Lattice Quilt (in Gleaned)

This is the second post about this log cabin quilt design – you can find Part 1 over here.

After much ruminating about these Gleaned log cabin blocks, I finally have a finished quilt top to show you!

But first, let me take you through the process. I want to show you that sometimes this quilt-sewing malarky isn’t easy. And sometimes, it can’t be rushed.

In my last post I finished with the photo below, and also mentioned that I wasn’t happy with that layout.

Gleaned fabric, log cabin quilt by Bonjour Quilts

I was trying to get the colours to run diagonally across the quilt, roughly in the order they appear in the jelly roll. I really liked the way each fabric played nicely with its neighbour and wanted to preserve that aesthetic.

When that didn’t work, I looked at more traditional shapes when grouping the colours:

Gleaned fabric, log cabin quilt by Bonjour Quilts

Gleaned fabric, log cabin quilt by Bonjour Quilts

Neither of those filled me with joy, either. Then I thought about making a big spiral, from the outside to the middle, around the rectangle:

Gleaned fabric, log cabin quilt by Bonjour Quilts

I was liking this more, but it still wasn’t the right log cabin layout for me. Perhaps pulling each colour group into its own corner?

Gleaned fabric, log cabin quilt by Bonjour Quilts

I left this design (above) up on the wall for a few days. It was better than the previous versions but something about it was still bugging me.

I started to get my usual mid-project feelings of despair – what are you doing? This is a terrible idea. How did you manage to take such a pretty jelly roll and make it so bleugh?  This nasty little internal voice visits from time to time.

Then I had a small realisation. For some reason I had made the decision that I had to use the whole jelly roll and every single block I had sewed. Why I had put this limitation on myself, I don’t know, because I knew that some of the blocks were giving me trouble (see the tan, white and orange blocks boxed below).

Gleaned fabric, log cabin quilt by Bonjour Quilts

I decided to take them out and replace them with other blocks made with Carolyn Friedlander’s fabric (her lines work very well together, thankfully). After making the 10 replacement blocks and a little bit more rearranging, I was much happier with my new layout:

Gleaned fabric, log cabin quilt by Bonjour Quilts

But was it done? Was this the final layout? I decided no. The overall design felt a bit too busy for me. I needed to create some restful space between all that colour so each fabric had a chance to be noticed.

At first I thought I could separate the quarters with white fabric and that would be enough:

Gleaned fabric, log cabin quilt by Bonjour Quilts

Not bad. (I also tried this layout by rotating all of the quarters 180 degrees, seen below:)

Gleaned fabric, log cabin quilt by Bonjour Quilts

More white space was needed, I was sure of this. But how?

Then I remembered a book that I’d bought 6 years ago about Chinese Lattice Design*.

Chinese Lattice Designs book - great for quilters, too!

This isn’t a quilting book. It’s simply sketches of beautiful old Chinese lattice windows (along with notes on history and location, etc), printed in the 1930s. No dimensions, no colours, just pure geometry:

Chinese Lattice Designs book - great for quilters, too! Chinese Lattice Designs book - great for quilters, too!

I spent an hour flicking through the pages and decided to try a lattice-style layout for this quilt. The exact layout I chose isn’t in the book, but you can certainly see that’s where the inspiration for this log cabin quilt design came from.

So here’s what I decided on:

Gleaned fabric, log cabin quilt by Bonjour Quilts

I also thought about the rotated version:

Gleaned fabric, log cabin quilt by Bonjour Quilts

And then I considered taking out the centre white cross in both versions :

I decided I preferred it with the extra white in the middle.

To make all that sashing I used 3/4 yd of white fabric, cutting 16 strips 1-1/2″ wide.

I sewed each quarter together separately:

Then I sewed the halves together (with sashing in between) and finally the whole quilt together.

And here it is! I hope you like it. I think I’ll have another rest before deciding on the quilting. This log cabin quilt design has been quite a process . We’re going to take a break from each other for a while. :)

Gleaned fabric, log cabin quilt by Bonjour Quilts

I think this would be a great quilt to make with plain 6-1/2″ squares instead of the log cabins, too. With a single fabric within each lattice compartment.

My 3 lessons learned from this quilt:

  • You don’t “have” to do anything (such as use the entire jelly roll in the quilt). It’s your quilt, you do what you please! *Mmm-hmm, snaps fingers*
  • If the design doesn’t make you feel happy inside, let it rest a few days and see what solutions pop up. Your mind is very clever and creative, but sometimes it needs a bit of time to work through all the pieces.
  • When trying to make a lot of patterned fabric work together, adding a solid (creating space between prints) can be helpful.

Gleaned fabric, log cabin quilt by Bonjour Quilts

I hope some of this has been helpful for you, too – if only to show you that we all have struggles when quilting. Whatever you might be having trouble with on your sewing journey, don’t let it get you down. Don’t let it stop you creating. You’ll find the answer eventually.

Have a great weekend!

Kirsty x

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52 thoughts on “Lattice Quilt (in Gleaned)”

  1. This is such a helpful post! Thank you for sharing the process with all the photos along the way. I liked several of your iterations, but the final version is just perfect! Way to persevere! I’m too quick to want to just finish, I’m afraid, but this is great motivation for me to not settle too quickly when something isn’t working out the way I originally imagined.

    Reply
    • Sometimes it is hard to wait – I just want to get it done, like you. But that bit of breathing room often brings such good results that I’m almost tempted to make it mandatory!

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    • This is a very helpful post Kristy! I have often used my design wall and blocks that I’m not too sure about the placement up for many days, and move the blocks around until I get a layout that I’m pleased with. I love your end result. Letting things simmer is good. Working on something else for some distraction, and then going back to the project that’s causing conflict is an excellent process. Fresh eyes on it all the time. Gosh, I’d love the pattern…LOL

      Linda

      Reply
  2. Great post Kirsty, really enjoyed seeing the progression through to your final layout. It happens to us all, that doubt slipping in and making you wonder why on earth you even thought that was a good idea at the time, but it’s so true, leaving it, and letting the ideas simmer until The final result is even better than the original idea. I’ve learnt the hard way, to not rush creative ideas.

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  3. Love the final outcome. Have done the very same thing with a jelly roll I bought. Only used part of it and substituted fabric from my stash for the remainder. Worked out great. Live and learn. Have a great day.

    Reply
  4. I’ve got a project that’s percolating right now. I’ve had ideas with it but I need to let it rest before going back.
    I enjoy seeing the process you went through on creating your quilt. It is a process and sometimes we try to force it but when we let it rest the results are worth the wait.
    I love the lattice idea and it’s made the quilt so much better.

    Reply
    • Yes, I’m definitely guilting of trying to force things to resolve faster, but often more time is what’s really needed. I find it helps to have a few things on the go at the same time so I can pick up something else while I wait for my brain to work on the current problem.

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  5. I love seeing the design process of someone else, love what you came up with now. I think it is a beautiful quilt top. Take care and Happy Sewing from Iowa, USA

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  6. Fantastic finish, Kristy. I’ll be honest and say that the fabric range did not grab me from the get go. (I am usually a big fan of Carolyn Friedlander’s fabrics, but neither the colours nor the patterns appealed to me in this one.) However, your final quilt top is a complete triumph. Turned humdrum into Kapow! And may I reiterate what others have said – a wonderful, interesting and informative blog post.

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  7. Really enjoyed your process is the different layout designs and the thought process is leading from one layout to another. Also thank you for the inspiration about the Chinese lattice designs. It helps to draw ideas from other sources than just quilting.:)

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  8. The end result was worth the wait! Funny how projects talk to us until we resolve the missing design element. Great job.

    Reply
    • That’s a nice way to put it, Hilda. Yes, it certainly was talking to me. It was rather grumpy until I figured out what it wanted :)

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  9. The result is perfect; well worth the effort. Thank you for sharing your process; it’s so helpful to see how others deal with problems we all face.

    Reply
  10. Love this post! I appreciate the blow-by-blow account of how you got to your final (beautiful!) layout. And I agree: giving ourselves time away from a project helps us work through the challenges. The solution is in our heads, we just need to give ourselves an opportunity to find it!

    Reply
  11. i do hope i develop a better eye for this. first quilt complete n 35 yr and it had no personality. at quilters now. thanks for tips love the outcome

    Reply
    • I’m sure you will, Tonia. I think it is something you can cultivate if you practice it. Just have some fun sewing some blocks and playing around with them until you are happy. It helps when you don’t put any pressure on yourself (although that’s easier said than done :). Good luck!

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  12. I’m SO glad that you listened to your quilt – the final product is “just right”! I appreciate you sharing your thought process as you tried to get it to work. Your advice to switch out some of the blocks was helpful too – with the cost of fabric, it’s sometimes hard to ignore parts of the line. I figure that if the designer thought the fabrics all worked in harmony with each other, who am I to second guess it? I’m glad that you did!

    Reply
    • Hi Jannette, yes it is hard to break away from using a fabric line in it’s entirety. Especially when it looks so good in the jelly roll. But the nature of the layout I’d chosen really needed a few tweaks – I’m lucky that I have a good stash of CF fabrics to play with. I’m a big fan of her aesthetic.

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  13. Thanks for sharing your whole creative process. I do the same but not to the degree you went thru. I thought I was just making the whole process more complicated when not satisfied right away. So I’m not crazy!!

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  14. I agree with all the above comments and LOVE your website. I always learn so much from it and the way you explain a technique is so easy to understand for quilting Dummies like me! The Chinese lattice work used this time really struck my fancy!

    Reply
    • I’m so glad you find the site helpful, Fran, that makes me so happy to hear! There’s a lot of information out there, it’s just a matter of finding someone who puts it in a format that works best for you. I hope you get a chance to try a Chinese lattice style too.

      Reply
  15. Kristy
    I love what you have done. I loved the ones that were not so great too. Your patterns are unique and look like I might be able to do it. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. Wow , loved all the combinations you came up with, I’m the type that does it a couple of ways and quits. You definitely made me see there more to layout.. Thank you. And yez, I bet you need a rest from that quilt with all the work you put in it.

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  17. Great post! This is they type of process I go through with each quilt/sewing project I do. Especially with creating blocks – I enjoy following a pattern or replicating a common block design but also like doing my own. With the fabrics you had originally the mottled black & white varieties were visually distracting to me – they just weren’t fitting in in your early layouts. Adding the white space allowed them to stop competing and also allowed the eye to travel around the quilt more easily. The end result looks fantastic!

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  18. Kristy, I must say that I appreciate a designer/blogger that understands the entire process that we go through when we cut our wonderful fabric into simple shapes and then sit down to stitch them into what looks like complicatied designs that are really not hard but still mean a lot to us and make us proud to be quilters. Somehow it seems that no matter how much I love a design or a pattern I always make some type of change. I may leave out blocks or double up on others. I have been known to change the size to make a baby quilt into a wall hanging. But one day I promise I will make a quilt and follow the pattern exactly as written.
    I love the idea of adding the lattice to your quilt top. And the blocks you changed were just amazing. To me the white and gray and the two tan and yellow made a big impact when you changed them but I had not seen the others until you made the change. Good eye !! I missed them. Great improvement. The final layout was perfect.
    Can’t wait to see how you quilt this one.

    Reply
  19. Such a helpful post! I have the Gleaned roll and have been at a loss as to what to do with it. Your eyes and thoughts help me sit back and not rush as i usually do and then am not pleased with my final result. Quilting is complex.

    Reply
  20. I loved reading through your process. It has helped me to know that just because the pattern calls for something, doesn’t mean it will work with the fabric I chose. I have a box full of blocks that i pieced for a quilt. When I put them out on my bed, I wanted to cry. It looked like something threw up all of those colors and the patterns in the fabrics and they were all running together. I too used a fabric line which I felt meant they would look good together. The quilt does not call for lattice, but that’s what I have decided to do as well. Everyone that looked at it disagreed with me. My eyes need a peaceful place to land just as you said yours did. I feel so much better. Thanks so much for the lesson! Don’t give up until you are happy and the colors and patterns in the fabric are not screaming at you!

    Reply
    • Fantastic, Kathy, I’m so glad this was helpful for you. Isn’t it a relief when you figure out what it is that’s bugging you and you can finally get down to fixing it? Happy sewing!

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  21. Enjoyed this post and seeing your process. It really turned out lovely with the sashing. Thanks for taking the time and effort to share.

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  22. Congratulations on your awesome quilt top and thanks for sharing your process. Great to see how you started and where you finished. You certainly gave it your all and it turned out amazing. Love it!

    Reply
  23. I started quilting following someone else’s pattern. I learned a lot, but I’m ready to take the next step and design my own. After reading this very informative post, I have now disabused myself of the idea that I have to have the final result in mind even before I begin. Thank you for this freedom.
    I’ve learned so much just looking over your shoulder at creative process. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Reply
  24. I came to this post via the 2018 Linky Party. Adored the fact that you showed the entire layout process.
    My current project utilizes parts of a jelly roll and some yardage of Cowgirl Country.

    Reply
  25. Not sure how I ended up on your web site but I’m sure glad I did! Your patterns are beautiful and I look forward to choosing one for my next quilt! I found your post on the quilt design very helpful as I have just spent the whole Christmas holiday period struggling with a quilt which I am making for my 16 year old granddaughter……..I just can’t seem to get it right!
    Your post has inspired me to “try again” and carry on until it feels right, many thanks for the guidance.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Hilary! I’m so glad my pain is your gain :) It’s always a bit of a let down when a design doesn’t live up to the plan in your head, but some changes and patience can often yield great results. Best of luck with your granddaughter’s quilt, I’m sure the “right’ design will unveil itself to you soon!

      Reply

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