In April 2013 I entered a couple of my quilts at a local quilt show. While there I naturally took the opportunity to have a look around the fantastic array of stalls selling fabric. What caught my eye was a jelly roll and charm pack of Moda Morris Apprentice fabrics. I love William Morris prints and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
With the 5″ squares and the Jelly roll strips I thought it might be a good idea to have a go at some curved piecing. With this my drunkard’s path quilt was born.
I split the fabric into light and darks and started assembling squares. Initially I pinned the curves in place (as in photo above) but once I got the hang of things I found it easier to just eyeball it. I found it resulted in a smoother curve. When I had enough squares I began to think about arranging them.
This was the design I eventually chose. I kept making more until I had used up all of the light and dark charm squares. Then I split it up into rectangles for piecing the squares together.
Once that was done I began thinking about a setting for the quilt. This is what I came up with. I found that adding the two quarter circles in the centre of each white side really helped the light/dark pattern come through.
I was really pleased with this and I thought at this point I would bind the quilt and have a smallish lap quilt or a wall hanging. However, a quick trip to my local quilting shop for batting led me to be discover they had a layer cake of the Morris Apprentice fabrics. Too good to pass up. My quilt entered a new phase and the drunkard’s path became a medallion in the centre. Having tried curved piecing I figured I might as well throw another new-to-me technique into the mix: Seminole.
I used the Jelly roll strips to make the seminole and just started putting them together. I was following an online tutorial but I can’t now find the link to share it – sorry!. This is where the quilting gods smiled on me as they have never done before. I assumed I’d have to do some serious fudging at the corners to make it fit the drunkard’s path medallion. However, on my first attempt. It fitted, perfectly. I couldn’t have done that if I had tried. I added some curved squares at the corners to soften the edges a little. Once again I added some white in at the edge to help add some contrast.
Then I got stuck. I knew I now wanted to make it big enough to hang off the edges of a double bed. I really wasn’t sure what to do for the next border. I put it to one side for a few weeks.
Eventually I decided to bring back the drunkard’s path but use it to make rows of circles inside squares. Once the four rows were made I still wasn’t sure what to do for the corners. So the quilt got set aside again for a while. In the end I decided to throw in some octagons made out of alternating light and dark triangles. I’m still not fully convinced it was the best call but it’s ok. What it does do is create a nice open feel with the white sections around the octagon. That’s what gave me the idea for my final border. Small 2.5″ squares surrounded by whites. Nice and simple. Not detracting from the middle too much at all.
Then came the challenge of constructing the quilt sandwich, basting and quilting this monster. It is the biggest thing I ever made and their just wasn’t space at home to baste it there. My local quilting shop came to the rescue and Jane kindly let me use her upstairs lesson space to spread it all out.
It took 3 hours of frantic basting but I got there (and still made it to work in time for my meeting – just). Then it was time to attempt quilting on my faithful sewing machine. This was a bit of mission but I was only doing light, straight line quilting so it was manageable, if a bit cramped.
Just a week before we moved into our new home, I finished!