Wednesday 29 May 2024

behind the seams

Still busy trying to finish a few things here at Kokaquilts. Heads up... these behind the seams photos are probably a little boring, no new yummy fabric pulls, no decision-making dilemmas. And you will have seen work-in-progress pics of the following quilt tops a few times now! 

I do usually finish my quilt tops but not all are quilted - it really depends on whether the quilt is destined for a particular purpose. Sound familiar? 
However, I decided to get four quilts ready for some longarm quilting with Leeanne @quiltmekiwi
So, I'm having a week doing all those little tasks that need to be done to get a real finish and I thought I'd share my progress & process & photos as I went. 

First up, I wanted to get my recently finished scrappy Jacob's Ladder quilt ready for quilting. I did a lap around the perimeter of my quilt, securing the outer edges of all those small, pieced sections. 
I decided to use a very old Jacob's Ladder quilt top in calico, blues & purples for my backing ... 

... I made this Jacob's Ladder top 21 years ago, pre blogging days. I think Glenys & I went to classes for 6 weeks to make this one.
For me, it was a great learning curve in chain piecing & rotary cutting, both of which I hadn't mastered in my earlier quilting attempts. 
 Anyways, it has remained a quilt top ever since!

I had to spend quite a bit of time trimming threads ... I thought I was a messy quilter now, but obviously I was just as messy back then! 
It was interesting looking at all the fabrics I had in my stash then, a trip down memory lane with lots of late 80's? early 90's fabrics, {wink wink} modern day vintage maybe? 

*Wanda has just advised some of these fabrics are from the 1990s, thanks for the info.

I checked out the measurements of both quilt tops, making sure my backing quilt was at least 4" larger all round than my top quilt and then ironed them both.
Excited to see this double-sided Jacob's Ladder all quilted up.


Next, I added a couple of borders to my 4-patch chain quilt top, see back here for earlier details. Lots of sweet blues & purple Tilda fabrics in this one. 

I found a delightful pair of vintage sheets at a local
hospice shop recently, perfect for backing quilts. I washed the sheets and checked the sizing. I'll only need one for this quilt✅ 

And now it's all ready to be sent off too. 
It'll be a nice size for a donation cuddle quilt, I think. 


On a roll now ... so I also pulled out my recently finished 'old maid's puzzle' quilt to get ready for quilting too, see back here for more details. I thought maybe I could use another finished older quilt top for backing again - gotta use those UFOs for something, right?

It's a square quilt, which I rather like for a change. So, I spent quite a bit of time looking through the wardrobe of quilt tops to see if there was anything I could use, something that could be adapted to fit for the backing ...

... and I ended up selecting a top I made in Feb 2020, 'meadowland' quilt. 
This quilt was rectangular, but it was a simple solution to add a couple of wide side borders in a grey soft floral, so that I now had a square quilt for the backing too. 
I had dialed back the use of large colourful florals & used lots of soft greys in this one, so it really appealed to me to use as backing. 
(I've already settled on a binding fabric too, one that will blend b.e.a.u.f.i.fully with both back & front.) 


And finally, I prepped my 'stars upon stars" quilt for quilting as well, which I finished in March, pop back here for more details. Finished quilt top is quite big, measuring 81" x 65". This quilt top needed a backing too ... 


... and I found a 16 patch St Louis quilt top in the wardrobe. It was made up in a scrappy selection of pinks & peach with a little splash of blue, very vintage looking to my mind and looked so pretty teamed up with my stars.
I've sliced things and added a few asymmetrical pieces to get it up to a suitable size.
I left some selvage visible on a fabric I'd kept for years - a Laura Ashley stripe.

It's all looking like more of a scrappy pieced backing now, an easy peasey fun fix.

- off to the Post Shop  

More often or not, I usually piece a scrappy backing from my stash. 
I find making quilt backs is one of my favourite parts of the quilting process, another chance to play!
Other times, I might source a vintage sheet from somewhere or use a wide backing fabric.

However, there’s a real satisfaction that goes with using up three of those old UFOs.


Thursday 23 May 2024

finishing a few things ...

Finish a few things before starting anything new
Super happy with this scrappy value delight!

- in the late afternoon sunshine

Pattern: I was totally inspired by Jolene from I loved her nine patch Jacob's Ladder quilt. I've made two other Jacob's Ladder quilts over the years, but revisiting this idea makes me realise I simply loveπŸ©·πŸ’›πŸ’™the scrappy block-by-block process. 
I've reworked the math though and used four patches to create my own version. To keep things symmetrical - and to ensure I ended up with a rectangle rather than square quilt - I made16 12 1/2" Jacobs Ladder blocks plus eight 1/2 blocks for the top & bottom edges.

Fabric: I'm using a real mishmash, including a few favourite OOP fabrics, recent designer fabrics & a mix of background fabrics, all from my stash. 

And it’s a finish!
... except of course for the quilting, the backing etc etc . 
I always conveniently forget these later stages.

Linking my quilt top finish to NNT with Kelly over here at myquiltinfatuation


Saturday 11 May 2024

jacob's ladder variation

Once again, my present WiP has been inspire by Jolene from I loved her nine patch Jacob's Ladder quilt. I've reworked the math though and am using four patches to create my own version.

I'm using a real mishmash from my stash, precious pieces, forgotten fabrics & dated designs, along with a few recent designer fabrics thrown in for a special treat. Loving how well these scraps all work together, no matter if they are modern or more traditional. 
Here's a few progress pics from down on the design floor ...

next design decision: how many blocks to make?

and there's some progress a few days later ...
Assembly may take some time thoughπŸ˜‚