Sew What : Little Black Dress Honeymoon Quilt

Little Black Dress Honeymoon Quilt | Amy Friend

Low volume quilting is all the rage at the moment. Have you heard of it? Malka Dubrawsky describes it as exploring “the possibilities of crafting items exclusivly out of fabrics that don’t rely on bright, saturated, or intense colors.” I recently completed a table runner using what I called “way low volume” quilting. Basically, it was all subtle cream solids, textured linens and prints that read as cream. I appliqued on top of the patchwork in bold colors. (link to my table runner here http://www.duringquiettime.blogspot.com/2012/08/oakshott-leaves.html) I loved the patchwork background so much that I knew I wanted to make a quilt like it and it occurred to me that the Little Black Dress line is perfect for low volume quilting! I chose prints from the line that were cream, soft beige and soft gray for the patchwork. Then I made a large, 24″ quilt block named Honeymoon featuring the black prints from the line and placed it slightly off center.

To begin, I cut 2 1/2″ strips of the background prints using my Sizzix 2 1/2″ strip die. You could easily cut these with a rotary cutter as well. I then pieced them together in groups of six strips each. Once I had six strips sewed together, I cut them into 2 1/2″ wide columns as seen in the diagram.

I made strips in many combinations of prints and then assembled them into 12″ (finished) blocks as seen here.

I made 16 of these blocks.

To create the Honeymoon block, block #237 found on page 26 of 5,500 Quilt Block Designs (insert link to http://www.amazon.com/5-500-Quilt-Block-Designs/dp/0806977493), I cut:

  • twelve 5″ squares of light Little Black Dress fabrics (those used in the patchwork)
  • twelve 5″ squares of dark Little Black Dress fabrics (blacks)

I created HST units with those fabric pairs and trimmed them down to twenty four 4 1/2″ units.

The center most square is a 8 1/2″ square of a dark print.
Then I cut four dark squares to 4 1/2″ and four light squares to 4 1/2″.

I laid out the blocks as shown in the photograph and pieced them together with 1/4″ seams.

To assemble the quilt top, sew two 12″ patchwork blocks together and then to the left hand side of the Honeymoon block. Do the same to the right hand side of the Honeymoon block. Then sew four 12″ blocks together and attach them to the top of the unit you just completed. Sew two rows of four blocks each to the bottom of the quilt. I then added two additional rows of blocks to the right hand side of the quilt because I wanted the main quilt block to be more off center but I didn’t have enough fabric to make another row of patchwork blocks. The design is flexible so you can simply add or subtract blocks to make your quilt whatever size you like. Mine measures 52″ wide x 60″ long.

I pieced the back with fat quarters from the Little Black Dress line and bound it in one of the dark black prints.

I quilted the patchwork portions of the quilt using Elizabeth Hartman’s Orange Peel quilting pattern (link to http://www.ohfransson.com/oh_fransson/2012/03/orange-peel-quilting-on-a-grid.html). I tried my hand at a couple of the quilting patterns in Angela Walter’s new book (link to http://freemotionquiltingwithangelawalters.com/) within the Honeymoon block, namely the Modern Variation of Sunrays and Pebbles combined and Square Flowers.

I hope you will try using Little Black Dress for you low volume quilting experiments!

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