Tangrams and quilting. When you think of one you don’t usually think of the other, do you? Unless you’re me perhaps. When my son got a Tangram book from his Grossmutti and Grossvati (Swiss grandparents) for Christmas the first thing that I thought of as I browsed through all the different designs was EPP. So of course when I decided to make a springtime quilt last week I knew I had the perfect oppertunity to try out my idea.
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, or facebook, then you’ll know I started by pulling a bunch of spring time fabrics from my stash. I focused on pinks, greend and lemons, with an added Moda scrap bag of the low volume prints from Sweetwater’s Sunkissed line that have been sitting in my stash for way too long. If you have ever used one of these scrap bags you will know that they are filled with width of fabric selvege edge strips of fabric all of varying width, but all perfectly useable. I sorted out the widest strips from the scrap pack fabric roll and once I had that done I started cutting into them. At that stage I didn’t have a plan or a design so I really was doing things a little backward. Fom the widest strips I was able to cut 54 6×3″ rectangles. Once I had those I got planning. I took some inspiration from a quilt I had designed as part of a challenge a couple of years ago. The Sunkissed fabrics I had cut up would, with some off-white fabric from my stash, form the background of the quilt. After that I had plenty of blenders that I cut into to make some EPP tangram bunnies and applique flowers.
The quilt came together very quickly. By the end of the first evening I had the background pieced, the bunnies pieced and the flowers all ready to fuse in place. The following day I settled on the arrangement of the embelishments, stitched the bunnies in place, fused the flowers, and then it was back to my stash to find some backing fabric and my favourite Quilter’s Dream cotton batting. I wish I could tell you what the backing fabric it is but I don’t have a clue. It was a remnant of cotton that I found in a local sewing store so I have no idea what it is.
Once I have my quilt sandwich the quilting started easily. Outline stitching around the bunnies was the obvious starting point. Then I decided I would brave free motion quilting for the flowers. I have never free motion quilted a quilt before (doll’s quilts don’t count, right?) but this seemed like a good project to start on. I got out a paractice quilt sandwich, set up my machine and as soon as I started to stitch I knew this was meant to be. The stitches were coming out perfectly right from the start. There were no tension issues, there wasn’t a single loop on the back. I had somehow stumbled on what seemed to be the perfect setting for fmq on my machine, something I had never managed before it should be said.
I did a double row of stitching around each of the flowers. I then got out my flower template, drew lots more on the quilt and then went on to stitch each one of those as well. I used 50wt Aurifil for all of the quilting, and the piecing too for that matter. Natural White #2021 is always my go to thread for piecing light fabrics and in this case for the outline quilting on the bunnies. Variegated Lemon #4658 was the perfect choice for the rest of the quilting. It has a lovely mix of lemon and orange hues that perfectly picked up on the colours in the Sunkissed fabrics and carried them through to the rest of the quilt.
I’m sure the quilting is far from perfect but to me it is perfection. Yes some of the flowers looks as if they have beeen attacked by a caterpillar but I like that in them, and I do not for one second regreat making this my first ever free motion quilted quilt.
The binding is pink, Timeless Treasures Sketch in Peony. I just love the Sketch fabrics. They are ever so versatile and I always have to have some in my stash for that reason. I started with my bundle of fabrics on Friday morning and Saturday evening saw me catching up on a few episondes of Call the Midwife while stitching down the binding. My springtime quilt was ready just in time for Easter, a fun spring day when we saw as much sunshine as snow.
At 44″ square this quilt is just the perfect size to throw over the back of the sofa, and have at the ready as a lap quilt. It’s been so much fun to make that I will defintiely be making a few more along the same lines. After all there is a book full of tangrams just waiting for me to EPP them and put them on some quilts!