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Stepping stones quilt

Making the Stepping Stones Quilt

There are so many things about making the Steppings Stones quilt by Irene Blanck that were pure pleasure!  The fact that the pattern reminds me of a crocheted granny square rug that my great Aunty Thel made me when I was a child is a bonus.

The fabric pull

The first of all was the the opportunity to play with so many different fabric combinations in each block.  Pulling fabrics for a new project and playing with all of the different combinations is one of my favourite things - like ever!  With so many blocks this is the perfect project to dive into your stash.

To start off with I chose to use many of the fabrics from Rashida Coleman Hale's Raindrop collection and then added in a selection from Heather Jones' Color Dash range for a pop of more saturated colour and because these prints offered further variety in scale and texture. 

Raindrop fabric and color dash fabric

I then added in almost 20 different shades of Kona Cotton solids in oranges, yellows, and blue-greens to tie it all together.


Stepping stones quilt

Playing with fabric combinations

With the two rounds of octagons and the round of joining squares provided so many opportunities to explore the way different colours worked together and the impact of different prints on the block design.  There's a lot of scope for fussy cutting - not that I did much in mine, but I did have fun manipulating a few of the directional fabrics.

There are  plenty of repeats in my quilt, but at the same time I've used over 60 diffferent fabrics.  I chose a bright orange kona solid  for the centre square of my blocks as I wanted a strong pop of colour as it is such a small piece.    While there are other orange prints and solids in the quilt, this is the only place I used that particular shade.

Soothing slow stitches

Running a small business is a lot of hard work.  Despite being surrounded by beautiful fabrics it can be hard to find time to get to my machine and just sew.  Hand sewing is so portable though and I usually manage to find an hour or most evenings.

 In many respects this is an essential part of my day.  Some people meditate, some run, I hand sew to unwind. The Stepping Stones quilt uses the English paper piecing technique, so a perfect hand work project.

Most nights I managed to complete at least one block, so the bonus was that there was also a sense of constantly moving forward.  I also stumbled into a bit of a sew along with a fellow stitcher on Instagram who was also working on her own version of the Stepping Stones quilt.  We would post updates on our feeds and it definitely helped me stay on track.  If you're into EPP but don't follow Michelle, then you should.  You can check out her blog here and she is @michellethequilter on Insta.

Putting it all together

I've used Kona charcoal  for the small setting squares and again for the outer  border.   Even though those squares are tiny, the dark colour makes the blocks pop forward, as if they are floating on the background.  I used the charcoal again for the binding so that  there wasnt' a noticeable edge.

I quickly discovered that while I whipped through making the blocks, sewing these little guys into place  as I joined the rows was pretty tedious.  

So it didn't feel like death-by-grey-squares I begain adding them to each block as I went. Much better!

stepping stones joiners

Finishing touches

I love the texture that dense quilting can add, but there is just so much to look at with this quilt that I decided to keep things pretty simple.  

I have hand quilted straight lines through the round of small squares in each block and in a large grid between each block.  I've used perle 8 thread  in orange. It is enough to hold the layers together, but not too busy, and lets the different fabric combinations be the hero.

hand quilting

This is a really approachable project and great for diving into your stash and using up some scraps.  If you've never tried EPP before, this is a great project to start on as the square blocks means it is super easy to adjust the size of your project to suit your needs.  Why not try making just four blocks for a pillow sham?

We've got a starter pack which includes the pattern, precision cut templates and papers here  or even go the whole shebang with one of our quilt kits

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