Yesterday, I drafted the first 20 blocks from the quilt on Quilt Assistant free quilt software. I have Liz Lois’s book to help me – I will be needing the computerised templates, unless I am willing to sit with tracing paper and pencil! Like I mentioned, I shall try to foundation paper piece some of it, though I have no idea how I will get the paper out from under 1/2″ HSTs ( diagonal half of a 1/2″ square for the uninitiated).
Why does this quilt fascinate so many people? Here is picture of one of the blocks from the original quilt, taken from ‘The Ultimate Quilting Book‘.
What a striking combination of fabrics and colours! I also find those missing points from her triangles utterly charming! Salinda Rupp worked without rotary cutters and our rulers and came up with this magnificent sampler quilt. She nudged some of those blocks into size, I believe, trying to fit the block into the designated 6″.
I was planning to follow her colour scheme and even collected the fabric for it, but somewhere I changed my mind…
I first saw this a picture of this quilt about seven years ago, and fell in love instantly.
It was in this book…
…and I went back to it again and again. I later discovered that it had been named ‘Nearly Insane’ by Liz Lois, who first drafted the blocks and got together with five friends, each making her own version of the quilt. It took them 3 and 1/2 years to complete their quilt. Liz has a website for the quilt and has also published a book which contains the designs of each of the 98 different blocks that make it up. ( There are no templates, only the drafts of the blocks.)
In some ways, I have spent the last seven years honing and polishing my piecing and quilting skills, preparing for the day when I would finally be able to attempt this. Meanwhile, I bought every book which I heard or read had pics of this quilt. I lapped up everything I read online about it. I discovered that there have been several people who have made this – there are gorgeous ones in blue and white, red and white, in lavender in yellow…
I decided to make mine in blue, yellow and green with white to offset the busy nature of the blocks. Liz Lois has not given any fabric estimate in her book, so I ordered a layer cake of Summer Breeze iii by Moda Fabrics with matching solid fat quarters. I am not very happy, because several of the prints are pretty large, so I shall probably end up doing the blocks mainly in solids, with a dash of prints here and there. I did have a jelly roll of buttercup yellow and a couple of fat quarters of periwinkle blue which should look good here…Or perhaps, I will order a fat quarter of each of the tinier prints – there are about 4-5 of those in the Summer Breeze collection.
I am drafting the blocks – which I plan to paper foundation piece to the extent that I can – on Quilt Assistant free software. The easiest blocks have just 10 pieces and the most intricate one has, hold your breath, 229 pieces! Yes, that is right, 229 pieces in a 6″ block! I will be sharing my progress as I go along. Would you like to join me? I really am not sure if I am allowed, for copyright reasons, to share the paper piecing templates I will be coming up with…I know EQ drafts are available for free download, but I do not have EQ and am in no mood to invest in it right now. By the way, I am not sure if I like all the blocks in the quilt and I do plan to add a few of my own!
Here is a list of important online resources you may like to refer to, if you do embark on your own journey
3. http://fabadashery.blogspot.co.uk – This is probably the most useful resource available to a nearly insane quilter. She has given, with pictures, a description of how she English paper pieced each block.