A few weeks back, I saw a picture on the Quilt Now Instagram feed with the most fabulous wreath quilt on it. When Quilt Now issue 4 came out, I discovered the pattern was by the lovely Jessie and I knew I had to make it. Its a beautifully simple idea- sixteen log cabin blocks and a little careful colour arrangement for those squares to form a circle:
It took a little time to get the colours and contrast balanced and although it looks scrappy, there was some planning involved so that certain prints were spread throughout the quilt and the levels of contrast maintained in the right places. It's a smallish quilt- about 43" square and I was able to use my stash with minimal extra shopping- just some new emerald additions:
All the background fabrics had a white base. I find white fabrics relatively hard to find- I have an excess of creams, but few whites.
I stuck to spiral quilting using my downloadable printable spiral starter to get the quilting going. I printed this on very thin cheap paper, cut to size, pinned on and tore off. The method is here. For quilt basting, I starch the quilt front and back so they are very flat and stable. I then use Rita Red Pepper Quilts basting tutorial and follow it precisely- I find it very successful, even though I hate basting quilts. I also use a Kwik clip- an invaluable tool, your fingers will thank you profusely.
I had a few problems with my machine foot and the quilt bar so instead I used a small ruler and my trusty, much used Sewline fabric pencil to follow the spiral. I made dots approx. 4" ahead of where I was sewing. I looked to the dot as I stitched, just like a ballerina looks to a constant location for multiple turns, I looked to the next dot rather than at the sewing foot and this helped the flow of the stitches. It's not perfect but it's perfect enough for me. Spiral quilting is one of my favourite ways to quilt. To make it denser, I sewed a second spiral within the first so the final quilting lines are ½" apart.
I decided to round the corners to echo the curves of the wreath. I did it the same way as I did on my Wonky Circle of Stars quilt. I glue basted my bias binding- see here for method. The stamp is as far as quilt labelling goes for me- just a reminder of when it was made! I use a Versacraft ink pad.
I added a quilt sleeve so I could hang the finished quilt on the wall. I ended up using the sleeve as a way to push drawing pins through fabric and into the picture rail whilst keeping the quilt away from the pins. A little adhoc but it has worked.
I am so happy with the result, a very happy winter quilt indeed! Thankyou Jessie for great pattern, I would love to have though of this.