Friday, 7 February 2014

Raspberry Lemonade (Show Off Irish Chain) - a quilt pattern review

I've written before about Penny and Fenella Jameson, a mother/daughter team who own Stitch Playroom in Christchurch. I met them when they visited Wellington to teach their quilted hexagon ottoman class and then saw them again in Christchurch when I attended Sarah Fielke's class (which was organised by Fenella).

Last year, Fenella asked if I would be interested in reviewing one of their quilt patterns. Since I had so much fun making the ottoman, I jumped right on board. The pattern is for a modern variation on the traditional irish chain pattern, which is designed to show off fabulous large scale designs (hence the name Show Off Irish Chain). Penny's original quilt is made with lots of different coloured Kaffe Fassett fabrics set against a neutral linen background and is a lot of fun. I decided to go down a slightly different route, choosing to keep my feature fabrics in the same colour family (red, pink, purple) and set them against a bright and completely contrasting background (for a great explanation on why those red prints seem to be jumping right off the aqua background, check out Anne's great post on complementary colours).

Raspberry Lemonade 

I found this aqua fence to hang my quilt on - wasn't someone daring with their paint colour! The quilt top was a cinch to put together, and super speedy because of the large pieces. I think it would be great for a beginner, and actually, the first quilt I ever made was nine patches alternated with large squares - exactly like this quilt in construction, if not design.

Raspberry Lemonade 

Fenella picked out the Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics that I used, and she did a fantastic job with my extremely vague instructions of "red, pink, purple, maybe a bit of orange"! I swapped out a couple of her picks for fabrics from my stash - partly because I wanted to keep this quilt very bright and there were a couple of darker purples that weren't quite working for me, and partly because I love to show how fabrics from different designers can work together. I've snuck in a bit of Jay McCaroll, Amy Butler, and one older Michael Miller fabric.

Raspberry Lemonade 

One of the things I look for in a pattern is room to put my own spin on it and to make tweaks. I like the way that this pattern has guidance on how you might like to lay out your blocks, but isn't overly prescriptive. Having a clear construction diagram also meant it was easy to make the borders a bit narrower than the original quilt. Of course, I had to pull out my quilt math, but I enjoy that part! I do really like the chunky borders on the original quilt, but I'm trying to get out of the habit of making enormous quilts, and reducing the size of the borders meant it was easier to baste and quilt (hooray!).

Raspberry Lemonade

I love my finished quilt, and I would heartily recommend the pattern, especially for beginners.  If you are interested in getting your hands on a copy, email Fenella (fenella at stitchplayroom dot co dot nz) for all the details.

I'd love to know - do you find it hard to resist tweaking patterns too, or are you a strictly by the book kind of quilter?

Quilt Stats
Pattern: Show Off Irish Chain by Stitch Playroom
Finished Size: approx 66" by 75"
Fabric: assorted Kaffe Fassett collective prints, also prints from Amy Butler, Jay McCarroll and Michael Miller, Freespirit Designer Solid in Caribbean Sea.
Backing: Blockprint Blossom in Blush from Joel Dewberry's Heirloom collection
Binding: Michael Miller Ta Dot in Berry
Pieced and quilted by: me

Linking up with finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts.

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Full disclosure - Fenella provided me with the prints I used on the front of the quilt in exchange for this review.  The rest of the fabric came from my stash.  The review is an honest reflection of my thoughts on the pattern.

31 comments:

Leanne said...

What a great way to colour an Irish Chain, your quilt is very pretty.

Nat at Made in Home said...

Great colours! And thanks for the review.

Gidget said...

Very pretty, love this!

RobotMomSews said...

This is gorgeous! I love the colors you used. I, too, like room to play with a pattern and tweak it. Artistic license and all that, right? :)

diane said...

Is this a pattern from Stitch Playroom? I didn't see a pattern name in your post.

Julie said...

Very beautiful - almost a tropical feel to it. Love your backing fabric too - so thanks for providing the details of it. Have a great weekend.

Margaret said...

What a gorgeous quilt! Beautiful work!

Lisa said...

I love your quilt. I've seen the version at Stitch and have this pattern in mind for the leftovers when I finish my shimmering triangles quilt.

Kristy said...

Lovely take on the Irish Chain, and I like the diagonal quilting you did; which helps to emphasize the shapes.

I do struggle with not altering patterns and sometimes I do it unintentionally...as I discovered the other day.

L E Antwis said...

Stunning! Linda

Helen M said...

Beautiful quilt Adrianne. Love the backing too.
I have been known to add a narrow border if I think the centre needs framing, change the way the design has been pieced because the way the pattern says results in too much inaccuracy and also because it uses less fabric by cutting the pieces differently. And this was all in the same quilt :)

Karyn said...

Great fabric choices!

DeborahGun said...

its a great pattern and I love all the Kaffe Fassett fabrics you chose for it :-)

Chirpy said...

I tweak a lot of patterns to fit my taste and style. Makes it fun. Love the colors in this.

Chirpy said...

I tweak a lot of patterns to fit my taste and style. Makes it fun. Love the colors in this.

Megan said...

I love the colours you've used here. I almost always tweak a pattern somehow, and I think good patterns make it easy for you to do that.

Patchwork and Play said...

I'm definitely a tweaker Adrianne! I love the Kaffe rose tones with the aqua solid- inspiring!

Patti Guzniczak said...

Love your quilt, it's absolutely stunning in those colors!!

SandyQuilts said...

Oh my I LOVE it. Totally AWESOME. thanks for sharing

karen k said...

Love the color choices. Bright and cheery. Turned out beautiful.

Maja said...

Lovely!!!

Theresa Henderson said...

absolutely love love love this

Flying Blind... said...

Gorgeous!

Dominique said...

This quilt is stunning! Great colour choice for the background!

Gemini Jen NZ said...

Love love love! Am adding it to my pinterest -to-do-one-day board! Great colour/fabric choices and beautifully made!

Serena @ Sewgiving said...

I can see a quilt with some large fussy cutting using that pattern -thank you for the review, I hope you do some more pattern reviews, I like seeing how other quilters play with patterns :-)

Kirsten said...

Beautiful quilt! Love the bright fanrics and this is such a great pattern for larger scale prints.

jeifner said...

I do like the showcasing of the larger prints. I never follow a quilt pattern unless I am testing it for someone. Then I follow it strictly, otherwise I can't help but find things I'd tweak or change.

Adrienne Klenck said...

This quilt is so great! Irish Chain is actually one of the reasons I started quilting. I always saw that pattern as the quintessential quilt and wanted to learn to quilt to make one. I have made several now in my quilting "career". Now I want to make this version!

Sara said...

Neat twist on the Irish Chain! The colors are YUM!

dutchcomfort said...

This is so pretty and colourful!