Sometime ago, I glimpsed this quilt in an Instagram feed:
The description says it’s from the North Country of England, so I’ve taken to calling it the North Country Patchwork Quilt. The more I looked at it, the more I liked how those red squares just kind of blended into the background on the outer rings, but floated over the foreground in the middle.
I tried to convince my husband to buy it. That was funny, as he made some comment about didn’t we have enough quilts? Seriously, he’s nearly perfect, but in the end, I decided to go ahead and make it.
Because I sure need another project.
But the project I need is a hand project, really–one that can be toted around in the car. I finished my hexies project, and I finished (thankfully) my millefiore quilt, so now what am I going to do on long car rides? Just sit there?
So I drew up the block, working between two different pieces of software: QuiltPro and Affinity Designer, and have created this pattern (click on the following link for free PDF file): North Country Patchwork Quilt
This quilt has 624 pieces in it, and if you divide that by four, you’d have to print out gazillions of the pattern page. So here are my tips for making that go more quickly:
Print off several of the free North Country Patchwork Quilt page. Like 10.
Stack each printed page with about 4-5 plain pieces of paper. Staple them together inside the pieces, as shown on the left.
Cut them apart in chunks, like the image on the right, using an old rotary cutter that you’ve dedicated to paper; or, a guillotine paper cutter; or, your paper scissors.
Then further cut them into the individual shapes: a honeycomb and a square. Remove the staples.
That ought to get you started. No, I didn’t use cardstock, but I had some 24 lb printing paper that I used. And yes, I’m gluing the fabric to these pieces of paper. I used this paper when I did my Shine EPP quilt (most blocks are free on this blog) and it worked out just fine. Repeat this process as you need to.
I’m going to vary from the fabrics in the original quilt, as I fell in love with this Vive La France line of fabrics from French General. I’m over the moon for those dusky blues and strong reds.
I worked out some variations of this quilt in QuiltPro software, and they vary by how much of a border is around the central rectangle. Here they are:
I also had some fun with putting the blocks in more contemporary colors (lower left), but decided I didn’t like that version. The top three are sort of in the colors of the original quilt and it looks like to me, it was someone who was making do with cast-offs from her household clothing, as well as men’s shirtings. But I’m anxious to get going and trying this out in the Vive La France fabrics.
I have no idea how I’m going to sew this together, but I will be concentrating on those arms that come into an X, and somehow I’ll do the red square.
Lastly, a reminder to pre-wash your fabrics: working with reds can be tricky.
See you in a couple years!