Taadaa! :: Happy Herringbone Quilt

Can you believe it's a week before our exhibition quilts need to be delivered, and both of mine are finished?! (I can't!) Michelle and I had so much fun photoshooting my finding formation quilt that we've decided from now on we're going to take all our finished quilts out for photoshoots - starting with Michelle's Manhattan Clams and my Happy Herringbone. We took the photos in a laneway in Civic - I loved the contrast of the rusty and grey and grotty backgrounds vs the bright bold colours of the quilt.

I'm not afraid to admit I'm a bit of a fabric hoarder - when I see something gorgeous I just want to snap it up so I don't miss out, and so it's right there ready when I come across the perfect pattern. So, I had a couple of Kate Spain jelly rolls hanging out on my shelf*, and when I saw the tutorial on Maureen Cracknell's blog for a herringbone quilt-as-you-go quilt I knew it was that perfect pattern I'd been waiting for!

And a perfect pairing it was. Having jelly rolls meant hardly any cutting, and because the fabrics are all so beautiful, and all work together so well, no planning of fabric placement was necessary - I could literally just grap and handful of strips and sew them on as I got the chance. Also, the strips are long enough to really showcase the gorgeous prints.

I've written a bit about the quilt-as-you-go method already, and of course all the details about how to do it are on the tutorial page. It was a really simple way to get a fabulous effect. I've mentioned before that I don't have very much quilting experience, and I think this method would be great for a beginner - I found the basting less intimidating (your fabric and batting are already sewn together, so you are only basting 2 layers) and the only quilting you do after basting is long straight lines using seams as a guide. There are a couple of things I'd note though: the first is to make sure you get a suitable batting. You really need to be able to give the batting a good warm pressing on both sides - the batting I used was kind of soft and fluffy on the 'right', and pressed well, but the other side was kind if like an interfacing. This meant I couldn't press it without a cloth, which made it really tricky to press the seams open and I think also meant my batting wasn't very stable and stretched a bit. I was a bit worried that those seams where the panels joined would be a bit too lumpy, especially since I couldn't press them well, but they weren't too bad, and actually seemed to soften once the quilting either side was done.

You can see from the pictures that the zigzags running across the quilt are 'broken.' You could definitely be more careful with your piecing to make continuous stripes running across, but I actually offset them on purpose because I suspected I wouldn't be able to get the accuracy needed for that. I also played with the seam placement a bit so that there are some fatter and thinner strips. The backing is the pink bee print from Honey Honey. I made a scrappy binding using some of the left over pinky orangey strips, and a label using some leftovers too, including a text print that I love, which says "let the sunshine into you heart". I love how it has come out - this quilt is inspired by my daughter Amelia (whose favourite song is Pharell's 'happy') and I really wanted it to have that feeling of the colourful happy 'chaos with a bit of direction' that she has brought to our lives.

* I used jelly rolls of the following ranges: Cuzco, Central Park, Honey Honey, and Daydream, as well as bits and pieces from Good Fortune, Terrain, Sunnyside and perhaps some Fandango? (I think that's all of them, but let me know if you spot something else so I can add it to the list =))



  1. I can't believe you've finished already! I'm still quilting my second damn damn damn. So close to the end though! I love this quilt so much. So glad it got photographed in the grungy alley too! I freaking love Tocumwal Lane.

  2. Bron, this is absolutely stunning! Epic work!


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