I’ve made no secret of the fact that I find Electric Quilt 8 to be incredibly frustrating to use sometimes, but I’m also the first one to admit that it’s much easier than hand-sketching for creating curvy designs (for me, at least). Earlier this year, soon after I bought EQ8, I created my first curvy design.
This isn’t the colourway I started with – it’s about the 50-kajillionth one I tried. But I was so stuck on this design, just really drawn to it, that I couldn’t get it out of my head. I kept trying new combinations of three colours, enlisted the help of some quilty friends, and finally settled on this muted palette. It reminds me of waves, or clouds, or wisps of smoke or fog.
I can’t remember if I created this design because I knew that Jenny Haynes – AKA Papper, Sax, Sten – sells double drunkard’s path templates, or if I only saw her templates afterwards… but I knew the only way to get it out of my head would be to actually make it. So I ordered the 7″ template, ordered the fabric (Kona Cotton Solids in Sky, Baby Blue and Fog), waited impatiently for everything to arrive, and then took it all to my annual sewing retreat in late September.
In a little under 2 days, I cut all the pieces, arranged them by block, sewed the double curves (for the first time ever), and put together the entire quilt top. Is there a word for that feeling of relief you get when you complete a project and you can finally free up the brain space it’s been occupying for months?! There totally should be.
As soon as I finished the quilt top, I folded it up and put it away. I knew it needed expert quilting… and I’m no expert when it comes to quilting. I’d like to develop my skills beyond straight-line quilting, but limited space, a shallow-throated domestic machine and my own impatience mean it’s not going to happen anytime soon.
Coincidentally, my quilty friend Steph Skardal was steadfastly practising straight lines on her new Juki longarm machine. I cheekily suggested that she might like to practise curves on my quilt top… and she agreed. A few days later (quick enough that Steph couldn’t change her mind!), the quilt top was winging its way from Australia to the USA. And soon after that, Steph had a plan and made a start on the quilting. You might have seen some of her progress shots on Instagram (here and here).
I couldn’t be happier with Steph’s choice of backing fabric and quilting design – they complement the quilt design but don’t overpower it. Once she’d finished and washed it, the quilt got that lovely crinkly texture. Look how good it looks!
The fabric colours aren’t as similar as I would’ve liked (I think the darkest colour stands out a smidge too much from the other two colours), but for my first curvy design and piecing, I’m pretty happy with this quilt. And I love Steph’s quilting and binding. I’ve long admired her work, so I was really excited to collaborate with her and benefit from her expertise. I hope we can do it again!
Because Steph finished the quilting in super-quick time (I’m convinced there are 36 hours in a day where she lives), we decided to submit it to QuiltCon. I cheekily called the quilt ‘Blue Wave’ in a nod to current events at the time. Unfortunately, Blue Wave is a #quiltconreject, but we might submit it elsewhere. It seems a shame to post it back to Australia before it’s seen a little more of the world.
In the meantime, I’m toying with the idea of writing up a pattern for Blue Wave. I’d love to see how it looks in other colour combinations and fabrics! And given how quickly it came together, I’d be tempted to try another version myself.
I’m really excited to introduce my latest quilt pattern, Loophole, which is in issue 55 of Love Patchwork & Quilting.
This quilt pattern is based on Sunday sketch #36, and I used a bunch of coordinating blue fabrics from several Art Gallery Fabrics ranges to make a scrappy version. I’d never used Art Gallery Fabrics before, but I definitely will again – they were so soft and had a lovely drape.
Love Patchwork & Quilting always features such great styling and photography, and I’m thrilled to see how good they made my quilt look. And… I’m even more thrilled to see the sneak peak of Loophole on the cover!!
Issue 55 goes on sale in the UK on 6 December.
When I started my Sunday sketch series, I always figured I’d eventually develop one or more of the sketches into quilt patterns. But it’s much easier to post a sketch every week, trawl Instagram to see what everyone else is making, and spend ages daydreaming about quilts than it is to put yourself out there with a pattern of your own. It wasn’t until my quilty friend Alyce encouraged me to submit Sunday sketch #9 to a quilt magazine that I replaced all that thinking with some actual doing.
Fast-forward ~6 months, and the design has now been transformed into Wildwood, a quilt pattern published in issue 48 of Love Patchwork & Quilting.
I am a huge fan of Love Patchwork & Quilting‘s vibrant style, contemporary quilts and magazine design (my day job is in editing and publishing, so I care about layout and formatting!), so I’m beyond chuffed to be a part of the latest issue.
Issue 48 went on sale in the UK on 24 May, which is my dad’s birthday. He died before I started my quilt-making journey, so he never got to see any of my designs or quilts. I like to think that the timing of this issue was his way of saying that he’s celebrating with me 🙂