Welcome new visitors and old! How exciting that you’re all here to join me on my stop of the Oakshott Scandinavia Blog Hop! The perfectly curated bundle of eight new shot cottons from Oakshott had the same effect on me as the Autumn bundle from last year. There’s something about a folded pile of fabric that gets the brain cogs turning, and this time was no exception.
The collection draws inspiration from an airy colour palette and clean Scandinavian interiors. A milky white warp combines with 8 different weft tones to create a collection that is unassuming, yet full of depth. In all the past projects in which I have used Oakshott fabrics, none have caught the light in different ways so much as these colours. They really are amazing to work with and only an up-close-and-personal look will do them justice. Hopefully, once you get to the end of this post you’ll all be inspired to go and get some!
Whilst I was waiting for my bundle to arrive, I began to brainstorm some ideas I thought might work for these, the subtlest fabrics I’ve used to date. Much like the fabrics themselves, I wanted to take inspiration from Scandinavia and began looking at Danish and Swedish art, design and architecture. Several ideas began taking shape, each more elaborate than the last, until my mind was overflowing with creative thoughts. I was making things too complicated! I went back to the drawing board and the fabrics themselves. They were crying out for something simple. Then, probably through a combination of my teaching a HST class at the time and the fact that my creativity was getting out of control, I happened upon the idea I eventually ran with. A quilt, inspired by Scandinavian landscapes and the idea of making something out of nothing or, more specifically, mountains from mole hills!
With simplicity being the key, I settled on HSTs with the odd quarter circle thrown in for good measure. My original design saw a lot more quarter circles topping the ends of the ‘pillars’, but after some thought I decided that the quilt would be more impactful if the ‘mountains’ sprung from just one ‘mole hill’. I used my trusty Sizzix Big Shot to cut the drunkards path pieces (which I did before revising my idea, so don’t be surprised to see a Oakshott mini quilt in the not too distant future) and used new dies, the 4.5″ (659838) and 5″ (657626) square to cut the pieces for the rest of the quilt. My preferred method for making HSTs is to place 2 over-sized squares together and sew either side of the diagonal line using a scant quarter-inch seam allowance, making 2 at once. I then trim the units down and find this method to give me better accuracy when it comes to joining the blocks. If you have a Sizzix machine, then the process can be sped up by using the HST die.
In terms of piecing, this is a really simple quilt to make. A little fore-thought is needed to cut and pair up the fabrics so that the pattern forms correctly. There are many great online tutorials for both HST and quarter circles, so I won’t cover old ground here. If you’d like to make your own ‘Mountains From A Mole Hill’ quilt, then use the follow cutting list. Once you’ve cut and pieced all the required squares, HSTs and quarter circles, use the photograph as a guide to piece them, the squares and the quarter circle units into rows before sewing the rows together to complete the quilt top, which finishes at 48″ square. When joining the blocks, be sure to alternate the direction in which you press the seams in each row, i.e, press all the seam in row 1 to the left, all the seam in row 2 to the right, all the seams in row 3 to the left, etc. Doing so will enable you to nest and better match the seams when it comes to sewing the rows together.
1 FQ bundle of Oakshott Scandinavia as well as an additional half yard of Bergen (cream), Uppsala (light grey) and Stockholm (dark grey). You will have some fabric left over, but that’s never a bad thing!
Cut the following:
Cream 17 4.5″ squares and 7 5″ squares
Light Grey 24 4.5″ squares and 13 5″ squares
Dark Grey 28 4.5″ squares and 14 5″ squares
Green 7 4.5″ squares and 6 5″ squares
Yellow 9 4.5″ squares and 4 5″ squares
Blue 6 4.5″ squares and 4 5″ squares
Pink 3 4.5″ squares and 3 5″ squares
Purples 5 4.5″ squares and 3 5″ squares.
Use the 5″ squares to make the following number of HST. Due to the method of making a pair at once, you’ll have some left over, which you can piece into the back or use in another project.
11 light grey and dark grey
10 cream and light grey
4 dark grey and yellow
3 dark grey and green
2 dark grey and blue
2 dark grey and purple
2 pink and purple
1 cream and dark grey
1 cream and green
1 light grey and green
1 light grey and blue
1 dark grey and pink
1 yellow and blue
1 yellow and green
1 purple and blue
1 green and pink
Cut 2 quarter circles in green, an arch in yellow and an arch in purple. What ever method you use to cut your drunkard’s path pieces, ensure they finish at the same size as the squares and HST units, i.e 4.5″.
As you can see, my quilt isn’t quite finished. I was all ready to quilt this using wavy, edge-to-edge lines but a spark of inspiration at the 11th hour had me reaching for paper on which I scribbled furiously. I’m not sure if my idea may be a tad ambitious. If so, I apologise for making you wait to see this quilt finished; I just thought that the idea was worth a little more pondering. So watch this space…it may fail miserable and I’ll end up using my original quilting plan! In any case, I’m glad I get to enjoy the simplicity of the pieced top for a little while longer.
This fabric really is amazingly versatile. Be sure to check out all the stops on the Oakshott Scandinavia Blog Hop. Eight projects from eight different bloggers. You can find links to all the stops below. Thank you all for visiting, and to Lynne and Michael for allowing me to indulge my creativity.