Last September, I was able to take a class on the Eads Quilt with Carolyn Friedlander when she taught at Fancy Tiger. The pattern uses paper piecing to make a really dynamic block that has great movement created by the angular motif.Pattern: Eads Quilt by Carolyn Friedlander
Fabric: A variety of You & Me solids and Carolyn Friedlander prints
Finished Size: 60" x 75” (8 x 16 blocks)
While this quilt and the blocks can absolutely be planned out and more intentionally designed with color placement, I took more of an improvisational direction with my colors. I cut all my strips that were called for and then randomly paired two together for each block. For me, the class and pattern were more about learning how to paper piece and enjoying playing with color pairings and to enjoy learning from a guest instructor.The class was fantastic, and I learned the process of paper piecing, along with so many tips and tricks for sewing the blocks. Over the next few months, I worked on more blocks, continuing what I had learned in class, and by the end of January, I had completed all the blocks I needed for the quilt! At this point, I spent a while laying out a bunch of different possible arrangements of all the blocks. Playing with the blocks and making different pairings and color combinations was one of the most exciting parts of the whole process for me. Playing with so many colors, how they interact and react to each other, and how the layouts changed the whole feel of the quilt was a great exercise for me in understanding color theory.Once I had a final layout I was happy with, I pieced all the blocks together, and then spent a fair bit of time removing the paper from the back. Since this was the first time I had used the paper piecing method, it was an interesting experience taking out all the paper that was attached to the back of the quilt top. But an afternoon with a movie made the process go relatively quickly.
At this point, I was starting to think a lot about how I wanted to finish the quilt. I had already spent so much time sewing all the blocks, and I knew I wanted the quilting to be special. I decided to hand quilting was the way to go. In hindsight, hand quilting a paper pieced block with lots of seams, maybe wasn’t the best idea, but once I built up a few calluses on my fingers it was a great experience, allowing me to continue to refine my hand stitching skills and spend time really enjoying each block as I quilted it.After a few months of slow but steady work, the quilting was done, and I was thrilled with the result. In order to keep the integrity of the quilt top design and color placement, I didn’t want a traditional binding that would frame the quilt, so I chose to sew on a facing that would turn completely to the back and leave the front of the quilt as just the blocks.A quick wash and dry, and this quilt finished up as one of the favorite quilts I have made, not just because of the total number of hours that went into it! I can’t wait for the fall when I’ll be able to curl up under this labor of love and really enjoy all the time and energy that I put into this quilt.