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.
Now the blocks are stacked in order and labelled so I have a better chance of not confusing things.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s been long enough since the previous efforts that I actually quite enjoyed this little bit of basting.
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.
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.
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.
It’s winter here, and I decided it was time to bring out my hand pieced silk cushion covers. However, I was missing one for the set of cushions I like to have in the living room. I didn’t want to take time to make another from scratch while I still have the lattice quilt in progress. Hmm. Then I remembered I had these little hexagonal ones I had fallen out with. The purple colours don’t work in the room. The right hand one has good colouring but made me thing instantly of a car company rather than the trefoil-esque motif that it was intended to be.
After some thought, I decided that if I chopped that right hand one down the middle, split the two halves and did some sort of infill, it would serve the desired purpose with a relatively modest amount of effort.
This was the result:
I’m moderately pleased with it. It does at least stop one’s brain going straight to the car company. I’d rather have used colours for the infill rather than black and brown, but I felt that heavy silk would perform better and these were the only two pieces I had. It was still quite a bit of work, maybe a day’s effort all up? I make the fronts of these covers as tiny quilts. The batting evens out the texture and the quilting supports the fragile silk. They have proved more robust in use than I originally feared.
Anyway. It gives me the cover I wanted to work in with the other three and the original cushion gets to see some service. The red and turquoise one second right is not my work but that of a friend, made for me many years ago.
Look! My insane lattice patchwork is ready to lay out. After six months of almost daily stitching, all the blocks are made, nine sections of 16 blocks are assembled and a goodly down payment on the black joining pieces are basted to their papers.
I am so keen to lay it out and finish arranging things. I need to come up with some sort of system though, so I can do so and then stack it up in extractable order. I do not want it living on the cutting table for weeks or months. Hmm.
but a decision has at least been made on the lattice patchwork. I’d stalled for a week or so, trying to finally decide whether to use the sun block or not. I was never sure it was the right thing and for some reason a couple of the edge pieces refused to line up. Then I found that I had stuffed up and made it about 7mm too small in both dimensions. That’s it. Three strikes and you’re out. Three bits of dubiousness or disappointment and that element I’m trying to make work is rejected. I won’t throw it out, I’m sure it will find a home in another project eventually.
So. The new plan is to replace the sun area with more lattice blocks. Not a huge issue and I’m feeling much happier about this. I just need to make 16 extra blocks, which I’ve just cut the fabric for. I now need 196 blocks in total, of which I’ve made 160. 36 to go. Quite doable.
I suppose I’m writing this more to celebrate the piecing progress than to show you anything much new. I’ve now made 160 of the 180 coloured blocks in the plan. Again I’ve run out of papers, so it’s back to assembling the 16 block sections. Below are the first four sections laid out. Woo Hoo!
Here is the fifth section nearly completed
and the latest stack of blocks waiting assembly.
I’m still loving the look and enjoying the process. Just as well eh? All those hours, and many more to come.
Some of you are going to get really sick of this quilt, some probably already are. Others might enjoy the progress updates. I feel like sharing my excitement about this next stage. Look away if you are bored.
At 125 blocks, I ran out of papers. So I decided to be brave and start joining the blocks so I can liberate papers for the next blocks, rather than cutting yet more papers. This is exciting but a bit scary because I want to have a fairly even distribution of fabrics, and if I introduce any more before I finish making blocks, I might end up with a concentration in a section. So… I decided to make sections of 4×4 blocks so they can be switched about and there will be gaps and edges to add to later. Each of these sections will liberate enough papers for another 9 blocks.
The next decision was how to arrange the blocks. There is a system of fabric/colour arrangement within each block. I’ve learned over my years of patchwork, that to achieve a pleasing balance of colour, one needs there to be order. Random doesn’t deliver the look I want. So my initial set of fabrics were split into four sets. These are very roughly designated as Pales, Reds, Oranges and Blues. One of each has been used in the same order for every block. This spreads the colours out and makes it easier to avoid having the same fabrics adjacent.
As block production progressed, I also decided to make four blocks of each fabric arrangement and split those into four sets of blocks, from which I build the sections. Just another contribution to achieving a good spread of fabrics.
After several trials, I decided to arrange the blocks with each one in the same orientation. It puts each “colour” furthest from it’s fellows and was the option deemed least likely to cause a stuff up. Here is the first section assembled. So good to see it all neat as well as madly colourful:
and then with the tacking threads removed on all but the edge most pieces. It looks so crisp!
and again after the papers have been removed. Softer and more like it will end up. Still gorgeous if I do say so myself. Tee hee, without meaning to, each of these pictures has the section a different way up.
A pic from the back, with the stack of liberated papers ready for reuse.