Another series that you might think has gone the way of the quilting UFO is my Twelve x 12″ x 12″ project, but here again the willingness is there, the time lacking. However, the August quilt (I know, I know), is now complete.
For August I decided to do a house block, as it was in August a few years ago that we ‘found’ our current lovely house (where for the first time I have a dedicated quilting studio), and that makes the month a bit special. I have a lot of patterns for house and schoolhouse blocks in various books and magazines, but decided to go for the house from the Country Threads pattern ‘Lessons Learned’ (this pattern is also in their Civil War Remembered book, published by Martingale) because the individual house block finished at 8″ so I could add a 2″ border and have my 12″ block. And also because our house, although three stories tall, has something of the same dumpy appearance of the house in the block….
Our house is red brick, with green trimmings, so I chose a brick red fabric for the house, green for the windows and accents in the border, and two different dark blues for the background and the borders. I decied to go for a country look (we live in the country) and all florals. Most of the fabrics were by Kansas Troubles for Moda, and I already had them in my stash. For the batik border I choose a deep rich yellow with a small check, that highlighted the yellow flowers in the dark blue fabrics.
For the back I chose another brick red floral, the compliment of the large flowered green in the borders.
The house block used templates made of freezer paper for the roof shapes: this was the first time I had used freezer paper like this (ironed on to the right side of the fabric, as a guide for cutting and piecing) and I have so say it worked really well and the house went together in a flash. Thank you Connie and Mary!
So in next to no time I had this:
Then I added the borders. I fussy cut the cornerstones, so that I had a flower centred in each one.
I decided to do a bit of ‘constructive’ quilting on the house, to give the impressions of tiles on the roof and rows of bricks, and curtains at the windows. So I marked a clamshell pattern on the roof to suggest tiles, horizontal stripes on the walls and diamonds in the windows. I used a Fons & Porter white chalk pencil for the marking, as my experience it that any marks left at the end of the quilting can be easily removed with a few swipes of a fabric eraser.
To mark the clamshells I used a small round June Tailor template, and traced half a circle every time.
Then I layered the quilt up with Hobbs cotton batting and the backing, and got quilting.
I used a combination of Gutermann and YLI cotton threads (50 weight) for the quilting. First of all I stitched in-the-ditch around all the house and border elements to stabilise the top, then I quilted the house. I used a matching thread on the house and the windows, so that the quilting gives subtle texture without dominating what you see: red for the house, green for the windows.
Once I had quilted the house I started thinking about what to use as a border pattern. Our house has two oaks trees at the front (one on each side of the property) so I decided to use a pattern of oak leaves.
I traced an oak leaf and then used the tracing to make a freezer paper template, and two reversed. (Once you’ve learned a new technique, use it!). Then I ironed them to the blue border and traced around them with the chalk pencil. I peeled them off and repeated the same step for each border.
Then I quilted them with a blue-green variegated thread to give them a bit more ‘pop’. After that, I added the double-fold batik binding, a hanging sleeve and a label on the back. The yellow batik is a deeper yellow in real-life than it appears on the photo.
On the back, I added little wooden house and fence buttons (that I bought at a quilt show last year, just because I liked them) to the label, with two little hearts (symbolising me and my husband) above. Home is where the heart is.
And then it was time to hang the quilt on the stand in our entryway.
Just as well the colours match our Christmas decor! I have already started on the September quilt. Think harvest….More to follow.