Thursday, January 21, 2010

Crossed Canoes on a Starry Night

The binding has been sewn down on my mini quilt and I set about blocking it. First a long soak in the tub; I don't have a sink large enough to let it spread out.

I was (a little) worried about the colours bleeding as I didn't think I had pre-washed the fabrics or even tested for colour fastness. (I know, I'm living on the edge!)

Anyway, if the colours were going to bleed, I didn't want the yellows sitting on the blues. When I checked on the quilt after a short time, the water did look bluish. I threw in a colour catcher sheet, but I'm not sure it was necessary. Although some colour may have released into the water, it did not deposit back onto the quilt. (Dodged a bullet there!)

After a good soaking, I let the tub drain, let the quilt drip most of the water out, and then put it between two old towels to roll up and squeeze the rest of the water out.
Once most of the water was out, I then set it out on my trusty foamboard, pushed it into shape, and let it dry. I was not only relieved to see that the blues didn't bleed, but also that the water soluble pen washed out completely. (It had been on the fabric for months...they say not to do that.)

And I can now give you a look at the final quilt:
If I were forced to name it, I think it'd be Crossed Canoes on a Starry Night. The whole project has been driven by a desire to explore the colour combination. Once it was all together, the colours really reminded me of van Gogh's use of blue and yellow, especially in Starry Night.

The yellow piping really does pop against the darker blues in the border and binding. You'll notice the binding has some nice mitered corners.

Once it was all put together, I could address the hanging. I found a nice metal dowel of a suitable length just waiting for me in the basement. By inserting each end under the pockets that were incorporated into the backing
I had a secure easy way to hang the quilt.

The quilt is not very big (less than 24" each side), but it packs a big punch for the corner of a room.
I started this quilt in 2006; it's hard to say why it took me so long to finish it.Project Stats
: Fall '06
Finished: Jan '10
Pattern: personal design
Materials: scraps, fat quarters; backing & binding from square dancing outfit! (Est $20.)

All told, I bet it was only about half a dozen sessions--they were just spread out over more than three years! I designed the "block" so I could play with the yellow and blue colour combination. The overall crossed canoe design was formed by 1.25" squares.

The center was done with paper piecing: each quarter was divided into vertical strips. Each strip was paper pieced and then joined with the next strip. The four quarters were joined and then borders added.

I don't actually get out in canoes much any more, but I like to remember the times that I did. With its title, the quilt really makes me think of the few times I was out on a lake in the dark. There's nothing like it.


  1. It looks GREAT! On Ravelry, I thought the colors were blue and orange. What a surprize to come over here and find YELLOW not orange. Either way, it's an amazing little quilt.

  2. Your method of hanging this quilt is interesting. Don't think I've seen it before.
    I AM going to give it a try next time.

  3. I love your interpretation of Crossed Canoes. I've been researching this design because I have two fabrics I want to use and make a quilt for a friend with a watery hobby. Now I love your interpretation so much I'm thinking again. Re the hanging method I used a similar method with a centre sleeve and closed ends for my Beach Huts as suggested by my evening class. teacher but your idea is MUCH neater - really fab. So many thanks for all the inspiration.


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