triangle quilt for meg and josh

When I last posted, I had just finished knitting the lace batwing top to wear to a bridal luncheon during my cousin’s wedding weekend. Knitting that flared up my carpal tunnel so badly I knew I needed to take a long break from knitting. (I didn’t exactly do this, and I knit a few more little things. That? Was a super bad idea, and the pain has reached seriously frightening levels, so now I’m completely off knitting until I can get up the nerve to call a hand specialist. It sucks.) This means that I’ve actually been spending time watching TV while doing nothing at all—unfathomable for me normally, and so so boring. But it also means that there’s been a lot more quilting, because so far that hasn’t bothered my hands very much. First up? A wedding gift quilt for the two who got married in April!

isoscles triangle quilt

I’d asked my cousin for color preferences and she said “blues.” This necessitated a trip to some quilting shops for some stash development—how did I not have a good range of blues? Navies, khakis, greens, and purples actually matched their blue and khaki wedding colors, and it turns out they coordinate perfectly with the colors in their living room. I wanted to find a few “special” fabrics but came up empty on that front. However, the one cream with little oars was perfect for them, since they like to kayak often, and Jason donated a plaid shirt that never fit him so that he had a presence in the quilt too.

I have several different triangle rulers and opted for an isosceles one; I cut all the fabrics into triangles and tossed them into one of those big blue Ikea shopping bags, giving it a big mix regularly. Then I set up my flannel design wall and started building the rows by grabbing from the bag without getting caught up in planning the sequences. The only pieces that were immediately put back were ones identical to the one just placed. I ended up with a nice random arrangement, and just a little bit of rearranging at the end gave me a nice balance of colors, patterns, etc. Then I got to seaming!

Though it felt as if I had thousands of triangles, I’d really only cut enough to make the blanket throw sized, and once I realized this I couldn’t bear to cut any more or seam them up, so it is a modest 5-something feet by 5-something feet big. I am in awe of those who have made multiple triangle quilts. While simple in theory, it was a lot more time consuming than I’d expected it to be! I didn’t get the hang of matching my triangles for a long time, despite many attempts to systematize the process.

quilt backing

For the backing, I couldn’t resist my “signature” back, with a little stack of strips of the fabrics used on the front. The main fabric for the backing is Kona, not sure the exact name right now but I suspect it’s actually the color called “brown.” I embroidered their names and the date of their wedding right onto the back, rather than make a label, and I really like the effect. The binding is the same khakis used on the front (both Kona), hand-sewn down; I finally remembered to tuck my “by pepperknit” label into one corner. I quilted lines a half inch from all the seams and greatly underestimated the amount of thread I’d need to get this done; I ran out of two spools in the process! I also had some serious issues with the basting–lately I can’t seem to get my quilt sandwich to come out right on the first try. I’m not sure what is going wrong but I’m blaming the batting, because I know I’m doing a very good job taping the backing down. Should I be taping the batting too? Something is off and I really need to figure it out before I do my next quilt, because it’s not as if I didn’t rearrange my entire living room (separating our sectional sofa even) in order to have as much clear floor I could. Anyway, we’ll see if I can remedy this for my next quilt.

quilt label

I gave the quilt to Meg and Josh at our annual family beach week, just like I did for her brother last year, so we did a little shoot in the backyard of our beach house on the one rainy, cold, terrible weather day. And her husband proved that it’s the perfect couch blanket for curling up with a book. (Note: That is a different cousin sitting on the couch with him.) I hope they love it and enjoy a lifetime of curling up together under it!

isoscles triangle quilt

isosceles triangle quilt

8 Responses to triangle quilt for meg and josh

  1. carolyn says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your wrist troubles, dude. That sucks, and so much moreso for a crazy production knitter like you than like me!! (I mean crazy in how much you usually produce, not in any other way!)

    here are my thoughts on possible basting issues:
    1) are you using enough pins? shouldn’t be more than a fist apart really. I mean I know some people say 5″-6″ but if you’re feeling like you’re having basting issues, that would be my first guess.
    2) maybe you are taping the backing down TOO firmly. I tape mine to stay in position so if I am lining up the centers of the back and top, for example,, I know I’m in the right place, but there should still be some give to it / i.e., if it’s pulled too taut, then when you untape it, some gathers/tucks may fall into place between the places you pinned.
    3) I def would not be taping the batting down, I just do a solid job of smoothing it out and giving it some time to relax, so to speak, then smooth it out again. i.e., don’t start basting 5 seconds after unfolding it from the packaging.
    4) I don’t close the pins (any of them) until the whole quilt is basted. so I baste it all by getting all the pins in place but I leave them open, then I pick the quilt up, move it a little, you could even lift it up and look at the back, see if there’s a spot that looks bad. If I see anything that looks problematic, I repin that area. then I go back and close all the pins.

    bring your next quilt to chicago to baste! ;)

  2. Misty says:

    Wow, it is a really lovely quilt! Great choice of fabrics and you can’t go wrong with triangles. I bet it did take a long time to put it together. I am with you–I would love to make one someday but I am not sure I could do more than one (or at least not without a several years break in between!). Congrats on your finish!

  3. molly::applecyder says:

    It’s a beautiful quilt and I think that is the perfect size. I tape the back down my floor, then I tape the batting to the floor, then I tape the top to the floor. Then I baste with pins. It works for me.

  4. Libby Rogers says:

    Erin, what a beautiful quilt!! I know Meaghan & Josh will treasure it. Your talents know no ends.

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