Saturday, 27 February 2021

English Paper Piecing Quilt Update

Part of the process of making my English paper piecing quilt has involved writing updates as I go, something that I've really enjoyed doing. I like being able to go through past posts and see how much the quilt has changed, especially in terms of the colour gradient. From the beginning this was intended to be a calming long-term project so it feels right that the blog posts make it more about the sewing process than the final product. 
The quilt has got so big that I can't hold it myself and show it all in one go anymore. I took a similar photo back in July when I last wrote an update and as usual I can't believe how much it's changed since. The two most recent rows that I've added have involved a lot of new fabrics and colours which have made it really come together. To get more of an idea of how the quilt has evolved over time you can see what it looked like in June 2019, August 2019, February 2020 and July 2020

Adding in the pinks was something that I was way too excited to do - being in lockdown has brought the threshold for exciting things quite far down! It's been tempting to add more colour into the quilt at an earlier stage but for the gradient to work the fabrics need to be added in the right order. I realised when cutting out the fabrics for the next row that I didn't have enough of some of them, something that I hadn't thought would happen. When I started the quilt I struggled to buy all the Alison Glass 2018 Sun Prints from the same place and 1.5 years on its become even harder to source an old collection. Fortunately I only had to buy more of three of the fabrics, but it was still annoying to have to get them from three different online shops.
What I wasn't expecting was to need to buy more of the green/yellow colours. When I first started the quilt I ran out of some of the blues fairly quickly but seeing as they won't be featuring again haven't needed to buy more. The greens and yellows are the fabrics that form the in-between bit of the quilt, they don't stand out so I didn't realise how much I'd used them but they draw the brighter colours together. Having a colour gradient as it means I've completely run out of some of my earlier fabrics whilst others have only been used for one block which is strange.

I love seeing this quilt come together and each block that is added changes it slightly. Taking photos every two or so rows is a great opportunity for me to actually have a look at the quilt as a whole rather than just the block that I'm in the process of sewing on. It's definitely thanks to the bright colours that it's worked so well and I'm glad I went with it, despite being unsure whether or not to add a grey or white at the beginning. Having said that I love the stained glass window look that the wrong side has with the papers still in, so I'd definitely like to make a quilt that has only snippets of colour in the future.

This isn't a very good photo for giving an idea of proportions but it's really big now! I think only two more rows need to be added to the side and possibly three or four more to the bottom, although I'm not sure if quilts are meant to stay square. I've spent a long time thinking about the next stage in the process, like I said it was always intended to be a soothing project so I'm sad about the thought of it being finished. I do have plans to hand quilt it though which should take a pretty long time! On the plus side I can start planning my next English paper piecing quilt soon.


  1. This is a fabulous labor of love!!! It’s nice if they end up square, if corners that are supposed to meet do, if the colors work as planned but the most important part is finishing it and you are almost there. I’ve done a very little paper piecing, I love how these art forms evolve over years. Your quilt is beautiful.

  2. My word, this is absolutely stunning. No wonder it has taken so long. I can't begin to imagine hand sewing this. Beautiful work. Xx

  3. Such a beautiful quilt; it is just lovely.

  4. Did you know, and it no word of a lie, but I was thinking about that quilt the other day! I thought I must have missed a post about it and now here it is. It is looking superb! Jo x

  5. It is absolutely glorious. The colours of your quilt are amazing, a burst of freshness and happiness all in one. I think you can make your quilt any size and shape you like. There are conventional quilt sizes but who cares? Imagine how wonderful it will be to snuggle under the quilt in the winters tom come, when it is dark and grey!