Saturday, 30 November 2013

Stairway to Henna

A little while ago, Beth Studley from Love from Beth showed us at the London Modern Quilt Guild samples of the beautiful line of fabric she had designed for Makower called Henna. She also later asked who wanted to take part in a challenge to design "something" with her fabric. Of course I jumped at the chance and towards the end of last month, I received a lovely parcel with 6 FQs of the line and a brief to get my something done by 30 November. If you know me, you'll know that I am usually a last minute person, I probably work better with a deadline! So this week, on top of the Advent calendar and the Diamond Quilt I *had* to finish my Henna Quilt, that I thankfully started piecing last week-end!
When I received the fabric I had originally envisaged an applique wall-hanging with one (or more) of these Indian elephants that are heavily decorated, I thought it would work well with such vibrant colours but I was a bit intimidated by the idea and worried about not getting the elephants the way I pictured them in my head so I abandoned that idea. I then had a flash of inspiration when I was making my Broken Herringbone blocks. I thought about the white strip and how I could apply this to a different block that I really like: the Bento Box so I decided to try and make some Broken Bento Box. A few scribbles on a sheet of paper later, I had a recipe for a beginner-friendly quilt that could be easily made with pre-cuts too!
As I said before I had 6 FQ  that I paired into 3 groups. I'll show you how to make blocks from one group (I made 3 blocks from each group of 2 FQs as I wanted to have fabric leftover for the binding)
Each block will take:
Fabric  1: 1 square 5.5' (you could use a charm pack and your final block would be slightly smaller)
Fabric 2: 2 strips 2.5' x 20'
Solid (white): 2 strips 1.5' x width of fabric
Now take the square and the white strip and sew the white strip to the square
Add a strip to the left and right first. Press towards the centre. Add to the top and bottom. Press towards the centre and trim.
Now add the 2.5'strip.
You can get one small and one large rectangle from your strip but you won't get the 2 large ones. So use the first trip and sew to the square on the top. Take the second strip and sew to the bottom. Press towards the 2.5' strip. Trim. Add the 2.5' strip to each remaining side. Press and trim.
Now add the remaining white strip as before: to opposite sides, press towards the printed fabric and trim, then to the 2 remaining sides, press towards the printed fabric and trim. This is ideal for chain piecing (and makes it of course even faster!)
Your block should now be 13.5' (13' if you used a charm square to start)

Now it is time to slice the square into 4 smaller building blocks. Measure the central square (it should be 5' if you started with a 5.5' square and 4.5' if you used a charm square)
Cut your block in half (6.5'). I lined my ruler with my central square and cut at 2.5
You now have 2 half blocks 6.5' x 13' that will be cut in half again
Repeat the same to have 2 x 6.5' squares
Trim your building blocks to 6.5' square if needs be

And now you are ready to play! Broken Bento Boxes?

Plus Blocks?

Or just a random arrangements?

Well I settle on this one which reminds me of a staircase hence the name of the quilt Stairway to Henna.
 For the quilting, I decided to break the squares and straight line a little bit and free-motioned some "string of pearls" following the stairs on the white strips. I really like the effect, if I can say so myself!
And for the binding I used the remaining fabric to make a scrappy binding.

I will probably use it as a bed runner, but of course it would work as a table runner or wall hanging. And it you use more that 6FQs, well you could end up with a much bigger quilt!

I hope you enjoyed reading my tutorial. If you make the blocks/quilts and you have any question or anything which doesn't make sense, please let me know! Thank you Beth for allowing me to play along.

Quilt statistic: 24' x 54'
Machine pieced and free motion quilted
Fabric: Henna and Klona white

And that's one more OPAM for November and a completed challenge!

As for the Advent Calendar, it is quilted and the binding is on but it still needs to be hand sewn at the back. That will be for tomorrow but of course Miss Baby will get her first chocolate tomorrow regardless!

1 comment:

  1. Great tute Celine and love all the options this block creates!


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