Tag Archives: octagon

The octagons revisited


In October of last year I took this quilt to the US to be quilted. I was in Chicago at the time visiting relatives and I dropped it off at the post office myself.  After quite a saga – which I will not go into here – it eventually ended up at my new quilter Margaret Gunn’s home in Maine.

The quilting is finished – but I have not seen it yet. Margaret will be shipping it to Virginia this week and in two weeks my brother will hand carry it with him when he visits Panama. So I can’t post more pictures until then.

Go to Margaret’s website and scroll down to the 5th picture. That is my quilt – at least a tiny detail from the center of the 144 blocks.

I sent Margaret’s website link to my Jacksonville friend Carol yesterday and she scrolled down as I told her and immediately wrote back saying that she didn’t see my quilt – then a minute or two later I got another email and she said OMG I didn’t even recognize it. When I first saw it I thought wow that’s a bright quilt – then I recognized it as MY quilt! I cannot wait to see it in person.

I have recently discovered that for a show the quilt MUST be blocked. That is quite an undertaking – but I am certainly going to do it. Margaret says you can tell an unblocked quilt at a show a mile away – they just don’t hang nice and flat – they are always wavy.

Here are the instructions should you ever want to block a quilt.


I will blog about it when the time comes – I have to make some changes because we don’t have any carpeted floors or a bathtub.

Octagon top finished

Here it is hanging off the balcony – it’s a bit too big for the design wall. The piano keys border hasn’t been trimmed yet – it hasn’t had it’s final ironing and it’s being stretched at the top – but the afternoon rain is about to start – and this is the best I could do.

My longarm quilter Jackie has gone out of the quilting for customers business – so I am without a quilter at the moment. I want to enter this in Quiltfest Jacksonville 2013 – I have plenty of time.

See my reflection in the studio doors :-)

Yellow border Photoshop mockup

Colors are off – especially the yellow/orange inner border – it is the same fabric as the little squares – but it looks much darker here. And one side is repeated for all four sides – but you get the idea. I just wanted to see the effect before I cut up over 50 yellow prints.

I am pleased with the result – so I am going to go ahead with it. I’ve had my “ah ha” moment – it’s finished!! Well… not really – there’s a lot more work to do – but I have a plan.

Still going…

I cannot get this quilt top out of my mind – I thought I would just finish it off with a narrow yellow/orange batik border and be done with it. But I am still not happy – I have yet to reach the “ah ha – that’s it” point. I keep thinking something is missing – it just doesn’t feel finished yet.

Sooooo… I have decided to add a piano keys border of the above yellow oche/orange fabrics – many of them are in the center of the top. No blues or blacks.

This is just an experiment at this stage. I am going to cut enough strips for one side. Then I will photograph them and make a mock up in Photoshop.

The quilt as it is measures 62×62. If I add 14″ that’s 76 x 76. Not even queen size – and I thought it was going to be so big!

I have pulled 52 yellow ochre/muted orange fabrics and I am going to start cutting. The math is mercifully pretty easy. I am going to make the narrow orange inner border 2″ instead of 1.5″. then that will make the width of the top 66″.

66 divided by 24 strips  = 2.75 – a nice round number. Adding 1/2″ for seams I have to cut the strips 3 1/4″ wide. I will cut them  2″ longer than I need – because I like a lot of extra wiggle room for squaring up and trimming after it is quilted. I also like a wide binding. I tell Jackie (my longarm quilter) to stop the quilting design two inches from the edge.

Here goes – can’t wait to see if I like it!!

144 octagons – done!

And it’s pretty much squared up – just a tad more tweaking. The picture makes it look skewed – but it really is square. I hang a plumb bob with a black thread on the edges and every few rows of blocks – it’s lining up pretty well – thank goodness.

I don’t have a lot of yellow/orange batik left over so the outer border cannot be too wide.  I am thinking of a narrow one and a half-inch border – the same width as the little squares. I don’t want anything to overwhelm the blue border blocks.

Octagon update

88 little orange squares sewn on! Joining the strips is going to take awhile.

Blue border

I am joining the rows top to bottom right hand side first. I am dedicating all of my sewing time to this project – so there probably won’t be any more posts until I have made some progress.