RCRRv2 - Kim's Quilt

Kim's quilt was epic before it even started.  Kim's "starter" was this:

Eek!  And the piecing is perfect!! Tiny itty bitty points and detail... Way to set the bar ridiculously high, Kim!! That could be 3 rounds, and it hadn't even left your house yet!!!

By the time is got to me, it had been worked on by a pair of over achievers and had grown astronomically. Kelly had added Bongo Drums (so Kim could march to the beat of her own drum) and friendship stars.  Bec had added circles, drawing from the Alison Glass Compass print Kim used behind her arrow.

And then it was my turn to add to this... somehow.

The first thing I did was go fabric shopping.  Bec has used this lovely shot cotton teal on the top and bottom, and I don't own shot cottons, so I hightailed it to my local shop and bought a yummy paprika-y shot orange and a nice dark green shot cotton.

I liked the idea of adding a compass - tying in to the "direction" element and the inspiration print is *called* "compass", and I like the idea that if you are searching for your "true north" a compass helps provide guidance... so I think it works in a couple of ways. 

I struggled with how to incorporate that idea though.  I could do 4 and use them as cornerstones... But that's a lot of work and you don't really use 4 compass's.  I could do 2 and balance the circles, maybe... but part of me wanted to add an asymmetrical element... but the quilt has so much symmetry that I *should* comply with that.  Honestly I just wanted to make 1. That was what my gut was telling me, but I was stressing trying to fit what I thought I should do.

I laid it out on my sewing room floor (literally - it's too big for my design wall so it's been on my floor) and stared at it... and stared at it... and stared at it.

I was struggling with those rich teal borders - if I added white against them, then they stuck out... a lot. But no matter how I thought of the compass, it needed to be on white... So I started pulling fabrics. Big hunks of fabric.  There was a nice long piece of the compass print that a laid out next to the teal and I liked it. I wanted to make sure it wasn't a "teal border", so I grabbed that green shot cotton and spread that out too.  I knew I wanted that orange somewhere up the top to balance that bright orange star in the bottom row so I  laid it across the top and I felt like I was getting closer. I put the fabric I intended to use in the bottom corner and it felt... ok. Close to what I think I wanted.

As far as the compass itself, I knew the centre should be blue, and I wanted the orange to pop, and that left the green/lime for the next 2 rounds. (here's the link to the free pattern if you want to make on)  I am still struggling with whether the contrast is enough, or if it's subtle and just right. Sometimes you just can't tell.

I do love it.  It took *hours*. And then once all the paper piecing was done I had to figure out the curves.  Now if you have a wander back through my archives you may realise that I have never sewn a quilt with curves. That is because curves scare the bejezus out of me.  But I forgot that when I decided to make a compass, and that compass's are, by definition, circles.  So I pulled on my big girl panties and got stuck in.

The first quarter I did I tired to keep the papers on, because I was paper piecing and that's how I know to do that, but it was atrocious.  It had puckers and bubbles all over the shop.  I'm exaggerating. It had 3 puckers. But after spending 8 hours making the star 3 puckers feels like the end of the world.

Then I remembered a great little tutorial I had watched earlier this week by the Littlest Thistle about sewing pinless curves.  I was very nervous to go pinless with suck precision piecing, but I trust Katy (and had already made a hash of it on my own) so I thought I should give it a go. And it worked beautifully!! The next 3 corners came out perfectly. I then joined them all together, realised I couldn't live with the puckers after all, unpicked that section and fixed it and by bedtime I had a completed compass.

But the next quandry is how to attach it.  After spending all day making 1, I knew I was not doing cornerstones (ha!) so 1 was going to need to work.  This actually suited me as I knew I wanted to do an asymmetric addition originally.

I thought the compass floated on a white strip, with some scattered colour would look pretty cool, and Kelly's stars meant that an easy way to add that scattered effect would be to add more stars.  And that works with the compass! Navigating by the stars, etc.

So I made a million HSTS.

I turned these babies into stars. Then I laid them all out and moved them around until I was happy with the flow of colour and then jigsawed them together.  I only had to do 1 partial seam to get them all together, which I was pretty happy about.  I miss-measured and my stars are *slightly* smaller than Kelly's but I don't think it's noticeable unelss you're looking for it.

After adding the white border, I knew I wanted to finish it off with another broad brush of colour, and so that orange shot cotton went right across the top.  I cut it at 7", but I think it should be cut back a bit... But I'm handing it on and if the next person wants to trim that, I'm totally cool with that.

So there you have it, another round of our Round Robin on to the next person, and I'm already mulling over what to do with the next person's quilt. And I am trying to commit myself no more paper piecing and no more HSTs... Let's see how that turns out!!

E xx


  1. Lazy?! Pshaw! you are not! this quilt is looking amazing.


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E xx