Sunday, January 18, 2015

Grand Illusion Progress

Hi all -

It's been slow, but I've made some progress on my Grand Illusion quilt. I now have the main part of the top pieced and just have to add the borders. Here it is so far:

(Wesley was kind enough to help me with my pictures.) It took me a while to get this put together because I was hemming and hawing about how to lay out the blocks. I just don't have a space big enough to lay out a quilt this large and I wasn't sure how I wanted to position the blocks. It's very subtle, but the pink stars have a 4-patch block in the center that makes the blocks asymmetrical. So I had to decide how I wanted to rotate each block. To give myself a large design wall, what I finally decided to do was sew together two picnic tablecloths and then lay it on the kitchen floor. That way I could lay out the blocks and roll up the side that didn't fit on the floor. Here's what it looked like while I was sewing the blocks into rows:

It wasn't the ideal design wall, but it worked well enough and I was able to get everything sewed together in the orientations that I wanted. And if I was working on a quilt that I needed to put away for a while, I could just fold the whole thing up and not lose the layout.

We had some cold, foggy days last week. Not pleasant for driving, but it put some beautiful frost on the trees. Don't the pine cones look cool?

Finally, I thought I'd share a new book that I just bought. It's Applique Mastery by Philippa Naylor:

As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it! Connecting Threads is having their 40% off books sale, so I was able to pick it up there. I haven't read the whole book yet, but I've looked through it and read pieces and it's wonderful. In this book, Philippa not only gives the pattern for the cover quilt, which I saw in Houston last year and it is amazing, but she also shares a bunch of her techniques, even ones not used in this quilt. I read her instructions for her method of turned-edge applique, and they were very clear and detailed with good pictures illustrating the technique. She also shares her edge finishing techniques, which is the class that I took from her in Houston a couple of years ago and loved. I look forward to reading all of it! I'm not sure when I'll have time to try everything, but at least I have the book so I can always find the information when I need it.

Well, that's it for now. Even though I'm so close to finishing the Grand Illusion top, I think I'll put it aside for a little while since it was starting to bog me down. I want to do the QuiltShopGal (formerly SewCalGal) FMQ challenge this year, so I think I'll start on that tomorrow. I don't want to get behind in the first month!



  1. Your GI looks great, I had to put mine aside for a drapery job. Whe I took Philippas class last summer she mentioned a book coming out

    1. Thanks! I can't wait to see yours!

  2. We will hear tomorrow how our quilts did at R2C. Can't wait.

    1. Seems like they've been there forever! I don't know if I'll remember my quilt when I get it back. Good luck!!

  3. Love the Grand Illusion quilt - I do see the four-patch, but would have missed it if you hadn't mentioned it. Wesley is quite the poser! The applique book looks really beautiful. Anxious to see what projects it inspires!