Saturday, April 14, 2012

Unfinished Project #1 for 2012 - Circa 2000

Okay, well since last post I've fallen out of interest with my project involving the reuse of old embroidered doilies and resurrected a project that I started back in 2000. When I started this project "Chinese Lanterns" from Australian Patchwork & Quilting magazine Vol 8. No. 1 I had made three quilts and all of them I had given away. And with this pattern I had found a design that appealed to me and I was making this quilt for myself.

But I hadn't until this time used a pattern based on templates. Cue music of doom. I didn't have the skill or experience to work with templates under my own steam.

Hence why this project has been packed away throughout the past 12 years; even though I have collected green fabrics over the years with the intent to be incorporated in the quilt.

I loved the picture of the blue lanterns on their cream background, but in my head I saw them as green lanterns, green being my favourite colour, so I started getting together some green fabrics. (Like I needed the excuse to buy more fabric, but it helps with the rationalizing if you have a specific project to use as an excuse).

And I went about collecting my materials at Mad About Quilting, Morningside, where I found a lovely floral green dot-print on cream background that I would use as the quilt background and was going to use 36 different green fabrics for each lantern. Until I started making the blocks.

Cutting with template plastic is not fun or easy or quick. You need to know what you're doing. And I didn't. At all.

And even when I got advice from the lovely Caroline at MAQ, I couldn't seem to improve the way I pieced together my blocks. So as my frustration mounted with each block I assembled, coaxing the strips to align in vain I felt it was best to put everything away until I knew better.

That took 12 years.

But I have been doing well these past few weeks over the Easter break, and I've got about twenty blocks now, with only a few more blocks to make to complete a rectangle big enough to maybe fit a double bed with borders.

The best thing has been that I found some green fabric leftover from my first ever completed quilt and I have got a green lantern made out of it to go within the quilt. This is going to be a sentimental memory quilt for me.

My aim for this year is to complete my unfinished projects. At least one every three months. And I've got a few to go.


  1. If that's a sample, it's going to be beautiful!

  2. Thanks Louise, it should be quite effective once all put together

  3. I just stumbled across your post while looking for pics of chinese lantern because I've misplaced the magazine. Midway thru and wondering how many of these blasted blocks do I need. I'm confused about templates. I didn't use templates? I cut out triangles and rectangles cutting the rectangles diagonally into the smaller almost triangles for the sides. The big triangles were cut from lengths cut the height of the triangle.
    Lining up the two bottoms is the hardest part.

  4. Hey Rainbows in Wool! No this was definitely using templates. One triangle for the colour and then two background triangles which together made the rectangle block that was cut into strips. It took me a while to work out the right sequence to sew the background triangles so that I didn't create gaps at the points.
    Did you want me to send you a copy of the templates? I could do that, if you wanted them?