Nani Iro Cotton Sateen Quilt
This is what's on my design wall at the moment (it should be noted that I do always feel faintly ridiculous when I refer to this as a 'design wall' - it makes me feel as though great and serious things should be going on up there. A 'quilt planning wall' sits more comfortably for me, but rejecting a widely understood term in favour of one that lacks any finesse feels just as ridiculous, so the upshot seems to be that, whichever way I turn, I am destined to feel ridiculous around one of these fabric-grabbing walls. Thankfully, I only think about it when I go to write the word down, so it's not a lasting affliction).
My quilt features two colourways of Nani Iro's beautiful Fuccra Rakuen design, one of my very favourite prints. It's cotton sateen, which I'd been nervous about making a quilt from, but when it arrived I found it lacks the sheen that sateen can sometimes have and feels a perfectly acceptable quilt fabric (although if you're a dressmaker, this would make the most amazing dress/skirt/blouse). The cream colourway is from this Etsy shop in Germany and the teal blue is from this one in Japan.
Ideally, I would have gathered a few more prints together, but I couldn't find anything else in cotton sateen that went well with these, so I stuck at two. Whenever I'm lacking inspiration and want to make a quilt that showcases a particular fabric, I often turn to Jane Brocket's Gentle Art of Quilt-Making and did just that here. I'd already been considering diamonds as their shape would allow the two fabrics to intermingle, softening the contrast between the two colours (rather than forming into geometric blocks, which is what would more likely happen using squares) and Jane happens to have a really beautiful diamond quilt in her book (top right in the photo below). Even though it uses several prints, it confirmed my feeling that it could be a good option. The hardback is now out of print by the way, but worth buying second-hand for the beautiful cover hiding beneath the dust jacket, although the paperback looks very lovely too. Either way, I think it's one of those books that it's an essential in any quilt book library.
It actually took me all day to cut the diamonds at the top of this post - and that's just half a quilt's worth. I find the cutting and drawing of lines onto the fabric for hand-piecing far less engaging than the cutting and wrapping process of English paper piecing. However, I've since had lots of suggestions as to how to make this bit go more quickly, including the idea of using stamps and ink pads in future, which Helen discusses in this blog post (including links for where to buy them). Sadly, the stamps are at too small a scale for this project - a complaint I never thought I'd be able to make given my love of miniature - but I'll definitely look into these for my next hand-piecing project.
Wishing you a happy week,