It’s been a long time! Sorry for that – I’ve had 2 lockdowns, more home schooling and life just like the rest of you I’m sure, since the last post. I have been busy; if you follow me on Instagram you will know and I suck at writing more than a few lines so these longer posts I keep putting off. I will do some catch up blog posts soon but for now I want to tell you about the Saturation quilt!
The Saturation idea developed way back in September 2020. I saw some stained glass in my Instagram feed – having done a glass course a few years ago and have a box of bits, it made me want to get them out and play. Stacking the glass but rotating the layers gave a cool effect and straight away all I could think of was a quilting block in solid fabrics.
That night I had a block drawn up and a cool blue sea/glass mock-up got me very excited but I needed to be sewing up my fractured skull sample and pattern for Halloween so it was put to the side.
Once I was able to return to this embryo of an idea, I’d decided I would test the block trying a freezer paper technique – something I had wanted to try for a while but the pieces in my previous blocks were too small to be accurate. I made a sample and gifted it to my mum as her birthday present. I bought 4 FQ’s in a colour gradient I knew Mum would love and one metre of cream background fabric.
Well, the birthday present turned into a Christmas present and was it was duly gifted. It looked great and I had really enjoyed experimenting with freezer paper (though the very acute points had been difficult to maintain) and with some different straight-line quilting.
Before New Year I did some proper planning and had scheduled my year with Saturation being my first quilt pattern to be released… then everything changed again! I had to home school for 3 months and after that I need to recuperate! After re-energising, sewing other people’s designs and projects (posts to follow), I cracked on writing the saturation pattern up, finding some testers and decided to release in mid-July.
Now with EQ8 software at my fingertips I created mock-up after mock-up and realised how incredibly versatile the pattern would be. Knowing there are loads of amazing creatives out there I got more and more excited about the pattern’s potential.
I wanted to support my friend Helen Steele , who screen prints her own fabric, with the launch of her first ever co-ordinated bundle – Lush collection. I suggested a collaboration and for me to make a saturation quilt in her fabrics which she could take to Festival of Quilts for her first ever stand there.
After seeing a mock-up of how the quilt could look Helen and myself adjusted the bundle and settled on these beautiful prints.
I couldn’t wait to start sewing and pre-cut all the sections as soon as I got my hands on the fabric. While Helen printed some more of the background fabric I used the photo of the double curved block already made to play and generated these layout options which were popular on Instagram. Opinion was split between the 2nd and 4th from the left.
In the pattern I recommend using freezer paper for at least the A sections of each block type to significantly reduce the amount of printing and cutting and sticking you do. All sections can be done in freezer paper but I found reusing the smaller acute angled triangles lost some of the accuracy as they lost their stickiness. Being accurate with this pattern really pays off as the matching points really made the design. Don’t worry about getting the points spot on, it is not difficult and I recommend if not experienced with freezer paper piecing to use standard or specialist foundation paper for all sections other than A. Below is a video where I show you how to use the freezer paper for this pattern.
Here is the finished quilt! I quilted it similarly to the one for my mum but with white thread so it didn’t standout. I bound it using strips cut from the … For the eight single curved blocks, Helen specially printed me pieces slightly larger than her normal panel size and I only needed one panel of each of the other colours.
I’ve been really pleased with the response to Saturation and had some great reviews. Any creative will tell you we are in it for these kind of comments and not the money. Your makes and words really do mean the world!
As Natalie mentions, the Saturation pattern has 6 pages of alternative layouts with a basic breakdown of how to make them and fabric requirements to help those less experienced quilters and illustrate the versality of the pattern.
I’m taking a few paper copies of the pattern to festival of Quilts at Birmingham NEC next weekend and will be on stand G56 with Helen Steele for the majority of the show.
I have a bed size version I want to make so I am planning a sew along at some point – maybe starting in November 2021 as the fabric I want to use is not yet out and I might have something I need to work on for Halloween.