Months back, Oakshott fabrics were kind enough to send me a stack of Impressions, a set of 16 colours all shot with a white warp (vertical) thread and I immediately knew my plan, starting with some Liberty lawn from Jo's shop- she lives close by so I got personal delivery.
The next part of my plan was Alexia Abegg's Green Bee Diamond Ring Quilt Pattern available here. I remember seeing this pattern in multiple photographs a few quilt markets ago and I knew it was perfect for this- big cuts of fabric that will allow the prints and the colours to shine. Liberty and Oakshott are a similar weight so this marriage is a happy one. The Liberty is more densely woven but they play together very nicely. The background fabric is one of my favourites: Kaufman Quilter's linen in grey which has an etched crosshatch linen style pattern on it but is soft quilting cotton, very quiet but it says just enough.
There are a few practical things to over come in the pattern- drawing a massive quarter circle to start with. I used my Dura-bac board which is a large gridded piece of cardboard- v useful for pinning and in this case securing a drawing pin. I bought this at a bootsale many years ago and I see them in charity shops from time to time.
The design looks like it would make perfect paper piecing but the scale is too large so instead I traced all the diamond pattern pieces on to freezer paper including seam allowances. Because the diamond will form a circle you need to piece with a high degree of accuracy so each seam corner point is marked on the pattern and I then use a pin and fabric pencil to transfer it to the reverse of each piece of fabric.
You can see the pencil dot marked with the arrow below.
Once these points are pinned each I work my way round the diamond in order taking care not to stretch or distort the long diagonal bias edges.
When each diamond is complete I spray and press felt. Earth Friendly starch it flattens and stabilises the fabric rather than producing a crispy shirt collar effect. The smell is gentle and natural- I am very sensitive to fragrance of any kind. I found it invaluable when Lynne and I were sewing up our 500 blocks for the book and I now class it as essential equipment, a bottle lasts ages.
I have just returned to this project after months away and I am around halfway round the ring. If you are on instagram I have been posting these with the tag #diamondringquilt.
Matching the Oakshotts with my various bits of Liberty lawn is a happy task. I need to get a wriggle on, I am planning this as a Christmas present.
Whilst this project is on the way, I am planning my next with a bundle of Italy which has a silver grey warp. I saw these at retreat when Michael and the Oakshott team set up the stall for the Saturday night market. I am thinking something with a simple block and lots of light prints, Ohio Star is my block of choice and I have a pack of Denyse Schmidt charms that are shouting me- just need to make a sample to check on sizing and scale. You can see the silvery threads peeping through the Oakshott colours below.
Thankyou to Oakshott, you know how to make me very happy!