Monday, February 11, 2013

Serendipity Quilts -- The Synopsis!

The final "serendipity" is completed and finally the cats left it long enough for me to take a picture.  This is the last of these  quilts to be machine quilted.  They were all pieced in late 2011 and throughout 2012, mostly down here at the beach as I always need projects.

This is the fabric that was used to create the kalaidoscopic blocks  in the above quilt and on which the other coordinating fabrics were based.  I am a big purple and yellow fan!

This was the one that I pieced out of previously done blocks shown below.

Believe it or not, this was actually the second iteration as I had made two separate tops and then decided to combine them.  In tearing things apart, I did manage to lose a couple of blocks.  I didn't have enough blocks to do the kalaidoscopic blocks around the middle hexagons so did two-colored stars instead which made it different from my other approaches.  Part of the fun for me in making these is making all the blocks for the most part different but not so different that they do go together cohesively.  I like surprises in my quilts and trying to make you look closer.

This was the one with the most different blocks in it.  It is a fairly good sized quilt as I had a LOT of the main fabric which was ugly as sin!!  It is pictured below.  Wish I had pictures of all the beginning fabrics but unfortunately wasn't able to find them when looking through my pictures.

It did have a large repeat and I had plenty of it -- had originally planned on using it as a quilt back I am sure -- it was on one of those remnant piles back when lots of dime stores had a fabric section.

This was the largest of the quilts and made especially for the king sized bed down here.  It is again made from a really ugly but soft cotton sateen whose colors perfectly matched this bedroom.  I did the color matching from memory and did pretty well!!  It has a very differnt setting from the rest as I didn't offset the blocks so that instead of being surrounded by the inset blocks, they have pairs between them.  I wanted the extra length so at the top and bottom you will see the groups of four like lace work. Instead of making the blocks based on star kalaidoscopic blocks, I used hexagon blocks in the centers instead for this one.  I also added a wide white border (with backing and batting) after the quilt was all basted as it needed a finish.  I did a wide rambling feather in blue thread and th en added the blue binding.  The back is a nice blue batik that also matches the walls.

This was made from fish fabrics.  I had originally planned to combine this fabric with the one below as they had many of the same colors but amazingly they didn't look good together so they ended up as separate quilts.  This was the third one that I did.  I used the same background fabric thorughout except for the small triangles around the middle blocks and the orange leading out from the blocks so you have the illusion of bigger blocks.  They are all the same simple hexagons which are so easy to piece with Sara Nephew's easy instructions.

This was the second of the quilts I did and used different background fabrics for the middle than I did for the outside.  I also added the star points so it definitely looks like a medallion quilt.  My settings are very different from the ones in the books from which I took the b locks.  I also started experimenting with the blocks in this quilt, making them different and also adding additional pieces to many of the stars so you won't find all the blocks in the books from this quilt on through the rest of the quilts (all but the one below).

This was the very first one that I did.  I used all the same blocks and just followed the book except when it came to the setting.  I used a 3/4/3 block setting and changed the background colors.  The fabric for this was a different colorway of one of my favorite fabrics.  It was very difficult to match the blue greens here as this fabric was probably 15 years old!

The quilting for all of these was basically sewing in the ditch between the blocks lengthwise and then across on the long seams which resulted in each of the hexagons being sewn around.  I then tried to find motifs in each of the kalaidoscopic blocks to free hand stitch around and then filled in stitching in the ditch for the most part on different parts of the hexagons.  In the border I used a meandering pattern for the most part.  These quilts are so busy, the quilting doesn't show anyway!  I did a bit more on the first two I quilted but decided not to on the later ones.  Because of how I did the king sized quilts (no stars in that one), I was able to just do row upon row of straight stitching in the ditch outlining each triangle basically.  My Juki mid-arm LOVES to do this straight stitching in a ditch and just whizzes along full speed ahead!

I should note that as a starting place I used Sara Nephew's Serendipity and Doubledipity Quilts books.  I had brought them down with me last year as I loved the look of the quilts but they looked like I needed to really concentrate to do them as you have to do some of your own thinking (like with Dear Jane blocks).  Making the first quilt just whetted my apetite and I have had a wonderful time expanding upon the block creation and the settings.  I will probably do more before I get bored.  


shilsenbeck said...

WOW! Really beautiful. And so many... You definitely got on a roll.

steelwool said...

Amazing quilts. Thanks for showing some of the original fabric. I found myself doing a "where's Waldo" to find bits in the quilt. Then I counted motifs, and recounted because I had missed how the block was but together and tried it another, not a quilter yet, just a wannabe. Kudos on a job well done.

Linda said...

Lovely! I was just shown one of these tops a couple days ago. Darn I missed buying the first book Serendipity but I ordered the second one yesterday. Thank you for the all inspiration!

momto1 said...

So glad you posted all these photos. I love 6-pointed stars, and came across this post after googling for the Serendipity book, which I had never heard of. I've added it to my want list. Your photos make me positive I need it. You did such a good job, and I love all your color choices.

Carole S