Friday, July 5, 2013

The Lace Quilt

While I was in the middle of preparing for my Craftsy class I decided to take a time out to make a quilt using one of the methods of building a block that I was covering in class.
I called it "Intuitive Applique"; it is Method 4, in Lesson 5.

This is my all time favorite way to work, making up each block as I go along.  And I don't get to do it all that much!  Because while a crazy quilt's blocks' construction goes quickly, embroidering and embellishing them takes weeks if not months. The "piecing" part---working with fabrics and the blocks' compositions--is just a small part of the process of making a crazy quilt.

Not this time!  My goal was to make a bona fide crazy quilt with no embroidery at all.  The only handwork involved sewing on some pre-made fabric flowers from those folks I love at M & S Schmalberg. Otherwise, everything was done on machine, including quilting and binding the quilt at the end.  The intricate patterning in the laces and all their variations would fill the role that embroidery normally does.

And this quilt was completed quickly.  I started it on April 25th, and finished it on May 3rd. What a deliriously fun time I had!

I took pictures along the way so I could share my joy.....

This is where all my quilts start, with "blank pages" on the design wall.  These are interfaced muslin foundation squares.  The lace in between the rows will be my sashing strips.  I'll take each square down and work on it, then pin it back up.  This helps me see the quilt as a whole, all the way along.

One of the first blocks is getting underway here.  Working with that textural crocheted lace was making me swoon, for real!

I stayed with my "Craftsy palette" the whole way through this quilt, using the same "Paris Flea Market" fabrics from Moda that my class project used. (The designers are 3 Sisters.) I fell madly in love with these fabrics, and it was extra cool that they are about Paris, where I'll be traveling in September.

I've got the block roughly laid our here.

 That block sewn up is fourth from the top in the row on the left. 

Although this quilt has very little structure, other than having a strip-and-sashing lay-out, I still wanted to organize it's randomness a little bit.  A mandala block in the center seemed a perfect way to accomplish this.

From this point on, all the blocks I made were in response to the ones already there; that is, I was working on keeping the quilt balanced.  I especially had to pay attention to that dark red rose fabric, and try to keep it distributed fairly evenly across the quilt.

I had to pay attention to the lines within each block as well, so that the curves would flow nicely from block to block.  So I decided to lay out the laces first!  (Notice that I layered them sometimes too.)
 
That strategy worked just fine and even made the block go together quicker.

See that map of Paris fabric in the upper right?  As I worked I imagined going to the places on the maps as I cut and sewed...

The blocks are almost all done here, and I was sad that my whirlwind week of piecing was almost over.

When it came time to add the sashing between the rows of blocks, I didn't want them to be static..and thought that alternating the background fabrics behind the lace strips would be a subtle way to add a hint of pattern and interest.

When all was assembled, I quilted along the sashing and between the blocks...no quilting inside the blocks.
I did use a lovely backing fabric and lightweight cotton batting; this is intended to be a functional throw.

And here it is, finished.  I used a linen burlap ribbon for the binding...that made it very fast and the texture fit the quilt very nicely.  It measures about 64" X 64".

This was like a week's vacation for me!  I loved working with my lace collection so much that I'm going to have to make another one of these someday.  Hope you enjoyed reading about it!

15 comments :

NickiLee said...

What can I say that I haven't already said about your CQing? I LOVE LOVE LOVE it and this one is one of my all time favorites! Thank you for sharing your technique ...going to have to try this out soon! Can you hide me in your suitcase when you go to Paris? Purty please?

Vicki W said...

Oh Allied, it's fabulous!

Vicki W said...

Darned auto correct. Sorry!

Barbara said...

Love your relaxed approach. Looks like it was so fun.

Synthia said...

The quilt is absolutely gorgeous, and appears to be practical as well. You're a genius as well as an artist!

Suztats said...

I love how it turned out! Very pretty.

Judy S. said...

Beautiful!

Jean C. said...

Lovely as per your usual... hmmm, I do have a lot of laces, doilies etc..
It may take some time to get the nerve to cut them though! Thanks for sharing.

Gini B. said...

Wow Allie! I love this. I'm "taking" your Craftsy class (haven't checked in for awhile). I have lots of my mom's & grandmother's old, stained or tattered lace tablecloths. I want to do something with them but didn't know what & was hesitant to cut them up. I love seeing that crocheted piece just cut...gives me confidence to be bold & just do it!

Jan said...

What a inspirational project. You make it look so easy...really love it

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Larain said...

What a fabulous quilt. I am just starting my online course and I can see from your wonderful quilt that the sky is the limit. Thank you very much for sharing with us. Larain

Larain said...

What a fabulous quilt. I am just starting my online course and I can see from your wonderful quilt that the sky is the limit. Thank you very much for sharing with us. Larain

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