Monday, June 11, 2012

Pandemonium Quilt Tutorials # 5, House & Horse yard blocks, 8" pieced flower baskets and 4" circle in diamond blocks

Hello everyone,

Hope you're all happily stitching at something,

We'll go through the House block first,

With this one, choose the roofing first, then the middle section where the the flower box is and then the upper part of the roof where the circular window is. Line up these three fabrics and see if they are working or not, they are very noticeable parts of the block. I've used KF Diagonal Stripes. Why? because I love the fabric!  This is the first fabric I chose, then the other two. A fabric like BM Rings or KF Plink might be worth auditioning for a different effect. The house bricks - I used Shingles in grey but I think it looks too pale, try the green one - it is more grey than green and it is a darker grey. Choose the curtains - BM Straws, Wrinkle, Waves or Plaid come to mind, or something in small florals? It can a be a chintzy one then! Mine was BM Bones, long gone now. The " sheer curtain" was KF Lotus Leaf in the pastel. The door will have to balance the roof, mine is the BM Herringbone, but try other geometrics.
The next thing you need to choose is the big tree and then, once chosen, the smaller tree. I like using the big florals in Phillip Jacob's or Kaffe's for trees, the big florals give the tree different colours and that makes it interesting. Examples of these big florals: KF August Rose, Cabbage Patch, Cabbage and Rose, Lotus Leaf and Bekah. And PJ Floral Burst, Brassica, Luscious in pink to name a few.
Now, having made decisions for the big pieces, lay out the ironed out shapes on the the background fabric ( see tutorial # 1) you can use the smaller shapes to fill out with the needed colours. Lay them all out on the background as you iron and cut. It is really fun to see the block come alive with the addition of the smaller pieces. Remember that you can still add more colours in the circles.

The Horse Yard:

I love this block, but then I love horses, they are gorgeous animals, skittish and elegant at the same time. Choose the fabrics for the 5 trees first, I've chosen to do them all in different green fabrics, but you can do these in different colours if you like, just keep an eye out for the colours of the horses nearby, you might not want 2 trees and horses all in red for example. You can choose the left tree now if you like or later after the horses. There are 8 horses, so gather your fabric combinations for these. I would choose the bodies first, then match the tails and faces. Spread the colours evenly, if you have a darkish horse at one end, try and have a similar one at the opposite side, it is a matter of balancing the block. After this, choose the other fabrics for the rest of the smaller pieces. I've found that using all red and pink hues for the circles are beneficial for adding colours, I guess it is like putting on a pink or red lipstick!

Whilst we are on the photograph, we might as well  look at the 4 pieced/ applique blocks under the Horse Yard.
Decide the 4 colour groupings - whether you'd like these to be in  blues, browns or whatever. Now, choose the 4 different shot cottons colours. For each shot cotton, choose 4 different prints that go with the shot cotton. I also used different solids as well as the same prints for the little triangles. Regarding the appliqued flowers, I would do the applique first in the oversized square as per pattern instruction, then when applique is done, mark with template the correct size, add seam allowance and trim, then go on with the piecing.

The Vertical Pot Block and the Circle in Diamond blocks:

The applique pot is not really that hard, choose the flower combinations and lay them out and see.
The Circle in Diamond blocks: 
I would choose the fabrics for the focal circles first, then find shot cotton that goes with it, then find fabric for the triangles. 
Applique the circles to the oversized squares first, press then mark with the square template ( see tutorial # 2) and proceed with piecing.

Till next time, happy stitching and please ask if anything is not clear, Kim McL

PS, if you're in Sydney, the Sydney Quilt Show is on from tomorrow ( Wednesday) till Sunday, you'll find the Pandemonium Quilt hanging there for display only, it is not in a competition. Also hanging for display only is the Mariner's Compass, this one is in the reproduction fabrics, the last quilt I did in repros before I moved on to the Kaffe Collective. This poor quilt has been shoved in the corner of my sewing room for a good 10 yrs, it needed some hand quilting to get it done. So, last Christmas holiday period, I actually sat down and finished the hand quilting. I don't have a professional photograph yet, if I manage to take a photo at some stage during the quilt show, I'll post it. K


  1. Thank you again Kim, I am still lusting after this pattern but I am holding off until Flower Garden is done as i know one will be shelved for the other. If i only do one block from this quilt it would be the house block with its borders.It has everything and would look stunning framed i think.

  2. this sounds familiar, i buy a knitting pattern and the yarns and then i see another and do the same thing, i've got shelves full of yarns and knitting patterns. if only the day is 48 hrs...K

  3. Although I'm not doing Pandemonium (yet) as I haven't finished my Flower Garden, these tutorials are still very helpful for helping pick fabrics. I hope someone visiting the Sydney Quilt Show will take photos of Pandemonium and the Mariner's Compass and put them on the blog.

    1. Great Pip! I forgot my camera and the phone one didn't really work, I'll post a pic when I get the photograph, K

  4. thanks Kim for taking the time to write these tutorials I am learning a lot just reading them
    I love that your sharing all of this info, interesting to hear how you chose fabrics .....
    Wish I was going to the Syndey show how I would love to see this quilt in person....
    hmmm your last repro quilt of course I NEED to see that quilt and I am still hoping there is another one or two or three in your mind that will be made eventually!

    1. Thank you Kathie, glad you are getting something out of the tutorials, writing it actually makes me think about why I do the things I do. May be it is also quite intuitive.
      Sydney quilt show was lovely, forgot my camera though. I was also busy shopping. K

  5. This quilt is dazzling and those fabrics make my heart sing! Such lovely colors!!! Thank you for a lovely post!

  6. You are welcome, love those fabrics, K

  7. Kim,

    Have you had any problems piecing with the shot cottons? Do you wash them first? I used them as backgrounds on an applique quilt a while back and my longarm quilter complained at how stretchy the fabric was. They do seem to be a bit more loosely woven than normal. Admittedly they were largish pieces (18" x 12"). They were used as backgrounds in the seasonal trees wall quilt from Material Obsession 2.

    1. Hi Mary Ellen,

      Just saw your question.
      No, I haven't washed them, I should probably. I haven't had any problem with piecing using these fabrics, they are a bit looser than normal. Perhaps this is why we need to wash these fabrics in hot water to shrink them so that they are tighter? Some people suggest startching them so that they are easier to handle. The thing is I have too many hours spent on household things as it is without adding on the startching! Cheers, Kim Mc

    2. I agree about the starching and washing. I washed small pieces of the shot cottons that were left over from the Material Obsession I mentioned previously. Then dried them in the dryer. In comparison to the unwashed pieces, I see no difference - in size, color, or texture.They have been around for quite a while now and if there were problems with the fabrics, I think we would have heard about it. I love them and will use them in my Pandemonium.

  8. Although I am not doing this particular quilt , I was wondering if you had a tutorial for the lollipop tree?
    Thank you, sandy reeves