A couple of weeks ago I had some uninterrupted time to myself because my children were staying with my parents for a couple of nights. I used some of that time to finally turn a quilt top into a quilt!
The design was inspired by the “fractured” quilt from “Quilting Modern” by Katie Pedersen and Jacquie Gering and a mini quilt that I received from my quilting friend Erica that was based on that quilt. I enlarged the blocks and instead of making square blocks I made them rectangular. The top is completely foundation paper pieced and I figured that it would be easier to simply use the US Letter sized FPP paper that I had as is, instead of cutting it into squares. If you do this you have to keep in mind though that you need to make left and right blocks because, unlike square blocks, you cannot position rectangular blocks in all 4 orientations.
I used a jelly roll of the Safari Life collection by Stacy Iest Hsu supplemented with a couple of fabrics that I thought looked nice with it. There is a lot more brown in this fabric collection than I am usually drawn to but these fabrics are so much fun with all the animals on them that I couldn’t resist them.
The blocks were made over a year ago (yes, I am kind of slow at finishing quilts…) and the FPP strip piecing did not take that long. Choosing a layout did take a while though because I kept changing the position of certain blocks until I was finally happy.
For the back I tried to find a print that would work with the front but locally I couldn’t find anything that I got excited about. They did have a pretty good selection of Makower Linen Texture though. These fabrics read as solids but there is some subtle pattern in them. This was the first time I worked with these fabrics and they are soooooo soft. I will definitely use them again in future projects. I bought 3 colours that worked with the colours in the front and essentially pieced a second top incorporating the recipient’s name.
I am trying to be a bit more adventurous with my batting choices so instead of using Hobbs Tuscany cotton wool I used Quilters Dream Cotton Deluxe. This batting also quilted easily and I really like how the finished quilt feels but it is quite a bit heavier than the cotton wool blend.
For quilting I already had a perfect dark yellow in my stash and I went with a 2 inch grid which is a lot denser than what I usually go for and I LOVE it. Totally worth the extra time it took to quilt (not having children around helped a lot here). Even though the quilt is rectangular I chose to do a square grid. Because I sewed the first quilting lines through the center and worked my way out from there I think it works very well. On the back the quilting is much more visible than on the front and I think it looks amazing against those almost solids.
For the binding I decided to use some strips that were left over from making the top. I didn’t want to frame the design on the front of the quilt with the binding which I think would have happened if I had used the ochre fabric that I used on the back which was another option I considered. A bonus of these fabrics in the binding is that there are hidden animals in some spots which I found super fun to discover when I was hand sewing the binding to the back.
Before washing the quilt measured 98×130 cm and I believe it shrank a little bit but not much. It’s a good size to snuggle under on the couch. Or build huts and tents, which is what my kids tend to use quilts for.
I am super happy with how this safari quilt turned out. It has already been gifted and it has found a good home where it will be loved.