Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Cardinal Nine Patch: Finished!

Spotted "in the wild." As soon as I had the last stitch
in the binding, this quilt was on the bed!
You know my nine patch quilt is done, since I've already told you so all that's left to do is to sum up and show lots of pictures!

Troy was willing and available to help me hang the quilt. Thank goodness, because there was no way I could manage this big thing on my own. My porch came with nails along the inside edge (presumably from the last person's lights or decorations) and at some point I realized they would be perfect for hanging a quilt. I use binder clips to hold the quilt. They're strong enough, but just barely. All this is to say that you can't just start at one end and clip, clip, clip. You have to hold up the weight of the quilt until you get enough clips on, etc. So all this is to say, thank you, Troy, for helping.

Of course, once I got him involved, he couldn't leave the quilt alone!
Obviously it needed a good inspection. :)

Here's a view of the quilting from the front:
and the back:
I was disappointed with how the colours look in the photographs. In real life this quadrant, for example, just glows with oranges and yellows.
In the picture, you can barely tell that there are oranges and yellows there. It's also hard to see the progression of colours and their organization into an orange quadrant, green quadrant, blue quadrant and purple/pink quadrant.

But you can see the general pattern of darker blocks in the centre and lighter blocks on the outside...until you get to the last row on the right and left. That's where, after hours of placing each block just so, my sister and I threw on two more rows when I realized I had extra blocks and decided to make the quilt a rectangle!

Let's look again at the binding that I put on the quilt:
A pieced checkerboard to finish the edge without boxing in the design.

On the back, the pieced border is attached to a strip of fabric to reduce bulk and make sewing easier:
Here is a shot of the entire back:
Calculations showed that I would need nine yards (yes the whole nine yards) of fabric to cover the back and I couldn't imagine buying that much more to finish this quilt. So I pieced together some leftover blocks and some extra of the red fabrics I had collected. I thought a nine patch would be the way to go with this quilt. :)

When I ran out of pieces big enough to do a section, I used smaller pieces of mostly similar reds to make nine patches for the remaining two corners. I wanted reds close enough that they would essentially read as the same colour, but with enough contrast that you could still see the nine patch. Because, you know, more nine patches.

Here is a final view of the entire quilt.
Since Troy was helping out, I could get a picture of myself with the quilt. :)

Project Stats and Facts:

  • There are 255 nine patches on the front of the quilt.
  • That means there are 2,295 2" squares, plus another 96 used for the binding.
  • I spent 10 hours at the long arm store doing the quilting.
  • The project was started in July, 2016 and finished in March, 2017. (Pretty quick for me.) I started it thinking it would be a slow project over many years. Then I got obsessed...
  • Most of the blocks are hand sewn, although any with batik fabrics were done by machine.
  • I worked on the quilt in two countries, at least six houses, my car, two churches and a library.
  • A lot of the squares are from true scraps and leftovers, but I also purchased some 2.5" "charm packs" that appealed to me. Most of the reds were cut from my ever-added-to-and-never-used red fabrics.
  • Originally referred to by the practical moniker "Red Nine Patch" because there is red fabric in every block, I changed the name to "Cardinal Nine Patch" because an early plan was that the nine patch blocks were going to be the "back drop" for a beautiful batik fabric I bought--deep red with a black cardinal design. As I worked, the nine patches took over and now I'll have to think of another project for the cardinals!

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