Wild goose chase quilt

Well, I really wanted to post about this yesterday, but as is always the way with quilting, it took longer than I thought!

I have been working for months on an epic project: a wedding quilt for my sister! She was married last year in September, and I knew there was no way I was going to get it finished in time for the big day, because check out the design we ended up going with:

20140121-135540.jpg
Wild goose chase quilt top

When I embarked on this project, I had made exactly two quilts. Two! The first was in High School, and was my major project in my Year Ten Textiles course. So, just a little time has passed since then. Slightly more recently, I made a cot size quilt for my youngest niece. Both of these quilts were relatively simple pieced squares. My niece’s quilt was my first attempt at QAYG, so it’s not like I was entirely inside my comfort zone. So imagine what I was thinking when my sister picked out this design! (This design was heavily inspired by Jo Morton’s Wild Goose Chase Quilt)

That’s a lot of triangles! That’s a lot of pieces of fabric! It’s on point!

Okay, so that’s enough drama.

My original idea for my sister’s wedding was to do a signature quilt using this block:

Concept signature blocks
Concept signature blocks

Guests could sign the blocks and I would sew them all up together into a quilt and that would be job done ™. But the colours I’d chosen to start with were too bright, and the brief became a dusky-pinks quilt, to match the theme of the wedding. On the back of the quilt I would create a tree quilt, with leaves that were signed by the guests. So, in effect, two quilts. Gulp.

No worries, I had some time. I began choosing fabrics that would fit into the “dusky pinks” category. Trickier than it sounds! I’m sure if I just spent several hours in the quilting fabric store this would have been easier, but small children and fabric stores do not mix. And I wanted to use recycled fabrics where I could. A few trips to the local thrift store netted me some stretch cotton stripy pants, a couple of floral blouses and skirts, and several usable pillow slips. I then took these off to the store to match some coordinating fabrics as best I could. I think I did pretty well, in the end!

Leftover fabric squares
Leftover fabric squares

I then started cutting and cutting and cutting. And some more cutting! I cut waaaay too many squares, thinking I would need a lot more blocks. The pile you see above are the large squares I have left after piecing the quilt top. I also have the same of medium squares and quite a few small ones left! Never mind, they will still come in handy when I add a border to both the front and back quilt tops.

I also made (I think!) about 70 appliqué leaves from a couple of templates I drew free-hand. Each one has interfacing and then a basic running-stitch edge to stop the leaf from ravelling when it was being written on and transported. That was quite a number of swimming lessons profitably spent! I think the other people at the pool thought I was some kind of crazy person with all these hand sewn leaves!

Signed appliqué leaves
Signed appliqué leaves

The wedding came, and went. Look how beautifully the guests augmented the leaves! I can’t wait to see what the tree quilt side is going to look like! But I need to finish the front, first, so I have something to appliqué them to. 🙂

Feast your eyes upon the progress so far:

I still need to:

  • Trim the quilt top, then add a thicker border in the sashing colour
  • Add a pieced border using leftover fabric squares, probably using “coins”
  • Source and prepare the background fabric for the tree quilt top
  • Stitch a tree trunk and branches using thread art (learning how to do this as I go!)
  • Hand sew (probably) the leaves into place around the tree
  • Piece another border (probably also coins) for the tree quilt
  • Obtain some puffy batting and quilt the three layers together using hand sewn ties
  • Bind the quilt
  • Throw a quilt-is-finally-finished photography session and party 🙂

Phew!

I really love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment! :)

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