Sunday 11 August 2019

Portraits Quilts for Anna Maria Horner - Part 2

This weekend I sewed the final seams on the Portraits Quilt designed by Anna Maria Horner.  Yay!!!!

I can guess what you're thinking - it's BIG! And yes, it is big.  Finished size will be 71" x 89", or 180cm x 226cm. 

The pattern for the stunning Portraits quilt is now available to purchase from shops that carry the Conservatory fabric line.  You can find a list of them here on the Free Spirit Fabrics website. This pattern combines fabrics from all three of the designers who contributed to Chapter 2 of Conservatory fabrics - Anna Maria Horner, Nathalie Lete and Courtney Cerruti.

Now that I've finished piecing the top, I can share a few tips about my experience making this top.  I wrote my first blog post with tips a few months ago and you can read it here.  It covered the central Dresden plate block and the large outer blocks. I said at the time that I'd write more about the inner blocks and side setting triangles, so I'll do that now.

3. The inner blocks

I love the colours in these blocks.  They are so vibrant, and combine so many fabrics I might not ordinarily put together.  I've just done the maths and there are 49 pieces in each block!!! Wow,  no wonder it took time to make them all precisely.

It's important to make the templates for these blocks.  I tried to do it without templates, but I struggled so quickly gave in and made the templates.  It's so much easier with templates made from template plastic.  Copy all the markings from the instructions, and label your templates.

It's easier to trace around templates if you work on fine sand paper.  I trace the lines, and then use scissors to cut the shapes.  I don't like using a rotary cutter with skinny template plastic.

The diamond template needs to be flipped over to get half the shapes reversed.  Keep the pieces in neat piles because the pieces are not symmetrical and shouldn't be mixed up.

I drew my own picture of how the blocks were to be assembled.  I then stacked my pieces on each side and kept them separate.

Once the orange triangles had been sewn on, I attached the dark corners, again referring to my own drawings so I didn't get muddled up.

When it's time to join the two sections, it's important to match the seams half way down the block.

I tried to match all the seams in each block, but with 49 pieces it was a little tricky.  The black diamonds stand out, so it's important to try and get their point to meet if at all possible.  In the end, it's your quilt, and as long as you're happy with what you've done, it will be great.  There's so much going on in this quilt, no one is going to study every single join.

4.  The side setting triangles

I fussy cut the Propagate fabric and it looks amazing.  Although this fabric is only two colours, it might just be my favourite in the quilt.
The pattern allows enough fabric for fussy cutting, so do fussy cut if at all possible.  This way the pattern will be centered on the side setting triangles.

I placed the Buttercup side triangles onto the Propagate fabric to determine where to cut.

This helped me to get the Propagate fabric centered.  Beware, Propagate is not perfectly symmetrical, but this method helped me to centre the design.

5.  The corner triangles

The early version of the pattern said to cut the corner triangles from a 13" square.  That really needs to be a 13.5" square because the adjoining block is 13" square.  Hopefully that's been updated in the pattern, but do be sure that you're cutting the triangles from a 13.5" square.

Don't end up like this with your corner pieces too small.

So, that's all my tips and tricks for making the Portraits quilt.

The next step is the quilting.  I'm still deciding if I'll hand quilt it myself or not.  The appliqued crescents are affixed with vlisofix, and I can't hand quilt through that, so maybe it will be a combination of hand and long arm quilting.  I would like to have some hand quilting on it, because I know that Anna Maria Horner is a hand quilting fan herself.

There are so many colours in the quilt it's hard to know where to begin!  I pulled out my Aurifil colour card and had a go at matching some colours.

It's been a real honour to make this quilt for Anna Maria Horner.  Her visit to NZ is getting closer and I'm getting excited to meet her in real life and take a class with her.  I really encourage you to attend a class or lecture if at all possible.  It's sure to be inspirational.  

Hosted by Fabco, Anna Maria will be teaching and lecturing around New Zealand for the first time. Contact the following shops to book your time with her! The shops have all released details of the lectures and classes now.

November 19-20 - All Things Patchwork, Auckland
November 21- Cottage Flair, Rotorua
November 22-23- Donna’s Quilt Studio, Hamilton - the class is FULL
November 25-26- Busy Bee, Wellington
November 27-28- Quilter’s Lane, Masterton - only 4 spaces left in the class
November 29-30- Quilting Shed, Oamaru


FlourishingPalms said...

What a lot of effort you went to in order to make this quilt! That's devotion. Apparently you really like these fabrics and pattern! You do beautiful work, Wendy. Thanks for sharing what you've been up to.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

This looks amazing Wendy! I love the colour combo, and your piecing is enviable! said...

I adore Anna Maria's designs, both in patterns & fabric. Thank you for the tutorial although I cannot in sanity's sake start a new project. Your workmanship & color sense in over the moon. Love everything you finish/accomplish. Susan

Mystic Quilter said...

Truly a beautiful quilt and what an informative post, extremely helpful for any quilter thinking of making this one.