Hi habibis! Today I’m going to start sharing my Lotus Quilt. Molli Sparkles says to lead with your best photo, so here we go:
I made this quilt for my friend C and her husband G, who just got married. When I had talked to C about what she wanted, aesthetically, she told me she really liked the Hunter’s Star quilt I made for my coworker M. That quilt reads black and white if you don’t see it up close in person, and black and white was what she wanted – solids, too, rather than prints.
Solid black and white sounds a little boring to me, and I didn’t want to do another Hunter’s Star quilt. I bought a white-on-white print and a black-on-black print that both read as solids, and I spent a lot of time thinking about what pattern I wanted. I finally decided on houndstooth. I followed the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s YouTube tutorial.
The tutorial calls for using charm packs and then sewing four strips of fabric into long tubes. You lay the tubes flat and cut triangles out of them, which gives you a striped square.
Then you lay out the squares alternating with your solids to make the houndstooth pattern.
I guess I didn’t use exactly a quarter inch seam allowance. I also seem to have cut some of my tubes on a weird angle, so I ended up having to trim my squares down to 4.25″. (I guess with the charm packs you could work with a 4.5″ square and it would all match up, but I hadn’t used charm packs – I’d cut yardage into 5″ squares, not thinking about the fact that charm packs aren’t 5″ because of the pinking.) Some of my striped squares – the ones cut on weird angles – were really wonky and I couldn’t get 4.25″ out of them, so in the end I had something like 63 usable striped squares instead of the 80+ the tutorial called for. Rather than making a 12 X 14 layout, I made a 10 X 12 layout. I also had to cut down the 5″ squares I’d cut from yardage to 4.25″ squares. (Don’t worry; the scraps went into dog beds – they still got used!)
The tutorial tells you to be really careful with your layout, because if you mess it up you won’t make the houndstooth pattern. One row is black alternating with the striped squares, oriented in one direction, and the next row is white alternating with striped squares, oriented in the other direction. I pre-sorted all my striped squares into the proper orientations before I began sewing them so I wouldn’t mess up.
I made one mistake. Well, actually, I made the same mistake in every single white row. The black row is black square plus striped square. Then I sewed my white rows the same, white square plus striped square. It should have been striped square plus white square. So, when I sewed all my rows together, without realizing what I’d done, I flipped the white rows to get the proper alternating layout – which inverted the striped squares and meant I no longer had a houndstooth pattern. I figured this out as I was sewing together the very last seam for the quilt top.
Do you have those moments where you freak out over a mistake? I was so upset. No one wants to rip out stitches, especially not ten rows of stitches. My roommate told me to leave it as is – C and G didn’t know I was making them a houndstooth quilt, so they’d never know if I messed up. (C, if you’re reading this, sorry!) After some deliberation, I decided I couldn’t deal with ripping out all my rows, and then ripping off one white square from each row, reattaching it to the other end, and sewing all twelve rows back together.
Then I realized that the pattern reminded me of stylized lotuses and I felt way better. So much better. And that is why this is the Lotus Quilt and not the Houndstooth Quilt. (Or it could be Yoda heads – I’m tickled by the idea of making a Yoda quilt.)
I added a border from leftover white fabric to make the quilt top a little larger. Here’s the completed top:
Can you see the lotuses?