A quilting dilemma

I have a dilemma, or actually two…

I showed you the start of this quilt before Christmas. It’s made up entirely of Etsuko Furuya fabrics from many different lines, including the newest – I just love those pigs!

The idea for this quilt started when I made up a few little log cabin blocks out of these fabrics. I ultimately decided to use the little blocks for the back, so I came up with a larger, modified log cabin-ish look for the front. I started from the center and worked my way out, starting with a piece of the bird on a ball print in ivory. (This is the only piece I had, and explains why the bird’s head is cut off on the top of that piece of fabric – if I had had more fabric, I certainly would have cut differently!)

I really like these bright prints, and the way they work together. And while I love the way some of these prints come already mixed with a variety of patterns (like the scooter print, with its stripes and polka dots), I also like cutting them apart and recombining them. In creating strips for this quilt, I randomly inserted a variety of other prints, and I think it adds a lot of visual interest.

This quilt was fun to work on, as I had no particular idea in mind when I started. I just put the stack of fabrics on the couch and tried to randomly select them as I went along, without thinking too much about particular placements (easier said than done!).

These are a couple of my favorite sections

I love the color combo in the first (and the pig, of course!) and the scooter inserted into the line of cars in the second.

And now, the dilemma(s) –

This quilt top now measures 52″ x 66″ and at this point I consider it finished. However, it’s been mentioned that since I’ve already done this much work, perhaps I should get a few more prints and continue to make it more of a bed-sized quilt. Of course, at this size, it’s getting harder to work with, so perhaps part of my hesitation is just laziness. In addition, I don’t know how much shrinkage to expect. Does anyone know?

Secondly, I’m at a loss on how it should be quilted… meandering, stitch in the ditch, a variety of designs? It’s been living on our guest bed and I go in and stare at it and I haven’t been able to come up with anything. I’d certainly appreciate any suggestions!

Edit: Thank you so much for all the helpful suggestions! You’ve given me so much to think about. I am glad that most people think a lap sized quilt is best – that’s what I was leaning towards as well!

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21 Responses to A quilting dilemma

  1. 1
    Rachel says:

    I personally would leave it the size it is, cause it looks like a cuddle up on the couch quilt more than a bed quilt (to me anyway). And for quilting, I would do a little different take on stitch in the ditch and do a stitch in the ditch square spiral pattern. Start in the middle and follow the seams to create a spiral out to the edges (So you wouldn’t hit every seam), (from your picture it looks like you would start on the upper right side of the green vine fabric next to the bird fabric go down to past the small blackish strip, turn and follow that to past the green polka dot, then turn and follow that to past the pink scooter fabric, turn etc….) I think this would be a really neat effect on the back and it’s different from what is usually done, just like this quilt!! 🙂


  2. 2
    Carrie says:

    I have seen similar oversized log cabins as throw quilts and they looked great folded on a couch. But it would also make a very nice and unique bed quilt too. So, no help there. But I was also going to mention quilting in spiraling rectangles, either all over as mentioned by Rachel, or in several of the panels individually. These fabrics are great and I love what you’ve done so far!

  3. 3
    Natalie says:

    I agree with Rachel. When I fist took a look at your quilt I also imagined it scrunched up to the chin as someone is watching tv. I couldn’t come up with a suggestion for the quilting part. I initially thought of doing the regular in the ditch stitching but I have to say Rachel has come up with a good idea with is a variation on the ditch . I do love this quilt! It is completely original and just plain FUN!

  4. 4
    Anna says:

    I think it would make a wonderful throw quilt…I would leave it just like it is! I also love the idea of quilting spiraling rectangles.

  5. 5
    anina says:

    I think it would make a lovely bed sized quilt, but only if you have a bed you want to put it on. Otherwise I’d just leave it as a lap quilt.
    As for the quilting, meandering would be the quickest, but the spiral rectangle idea would be lovely!
    Good luck and I can’t wait to see it when it’s done.

  6. 6
    Jenny says:

    It’s awesome! If you want an easy way of making it bigger, could you frame the piece as it is now with a fat-really fat- white border and then finish off with your remaining print scraps randomly pieced together for a narrower border? Does that even make sense? It looks cute in my head, anyways… As for quilting, I think Rachel had a fantastic idea. And I will be stealing that idea for my next lap quilt 🙂 Have fun!

  7. 7
    Lisa says:

    I am with everyone on the throw idea. If I tried to sleep under that quilt I would be too busy looking at all the cool fabrics in there to fall asleep!

    I like the idea of the spiraling rectangles, too, but I also love a meandered quilt as it seems to get crinklier or something. I do thing the meandering would shrink your quilt more than the other, so, ok, I vote for the spiral rectangles, too! :o)

  8. 8
    carolyn says:

    i like jenny’s idea of a thick border (although i’d probably use a color other than white). but i think it works fine for a lap quilt as is. 😉 it’s really lovely!!!

  9. 9
    Sara says:

    I say go big, however you get there. If you do a thick border, a pieced binding would put closure on the quilt, and look awesome. And I vote for narrow vertical stitching.

  10. 10
    Amber says:

    I like Jenny’s idea too – a big whit border – it would set off the prints nicely. Not sure what quilting method you should do – I always do whatever is easiest 🙂

  11. 11
    betsy says:

    It is lovely.
    I would add some borders then maybe applique a few flowers using some of the fabrics in the quilt.
    As for how to quilt it sometimes I just let them sit until the inspiration hits me.

  12. 12
    Alissa says:

    I love it as is!! I’m not a huge fan of borders so if I were you and you decided to make it bigger I’d just keep building on the log cabin… and you know me with quilting: you can’t ever go wrong with stippling free motion. But I do also love the idea of a square spiral starting in the middle… It’s gonna be AWESOME no matter what you do!!

  13. 13
    terriaw says:

    I would vote for leaving it as is and using it as a throw quilt. And I would stitch in the ditch to make the blocks pop out. Whatever you decide, it looks great so far!

  14. 14
    Candy says:

    Hmm…not a single person suggested what I’m going to – hang it on the wall! This is a fabulous piece and deserves being seen in it’s entirety. The fabrics look so nice & crisp, I can imagine that if this gets used on the couch it’ll end up going through the wash a bunch and losing its vibrancy. Then how about combining Rachel’s idea of a spiraling out stitch in the ditch with quilting around some motifs you want to emphasize?

  15. 15
    Jennifer says:

    Why don’t you send it over to me so I can put it on my guest bed and stare at it? I think I’d be better able to come up with a great idea if I saw it in person 🙂 Love the quilt and your blog!

  16. 16
    Mindy says:

    I LOVE this quilt and this fabric..Do you have any idea about how much fabric it took to make? Were you using fat quarters or what?

  17. 17
    Kathy says:

    I would meander it. I think the meander blends colors so well.

  18. 18

    I hope you’ve been able to decide! I’m behind in my reader 🙂 I love the color and how you broke up some of your strips – I vote for a lap quilt too and my first instinct was to stipple 🙂

  19. 19
    Betty says:

    Realy great- I am starting to love that car print now. I vote for a simple all over cross hatch. I think the size sounds perfect and maybe it should just be a lap quilt. Anywho- whatever you decide will be perfect. it is such a fun quilt

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