Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gees Bend inspired quilt

Last weekend was a rainy weekend in Vancouver, so I spent the entire time quilting.  While wandering through the quilt groups in flickr I came across a batch of quilts from a quilt class by Peppermint Pinwheels (here's her blog too). So of course I had to sit down and try it out immediately.  Here's my version:

First I made a couple of log cabin quilt blocks.  The ones in the pictures on flickr looked big, so I went 18.5  square.  I could have even gone bigger!  I made the strips random widths and made the centre of the blocks quite big, between 4 inches to 9 inches.

Then I squared them to 18.5 X 18.5 (I used a 12.5 square plus my 6.5  X 24 ruler)
Then I cut them into quarters by measuring in 9.25 and slicing down.  Without moving the block, I measured 9.25 from the top and then sliced it across.
Then I turned the quarters around, swapped one quarter with one from the other block and sewed them back together to get a nice graphic statement.
I made a total of 6 blocks this way and put them together with sashing.
I laid it out on the back of an older quilt and worked on the sashing.  I made the sashing with the end cuts for the block strips and with other strips.  The sashing between the blocks is 4 inches wide, the sashing on the outside of the blocks is 2.5 inches wide and the big strip down the middle is 5 inches wide.  OK, I didn't really plan for them to be all different widths.  I was just trying to get the quilt up to 4 feet by 6 feet, which I've decided is the perfect "curl up on the couch" size for a quilt.  I didn't do much planning on the sashing strips, just kept sewing strips and scraps together, then cutting them crosswise and attaching them to other strips.  I did try to get some solid parts, some stripes, some checkerboard and some crosswise bits, but didn't really plan out where they would end up. 

Then I made a bigger block for the back with just oranges and greens as I was totally out of the blue.  It started as a 26.5 inch log cabin block and was cut into 13.25 inch quarters.  When I put it back together I put 4 inch sashing between each quarter.  As you can see, I was down to half inch and less strips of orange and blue, so there are only slivers of those colours in the sashing.
Here's two last pictures of the front and back.


  1. Peppermint Pinwheels' stuff is amazing! I love your version, Paul.

  2. Love the little slivers of colour!!

  3. I'm so very grateful you have shared a tutorial. I absolutely love the Gees Bend style of quilts.
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

  4. Came here via momiji studio. I love how this top came together, and how some sections have more orange, some more white, etc. It gives the quilt a certain liveliness that perfectly scattered accents can't do. Well done!