Confident BeginnerA Jack of no Trades
My Old Lady Quilt (aka HST Jelly Roll Quilt in Daysail)
Cut to a a few weeks ago: I had just finished up sewing the last row of this bad boy, I had my seams freshly pressed, and I tapped Brian on the shoulder to show off my work. I unfurled my masterpiece to his puzzled gaze. He sat there, silently, for a few seconds before he meekly whispered:
“It looks like an old lady quilt”Now, before we all gang up on Brian, let’s remember, the other two quilts we have in our house are Sarah Watt’s Cotton + Steel masterpieces, complete with little bunnies and tigers with vibrant colours and patterns. So technically yes, this is an old lady quilt. This quilt is made from legitimate ‘purchased at a quilting store’ material, not ‘ordered in from my hip quilting fabric website’ material. I used a Jelly Roll of Daysail by Bonnie & Camille for Moda, which I became obsessed with after my dream instagram quilter, Carrie Straka, used it for a variety of her quilts. I wanted it. I wanted my own damn daysail quilt!
I started making this quilt pre-blog, so I do not have a lot (read: any) process photos, but I can show my inspiration quilt that I worked off of. I really liked the look of this quilt by Sarah Cecil Quilts, and I knew I could rock it with my one true love: the jelly roll.
An aside: I have about 13 million screenshots of quilts and block ideas. It is my #1 obsession. Once, I tried to organize them all, but the screenshots just kept on coming and I couldn’t get a handle on them ever again.
The pattern itself looked fairly straight forward, so I decided to go ahead and rock it with the limited quilting knowledge I have. I beefed up the quilt a bit, as I had more material to work with, and I wanted this to turn out as it would be my first ever ‘pattern by me’ piece. I knew I wanted the end product to have a bit of an ombre/colour changing effect instead of being a scrappy quilt, so I grouped my Jelly Roll strips in similar colour groups, 5 strips in each colour section, and sewed those 5 strips together. Thus, I ended up with 7 fat strips of similar colours, with an extra 5 strips that didn’t really fit in which I left for binding. You can see the colour groups below.
After I had my 7 fat strips, I cut them into 10 inch squares, and then cut the blocks in half to make half square triangles (HST’s for those in the know). Because I cut the squares in half, the blocks have inverted patterns, which still brings out a little bit of the scrappy-side of things, but all within the same colour palette. This is great, because it looks like much more effort is put into your blocks then you actually did!
I then did the same process of fat strips, squares, and HST’s with the white fabric, Kona White, and sewed the colour to the background fabric (white). I believe I had a yard of the background fabric, but please do not hold me to that if you try to make this for yourself. I did run into some issue with block sizes, as apparently I am not that good of an angular cutter yet, and I did have some blocks that needed to be trimmed and squared. Luckily this quit is only 49 squares, and not 490. Once I had my blocks all squared up, I sewed them into strips of 7, and then sewed the strips together.
Working with HST is a very interesting process for new quilters. I think this particular quilt is a good intro to HST’s, as I was dealing with larger blocks, and the pattern mix allows for a bit more fudge room without any overly glaring point matching issues. While I was sewing my rows together, I did have a few moments of WHY AREN’T THESE POINTS MATCHING UP?!, followed with obsessive hyperventilating and a feeling of utter defeat, but then I realized: shit doesn’t need to be perfect 100% of the time. Honestly, this motivation (or lack there of?) has now become my number one mantra when I am quilting. Nothing is going to be perfect no matter what, and it is going to take a lot of practice and a lot more quilts for me to get as good as the pros. I have come to terms with that now, and am able to enjoy my pieces without looking at the points that don’t match up perfectly (but, you know, I can still see you points!)
I went with a simple wiggly line quilt pattern, as it is daysail fabric and I wanted something breezy. Get it? Do you? Do you, the reader, get it?! #nerd
I used a tutorial from Bijou Lovely Designs to get me started on wavy lines. I found that on my machine, which is by no means a quilting machine, it was easier to keep the feed dogs down and pay really good attention to maneuvering the quilt on top. This also had to do with the weird backing fabric I chose, as my feed dogs were leaving little puncture marks in it. If you are wondering, YES OF COURSE this did place mortal fear in my heart when I started the first few lines, but after a while you get used to your machine and what works best. And, for the lines that didn’t work out the greatest, I am just going to have to live with it because I tried picking out one line of quilting and it took forever, so yah eff that. There are a few puckers in my backing fabric, but hey, it’s not like I am going to show you that, right? never.
One of my favorite parts of this quilt is the fun binding! I have always done regular boring backing fabric bindings for my quilts, so I was super excited to throw some colours in there and mix it up. I cut up my remaining jelly roll pieces and backing fabric into 5 inch strips (2.5”x5”), and then alternated between jelly roll and backing fabric strips for the scrappy looking binding. I am totally in love with fun bindings now, I think I am going to start rocking some serious pop in my next quilts.
I love my old lady quilt, but I am also very excited to start working with hip fabrics again. You can take the Sarah Watts away from the girl but you…eh you know where that is going!