Twilight… fades to black

It’s done.

In the shade apart from a splash of sunshine, where the colours are mostly, but not quite, true to life

Twilight is finished!  It has taken me a stupidly long time to complete what is, after all, not a very complicated quilt, but it has hit me in the middle of a patch of de-motivation, loss of quilting mojo and needing to get other things done. Now that it is finished, I wonder why it took me so long, and I love it and am proud of it.

In the sun. See what I mean about the colours? Not true to life; all the purple has gone brown.

Photos just don’t accurately communicate the lovely sheen on those shot cotton squares, the flashes of double-colour. The values are all wrong and the colours are off. Never mind. I know it looks better than what you see here.

(Thanks are due to the Husband, who patiently held it up at arms length all around the back yard till I found somewhere that worked, still in his work clothes after a long day and before he’d had a cup of tea, just because I wanted to catch the light. You’re a star!)

The back is nice and simple, just a dark petrol green-blue, and a simple label.

I’ll mail it off on Monday, with love and a sigh of relief!

… and night falls on yet another quilt.

Twilight 5: all bordered out

The top is done.

I didn’t have enough full strip sets to do a continuous border in the same design, but I did have enough to do all round minus the 4 corners. With the scraps and ragtag of what I’d made, I constructed the corner blocks you see, which I’m very happy with. The two colours of shot cotton that you see at top and bottom corners came from small pieces in my stash, since Spotlight no longer sell shot cotton for some totally spurious reason. They used to have a very nice selection, but no more, which I’m very upset about.

I have also bought fabric for the backing, a dark petrol green/blue with a sheen on it. Almost a shot cotton in that the light sits on it differently according to whether you see shine or shadow. I needed 3.5m and bought 4. I hope it’ll also be enough to bind the quilt as well.

I so wish the photos could capture the colours in this quilt more truthfully. It has made the selection and placing process more time consuming, but also more rewarding. It looks… nice… in the photos, but in real life it’s actually quite beautiful, even to a non-purple-lover.

There’s beauty and practicality in a simple design. It looks clean and lets the colours sing, but it’s also finished a lot faster than a quilt with loads of piecing. I’ll be sending a photo to my niece to ask her whether she’d like geometric or organic-style quilting. I’m also debating the colour of quilting thread. I’m quite tempted by magenta, or maybe turquoise… Of course, it won’t show a great deal unless you get up close and personal, but one of the bright jewel colours really appeals.

But that’s a decision for another day.

(In case you’re wondering, there’s no Parterre block this month; I’ve had too much else on. I’ll be back next month with another bright flower.)

Twilight 4: border progress

I did an awful of fiddling about over the past few days.

My original plan was doing a sort of ‘basketweave pinwheel’ effect with strip sets cut into HSTs (half-square triangles). I didn’t like how it looked, and getting things to line up was a total faff. So then I tried a diamond effect. Same. So then I abandoned the HST idea. Now, the border blocks are made up of 4 squares arranged in a basketweave, cut from strip sets graduating from light to dark. A central windmill emerges if you arrange them with the darks in the centre, and this is the version I prefer (and before you ask, yes, I did try it the other way, with the lights in the centre. Not as nice, I think).

At this point, I’m still not totally sure I have enough fabric strips for the 18 blocks I need. If necessary, I’ll create four ‘feature’ corner blocks, doing something fancy with fabrics I still have on hand. Hopefully that’ll be enough. If not, I can also create centre feature blocks for each long side.

I showed my brother (niece’s father) the progress last night during a video call, and he’s thrilled and says she’ll love it. If she doesn’t, he says, he’ll snaffle it for himself! Well, at least it’ll find a home in the family… He feels it goes with her favoured colours and her home décor.

So, onwards, ever onwards with the seemingly never-ending strip sets. Just two more sets to piece and cut to size.

Dull work, but the results are good 🙂


Twilight 3: centre blocks done

Sometimes simple is easy, sometimes not…

This is a simple quilt, but getting the colours right is proving to be quite demanding. Laid out flat, those colours look logical and harmonious.

But once you try arranging them, it all changes. Certain colours jump out too much, others recede or change into something that somehow just isn’t quite right. So colours I thought were sure things have come out, and others I eliminated early have made a reappearance. Click on the image below to zoom in.

After lots of placing and stepping back and squinting, this is my (probably) final layout for the central window blocks. The four too-pale ones off at the left may make an appearance on the back, or they may become a couple of cushion covers.

As is my custom, I’m asking for any observations you have. Is something looking off, can you suggest any improvements? I don’t promise to implement your suggestions, but I’ll give all suggestions consideration. Do please bear in mind that the colours in the photo are a little misleading due to them being shot cottons.

Next job is assembling the strip sets from which I’ll be making the blocks that go around the outside. It’s going to need a light touch and attention to detail, so I’ll need a few days to get it done.

So, any thoughts?

Twilight 2: giving it a shot

Yes, my friends, the puns are back!

Shot cottons are gorgeous, but they can be a bit tricky to deal with. I very nearly made a silly mistake. Here’s what I mean.

Two of the cottons, which I laid out with their selected border strips last night, ready to cut and stitch this morning. Under very good LED lighting, but artificial light nonetheless.

And here’s what I saw this morning, with full sunlight shining on them and from an angle. Um… did I put those strips down on the wrong squares? Nope. I’m sure I got it right. Pick the squares up, and as if by magic, the colour changes and the strips are the right ones again. Like I said. Tricky. Both squares are woven from a combination of magenta and turquoise threads, but running in different directions. The lesson to take from this is that for matching purposes you should always view shot cottons straight on rather than from an angle, and choose your light source and stick to it,

Luckily I had my expert assistant to help me resolve the problem. He has pointed out that his blue/yellow vision is just fine and he can see teals, blues and purples, so I should definitely listen to his advice. He believes this quilt will be very nice, particularly if adorned with a light scattering of silky black dog hairs…

I just wish he wouldn’t lie right behind my sewing chair to supervise…

Starting something new: Twilight

No, I’m not talking about the vampire trilogy.

I’m talking about a new quilt. This one’s for my brother’s youngest daughter, the only one of the four who doesn’t yet have her own quilt.

I’ve got the design and the colour scheme sorted out. It’s going to be soft, dark moody shades of greeny blues, indigos, lilacs and purples.

Pre-Covid, I’d bought two packs of beautiful shot cotton 8 inch squares, one in shades of blues and teals and the other in shades of mulberry and purple, plus two packs of batik jelly roll strips in purple and indigo. The centre of the quilt is going to be a selection of the shot cotton squares bordered by jelly roll strips in matching or toning colours, and the centre will be bordered by jelly roll strip HST blocks.

I have more than enough fabric, so there may well also be blocks on the back too.  It’ll be my standard lap quilt size of 5 x 6 blocks of 12 inches each, QAYG, and probably sashed with very dark blue. I haven’t decided on the backing yet, I’ll wait for the quilt to tell me…

So there you have it. Not a lot of variety in the assembly part of the job, but lots of scope for squinting and rearranging until I have the layout just right. And with the spare fabrics I even have the option to add another row if I decide it needs it. For now, I think the spares are too bright, light or dark, but I may change my mind when it’s on the design wall.

Now, I must crack on with assembling the window blocks.

More soon.