Thursday, March 27, 2014

WIP Wednesday 3/26/2014

Recently I finished Manila Quilt Design, for my former manager John W., who retired today.

Manila Quilt Design
For my former manager John W., who retired today.
John is from the Philippines. The columns in the design mimic the embroidery on a barong, the Filipino men's dress shirt.
Manila Quilt Design blocks
Original design
Partly from stash 
59" x 67"
Completed 3/24/2014


This quilt had been in my head for a long time. I found an older Electric Quilt file of John's quilt, created in February 2010, so it's been at least four years. Each year I would intend to make the quilt for John's November birthday, then Christmas, then for Bosses' Day. The dates would go by, and I would start again. With John retiring this week, I had to get the quilt done.

John is from the Philippines. The columns in the design mimic the embroidery on a barong, the Filipino men's dress shirt. I discovered Manila Quilt Design block, which relates to the Philippines.

John often wears a pale blue shirt, and I had planned to use pale blue for the background and basis of the quilt's color palette. But when I couldn't find the right pale blue during my fabric shopping last week, the off-white batik, which is kind of island-like, spoke to me. It became the new background. I'm glad I chose it.

Read on to see how the quilt came together.

Partially complete test block

Scraps for the dark blue areas of the blocks

Dark blues cut into squares
Double pins indicate fabrics that are a little different than the others. Will try to distribute them evenly in the columns.

Making the center of the Manila Quilt Design block

To save time I chose to use one long strip rather than piecing three squares together.

Making the corner areas of the block

Corners laid out

Two corners sewn on

Last two corners sewn on

First two strips sewn on

Last two strips sewn on to complete the first block
I love the subtle pattern of the batik.

Squares represent columns of blocks, triangles represent "different blues."

I like this arrangement.

Arranging (mostly incomplete) blocks on wall

Two strips sewn on each block, alternating positions to prevent having to line up seams later.

Completed blocks

Double safety pins - area to the right was to be saved for plain blocks. To the left, you can see there wasn't much to spare for the pieced blocks. (As it turns out, there was almost half a yard of batik left when the quilt was finished.)

Quilt top complete
I had to make some adjustments in the plain fabric areas. The pieced blocks turned out larger than in my Electric Quilt design, and the quilt would have been wider than I wanted. I saved a few inches off of the right and left columns, which helped a lot. Also, to save time, I cut one wide piece for the center, instead of piecing two squares.


Once again, the finished quilt

I gave the quilt to John on Tuesday. He really likes it, and plans to display it prominently in his home as he returns to the Philippines for retirement. I wish John all the best in the next chapter of his life.

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1 comment:

  1. Debbie, I love your quilt. It's wonderful when there's a story behind the quilt's its been on its own little journey and makes it all so much more appreciated me thinks. I'm sure it will attract a lot of attention in its new home.
    Dropping by via Freshly Pieced.


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