Anthologie Quilt

So you know my giant pile of wips... well despite my claim that they were my top priority, I tried and they were just leaving me grumpy, sitting at my sewing table scrolling through instagram because I didn't want to even look at them, let alone attempt to sew them.  Don't I sound like a bundle of laughs!

Well, my insta scrolling ended up being slightly productive because it led me to the #anthologiequilt, designed by @southerncharmquilts and being run as a quilt-a-long (#barijquiltalong).  Now I started several weeks behind, but the blocks are actually really easy. Particularly if you're like me and cheat by starting with the 9 patches and rail fences :-D

I am loving my colour story for this quilt.  I actually pulled the fabric a couple of months ago, and set it aside because I didn't have a plan for it, but liked it too much to redistribute back into stash.  (I think I had possibly intended for it to be for my round robin starter, but that hadn't felt quite right)  It was a little bright for this quilt, but that's easily fixed by grabbing from the low volume shelf.  Yes I have an entire shelf just for my low volume - it's my happy place, ok.

So I packed up all my colours and my low vols and trundled off to Sew Day with my Guild and happily made the easiest blocks, and then I happily packed up trundled home and unpacked so I could keep pottering away at it over the next couple of weeks, when what to my wandering eyes did appear...?  The Big Bed Quilt-a-long with Stitched in Color. Well, yes I would like this quilt to be for my bed, thank you very much!

Rachel did a post on working out what size a "big bed quilt" should really be, and I obligingly grabbed my tape measure and clambered over my master bed to work out just what size I wanted.  I need around 80"tall x90" wide to give me to overhang and tuck in that I like.  This seems really big, but Ashley has a habit of stealing the blankets and so bigger is better so I don't end up freezing through the night.

The original quilt design is 80" tall and 65" wide, so I need around an extra 25" column.  But I hadn't actually worked out the maths for block sizes and just knew it needed to be bigger and so I played... I decided that I wanted to add a bit to both sides, and the bottom to balance my additions a little.

I took the blank colouring page Melanie provided and copied it into paint.  (I am very fancy in my quilt design process - if it doesn't come as part of the software included on my computer, it's outside of my abilities!! lol) Then I selected, copied and pasted as desired until I was happy with the layout.

I had no measurements for anything, I just composed with the blocks.  I actually had a whole additional column, but once I did the measurements for the blocks, it was going to make it ungainly-ly large, so I edited it back. There is lots of empty space, but I plan to jigsaw it together with a mix of low volume and some chunks of my colours.  Especially my inspiration fabric - a dreamy floral that I had tucked in my stash.

Once I was happy with the layout, I recoloured this picture to try to get an idea of what I wanted where and the colour balance, and I think it's fairly true to how it's ending up - with the exception of the Dresden's as I still have no idea what they'll end up like.

As for how I picked what went where, or why I added certain things, I went with my gut.  I knew that I 100% wanted to do another batch of the low volume rail fences. And I wanted another of the La Fleur blocks (although I simplified my blocks just a smidge - hey! I'm not called the lazy quilter for nothing!!).  I really love the ivy vine as well, so I included a second one of those. And then I just played with the filler blocks - the flying geese, the log cabins, 9 patches. I haven't moved anything in the middle - ie. the actual design - but I can always reassess that when it comes time to assemble. If you were adding, you might choose completely different bits to focus on than I did. (How interesting would that be!! There's a challenge - we should all try and design a "sampler" using the same starting blocks and see how many variations we can come up with!!)

My upsized quilt will theoretically measure

And even though that seems large, I'm willing to bet my maths are off and it'll be smaller, but no matter, I want a big quilt, with lots or room for curling under. Nothing worse than a quilt that's too small.

As of today I have made:
* 2 La Fleur blocks
the 4 granny squares
* 10 hanging tulips
* 5 x 9 patches
* the 2 big chunks of low volume rail fences
* the 3 sets of flying geese
* pieced the background for 2 sections of dresdens (the large top part and the bottom left) and the section for vines in the top left
I still need to make:
  • ivy leaves - they are cut and attached, but I need to embroider the stems.
  • however many Dresdens I feel like putting together.  The pattern calls for 3 full, 2 half and 2 quarter.  I love a Dresden, so I've put in space to add another 2 1/2 (or so).  But I'm also toying with another idea which I'll show you later... ;-)
  • 2 sets of the little arrowheads... the pattern has the centres as hsts, but I'm thinking I might be able to make them into flying geese with long ...wings.
  • I also need to do whatever collage/embroidery/embellishment I want for the rail fences. that's a bit scary, as it's outside my usual wheelhouse, but I think it is going to make this quilt amazing.
Henry is supervising my layout

And once the patterns are released, I need to also make:
  • 13 on point log cabins
I've had a few people comment that they are intrigued by this quilt, because it looks so intricate, but I wanted to reassure you that it's actually very simple.  All of the blocks could be pieced by a beginner.  I think the hardest thing is probably the flying geese, or maybe the applique of the ivy and the dresdens, but that's not hard, I promise.

If you are thinking maybe, just jump in! You can do it!! I believe in you!!!

Alright, I'd better get back to the machine and try to get this beast finished :-D

E xx


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E xx