I’m really happy with this quilt top, which started life as a travel project many years ago. My idea was to bring something I could piece with me when I travel (which I do quite a bit), but I never made much progress beyond cutting out the various pieces and putting together a few blocks. When I finished my son’s quilt, I began sorting and reorganizing my quilt stuff and discovered this project in box on a shelf filled with scraps. I decided to abandon the original hand piecing plan and put it together by machine. This entailed quite a few challenges! My original template was home made from thin plastic, not particularly accurate or sturdy, leading to fairly questionable shapes. And, since it was going to be hand piecing, my seam allowances were all over the place! Here’s an example of what I ended up with when I started putting together the blocks:
It looks like that one piece is way off..but it is a seam allowance issue. Despite the overall wonkiness of the individual sections and my inexperience piecing circles by machine, it all came together. I tried a few different borders, but unfortunately deleted the pictures before starting this blog. It came down to a choice between a purple tonal print and the brown border I eventually went with. The brown grounded the quilt overall, so I went with that. I’ll get to my brighter purple quilt soon! I originally wanted a wider border, but I didn’t have enough fabric, so I went with what I could manage using my stash.
For the backing, I pieced together some of the blocks leftover bits and pieces that didn’t work in the original quilt and dug out some fabric I had more of. It’s been sitting on a table filled with other WIPs and things that need to be put away, so it needs a good ironing but I thought I would share anyway.
You can barely see the half circle that was a failed quilt block in the stripe down the left side. The contrast was too low to use in the top, but I like it in the back, a bit like viewing the moon through a misty night sky. The green and gold aren’t colors I usually use, but I like how calm this quilt back is.
One of the challenges in living outside a place with a quilting tradition is that it is often hard to get quilting supplies. When I was doing more quilting and traveling to the US every 2 years or so, I would come back with a suitcase full of fabric and notions, so I have a fairly decent size fabric stash. What I am missing right now, though, is batting! I have scraps of batting from previous projects, but most of the pieces are quite small, and though I have pieced batting before, I am a bit wary of having a completely Frankenstein quilt batt. I can find high loft polyester quilt batting here easily, but natural fibers and blends are very hard to find. There was a shop in Hong Kong I used to get quilt batting from, but they said they are out and it will be 3-4 months before they get any in! I was in Beijing recently and found a shop online that advertised quilting supplies, but when I got there, I found it had closed….So, right now, I am waiting on batting I ordered from ebay and the Chinese equivalent, Taobao. Shipping prices are outrageous. I hope between that and my batting scraps, I will be able to finish a few quilts! I’m eager to get to quilting!