Sunday, January 20, 2013

A second trip around the world

Eight days ago I finished this quilt top.

Scrappy Trip Around the World - number 1 top finished 

(which is on my NEW DESIGN WALL oh yes!) 

 But I've decided I'm not done with this trip around the world thing yet. I have a motherload of Japanese and oriental prints in my stash which I started collecting in 2003 when I was visiting California. In California at that time there was a huge thing for American quilt fabric with oriental designs. It's all pretty garish - mostly gold infused floral prints - but I loved it. Still love it. I visited San Francisco Quilt Guild meeting that trip and they were all about the Japanese fabrics. I loved those women! And then I found a Kitty Pippen book at Powell's Books in Portland, and then another and I was off and racing on my fabric obsession. Over the years I bought more Japanese fabrics (imported from Japan, rather than America), spent a lot of money at my friend Shuji's market stalls, and had some scraps of fabric from dressmaking. 

So I have this rather large Japanese/oriental stash, and I wondered if it was possible to make a bright and happy, almost "modern" quilt with the fabrics.

Ready to sew

I have 16 blocks so far - I'm hoping to get 42 or 48 blocks. The stash has been almost halved, but I still have so much more fabric. This is my favourite block so far.

Favourite block EVER

And I have all these sentimental fabrics in the quilt, like the fabric I bought when I first started this crazy collection, bought in Pacific Grove, California.

This fabric started my oriental fabric collection - bought in California in 2003

And the fabric my niece used to wrap her wedding invitations.

Fabric from my niece's wedding invitation

And the fabric I used to make two favourite skirts.

Leftover skirt fabric

Leftover skirt fabric

While I sew more blocks over the next few weeks, behind me on the design wall (!) I have the blocks already made. And I need to decide on a layout. Ah Trip Around the World - you have so many possible layouts!

I can go with this one - but it's like my first one though which is why I'm not keen.

Layout 4

Or this one, with the chevrons.

Layout 3

Or this one which radiates out from the top corner. I can do the same from the middle of the quilt too, making one massive trip around the world.

Layout 2

I think this is my favourite though. I will have to play with how it works for 6 blocks across, and not 4.

Layout 1

I don't think I got a true "modern" quilt (really - what does that mean anyway? It's all a load of dog doodah if you ask me). But I did get a very rich, lush quilt and goodness it makes me happy!

Now that I have less room to stand back and look at my design wall (it's a narrow room, and there is a massive sewing table on the other side of the room), I've been using this old thing more often. It's a door peep hole, and it allows me to see colour and value at the same time. I've had it since I started quilting. I love this tool!

Through the peep hole


  1. I am really enjoying these trip around the world quilts - you are almost convincing me to take part! Love that design wall too. Clare likes the one that radiates from the corner - I like the chevrons. Looking forward to seeing what you decide!

  2. I love that peep door idea! great trips you've been through.. love how classic the japanese version look!

  3. really? Two quilt tops in how long??? oh my your on fire!! I must say they are lovely though and id go with the chevrons or the one you prefer. the one that is skewed to the left and radiating right would appeal to me in a lighter colour way- more of a sun burst effect. Fantastic work anyway.

  4. Dude! I love these! I like the bottom one too! But will it work if you do 42 blocks? (since you'll have 7 across - or down - do you need even number both ways?) my other favourite is the one before that. I'm thinking about making one for these with my Riley Blake apple of my eye bundle. X

  5. I love the peephole too, and love the possilities with the Japanese trip quilt.

  6. I've never seen that peephole tool before and am very impressed! Thanks for sharing so many of your photos and thoughts during your design process. You're right, rich is the word. Or even sumptuous!

  7. Congrats on finishing the 1st TAW quilt. I am loving the 2nd one - I recognised a few of my own Japanese prints in some of your blocks. I love the chevron, but whatever way you go, it is going to be gorgeous.

  8. That peephole doover is very cool!

    Love both versions so far. For the second, I think I like pic 1 or pic 3 best. I don't know why, he chevrons don't appeal as much (which is kinda weird, because I am very partial to a chevron normally)

  9. Oh Yes, it's sumptuous! I LOVE your oriental fabrics, the designs and colours are absolutely beautiful.
    The first quilt pictured above brought jelly beans to mind!! It's such a happy design!

  10. Hi there! I love reading your blog, and as a fellow FNQer (living in exile) love your Qld humour :) I do have a question for you...when fabric shopping for 'nothing in particular' how much do you buy of each fabric? Do you have a hard and fast rule when it comes to stash building or does it depend on the fabric? x


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