December 28, 2018

Top finished, back begun

I've completed the top made with African (and assorted other) fabrics; it measures about 50x70." It was challenging to arrange the blocks in such a way that both color and value were balanced over the quilt. I also didn't want any two triangles of the same fabric to be next to each other (unless it was in one of the 35 blocks with a diamond made up of 4 pieces of the same fabric). I ended up picking out of finished blocks a red fabric I had used that looked like rows of apples (below left). I liked having red as an accent, but I found my eye continually drawn to that fabric over others, I think because the pattern was too unlike the other fabrics (as well as being brighter). I think you'll see what I mean if you look at the earlier photo of blocks on the design wall, 2nd photo in this post. I cut back on the number of blocks with red, and I substituted another fabric that I thought fit better into the mix (below right). Looking at it again now, I think I should have left the blocks on the design wall overnight, and taken one more pass on re-arranging, but at a certain point, I just wanted it done.

Now I'm working on the backing for the quilt.  I decided to make very large blocks, similar to the ones on the front, but where the central diamond is just one large square. There will be twelve of these 20" blocks on the back, compared to seventy 7" blocks on the front. On the back, I'm using other fabrics from the African collection given to me, fabrics (for the most part) that I didn't think would work on the front. I thought this would be a satisfying way of "archiving" the entire collection in one quilt.


Here's a size comparison of the front with one block for the back.


  1. Boy, you really put a lot of thought and planning into this quilt. Do you have plans for the finished piece?