Today’s post is written by Mary Elizabeth O’Toole
This summer, I designed a Japanese-inspired quilt as a wedding gift for a good friend. I chose a focal fabric with a large floral print (peonies – one of her favs) in the pinks and purples that I know she likes. For the center panel, I selected several Japanese embroidery designs from www.em
blibrary.com and stitched them in colours that matched the chosen border fabric. The middle panels included a geisha in a cherry blossom garden. I finished this section with a free motion quilting that reflected the blossoms. That part is a little difficult to see in the picture.
In keeping with Japanese style traditions, I pieced an asymmetrical border that included pinwheel floral elements. The quilt finished at approximately 76″ x 84″ – a good size lap / couch quilt. I hope that my friend and her new husband will enjoy it for many years.
Making some changes
I was quite pleased with the finished quilt but kept wondering what it would like in a different colour combination. I decided to make a variation in the same design with some minor changes – a good chance to compare impact of colour.
To begin, I chose a different border fabric……and restitched the same embroidery designs with the new colour scheme.
This piece, as the title suggests, is still in progress so this is just a teaser. I have completed piecing but not started quilting. Stay tuned for updates (which might take a bit – I have some other things to finish first and this one is just for fun).
Lesson Learned – Scrappy Pinwheels Tips
I liked the design elements with pinwheels in the first quilt so decided to keep that feature. I made the pinwheels using 1/2 square triangles using this quick method How To: Make Super-Speedy Half-Square Triangles from Quilting Quickly with Jenny Doan.
I chose one background square and one focal fabric square, which resulted in finished pinwheels like this. This was ok but when I looked at them, decided I wanted to change the look so the flower accent was featured in each blade, rather than being mostly hidden.
After some experimenting, I got the results that I wanted by adding a frame around the focal fabric then cutting that square to create an on-point block.
When I made my half-square triangles with this block and a background block, the flowers were more central in the wheel.This was the first time that I made scrappy pinwheels and it is something that I will be doing more for other shapes and patterns.
Watch for pictures of the finished project on our Facebook Page