Thursday, April 12, 2018

Big Hapi Quilt Top Finish

Hapi Quilt

My design wall has been dominated by this large quilt for a few weeks while undergoing a slow design process. Slow design is just that at times. Slow. But when you do figure out what a quilt is asking for, you'd like it to happen right then--that day, and have it done! Unfortunately, big quilts take a long time simply because they're much bigger. This one finishes at 92.5" x 93.5". That's the same size as about 4 baby quilts. I asked myself how long 4 baby quilts might take to finish, and relied on patience.

Fussy Cut Corners

This cabbage rose fabric was one piece of the yardage I purchased years ago with the charm packs this quilt is based on. I loved it then, and love it now! I used it to border the center block bringing it up to size so the design fit using alternating on-point blocks. I also decided it would be good to repeat it for the corner blocks. The blue background blended well with the tapestry fabric of the outer borders when I tested it while a lighter color 'opened up' the corners. I opted for a feeling of a framed or closed border.

First I fussy cut 4 roses. These were 2 of the same motif, but I skewed each cut enough to have them appear slightly different to each other. I prefer that to identical corners. I created a star similar to the background star in the center with the Schott cotton, and positioned the corner stars toward the inner corners just as the center design was. It seemed to give it cohesiveness. 

Why didn't I use the border fabric in the corners, you ask? You might be surprised to know how close I came to having just enough fabric for the borders. I trimmed off 3/4" while fitting the borders, and that was the end. I was very lucky!

The colors are very similar to the tapestry border fabric.

Borders to background fabric

Getting the Corner Stars to Fit Exactly

Up and down from my step stool dozens of times it was time to fit the last two borders. Working on the floor at this point was easier, and more accurate to reduce drag caused by hanging long borders. 

Why You Should Wait to the 
Very End to Cut a Border

I trimmed one end of the border and added the first corner star. I smoothed and pinned the length of the border to the quilt, and carefully measured the cut off with the last corner star laid in place. This is important why, you ask?

I'm digressing here, but have you ever had someone hem a dress for you? Let's say the hem is at the knee, and she/he says, "Put the shoes on you'll be wearing with the dress." And you say, "But it's at the knee! How does that change things?" And she/he says, "It just does." And he/she is right!

It's the whole finished look, and we make tiny visual adjustments based on what we see.

If the star is a bit on the skimpy side size-wise, you can adjust the border to meet exactly at the seam point, but still give a little extra fabric past that. While it is difficult to put all the reasons into words, your eye can see best how to fit the last puzzle piece into place. You will not regret this advice.

Hapi Makes Me Happy!

I'm quite happy to move a queen size Hapi to the finished tops rack. Just looking at it makes me smile, and I think it's going to have to live at my house at least for a while. This one was really a surprise ending. Aren't those fun?

Related Posts You May Enjoy

Weekend Retreat with Amy Butler and Hilde Dunn

Doing the Quilting Shuffle

Come on, Doxie girls.


Linda Swanekamp said...

Wow. This is unlike any quilt I have ever seen. The design looks simple, but the colors, fabric choices and setting are unexpected and dynamic. This a a milestone quilt- enjoy it.

Barb Neiwert said...

These big quilts really do seem to take forever! But you've got a great quilt here for your efforts. Love the sashings and border!

Alison V. said...

This is absolutely gorgeous! I love the stars in the corners.

SandraC said...

That's a spectacular quilt!....and gives the opportunity to do some fantastic quilting!!

chrisknits said...

What a stunning finish! You nailed it.

audrey said...

This is absolutely beautiful Julie! Completely worth the time and effort to get it just right. I love when a project keeps pushing us and the end result is so much more than we first expected. Sometimes working with older fabrics and/or projects, we have to dig really deep not to end up with a 'lazy' design! Thanks for the close up of the border and sashing fabrics--I really enjoy getting to see the details. LOVE a good use of floral fabric in quilts and this just proves yet again that they only get dated if we choose to let them.:) Once again I am scratching my head as to why anyone would ever switch to totally solid fabric usage.

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

if you love a fabric then and you love it now, that is always a good sign.
That is a mammoth quilt, looking at it, I think it would make a great rug design too.

KaHolly said...

Mmm, mmm, mmmm!! Absolutely gorgeous! I didn’t realize it was so big and can’t imagine how beautiful it is up close and personal. No wonder you needed a step ladder! You always give such sage advice and I’m loving that part of you! I often Sew without a pattern, and just kind of make things up as I go, so I learn a lot from you! Thanks for that!

Susan said...

Looks fabulous! The borders really turned out great - I'm so glad you had enough fabric.

Quilting Babcia said...

This is such a gorgeous creation, so complex in its design and construction, and so beautifully flowing from one element to the next. It's simply amazing.

Sue said...

Dang! That's cool!

Janice Holton said...

I'm so impressed with this quilt. I absolutely LOVE it! Not surprised that you think you'll hang onto this one I certainly would! What a satisfying finish for you. A big high five to you, Julie!

PaulaB quilts said...

This is an outstanding quilt, Julie. Thank you for sharing the process and your thinking along the way. As you said, it was worth taking the time to let it tell you what to do. The fabrics and their blending is so beautiful. You really did them justice.

Kate said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I love the mix of solids and tapestry like prints. Congrats on your beautiful finish.

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

Wow. You did an amazing job with this one. It's awesome! Worth all the extra work you put in.

Sandra Walker said...

I've watched you build this quilt (a behemoth, to borrow Helen of Midget Gem Quilts nomenclature) over the past while, such fun! That's a Kaffe no? the large cabbage roses? I do believe I have some of that! I said to Tish isn't it cool that we have been THERE in the room where she had it on the design wall and on the floor?! :-) Glad you're happy/hapi quilting my friend.

Julie said...

Just to clarify, the whole collection of fabric used in this quilt minus solids and narrow borders of pale pink and green are from the Amy Butler collection called Hapi.

Christine Slaughter said...

This quilt is just amazing, Julie! I always look forward to seeing the end result after seeing some of the design process.

Sandy Panagos said...

The dress hem is a good analogy. Sometimes things just have to "look right"! It's been fun watching your process. A very Happy finish, indeed.