Hello all! I know a lot of you have been hanging on this info and apologies for the delay. A few Typepad issues prevented me from blogging, but now we're all sorted and ready to go.
So the news is this! I've been wanting to make this quilt ever since I first saw that the book was coming out.
It's a quilt I knew of already, and I do so love an antique quilt. The coverlet is the earliest dated piece of British patchwork. I don't get the chance to make other people's patterns very often as I'm usually busy writing my own, so I decided that making this would be a treat when I had finished writing my new book! (Old Quilts, New Life is due out October 2015 for those wondering.)
And so I Instagrammed this intention (because nothing is real unless it's on Instagram) and others expressed the need to make this awesomeness too and suddenly we had an Along, which has had to wait until mid February to start because I had to finish said book!
So with all that said, here is how I propose to run the Quiltalong, and some things you need to know.
*Instructions on which blocks we are making each month and pics of the blocks we have made, tips etc BUT NOT MEASUREMENTS will be on my blog and Amy Lobsiger's blog each month. Amy and I will take turns to write the blog, month on, month off and we will both post on social media and our on blog when the new month's block numbers are posted.
*Neither Amy nor I wrote this book. We have no affiliation with it other than the desire to make this lovely quilt! As such we are not responsible if any of the measurements prove wrong or the instructions are hard to follow or any other issue like that! This is going to be fun, so everyone please leave their cranky at the door and embrace the project! :)
*Sharing is fun and thats what a QuiltAlong is all about! Please join the Facebook page I have set up here:
to show what you're up to, your colour choices and chat to other members. We are also using the Instagram hashtag
so please get involved, it's great to see what others are doing and be inspired by it. Amy and are are both happy to be your Facebook friends and your Instagram friends, so you can find us under our names on Facebook and as @sfielke and @alobsiger on Instagram.
*Susan Briscoe has a Facebook page for the book which I suggest you "like":
and the museum where the quilt is housed does too.
*Starting with February, (i.e. right now!), the 1718 Quiltalong will run for 11 months. In February we are starting with only 9 blocks to give you an easy start (and seeing as February is already half gone!), and they are all pieced blocks not appliqued except for one. The other months will be broken down into groups of blocks (more at the end of this post). This is just how I'm proposing to do it. If you want to do it another way, slower or faster or anything else, thats just fine and you can still quilt along with us and post your progress! All Amy and I are doing is providing suggestions and a few tips, inspiration and encouragement.
*Everyone joining in MUST own their own copy of The 1718 Coverlet by Susan Briscoe. It isn't OK to look on with your friend's copy, or photocopy from their copy or from a library book. That's a breach of copyright. You need your own copy, and trust me it's well worth it because the book is lovely.
*Please feel free to chat about your blocks and your process and the quiltalong online or on your own blog - please link to my blog and/or to Amy's blog when you do. But PLEASE, don't post tutorials or block measurements or any other kind of instruction other than little tips on what you found easiest or your colours etc, because that's a breach of Susan's copyright too and that's not OK.
Right! Now for the fun stuff! Amy and I chatted about how to approach the quilt - it's tempting to make it all in rows, or all the same block numbers first, but we felt that left us with months where EVERYTHING was going to be applique and no piecing, and vice versa. There's a lot of blocks and a lot of applique so we wanted to break everything up a little more manageably.
If you don't already own the book, there are loads of places online and in stores you can get it. There is a lovely shop in Sydney called Cottage Quiltworks who I teach for, I have picked out a starter bundle of pretty chambray solids and they are offering the book and the solid starter pack for 10% off normal retail for those interetesed, while stocks last. You can contact Chris or Jann on firstname.lastname@example.org, they will post anywhere including overseas. Here is the pack they are offering:
and they also will do the pack or the book on it's own, and they have some nice woven stripes etc like I am going to use too. Drop them an email and they will sort you out.
I should first point out that I am making the quilt using the MODERN METHOD instructions given in the book. While the ORIGINAL METHOD instructions look fascinating and I'd love to give them a go, I would also like to finish this quilt before I have to start my next book! So the modern method is quicker and easier as far as I'm concerned. If anyone is going to attempt the original method I will be really interested to hear about your progress!
I am going to use a combination of hand piecing, machine piecing and hand applique. Where the blocks are easy to work out machine piecing instruction or aren't too complex, I'm just going to quickly run them up on the machine. Where they look a little more fiddly I will hand piece, and I will hand applique everything. Machine applique would be fine for this project if you're wondering what to do - however as a passionate needleturn appliqué teacher I would encourage you all to give it a go!! If you haven't ever done needleturn applique before you will find instructions for my method in the back of Hand Quilted With Love, Little Quilts and also in my Craftsy class, Big Techniques from Small Scraps.
For a friendly start in February we are going to start with the following blocks:
2, 3, 4, 5, 6
You will need to make two of block 2, two of block 3, two of block 4, two of block 5 and one block 6. The blocks sit here in the quilt:
Please remember that this is just our suggestion! If you want to start somewhere else or approach the quilt in a different way then by all means, go for it.
I've decided to use a combination of shot cottons and stripes, Oakshott shot cottons and Liberty prints. I really wanted to use solids so that the quilt looked a little like the original only more saturated.
I just love that line of Oakshotts. Yummo.
It took me quite a while to settle on the Liberty. I thought black and white fabrics might be nice against the shots but I wasn't happy in the auditions...
I did try a few other combos with no happiness and so my trusty Liberty came out. I do have rather a lot, and they make such a lovely scrappy quilt.
As I'm using the modern instructions, the pieced blocks came together quite fast, I machine pieced all the straight lined blocks, and I used a 1/4 square triangle ruler to cut the hourglass triangles. I will use a half square ruler where I can too, much quicker to cut, more accurate and saves fiddle.
and then hand pieced blocks 2 and 5 and did the appliqué in front of the TV last night.
I also decided I would just piece a 4 patch behind the applique blocks instead of all the patchy pieces - well at least, behind this first one, I might get more fiddly as I go along. I don't think it will matter in a quilt as scrappy and busy as this one.
Here are all the blocks I have made so far:
I just have to finish another Block 2 and another Block 5 tonight and my February blocks are done.
In March we will tackle one large applique block and 15 small blocks, and that will be the same for all the other 10 months. As there will be a combination of piecing and applique, hopefully that will enable everyone to keep up. I know it sounds like a lot, but they are only small blocks, most of the piecing is not difficult and that breaks down to 4 blocks a week, which isn't that bad when you put it like that. Remember though that you don't have to keep up with the blog posts, just go at your own pace, join in whenever you like and enjoy the process! The blog posts will stay live so you won't miss anything, and it's not a race :)
Anyway I hope that is everything, if you have any questions you can leave a comment here or on Amy's blog, on the Facebook page or email me at email@example.com. If you want me or Amy to see a post on Instagram please TAG US with @sfielke or @alobsiger as it's easy to miss a comment that's just on the hashtag thread. Have fun!
** IN ANSWER TO THOSE ALREADY ASKING - yes I DO sell the kits for my applique technique, and I also sell the threads I use for hand applique - Aurifil 50 weight. You can find the kits and my thread collection (and my books and fabric collections) at www.sarahfielke.com under Notions. I DO NOT sell Susan's book.