A growing Rhapsody quilt. And a “little” hand sewing.

2015-004My niece Ana Lía is on a semester break, so last weekend she came down for a visit and to finish the applique on her Rhapsody quilt.


Isn’t it awesome? 🙂

Having someone else around who sews has finally gotten me out of my sewing funk. Ok, so the sewing area is pretty dark and crowded, and it just isn’t going to be possible to pull out my adapted industrial machine to do any free motion quilting. At least not on large quilts. The alternative? How about slowing down a bit and going back to the time when all I did was hand stitch?

Way back in 2007 I designed an incredibly intricate quilt. At the time, it was more of an exercise in design, and even though a tiny part of my brain thought it would be a fun challenge to sew it, at the time I felt it just wasn’t realistic to take on such a complex project.

Do you remember ever seeing this?


The quilt is made up of 1,100 1.5-inch hexagons. This means that at the widest part each hexagon measures 3 inches. The original drawing consists of 10 different pieced hexagons, going from 30 to 96 pieces each. I averaged about 48 pieces per hexagons, which would have easily taken this quilt to over 50,000 pieces!!!


However, when I printed out the hexagon with those 96 pieces, I realized this is not doable. Some pieces ended up barely at 1/8″ in size. I would have to either increase the size of the hexagons, which would mean I would end up with a humongous quilt (the original finished quilt would measure about 78 x 80″), or simplify the designs. Simplify it is.


So I have reduced the number of hexagons to 8, and the pieces now go from 12 to 36. Even so, some of the tiniest triangles measure about 1/4″, but this is a size I have actually worked with before. So I’m OK with that. This brings the number of pieces to *just* somewhere over 20,000. I also decided to change the background color, so the finished quilt will be closer to this:


It has taken me a whole day just to print out all the information needed to keep this project organized…


…plus all the paper pieces…


And so far I’ve sewn 4 hexies. Only 1096 to go!


The original name I gave this design is Not my Grandmother’s Flower Garden. At this point I’m thinking My Insane Grandmother’s Flower Garden might be more appropriate. What do you think? 🙂




This entry was posted in Applique, English Paper Piecing. |Comments closed

One Comment

  1. Irene
    Posted March 1, 2015 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Truly Insane, no doubt! But a wonderful work, if you can finish it. Go ahead!