I’ve been a bit wary of provocative titles since a post back in October last year entitled The Exploitation of Orphans caused a charity supporting orphans in Africa to sign up!! I felt quite bad about it but clearly no one had read the actual post because they would have realised very quickly that it was all about orphan blocks. So with this post about a quilt that was done largely when I should have been preparing my tax return I avoided the quilt title tax evasion, which in the UK is an illegal activity, and went with tax avoidance which is entirely legitimate provided it’s through a proper arrangement. I did not want to attract any unnecessary attention when it comes to matters like tax…
But the sorry truth is that this quilt was a great diversion from the tedious job of pulling together all the information needed for my tax return. And anything to avoid knuckling down to fill in endless spreadsheets. But my tax return had to be completed by the end of January which was achieved (the £100 fine for a late return might have been an encouragement) and this quilt wasn’t finished until mid February so in the end I did get my priorities right.
This was another one of those quilts that was inspired by someone else’s creativity. Poppy of Cuckoo Blue had on her Instagram feed some lovely blocks of bright colours paired with random low volume fabrics. Her finished quilt and tutorial is on her blog in the link. It’s stunning. Poppy would be the first to admit this block is not original but her blending of brights and low volume just appealed to me .
With my scraps mounting I already had a plan to make use of them but this caught my eye and the other quilt idea was abandoned. Incidentally for readers in harsher climates this rather pathetic amount of snow is the sum total we have had in middle England. I rushed out to get a snow picture before it melted hence the poor light. 30 minutes later it had gone …. I have very disappointed children .
But back to the block it’s perfect for using scraps because it only requires squares of 4 1/2 inch and 2 1/2 inch. I had the right sized dies for my Accuquilt so I was away. I wanted to make the top entirely out of scraps and I had sufficient cool colours like greys, blues, greens and vaguely blue/green to make this quilt and indeed enough left over blocks, more or less, to make up a small cot quilt. It’s very satisfying almost like making a bonus quilt.
The other great advantage of this block design is that it is perfect for chain piecing and it was a very quick make in practice. It would’ve been even quicker if I hadn’t had to do my tax return! Or for that matter feed the cats!
It’s quite a busy quilt so I didn’t want to add further busyness by complicated quilt patterns. So I went for an all over pattern using free motion quilting and a loop to loop design and kept to the existing columns to keep the scale the same. I tend to find it hard to keep the size and spacing consistent in an all over design without some constraining lines. The quilting is a bit denser than I would normally use but with Orient batting from Quilters Dream it still has a reasonable drape.
And it was a pleasure to quilt. Not too big at 70″ by 60″ but thanks to the tender ministrations of Tom from my local quilt shop, The Cotton Patch, the nightmare experience of constantly breaking threads and missed stitches of this quilt from last year was a thing of the past. For the princely sum of £60 ish, I forget exactly, the machine had a very overdue service. I was gently reminded that quilting with wadding creates very much more fluff than ordinary sewing so a professional defuzz is required. I must get in the habit of an annual service. There is no excuse, the sewing shop is all of 10 minutes drive and the machine back usually within the week. When it came to the quilting clearly it wasn’t just a pleasure to me …..
This has got to be one of my favourite quilts – I love the sheer variety of fabrics and colours within the cool range I chose. The odd splash of pink or lime green adds to it’s eclecticism. Is that a word? You get the drift.
It’ll be put to use in my sewing room which has a bed in it and doubles up as a spare bedroom. But I’ve now officially run out of beds to cover in quilts… except no 2 son who would like a new quilt as his old is too small and much damaged through careless use. Sigh….. but he’s chosen such a boring design. But I must get on with this but after the curtains are finished another boring sewing task. Well I guess it can’t all be fun !