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


Susan said...

What a beautiful, fresh Summery quilt you have. made Karen! Blue and green are such soothing and cool colours, and the white border is the perfect frame!

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Thank you Susan, it seems to have tuned out as I hoped which is always a relief. About half way through making flowers I realised it needed more white to lift it and was able to work in that direction.

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

It's just beautiful. So fresh and calming and cool. perfect for a summer quilt.

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Thank you so much Anne 😊💚💙🤍

Kay said...

This is lovely, a family heirloom. I made an EPP hexagon quilt once, it was a labour of love and I can really appreciate the amount of work that went into making this quilt.

chica said...

Que coisa boa que conseguiste terminar após tantos anos! Ficou lindfa demais,leve, delicada como os campos de verão! Bom te ver aqui e saber de ti! Ficou SHOW! beijos, pra ti e teus! chica

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Thank you so much Chica :)

Fun60 said...

Just a perfect design for a summer quilt.

Barb said...

A long and worthwhile creative project. It looks great on your bed. You've had many life changes since the start of it.

Erin said...

It's just beautiful Karen!! I think it's one of my favourites of your quilts. Love the lightness, the freshness! xx

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Thank you Erin. It certainly comes into it’s own in the warm weather😊💚💙

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Thank you Barb and Fun60. Yes, we have had many changes, mostly with positive outcomes. Three of our children have married since the beginning of 2017, and a fourth will marry next month. We have much to be grateful for.

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