Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Campers Quilt

Remember the stack of pin-based quilts?

This was the quilt that inspired me to pull them all out and baste them before we packed. At least I had been thinking about it and this was one I pulled out, basted and started quilting a week or so earlier.

This was the first quilt I made without a pattern (I think) not that a pattern is really required with such a simple design.

I had bought a charm pack of the Happy Campers fabric by American Jane for Moda Fabrics and some quilting linen that I thought looked OK with it and kind of matched the asthetic of the print.

I really had no idea what I was going to do with it. This charm pack was the first in my foray into the world of pre-cuts and I also didn't really know how far they would go. I had bought Pam Linnott's book that included patterns for charm packs for some inspiration but quickly realised I should have look at the patterns more clearly before I bought the mfabric because I was going to need more than one charm pack to make a decent sized quilt. Unfortunaly by the time I realised couldn't find any more fabric bacause the range was reasonably old and no stores seemed to have any in stock.

So I cut all the squares in half (chopping of a head or two in the process) and paired them all with a rectangle of the linen cut slighly fatter to yield a 5" square. I joined 4 of these units together to make a block with the two halves of the original charm square opposite each other and the colours forming a pinwheel effect.

The backing was the next hurdle, I ordered so Happy Camper fabric online not realising it was a different range to the Happy Campers and the colours were quite different. Then one day I was lucky enough to stumble across some yardage online and I snapped up all that was left, which was just enough for the backing and a very narrow binding.

I outline quilted just inside each positive and negative pinwheel, which alarming looked early on in the quilting to cause little swastikas on the back. I was telling myself it was actually a symbol that meant good but then it disappeared as more of the quilting covered the back. Phew I'm not sure I wanted an ambiguios symbol on the back of my quilt.

I bound it by machine using a tutorial from Red Pepper Quilts. It is not the first time I have machine bound a quilt but it is the first time I have approached being happy about the way it has turned out. I do really love the suggestions for joining the last join and then sewing down the last part of the binding to the front but I would recommend leaving every bit as large a gap a recommeded, especially with a larger quilt. Rita's suggestion about starting with the larger binding width also appeared to have merit, with my narrow binding there were quite a few areas that I had to go back over as the stitching had missed the binding edge but i didn't have this problem with two other quilts I bound the same way the same morning using a wider binding strip.

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