Wednesday, April 24, 2013

This is the very first time I've worked on a quilt without any looming deadlines and without any external factors influencing my design decisions.  It's not for anyone, just me, and I cast off any of the usual inhibitors, such as "I can't afford to go get more fabric!" Actually it's to exhibit in the Lowell Quilt Show, but that's not until August so it does set the bar a bit high but, given the time, that's just as I like it, a challenge without feeling overwhelmed by it.

This time I really went and got more fabric, including another trip up to Marden's in Maine.  Unfortunately I didn't realize that they close so early on weekends, but I still did some significant damage in a half hour!

Instead of having to rush, I could take my time and actually redo anything I wasn't satisfied with.  Well, that turned out to be almost every single square!  I have enough rejects to make another quilt!

The result is that I love every square of this quilt! 

But now I have my final design decisions ahead about how to finish it so I'm hoping some of you can help me make a good decision on this one.  I intend to Quilt As You Go (QAYG) this time! I've found some great tutes on this technique I'll share with you:
I'm inclined to go with Marguerita McManus' technique but I'm still open minded on this, although I did just order her book , "Finish (almost) Any Quilt: A Simple Guide to Adapting Quilts to Finish As You Go."
I have 2 reasons for wanting to add sashing.  One is to separate each block with a solid neutral to ease the view from so much pattern but also because these blocks are painstakingly cut to 12 inch squares and once I start to FMQ on these babies there's bound to be some serious distortion, so to keep the integrity of the blocks, I want to add on a border big enough to absorb the distortion and still end up with precisely squared blocks.  But what color?  Of course white is usually my first choice but I already have a fair amount of white built in so I have 2 colors I'm thinking of, though not locked into: 
 a very light grey/beige Kaffe Fassett's
 shot cotton used in the quilt
a tan broadcloth not used in the quilt but seems to compliment it
Any suggestions?


  1. Another great tute is at
    She tends to use all different colors for sashing instead of the same one throughout. I'm terrible at trying to decide things for myself, I wouldn't want to offer any advice to you!

  2. This totally gorgeous Janis. Lovely colors and lovely work; I'll be glad to take it off your hands if you don't think it is up to snuff!! LOL

  3. I would go with the very light gray. I recently used Kona ash as background for one of my quilts and absolutely love it.

    Leah Day's has a great video on Quilt-As-You-Go(QAYG), check this out: Quilt Along #7 - Connecting Quilted Pieces

    Also I would recommend that if you want to go with QAYG method, then add the sashing to the block directly rather than at the end to the joined blocks. Just my suggestion.

    These blocks are just stunning!

    Can't wait to see what you decide.

  4. Absolutely beautiful. I like the gray the best.

  5. I think you should use the grey or find a lighter shade of the mustard color you used to sash some of your blocks. The tan stands out too much and I don't think that's the effect you really want.
    Good luck with the quilt as you go. I tried that many years ago, didn't like joining all the blocks later.

    Have you tried QAYG before? My suggestion would be to quilt in sections not blocks so you will have less joining later. But I say that because it's something I don't like to do. You know what you like to do so base your decision on that.
    BTW, great blocks, I hope to see it finished at Lowell this summer.

  6. Thanks for all your suggestions! I'll be considering them all. I think you're right Cindyann about the tan so it looks like it's going to be the gray! And I'm planning on doing the QAYG in rows to make the joining easier. Unfortunately I ended up in the hospital 2 nights ago and am still in here trying to learn just what caused the pain I had on Wednesday night.