My Endless Chain: On Walkabout

Another quilt is complete, but to say that I have mixed emotions about this quilt is an understatement. Let’s start from the beginning. In September 2011 I posted an online BOM, A Quilter’s Constellation, that would take us through to June 2012. In September 2012 we worked through an 8 week online mystery quilt, Just an Illusion. When September 2013 rolled around I was too sick/fatigued from my radiation treatments to keep pace producing another online quilt pattern. I’d spent a lot of time reading while recovering and discovered that I really liked an antique Endless Chain I’d seen in one of my books. I decided to try out the “V” block pattern using the paper piecing Method. This led to starting the Endless Chain Quilt-a-long on our Facebook page from January – December 2014. Other than supplying a template and a few tips as to how to make the block, anyone participating was on their own.

I decided to branch out and go for a two colour quilt, looking to see if it could be classed as “modern.” I decided to use my Australian fabric called On Walkabout by Bulurru. I had given 1m to Joan and had to ask for it back so I would have enough to complete this project. I had white Kona cotton in my stash, mostly leftover pieces from the I Believe in Blue Canuck quilts.

I had not calculated yardage for the quilt but  started out with 2m of dark fabric and 3m of light. Here are the precut fabric sizes for each 5 1/2″ section. You will need two 2″x 5″ and one 3 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ of light and two 2 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ dark for each 5 1/2″ section. This gives you plenty of fabric to make sure you cover the entire foundation. Endless Chain pattern

I use tear-away foundation paper. Cut out 5 1/2″ squares of tear-away, layer them with the original marked template on top. Remove the thread from your machine and stitch along the marked lines. This takes a lot less time than marking each one individually and makes it easier to tear-away as there are already perforations. I learned this from http://sewkaren-lycreated.blogspot.ca/

This is a rather mindless block to make and becomes rather monotonous. (I think because I was only using two colours?) I made 124 of these individual pieces, sewing 4 into each completed block for a total of 20 blocks. The rest were used as single blocks to form the blue/black and white border.

With all the bulk in the centre seam I decided to press all the seams open. For the most part all the seams matched but there were a few that didn’t. :)

I sewed 5 rows of 4 blocks each and then added two single blocks to each end. These pieces were made up of blue and black, forming the outside edge of the quilt before a 5 1/2″ border was added.

Here is where the mixed emotions of this quilt come into play. The problem comes about because of lighting. I have “okay” lighting in my sewing area but it is not daylight and that is definitely the best kind. Have you ever purchased something in a store, doesn’t have to be fabric, and found out that it is not the same colour/saturation you thought it was? At the beginning of the post I told you that I was using scraps of my whites…see where I’m going? I also had to purchase another metre of white Kona to make the borders. I purchased the fabric, picking out the whitest of the fabrics. After I got the entire top pieced and ready to show at the retreat last September I discovered that not all my whites were the same! Joan and I discussed me taking apart the culprits and replacing them but decided in the end to see what the quilting would do to change the look of the different whites.

Joan spent a lot of time designing the quilting pattern she would use. She made a whole cloth mock up of the Endless Chain to practice her technique. One perk for doing this is that she finally gets her Endless Chain! :)

Joan did an amazing job on the design and custom quilting. Here it is, completely quilted and without the binding. It measures 58″ x 68″ and fits on the top of a queen size bed. In this picture you cannot see the different colours of the whites. For the binding, I had originally thought I would use a turquoise blue from the footprints in the main fabric but when I got the quilt home I decided on a different blue.

Here are some closeups of the quilting. Just click on the picture to get a bigger/better look.

I am somewhat disappointed that some of the off white patches and borders show up, especially in the daylight. BUT, as I look at the larger picture of what really matters, there is nothing to do but love this quilt. And I do. I love the design, Aussie fabric and the amazing quilting.

Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye

 

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