I have a particular affinity to the look of gingham fabric. There’s something about it that reminds me of my dad’s dress shirts, of tablecloths at family picnics, and the simplicity of my childhood. Even though gingham might bring out a sense of nostalgia in me, the new Checkers line from Cotton and Steel is anything but old fashioned. The colors, the scale of the checks, and the amazing hand of the fabric make this a great line to quilt with. The perfect modern take on some great traditional fabrics.
I was so lucky to get to play with this amazing line of fabrics and create a quilt that let me utilize so many bold colors. I love experimenting with half square triangles, as they can create so many different patterns and design options. I considered a bunch of different design layouts, but ended up really liking the idea of a medallion style quilt that would build outward.
After playing with the fabrics, I realized I wanted to have the blocks large enough to really show off the large-scale weave of the ginghams. This meant that the final quilt was a bit larger than I originally anticipated! I chose a Cotton & Steel neutral grey that worked as my background fabric and really complimented the colors in the Checkers. I tried a new method of making HST’s than I have used in the past, and the blocks come together very quickly. The trick is making 8 HST’s at once, and to be honest I will never go back to making HST’s any other way. Here is a tutorial if you are interested!
After all the blocks were together, it was a lot of laying out blocks and trying a bunch of different color options. Luckily I have a wall where I can put up different choices. My phone was a great tool during the process too, as quick pictures helped me compare the different layouts that I tried.
After I had a finished layout, sewing it together was straightforward. The challenge came in quilting the Queen size quilt. I knew that I wanted to echo the cross hatch of the gingham in the quilting, but with the size of the quilt I knew any marked lines would be a big challenge, so I decided to have a looser approach to the quilting. I didn’t worry too much about perfectly straight or equally spaced lines, and I like the final result. The crosshatch result echoes the gingham without being fussy. I used a bright chartreuse thread to match the chartreuse green check, which was just a fun choice to have something different.
I’m really happy with how this quilt finished up, and I can’t wait to have it on my bed!