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 haven’t had much time or inclination to hand-sketch lately, so I’ve been dipping into EQ8 to create quick designs that I can play around with. I’ve been trying to use more curves in my EQ8 designs, because they’re one of the things I can’t easily hand-draw.
I’ve been playing around with one block in particular, which combines some straight lines and a double curve. You might be able to tell from the design below where each block starts and finishes.
I’ve created a completely different design with this same block, which I’m not quite ready to reveal yet. I’m actually going to try making this mystery design using Papper Sax Sten’s 7″ double drunkard’s path template, which I bought awhile back but have been too scared to use 🙂 . In the meantime though, I’ve had fun rotating and flipping the block on EQ8 to see what else I can come up with.
This design could be made into a quilt pattern using double drunkard’s path curves (best made using templates), squares and rectangles.
(I’m not really scared to use Jenny’s template, but I have high hopes for these curves, so I’m procrastinating trying them for the first time. Wish me luck!)