Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Astor Manor Reprise

My mum, Audrey (the Grandma of Grandma Macs Quilts) came down to look after my boys last week so that I could attend a 3 day course run by Aspect. In the evenings we got a chance to sew and cut. It was lovely to spend time chatting whilst hand sewing bindings on the same quilt, cutting from both sides of the cutting board and having someone else iron the seams as I sewed. 

Audrey had already made a stunning quilt out of the Astor Manor range of prints for her friend's 80th birthday. I secretly coveted that quilt, So when she offered me the leftovers I was more than happy to receive them. 
As we were going through them we both discovered  that she had already sewn 60 squares (she had forgotten)using the Disappearing 9 Patch pattern.  I was gob-smacked. Quilt blocks just begging to be sewn up. This range of fabrics is just divine when you lay them all out.
So after my mum returned home after 3 days, I set about assembling the blocks to sew. I found that I needed to make 3 more D9P blocks to balance it out into 3 rows of 7. If I am wise with the leftovers I will hopefully make it into a stunning queen-sized quilt. 
Next I cut 2.5" strips from my wide back brown fabric (GASP! I know....but I have plan to use more of the scraps to piece my back together) and sashed the rows into equal thirds and completed the first border. I am very happy with that decision. I find the D9P a bit overwhelming all together...plus I need the length and width to bump this out to a queen size.
I actually find sashing and borders a bit of a challenge to be honest. I have miscalculated a few times and come up short and had to piece the border. It takes away the charm and passion for the quilt if you have to cover up your mistakes. This time I made sure that I was over on both ends (as you can see in the photo above).

Now because I am fortunate to have some strips from a jellyroll, I am able to trial a new border for Border #2. It comes from a pattern I found in a library copy of Australian 'Patchwork and Stitching'. Here it is using a white base for the border and the white pieces from the Moda 'Spring Fever' collection.
So I have made my own version.
(I was trying to be cheeky with the bottom row...)

Then after pressing the seams I cut them into 2.5" strips.


Problem #1 - I was hoping to put a lighter fabric in each corner but that makes the first brown border look like it continues into the pieced border.

Problem #2 - the second border does not a perfect match measurement make. That means I am going to have to fudge the sequence of 2.5" somewhere along the way in order to line up the seams.
So I had to walk away from it last night, unsure of how to solve either. I have put out a mayday to my online quilt buddies at 'Quilt Club Australia'. I had one of my son's classmates come for a playdate today so I am hoping to have the issues resolved tomorrow when the boys are at 'Active Kidz' vacation care and my daughter at Family Day Care ( I so need vacation care for my own sanity as these holidays are 3 weeks for my 2 boys at an Anglican school).

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