In this picture you see me and my quilting friends basting the border of my Kenyan quilt. Basting a border, in this case, means folding over the backing fabric and sewing it down with big stitches so the filling of the quilt is tucked in. It is nice to do cumbersome quilt jobs like this together. Last week I showed you some quilt blocks of this quilt. This week I’ll reveal the finished top! So, without any further ado, here is the quilt top!
The design of the quilt top
In a previous post, I talked about the ideas I had for the overall quilt design. I decided to base it on the design of the Gypsy Wife quilt by Jen Kingswell. That is because I always wanted to make that quilt, but don’t like to copy a design completely. Rather I created my interpretation of Jen’s design. Check out her website, though, in the link above because the design is amazing and the pattern very detailed.
Here is the post where I shared my initial design ideas
In the Kenyan quilt, I didn’t use a pattern and strict measurements. I laid out all the pieces and measured strips to piece the blocks together. It led to more fabric use than normal because I measured generously. However, I prefer it this way because it made putting together the quilt a playful and intuitive process. The picture is a bit dark but it gives you an idea of the design process.
You can see that I only laid out the blocks. The border strips I chose intuitively based on the parts of the quilt top that was already finished. I worked from the top to the bottom. To finish the top, I attached border strips to the sides to increase the size.
Fabric choices for the quilt top
For the strips, I used fabrics used in the blocks, red fabrics for the overall colour scheme and worn-out clothes I wore in Kenya. This to create a top that made sense fabric choices wise. Also, now the quilt is packed with as many memories of my first time in Kenya as possible. Most strips are in the bottom part of the quilt as you can see in the picture below. I used red as the main colour to create cohesion.
Conclusion: to finish the quilt and a new start
The Kenyan quilt is going to be quilted by hand. It is such a formidable task, but fun! I haven’t quilted much by hand yet. I am working on the top stars now and I can sense my quilting improving day by day. Also, check out the post about the quilt blocks I designed. Send me an email if you are interested in purchasing any of them (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The birth of a bonus quilt
My mother’s advice was crucial in the creation of this quilt. The whole process of putting together the quilt top is done in my parents living room. When the quilt top was finished I started to piece the backing. However, by then this quilt had exhausted me and I was ready to move on to the next stage. My brilliant mother suggested me to use a gorgeous purple fabric I bought in Kenya for the backing instead of spending a day piecing a backing. I bought seven meters of it so there would be enough. Having learned to listen to my parents’ advice by now, I did that. The small blanket quilt below is made from the pieces of the back I had already put together. A creative mind and left-over blocks can always create something nice.
Would you like to know more?
- When and how to quit a quilt
- ‘Look behind the lines’ miniature quilt and a quilt exhibition
- Picknick blanket scrap quilt
- Kenya 2.0: I’m back! Or did I ever leave?
Next weeks post:
-Embroidery work and how to start to teach yourself embroidery
See my DeviantArt or Instagram (username: bella.g.bear.art) for more artwork and WIPs. You can also follow my blog by clicking on the button on the left or by filling in your email address. There will be a monthly update at the end of every month and a new blog post every Sunday or Monday.