Saturday, November 13, 2021

Fresh Fields Quilt


Motivated by the desire for a portable holiday project, and a hope for better times ahead, I settled on a one inch hexagon English Paper Piecing (EPP) quilt. This was December 2013, mid-summer. The cool colour palette was refreshing in the heat and inspired by the paint scheme of a home which has since been demolished to make way for the new Grafton Bridge.

Each summer since then, I have gravitated to this long term project - it was easy to pick up again and always seemed appealing on long hot days. With no plans for the finished size, I kept stitching and adding new fabrics to the mix.

Eventually it was time to start stitching hexie flowers into trios, which fitted perfectly into plastic pastry storer containers. In time, they were sewn into rows, which could be safely kept wrapped around the cardboard from empty fabric bolts.

It seemed to be the never-ending quilt, and over the years since 2013, our older five children have all left home and my husband's health has had many monumental twists and turns. In 2018 life brought major changes and we are now very happily located in a delightful coastal area. In many ways, the name of this quilt has been prophetic, as we now find ourselves in fresh and pleasant fields in many respects.

After completing my Sunshiny Day Quilt in August I decided it was time to focus on this quilt and bring it to completion. I set a deadline of trying to have it ready to use this summer. It took a lot of determination to finally piece it together, filling in the gaps and edges, removing and relocating some hexie flowers in the process, to create a cohesive, usable rectangle. With the addition of an outer border, it would become perfect for our queen size bed.

For batting/wadding I chose Quilters Dream 100% cotton in white. The white batting keeps the cool white/blue tones of the quilt top true to colour. Being a thin cotton wadding, it would be easy to hand quilt and create the perfect weight for a summer quilt. 

Following much mental debating, I decided it deserved to be hand quilted, hoping to make considerable progress before the heat of summer made hand quilting unpleasant. It took less than one ball of DMC Cebelia #30 in white for the quilting. Primarily marketed as a crochet cotton, it is smooth, shiny and most importantly, very strong. When I had quilted the EPP centre of the quilt, I trimmed the edges and attached the binding, enabling me to finish the border quilting lines exactly at the binding line. It also made the large quilt much more conducive to handling.

Yesterday I finished the hand quilting. This brings nine summers of casual stitching to a satisfying finale. Fresh Fields now looks delightfully at home on our bed, ready to serve us well for many summers ahead.

Quilt Details

Fresh Fields Quilt (my own design)

90" x 86"

228cm x 218cm

Started December 2013

Completed November 2021

1" hexagon papers

Sewline glue pen for basting

Quilters Dream Request 100% Cotton Batting in White - queen size

Cebelia #30 DMC cotton in white used for hand quilting

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