Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Ad Hoc Invitational

On a recent explore in Blogland I came across Fret Not Yourself and the invitation to link up our utility or improv quilts. The focus for the first quarter of 2017 is a quilt design traditionally known as Chinese Coins. This quilt I made for my FIL is a pretty good representation of that type of quilt.

You'll notice the body of the quilt is composed of columns of short strips of various prints separated by narrow vertical sashing. In this case I interrupted the stacks of coins with pre-printed panels that relate to his areas of interest. That would be the improv part of this particular quilt. ;- )

The quilt I've been working on lately is another version of Chinese Coins. It began as a potential medallion style quilt but after visiting Ann's blog I was inspired to make it a vertical strippy quilt. You can read about the beginning of the process in this post. The central column of the quilt top was built in more of a row-by-row style.

But that could be considered really large Chinese coins! The side columns more closely resemble the Chinese coins concept in that the blocks are stacked on top of each other directly. There are a couple of compensating strips inserted over the length of the columns but they aren't technically sashing like you would find in a traditional grid style quilt.

I have since added the vertical strips to separate my three columns in this quilt top.

I've used the same text print for outer borders too. You may notice that the inner sashes are wider than the outside borders. That's the opposite of what I thought I would do as I considered the layout of this quilt top. But when I realized that the central column would fit squarely on top of a twin mattress with about 1.5" of sashing showing on either side I decided to treat the two side columns (and their sashing) as the drop down the sides of the quilt on the bed. By putting 3.5" between the central column and the side columns there will be 2" of the text print showing on either side of the side columns when the quilt is on the bed. That makes me happy. :- )

Here's the completed top, turned horizontally. All I have to do now is make a back!

I'm linking this effort up with the other improv and utility quilters over on Ann's blog. I still want to make at least one more version of an improv Chinese coins quilt top but I doubt that will come to pass during this first quarter of the year. I have too many other irons in the fire for the next couple of months!


  1. If I remember correctly, this quilt was started with orphan blocks, right? It came out so beautiful! I'm totally impressed! I can play with crochet like this, but not quilt blocks. Not yet anyway! So pretty!

  2. It's fab! I also really like how you adjust, improvise and reconsider things as you go along :-)

  3. Great quilts, and two interesting takes on Chinese Coins too. I like that in both you have incorporated different elements (the printed panels and the pieced blocks) but still have the bones of a Coins structure. This is how my mind works too! Thanks for linking up with AHIQ.

  4. Really like that completed top - well done! Good luck with all those various irons in the fire.

  5. Using those preprinted panels makes the first Chinese Coin quilt more interesting. I also like how you used a bit of the same fabric for coins that you used as sashing. Or at least something that dark. It has almost a laddering effect which could refer to quilt ladders or those divisions marking different presidential terms. The eagle in the center makes a good connector.
    And then your looser interpretation of Coins below. Yay. A Coin can be anything you define. I like the way you added log cabin strips on the outer blocks to move them from side to side.
    Thanks for sharing your process on these Chinese Coins and for linking a helpful post with AHIQ.

  6. This is one of the most unique and successful projects you've made out of your Parts Dept. You have put a lot of thought into it, which shows in the fact that it balances so well. And starting with the medallion, it really worked well. Good thinking about the sashing in regard to the size of the bed. The other quilt also works so well with those printed pieces and the tie-in of the colors. Congrats on two great pieces.

  7. Wow, I love your completed top! I'm so impressed with the depth of your Parts Dept! I love the log cabin strips on the blocks on the sides to bring them up to the size you wanted. This quilt looks like the chickens are escaping from the barn through the hole in the door....hee hee!

    And the quilt for your FIL was an inspired "take" on the coin concept. What a nice way to showcase some of his interests too.

  8. I love both these quilts! Your parts dept quilts are always inspiring, and looking at them as Chinese Coins variations is definitely food for thought.

  9. Two great quilts, and I can never resist a shoofly or a churn dash, no matter what variation it is.


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