Saturday, January 02, 2016

Bali Back Flip Quilt

In September 2013 I went to Philadelphia on a bus trip to see a quilt show and of course, to shop. After the trip, all of the participants made two beige and brown blocks using the Bali Back Flip pattern. Our trip organiser put the quilt together and quilted it for Jay, our bus driver.

After making the two blocks, I decided to make my own version, also using beige and browns. I decided to make it a little more structured by placing the lightest blocks in the middle and the darkest near the edges.
Bali Back Flip Quilt in beiges and browns
Bali Back Flip Quilt in beige and browns
The 6 middle blocks all have a beige that has a fairly prominent light brown pattern in it. For visual interest, I turned these blocks 90 degrees.
One of the middle blocks
I found it difficult to work with beige and brown since there are so many variations of each. Some beige are more cream while others have more yellow in them. The browns range from light to dark and chocolate to taupe. Some have more yellow or orange in them while others are more grey or green. In choosing the fabrics, I tried to stay away from anything too yellow or orange.  I didn't know if these would play nicely together, but they seem to!

This wasn't an easy quilt for me to do because I find neutrals rather dull. Adding structure helped me make it more visually appealing. It's hard for me to work on a quilt when I'm not in love with it - and that's mostly about colour. 
Chevy modeling with the quilt 
I started this quilt over two years ago, but didn't put it together until a few weeks ago. I decided a while back that this would be a perfect gift for my sister-in-law's mother, Kirsten. I know that she loves neutrals and will appreciate it. Since she lives in Denmark, I waited until she came to Canada to give it to her. She is leaving in a few days, so the quilt was finished just in time for her journey. It`s a lap size (48 by 56 inches), perfect for bundling up on the couch to read.

To make the back interesting without too much piecing, I enlarged the Back Flip block while using beige and a brown fabric that has a touch of blue. I had to add colour somewhere :-)
The back is a large version of the block
Quilted block
Quilted block




I wanted to FMQ the lap quilt with something interesting that would also make it soft and cozy. I stitched-in-the-ditch around each block and then used a stencil (SCL-354-06 from The Stencil Company). This time, I followed one of my lessons learned and practiced drawing the pattern before quilting it. It made a big difference in my confidence to quilt the pattern and was well worth the 10 or 15 minutes it took.




This morning, before bringing over the quilt, I made the label. Since I had spent so much time thinking the project through, I wanted a nice label to go with it. I made a 4 inch paper pieced cup from Quilting on the Square's Miniature Collection 2. To receive their free paper piece patterns, just sign up for their newsletter.



What I learned:
  • It's great when I put into practice lessons learned from previous projects, such as drawing the free motion pattern from the stencil before quilting it. It's even better when doing so really pays off.
  • I learned early in my quilting journey that there are many types of pinks. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that there are as many types of beige and browns!
  • If I don't love the colours in the quilt then it's important to find other ways to make the project interesting. 
  • I was tempted to add more colour within the quilt but in the end, it's about the recipient liking the quilt, not me. I just have to like it enough to get it done!
  • The continuous teardrop stencil was perfect for the project. I didn't want anything too complicated since it's not very visible against the fabrics. It's just enough quilting to give it interest without making it stiff.
Here's wishing you the best in the new year!

13 comments:

  1. I really like your Bali Flip quilt. I'm sure it did get boring, piecing neutral tones can do that, but when I look at it, it makes me feel calm and peaceful. Isn't it a good feeling to give away a quilt that is going to be loved? Blessings, Gretchen

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  2. Hi Gretchen. You're right - giving a quilt to someone who will cherish it is the only way to go. The final results of a neutral quilt are calm and serene. Also very classic and classy - something not always found in my quilts :-)

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  3. I love to use brighter colors in my quilts but I like the look of quilts made in neutrals. This pattern is so interesting that it's perfect for the beige/browns you used. I especially like that you made a big block for the backing. Very clever! Thanks for linking to MCM; I hope you have a fun sewing week! :)

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    1. Hi Beth, thanks for hosting us! Love those linky parties.

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  4. I agree - it's tough to get excited about a quilt when you don't love the fabrics. I finally started letting go of some UFOs because I just didn't like them enough to finish them.

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    1. Good for you. Sometimes we have to decide to let some of them go, although I found it easier to let go of sewing projects than quilty ones! Since I work with scraps, I've been known to cut up wonky blocks to give them another chance in my scrappy projects.

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  5. Hi, I found your post on Monday Making and am going to follow your blog. I like the way you tell what you have learned after each post. It's the learning that counts and is exciting, keeps me young. One thing I could not find on your blog is how to email you, which most blogs have. My questions are about blogging, a tough thing for me. Also I'm concerned about universal design and have a suggestion about blog colors for visual clarity.

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  6. What a cool idea, making a quilt for the bus driver! And I like your version with the controlled value. I like your point #3 and am holding it in reserve for when I need it.

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  7. Sometimes even when I really love the fabrics, I get a little tired of making the quilt at some point during the process. Of course, with fabrics I love I tend to be overly concerned about perfection. I do find that less loved fabrics allow me to let go and I have more fun with the process. Weird, huh? :)

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  8. I love your Bali Flip quilt! I just finished a quilt using neutral fabrics and I'm in fabric love. Great job!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. I'm surprised that I ended up liking it so much. I'm now collecting more fabrics for a couple more neutral quilts. I think that as long as there is lots of contrast, it'll keep me interested!

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  9. This is such a sweet quilt, Andrée. And the backing is very clever! What a wonderful gift for your friend!

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    1. Thanks Lorna. I'm really happy that I thought of it :-)

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