The Nightmare and the Dreamcatcher in My Dreamcatcher

After mulling for ages over what to do in the centre square panel of my Dreamcatcher quilt, I finally made up my mind. Some of you may remember my original plan was to do the Endless Love whole cloth quilt pattern by Geta Grama. However, that is such a beautiful and intricate pattern, that it would have become the centre (literally!) of attraction, taking away attention from the pieced quilt blocks.

I then had a brainwave; I wanted, what else, a dreamcatcher in the centre! So that it did not draw attention away from the blocks, I would place it off centre, instead of bang in the centre of the quilt. Pinterest came to my rescue and what do you know, I found a moon dreamcatcher mandala which was off centre. I knew this was it! To balance it, I added a smaller dreamcatcher hoop on one side, just like the dreamcatchers of old, which had two hoops. (Says Wikipedia)

The pattern has two hoops; the larger is a ‘moon dreamcatcher’.

I love this design, but getting here has been a nightmare! First, it took me 7 drafts and nearly 15 hours spread over 3 days to get it like this. Then there was a problem with the drafted pattern and it wouldn’t print! You do know I draft my patterns on the free Quilt Assistant software, don’t you? Arnout Cosman, the designer of the software, was so very kind and offered to look into the problem when I wrote him. Well, after trying out various things, I managed to get a print out after another 2 days and was ready to trace it on to the fabric. That is when it was discovered that the fabric had frayed a bit, and the original 18.5″ square was no longer so. 

No problem, I had some of the Fossil Fern fabric lying around. To be on the safe side, I folded the fabric and cut a 19″ square from it. Would you believe it, I had cut it wrong??? It was 17″ x 19″! The first time in my life I make such a mistake and that with my last length of fabric in that colour!? I debated joining a strip of fabric; had it not been the centre I would have not thought twice before doing it. The only solution was to tell my son in the US of A to send me more of the fabric. It would arrive only in December. This was yesterday. 

“The Ojibwe people have an ancient legend about the origin of the dreamcatcher. Storytellers speak of the Spider Woman, known as Asibikaashi; she took care of the children and the people on the land. Eventually, the Ojibwe Nation spread to the corners of North America and it became difficult for Asibikaashi to reach all the children. So the mothers and grandmothers would weave magical webs for the children, using willow hoops and sinew, or cordage made from plants. The dreamcatchers would filter out all bad dreams and only allow good thoughts to enter our mind. Once the sun rises, all bad dreams just disappear. ” ( Wikipedia)

Today morning I took out the less-than-18.5″-square, starched and ironed it stiff as paper, tugging it to stretch it. Pure delight –  I ended up with a 18.6″ square. The pattern was traced, the batting and backing cut. You can be sure I measured a dozen times before I cut either! 

And so here we are. The Goddess of All Things Quilty ( or was it Asibikaashi?) has finally smiled and I hope She will continue to do so when I start putting the QAYG panels together. Just in case you are wondering what is so nightmarish about the panels, let me show you a diagram.

The layout showing the five quilt-as-you-go panels which ‘nest’ into each other.

Yes indeed – just what was I thinking? Nested seams in quilt-as-you-go panels which will be joined without a sashing? Oh, just what was I thinking?  Well, tomorrow is another day.

While I sit down to pray, please admire what I think may be my best design so far…

I strung some beads on the moon dreamcatcher , to add some interest. No, I will not hang feathers from it!

More Layout Options for the Rainbow Dreamcatcher

Here are some more layout options for the 8-block Rainbow Dreamcatcher Round the Year Quilt!

Layout 2.1

Layout 2.2

Layout 4

Layout 5

Layout 5.1

By now, I am thoroughly confused. The Consultant still votes for Layout 3! I think I will put away this quilt for the time being and come back to it after a month.

Layout Options for the Rainbow Dreamcatcher

I ended up making only eight of the sixteen Dreamcatcher Round the Year BOM blocks in the Rainbow colourway.

Now, eight is a pretty odd number of 18″ blocks to end up with, if you are wanting to make a queen sized quilt. In no mood to make any more blocks and not sure of how I was going to put them together, I tried out various layout options.

Layout Option 1

One could place the blocks in two columns and off centre them, adding borders on either side. It has a lot of negative space and the quilt doesn’t look too busy…

Layout Option 2

This is the same that I have used for the Dusk Dreamcatcher. Again, this gives me lots of negative space and the blocks look nice like this, I think.

However, I do want this layout to be different from what I have already done. To clinch the matter, The Husband responded with a grimace when consulted about this! Perhaps blue flying geese will look better than blue? No. I really do not want to do the same setting in this quilt. So we move to the third layout!

Layout Option 3

Here, I use only 5 blocks in a row, towards the foot. The bottom border is strips of various widths in white, black, the white & black prints and blues, greys used in the blocks. The top border is just 2-3 strips and only a 1″ blue  border on the sides. Two blocks are made into cushion covers set in blue squares and one into a framed wall hanging!

While I have approval of the Consultant in Residence, I would still like your opinion. What do you think will work best?

Been There, Done That?

Didn’t anybody tell her?  

Didn’t anybody see? 

I sit down to sew after more than 100 days, and this is what I do? Why did no one ever tell me, “Right sides together! Always, right sides together! ”

Did someone say, “Right sides together!” ?

This is, therefore, tagged ‘Piecing Tips’. 

An Idle Time…

It is almost two and a half months since I last posted! I have been laid up with sciatica again, which means no quilting.  Just as I thought I was getting better last week, yesterday I had a relapse. Not good. I do want to finish the Dreamcatcher! 

I spent today afternoon removing foundation paper from my Just Takes 2 quilt. Now to trim the thread and iron the seams. It will be my next quilting project, so I am getting it ready! 


The offending threads yet to be clipped…

Meanwhile, my quilting friend Sobana Sundar of held a workshop at the Tsala Studio, Bangalore to teach paper foundation piecing, using the pattern for the Evening at the Pond block from the Dreamcatcher quilt . Vatsala Kamat, who runs the Tsala Studio, is an awesome quilter! She does the most gorgeous English paper piecing and hand applique. Do pay her a visit if you happen to be in Bengluru! 

Here are some pics of the workshop. Sobana’s version of the Dreamcatcher quilt can be seen in the background! 


The workshop at Tsala Studio


…proud and happy!


Here is Sobana’s Evening at the Pond round table runner and the Round the Year Dreamcatcher quilt! She has used the Layout Option 2. Most of the fabric used by her was dyed by her!  Stunner, isn’t it? 

You can find the patterns for all the sixteen blocks with detailed instructions linked here!

You could start with this block, it is the simplest. Happy quilting to you. I can only browse the net and dream up new quilts to make.