Apart from doing loads of embroidery all the time, I am starting to make little quilts. I don’t make large ones, as I don’t have the space, but I thought I’d do a few blog posts about how to make an American Civil War quilt using English paper piecing, as that’s the method I like to use. Even then, I adapt it to suit the way I like to make them!
This is the first book that I bought with quilt designs in that really ‘spoke’ to me – it’s by Carol Hopkins, who designs some lovely quilt patterns:
She uses the faded, small-scale prints in soft hues that I love. This is the quilt that I want to make:
It’s quite simple, and doesn’t have any triangles in it!! The first quilt I made had loads, and I kept getting the seam allowances wrong, and cutting off the tips of the triangles as I stitched the seams 😦 That’s when I decided that machine piecing maybe wasn’t for me, and English paper piecing might be more accurate.
I’ve chosen some gorgeous fabrics in shades of red, cream and brown, from a range called Chateau Rouge by Moda Fabrics.
I bought a charm pack (a pack of about forty 5 x 5 inch squares, in many toning shades), and two separate yards of fabric – one for the wide border, and one for the backing.
Carol Hopkins’ book describes how to make her quilts in the traditional way, using a sewing machine. I take designs from books like hers, and adapt them for English paper piecing by working out the sizes of the block pieces, and drawing them out on dressmaker’s pattern paper, like this:
I’ve sorted the fabrics from the charm pack into toning pairs, so that each block will have very obvious differences between the L-shaped pieces, and the ‘background’ surrounding them.
The next job is to cut everything out!