First it was the fabric! I had to have Anna Maria Horner’s Good Folks collection – and the more the better! I purchased a 1/2 yard set and started making little projects around the house, like my patchwork rugs and computer chair pad.
Then, gradually, I came around and admitted I wanted to make a quilt. Colorbrick was born when Film in the Fridge posted a work-in-progress on her “Postcards from the Park” quilt (which coincidentally she submitted as her favorite to Blogger’s quilt festival!). I didn’t know how she had achieved that look, but I knew that I liked the way the large rectangle shapes present the fabric. Then one afternoon while reading, I glanced up to see some brickwork through my window. Instantly, I knew that was the feel I wanted. Isn’t that how it is sometimes – the right idea comes quickly like a gift from heaven!
Good Folks would show off in large brick shapes and natural linen would make a cool mortar. Not knowing what I was doing, I set to work making the blocks via a paper-piecing technique. Essentially, I was adding a strip of linen to the top and side of each rectangle. Well, it worked, but that was silly! Had I recognized that the top line was sashing, I could have cut one long strip to go all the way across each row of bricks, saving significant time in cutting and sewing.
I had planned from the beginning that I would use a thrifted wool army blanket (thanks, Mom!) as the batting and quilt the back in a stair step echo pattern that would emphasize the brick design. Loved the quilting process!
At first I finished Colorbrick with a bright yellow store bought binding. It was awful. I mean, just reaaaally bad! After ripping it out I made some binding from scraps and it came out alright. I machine attached it for a quick finish. Thanks to all of you who have made sweet comments about my Colorbrick quilt! That picture in the header was taken off the cuff, when we were finished photographing the rest.
The internet is a wonderful place! Thanks, Amy, for organizing such a fun way to share our favorite projects and meet new friends! I’m off now to check out the other quilts in the Blogger’s quilt festival!
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1. Oh, Fransson!’s binding method works (be sure to cut strips 2.5 inches!). Loving the hidden stitches and crisp mitered corners. Next time, use a thimble when hand-stitching…
2. For some reason, making a small quilt is not nearly as satisfying as making a larger one. At least it looks respectable all folded up. Best to go bigger next time. Toddler bed quilts? Throw quilts? Twin quilts (gulp!)?
3. Don’t judge a quilt until it’s quilted. My goodness what a BIG difference that little bit of texture makes!
4. Um, press the quilt before photographing. Yes, it’s really necessary.
5. Working from a pattern (Oh, Fransson! New Wave with modifications) is not all that creatively fulfilling even when it’s a cool design. Enjoyed making the quilt back (especially the quilting design) more than the front… because I created it.
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At last, my Colorbrick Quilt is finished. Don’t I look fine curled up with it on the couch? Granted now it’s practically too warm for a throw quilt, but you don’t think I’m going to let that stop me, do you? Nope.
You had seen the quilt top Work In Progress before, so I’ll tell you a bit about the finishing details. The back is mostly solid natural linen with a few strips of my favorite Good Folks fabric to liven things up. For batting, I used a thrifted army wool blanket. It’s washable, warm and indestructible. As such, I was able to quilt it loosely, just stitching in the linen “mortar” of the brick-inspired design.
The binding gave me the most trouble. I wanted to use a store-bought binding, so I settled with a bright yellow from Hancocks. It was brighter than I wanted, but I went ahead and focused on learning how to machine-apply binding. After I sewed the last stitch, I threw the quilt on the floor to get a look and immediately hated the binding. I removed it the next night! Forced to make my own binding, I used some trimmings from the quilt back and it wasn’t as hard as I feared.
I’ve used up my stash of linen, so I plan to order more for upcomming projects. I want to give credit to Rashida Coleman-Hane who blogs at I Heart Linen and recently published I Heart Patchwork. She’s created a fellow linen-lover. I too love how natural linen pairs effortlessly with fun cotton prints. It gives the look an earthy vibe, and tones down my color-loving craziness. I just droooool over I Heart Patchwork. It’s a beautiful book with lots of worthy projects. I made a set of Rashida’s Patchwork Coasters awhile back. My friends’ admiration drove us to organize a little sewing group where they are making Patchwork Coasters of their own. So, double thanks, Rashida, for helping spread the sewing-love among my friends!
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