Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bullseye Quilt

My husband and I bought a California King bed for our California apartment. The quilts I had looked like toppers on this gigantic bed so I finally decided to make one to fit. Then I recalled this one - never quilted because it was so big (98" by 118".)

Bullseye blocks paired with alternating blue and brown fabric strips create an original quilt
Blue & Brown Bullseye Quilt

It was one of my 'brilliant' ideas. My sister and I make usually make a small project when I visit her home. Why not instead start a large project and put it in storage between visits? Great idea except... we couldn't remember exactly what-we-planned/where-we-stopped from one visit to the next. In 2004 I finally snuck blocks home to finish the tops.

We used her dinner and salad plates to cut circles from all our leftover fabric. (We were going to use the saucers too but the blocks were already very thick since we didn't trim behind the circles.) We cut the circles into quarters and topstitched them onto 5" finished beige blocks. At the end of that visit there were enough blocks to make three queen-size tops and a lap quilt. Yikes. Guess we forgot to count.

Two Bullseye blocks surrounded by light blue-dark brown or dark blue-tan sashing.
The two alternately colored bullseye blocks

I found the two 'cross' fabrics in my stash and realized they had the same colors with different backgrounds. The light one is a leaf print while the dark one is a Civil War reproduction. Those made 2" by 5" light and dark brown rectangles in the bullseyes. Then I paired a dark blue with a tan or a light blue with a dark brown to enlarge each bullseye to a 20" block. The border is a similar treatment. And that's how it got so large.

Detail of free-motion quilting on Bullseye quilt block
Quilting detail on Bullseye quilt

Last year I finally quilted this top. I stippled the beige areas, quilted Orange Peels in the blue/brown borders of each block and concentric circle patterns in the bullseyes. The only problem was that the orange peel grid had to be hand-drawn since it was on the diagonal of two-inch strips. Perhaps someone will make a linear stencil with a "square root of two" spacing soon.

All the quilting was done with Metler Fine Embroidery thread on my home machine - a Bernina 1230. The batting is Mountain Mist Blue Ribbon Cotton.

Quilt back highlights detailed quilting
Back and binding of bullseye quilt

This is currently on the California bed. But since we installed heavier drapes to dim the streetlights, the room is very dark. Now the room needs a lighter quilt... like the Trips Around the Block. Or perhaps I just need to make another excessively large quilt.

Fret not; enjoy the day. Ann


Unknown said...

Gorgeous quilt, lovely story!

Ann said...

Thanks, Maartje. It's been a very useful quilt and my husband likes it.