pieces are on the bias. So sewing on the binding had the risk of stretching or condensing the edge. I seem to have stretched it just a bit, but I’m pleased with the accuracy in terms of closeness to the edge. I very much hope that slight stretching is tolerable in the finished piece.

First the binding strips are joined to be long enough for each side, then pressed in half lengthways. No pics of this, sorry.

Then I cut the protruding edge squares back to provide a cut edge guide. Leaving a neat 1/4″ from the block edges was the right measure to use the machine foot edge as the seam guide and just barely catch the block edges in the seam.

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The little black offcuts look a bit like moths or bats 🙂

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Machining the binding on:

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Pretty happy with this

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Then the binding is pressed away from the edge. I do like the colours and the stripe effect next to the patchwork. It will be a little less than half this width in the end.

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Lattice patchwork finished-again

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There. The two new strips of blocks have been added to make a slight rectangle. They have blended well, as I hoped. You wouldn’t know they were a late addition except that I’ve told you.

Now I need to decide on edge treatment before I remove the papers in the edge pieces. I had thought I would put this aside for a few months, but I really want to continue with it and I think this will fit as the next major hand work project in my (extremely rough) project schedule.

Next Stage Lattice

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Wow, that went quickly. I’ve done all the extra blocks and joiners. 28 blocks and 30 blacks.

Below I’m laying out the new blocks to get a good spread of fabrics. I shifted a couple after looking at this photo, including softening the proximity of those two bright yellow pieces at top right. I’m sure I’ve said it before, but taking a photo, or even just looking through a camera gives one a different view and can show up things that might be better changed.

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Now the blocks are stacked in order and labelled so I have a better chance of not confusing things.

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Then I realised I’d better label the main section too. It’s square and I mean to hang it again shortly to release the cutting table for other work. I ought be able to tell by the orientation of the colour categories in the blocks, but this makes it easy to tell which sides I’m supposed to be adding to.

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Yeh, this is still fun.

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This is just over half the pieces needed to finish the lattice patchwork by the latest plan. I wondered if I would have any trouble resuming production. Nup. The whole process is embedded in physical memory. I’m amused by that. Thankfully after a 3 month break, it’s all again.

Here we go again

Remember the Liberty lattice patchwork that I thought was finished back in July? I was concerned when I realised that the way I’d had it hanging for months was starting to distort the fabric because the whole thing had gravity pulling at it on the bias. I decided to move on and work towards finishing it. While handling the black fabric to cut the border, I got suspicious. Belatedly suspicious. I did a burn test on the black and found the ruddy stuff is polycotton!! Horrified I was. Still am, though I’ve calmed down a bit a week or so later. Several friends pointed out that polycotton is likely to stay black longer than pure cotton. Which is true, but I’m still sad.

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I’ve solved the bias drag by hanging the quilt on the diagonal, which puts the fabric on the straight. I could just fold it up I suppose, but I’d have to press it before layering. On the other hand, it’s lighter now that we are past spring equinox and perhaps I should put it away to prevent fading before it’s even finished.

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I can’t do anything about all those black squares except live with them. I am however unwilling to feature the black any more than this, so I’ve stepped away from the plan for the bold black border. I checked the measurements of the patchwork as it stands against the bed. If I make another two rows of blocks and add them to opposite sides of the current square it will make a usefully sized rectangular quilt. This needs 28 blocks plus the same number of joining squares. I think I’m up for that. Checking my remaining fabric stocks said there was enough to cut the pieces from 6 different fabrics of the 4 approx colour categories. Hopefully that’s enough variation to prevent the new rows looking like add ons.

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It’s been long enough since the previous efforts that I actually quite enjoyed this little bit of basting.

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Lattice! she is a thing.

Whew. One large square hand pieced lattice patchwork quilt top is done. 1.6 metres square. Only took 7 months. That’s a faster pace than I expected when I started but I got rather obsessed with it.

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That’s the patchwork part of this project. I DO like it, but I confess I’m a bit over it at the moment. The last few weeks has been an exercise in “just get it done”. I’m going to let it rest while I do a few other things and hopefully recover some enthusiasm for this. Then I need to figure out how I will attach the border. Then layer, quilt and bind.

A third in one piece

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I came up with a labelling and stacking system to retain the final arrangement of this lattice patchwork. It’s working really well so far. It SO helps that each block has a right-way-up built into it. Otherwise the labelling would have had to be even more thorough.

Now I have a little more than the first third all joined together. Rather exciting eh? Amazing what can be done in a few minutes each (most) days.

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