1001 Nights

July 16, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Posted in Patchwork, quilt | 9 Comments
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I finished the quilt for the challenge from my quilt group! It’s due in November, so I have no idea how that could have happened. Usually I barely make the deadline! So, here it is in all its glory:

The topic was “Blue”, and the required size somewhere around 40*40 cm. Since that’s my standard pillow size and I’m not very likely to use it as a wallhanging, I used my usual pillow closure at the back, so I can actually use it as a pillow cover after the exhibition. I’m calling it “1001 Nights” after the Arabian Fairytale collection, because the dark blue (actually much darker than in this image) reminds me of the night sky and the gold thread weaves a traditional islamic pattern on that sky.

Maybe it’s interesting to have a look at how I achieved that effect. The gold thread is couched onto the fabric using a sewing machine stitch, as you can see in this detail:

Since marking that dark fabric would have been difficult, I used a little trick: The background fabric is a light blue, and I drew the pattern on the background fabric using the tried-and-tested “tape it to the window” method. I then made the quilt sandwich and sewed over the drawing lines with a straight stitch on the backside. Here you can see the marked background with the sewing partly done:

After that part was finished, I turned the thing around and couched the gold thread over all the straight lines. You can see the sewing better at the back:

I’m happy with the result and saved myself a lot of trouble because I didn’t have to try and mark that dark blue fabric. A bit more sewing, since I had to sew over every line twice, but well worth it in my book.


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  1. Congratulations on the timely finish! It looks really good. The simplicity of it showcases the pattern nicely. And thanks for showing your process in such detail.

    See you for the next sketch crawl.

  2. Beautiful quilt and very interesting idea! The back looks very nice too. Thank you for sharing.

  3. So beautiful! I have an andalusian tile collection with this moorish patterns, but I never thought it would be possible to reproduce those patterns! Really amazing!

  4. i’m a novice and searching for ideas, thankyou for sharing, I am very keen to have a go, Would be grateful for any starting off tips!

  5. […] For a few years now, my quilt group has issued a challenge to make a small (40*40 cm) quilt with a common fabric (or theme) for our yearly exhibition in November. You can read about my contributions for previous years in their own posts: 2012, 2011, 2010. […]

  6. […] about my samples using an islamic pattern taken from an object in the V&A collection. With the dark blue quilt long finished, I haven’t written anything about the paper pieced quilt since then. It has not […]

  7. […] forms a narrow, flat strip, perfect for couching. I’ve done something like this in another challenge project, so I knew I could get the effect that I wanted using this. I consequently started to quilt my top, […]

  8. […] the couching bug lately, looking at my recent projects. First mention of this technique is here, way back in 2010, resulting in this […]

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