Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Dutch Diamonds finish

All the bad weather here in New Orleans hasn't slowed me down much in the quilt studio. Yesterday I finished putting the binding on a new quilt and today it took its first spin in the washing machine.

Meet Dutch Diamonds

I know I haven't shared any photos of this quilt in process, but it has been difficult to get decent photos. The boat is docked next to a high wall, so the portlights (windows) on the lower level are in deep shadow and my room is quite dark. I really have been sewing in my "quilt cave" this week! 

So this quilt made it all the way to the finish line without any documentation on the blog, alas. I was also in a bit of a hurry with this one. It is a gift for MarieAnne, who lives in Holland. She recently had major surgery for a serious condition, so I wanted to get the quilt to her for her recovery time at home. I need to get it to the post office soon, hopefully today, for its long journey to Europe.

Dutch Diamonds came together fairly quickly. I already had the diamond blocks pieced and sitting in my stash. They are quarter square triangles made with leftover charm squares from 3 or 4 different projects that I sewed together several months ago when I was just fiddling around. I set them on point with the darkest quadrant of each block in the lower left hand corner to make them seem a bit three dimensional, like diamond facets. They are arranged in a rough rainbow order with Kona snow white background to let the bright colors shine.

I did simple straight line walking foot quilting along each edge of the 2" sashing. The dot-to-dot free motion quilting in each diamond looks a bit like the facets on a gem to me. The Aurifil thread color is a very pale blue, although it reads white on the quilt. I used it everywhere, rather than change thread colors on each colored block, to save time.

This is my favorite block, with the bicycle fabric. MarieAnne, like many people in the Netherlands, rides her bike just about everywhere.

The binding is an aqua floral and bird print that I attached all by machine. I think aqua makes a great neutral with a bright rainbow palette.

The backing is a single piece of fine wale 100% cotton corduroy in this pretty minty floral. Corduroy is a bit wider than quilting cottons at 54", so a single piece was just right. It's the first time I've quilted with corduroy, and it worked out well. I knew from my research that it was stretchy material, so I took extra care with the basting to make sure things didn't shift much. There is one small area that pleated a bit, but it isn't too bad so I left it. It's cold in the Netherlands right now, so I thought the added weight of the corduroy would be warm and cozy. It is quite heavy!

I apologize that my photos of the finished quilt are limited to these taken inside the boat. The boatyard is a very, very dirty place so there's really no good areas for "glamour" shots. Plus, the outside of our boat is in complete disarray while the yard preps us for paint.

All the hand rails have been removed, and you can see goopy pink fairing compound around all the entry gates. The distance from the gate to the dock varies with tide and wind direction, and sometimes is quite the leap of faith, so to speak.

I'm having a hard enough time just stepping through these openings without covering my clothes with gunk or plunging into the murky marina water. I certainly wasn't going to risk ruining a brand new quilt by squeezing it past the mess for an outdoor photo. No, this quilt will be wrapped in plastic and sealed in a shipping box before it passes the portals of painting.

The good news is that our temporary RV home arrived today and we'll be moving aboard soon. The RV will be parked just outside the main yard area, where there is grass and other nice landscaping. Much cleaner and prettier, so hopefully better for photos.


  1. This quilt is beautiful! Love everything about it....the colors, quilting, the setting and the use of corduroy for the backing. Love that idea. Know you all will be happy when all the painting is done. Can't wait to see Vector all decked out!

  2. I love this quilt! I'm sure it will brighten up MarieAnne's recovery.

  3. Love the quilt - very nice gift for your friend.

  4. Wow the challenges of living on a boat! I'm amazed at how much you get done in such limited circumstances. And they're beautiful to boot!

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you, Brenda! You're a no-reply commenter, so I'm sending my thanks back to you here in the comments :)

  6. What a gorgeous quilt, glamour shots or not!!! I really love it...the idea of making these with QSTs instead of HSTs is nearly epiphanous(???) to me, lol!!

  7. Louise, it's gorgeous! I love the lay out! Great color play and the quilting is perfect! She'll be tickled pink upon receipt of this beautiful gesture. Be VERY careful getting on and off that boat. I'm here to tell you accidents happen in the blink of an eye and life is fragile. Enjoy your temporary quarters! XO

  8. That is really lovely. It will bring her great comfort during her recovery.

  9. It's a lovely quilt, I can hardly believe it was made from leftovers, it has come together so well, and I love your binding, the colours are gorgeous. It is a wonderful gift and sending healing thoughts to MarieAnne, I hope she recovers soon.

  10. I love your quilt - the way you have set the colours in the blocks is just gorgeous... and perfect quilting to set it off.... enjoy a bit of life on the land!

  11. What a wonderful quilt-y gift for your friend. Happy to hear that you have an alternative to living with the pink goop and missing hand rails - that would be hard!

  12. MarieAnne will be wrapped in a quilty hug from you. It's always fun to use up some blocks we had just sitting around and a win win when you end up with a pretty quilt.

  13. Great finish. I love quilts with all the colours.

  14. Lovely quilt - thanks for sharing the thinking behind your placement of the fabrics! I may be able to do this too with my different pieces of fabric. : )

  15. Hello Louise,

    What a beautiful quilt. I'm sure it will cheer up MarieAnne no end. Yes, Holland is cold, the wind whips in from the North Sea, so it was a great idea to use the corduroy for the backing.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv


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