Friday, January 9, 2009

Starting the gift quilt

Now that the center of the mystery quilt is finished, pressed and safely packed away with fabric to make the borders (when I can get back to it), I have begun marking and cutting all the curved pieces for the double wedding ring quilt.

I haven't used plastic templates to mark and hand cut quilt patches since - well, since I saw an ad for a rotary cutter and rulers in a quilt magazine and exclaimed "Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!" Actually, since I cut out the pieces for the Grandmother's Fan quilt I started and Mom finished in 1991. I avoid curved patches like they were a snake. I know, cowardly of me, but quilting is my amusement and relaxation, and curves are not relaxing.

First, I had to buy plastic template material, which seems to be getting rare. I bought the last package at the quilt shop. It's the nice thick frosted type which you can mark with a pencil. All I need now is to investigate whether I can buy a hole punch that makes as small a hole as possible in the template, so I can mark the piecing intersections easily. I probably need to check out scrapbooking materials at Hobby Lobby.

This is the palette for the quilt:
The floral is the background centers and football shaped wedges between the rings, the light pink and blue are the rings, and the dark rose and blue are the corner squares. I'm not satisfied with the dark blue and am going looking for a better piece before I start.

This is the selection for the back (left and center selection of fat quarters) and the binding (right). The back will be pieced with an as-yet undecided simple design which incorporates the label. I don't have an embroidery machine, but I would love to embroider a border of roses around the writing on the label. We'll see how that turns out. My longarmer has an embroidery machine so I may have a solution.
I have marked and cut out the 60 football-shaped wedges which fit between the intersecting rings. Next is the pointy piece at the center of each ring. I assume that will take a while, because I can't see any other way than marking and cutting each one individually, to avoid distortion. Even layering two and cutting them might make problems. Then, of course, the rings, and the corner squares, where - yay!- I can break out the ruler and rotary cut them, since they're plain 3 1/2" squares. My goal is to have the quilt cut out by Sunday evening. We'll see.

This is by far the simplest quilt in fabric and color choices that I have done in ages. The piecing layout is the major factor in the design. The solid rings in two colors will float and interlock over the floral background. I'm still uneasy about it but betting this works - Mom did one like this and it was pretty. The quilting will be everything. June the longarmer will have to pull out all the stops! Here are two mocked-up rings. You will notice a different dark blue in the left corner. I'm not satisfied with the blue in the corner squares and am going on a hunt tomorrow for something like that fat quarter. It is an older Jinny Beyer fabric and I know I won't be able to find it exactly, but something similar will work better with the other selections. The solid blue doesn't blend and the color is too light. On the whole, I would rather have done it with pink and green, but the recipient likes blue.

I think I need validation on this one. It's the only project of this scope I've ever started feeling this conflicted. Is it going to work? Imagine it with outline quilting around the inside and outside rings, a quilted vine through the center of all the rings, a motif in the centers and a small flourish in the football shaped wedges.

Through this my sandpaper board will be invaluable for marking all these pieces. One of the best purchases I have ever made in quilting supplies. No slipping while you trace around the templates. If you don't have one, make or buy one for yourself. You won't regret it.


Suzan said...

Your fabric selections are lovely! Good luck with all the cutting. You are a better woman than I!

paula, the quilter said...

There is a punch by Fiskars for a 1/16" hole. HTH

Good luck with this.

Linda_J said...

The dark blue would work instead of the lighter one but I am glad you shifted it to the pink/green palette.

I started one of these once with John Flynn. He has you sew strip sets and then take an angled seam and resew it to make it arc. You better believe it is a UFO at this point though I still have all the fabric that was dedicated to that project. Either re-purpose it all or finish it some day?

Tanya said...

What fun you are going to have! The colors and floral are lovely and already cutting and sewing?! Good for you!