Wednesday, March 28, 2012

F is for . . . .

Finished!  Finally!

This is a quilt that was started about two years ago and I've been cutting fabric off and on since.  As a "scrap quilter", I don't have a lot of "width of fabric" like many.  I'm happy with scraps, pieces, hunks and chunks rescued from friends' trash (you know who you are!).  So, because this does best when the strips are pieced from WOF, I've cut as I've gotten fabric and put it in bins.

Each octagon requires two strips at 2.5", 2 strips at 2", 1 strip at 2.5" and another strip at 2.5" (for pinwheel).  Obviously, that's a lot of fabric and because of the cutting requirements, there is enough for another quilt that is would be scrapier.  BUT NO TIME SOON.   I'm tired of octagons!

The pattern is "Paperweights" by Aardvark Quilts and octagon quilts are certainly popular right now and popping up on blogs everywhere.  Kudos to those of you who are making them.  There is bias everywhere.  The only straight of grain on the outside edge is where the kites come together.  Everything else is off grain.
While the pictures were taken on a windy day, some of the "play" you see in the black-on-black kites is where there is excess fabric.   Let's just say there are some "A cups" and one "B cup" in the kites.  I'm going to have to quilt the heck out of it to get it to lay flat.  Prior to quilting, it measures 86" x 102".
Suggestions by the designer were to make sure you had a good mix of dark, mediums, and lights in the fabrics so that different elements would "pop" -- the outer border in some, the middle strip in others, and the pinwheels in some.  I thought I had a good selection of darks for the outer strip but they aren't showing up in these pictures.  There's not the depth I had hoped for but I'm pretty much over it!
No border -- just 49 full octagons and maybe 11 half blocks.  I have stay stitched the outside as I'm pretty sure this could fall apart if pulled very much.  It will be going to Chicago in two weeks for some quilting.  I have no idea what to do with it but have some time to decide.
The designer recommended putting all the octagons together and all four kite pieces together and then assembling with way too many angles to me.  I put this together in blocks -- as noted above.  It's hard without a huge design wall but the quality control for me was much better.  I nested the strips and then pressed all the joined seams open so there would be less bulk.
The pictures that follow are the requisite spring photos showing some of the flowering trees in our yard.  Since this is our first spring in this house, it's always a surprise to see what comes up.  We knew we had three dogwoods and a redbud, but we didn't know that the larger dogwood was a pink one (scrawny but pink).

The redbud is past prime and I was tickled to find a lilac -- although it's on the other side of our fence, it's on our property so I'm going to presume the neighbors think it's theirs and enjoy the color and fragrance.
We made a quick trip through Chicago on our way to Madison WI last week and were stunned to see that the same flowers were blooming in Chicago and Madison (tulips, for goodness sakes!) as in Kentucky.  My son's clematis is bigger than ours and has more blooms.  The earth is so out of orbit when it comes to this wacky spring!
I hope you're having a blooming good day!  Jan


Melissa said...

This IS a wacky spring! I was pulling weeds the first week of March (and there are way too many that need pulling now!) Thank you for the lilac picture. I love them SO much.

Your octagon quilt is AMAZING!! I can't even imagine having the time or patience to do it. Good for you! It really is beautiful. :)

Carla said...

Great job on the octagons. I am currently doing giant hexagons : )

Quilter Kathy said...

I cannot even imagine the challenge! You did a fabulous job! Congrats!

Foster said...

That is a lot of work. But it turned out beautifully! Love the spring photos as well.

sue said...

Wow! What a lot of work but it looks fabulous!

Kati said...

Wow! This was an amazing amount of work. It turned out great. I'm really impressed with all those octagons.

Q @ JAQS said...

Love it!

I featured you today on my blog :)