Double Hourglass Quilt

This post has been a long time coming, but I didn’t like my photos when I first took them threeish weeks ago, and then kept putting off taking more.

Hourglass Quilt

Not that this is such a great photo, stuffed into the bannister of the stairs, but it seemed like the light was going to be good for once (and then it turned out kind of weirdly overlit anyway!). Winter in Canada. A whole season of everything being underlit or overlit via light bouncing off snow. Yay.

Anyway, I finished this one around Thanksgiving, maybe October 14 or 15. It’s a baby quilt, about 36″ x 43″. I didn’t follow a pattern, but this is a very jelly roll-friendly quilt, and a very easy one to make. (If anyone wants to know how, ask and I’ll let you know, but the gist is “sew two strips of fabric together, cut into triangles, rotate to create hourglasses, sew together into a square.”) This quilt was all tailored for an old friend who hadn’t been super into baby themed items for babies (you know, little teddy bears and… I don’t know, whatever), but I didn’t wind up sending it to her in the end. (And when she sent me a picture of her baby, he was wrapped up in something with cute child themed prints anyway – maybe she’s loosened up in the intervening years on the subject. It has been 6 or more years since we’ve seen one another!) I let my mom talk me into sending her the Star Surround quilt instead, so this one will get donated to a Linus group, which is a great way to use it regardless.

Hourglass Quilt

I talked a lot in the past about the fabric selection process for this quilt (here and here) and still wound up changing things a little (I took out one of the fabrics and swapped in a different one), but generally speaking it fits the colour scheme and the type of prints I was aiming for: orange, green, blue, and red using stripes, dots, and other geometric prints. The rope text print doesn’t quite fit, but I let it slide on the basis of it’s a baby quilt. The two Stof prints are certainly more organic than geometric, but they both created a striped effect so I thought that was okay too.


The fabrics I had the most difficulties with were the off-white ones. As a general rule, I don’t ever put an off-white print together with a pure white print, because the off-white one comes out looking dingy and dirty in comparison. But I bought the fabric online and some of them were more off-white than I was expecting. I even added in the blue/off-white loop print to try to tie in the three existing off-whites. I kept telling myself that all colours go with white and thus off-white also should go with white. It’ll be fine, Kristel. Don’t worry about it so much and nobody will even notice! But it does bother me if I spend too much time looking at those particular prints. (Colours pop so beautifully against pure white, it seems a crime not to use it!)

Hourglass Backing & Binding

I used my favourite print for the binding – that green and navy print from Emily Herrick’s Technicolor line – but it really wasn’t a great choice for a binding (seriously – scroll up to a picture of the entire quilt!) because the look varies so much from one part of the print to another. Still, I love having that green around the edges (and my different coloured corner, of course, in the red and white stripe). The backing you can see is a flannel version of one of the chevrons I used on the front of the quilt – it’s also a larger size chevron. (I think that is a medium size, where the front has a small size on regular quilting cotton. All three of the chevron fabrics I used are from Riley Blake, anyway.) This picture also shows the quilting. I went pretty minimalist with this one and only quilted on the diagonal, a little more than a quarter inch away on either side of the seams. (The foot I use has a marking on the inside of the foot at the quarter inch, but I lined it up with the outside of the foot, so there’s probably an extra 1/8-inch.) I had thought about adding something more, maybe on the white parts of each block, but didn’t want to overkill it, and anyway I find quilts more comfortable when they’re not quilted too densely (though it sure does look good!).

I always have a list of things I’d like to change about the quilts I make – there’s always something in retrospect I wish I’d done better – and in this case, I wish I’d pressed all my seams open. I’m pretty back and forth on that one, but in this case, all those dark edges of fabric that got pushed toward the white (this happened when joining the rows, generally I press toward the dark if I don’t open my seams) show through. When I first took it out of the wash, I was terrified that it had bled because I could see all these kind of streaky bits of colour, but when you get up close, it’s just the fabric pressed under in those particular places. Sigh. Oh well, as far as things I’d like to change go, I’m happy that that’s my only real complaint. I’m usually pretty good at picking apart my flaws, so that one little thing isn’t so bad at all. (Okay. That and those off-white prints. I mean, seriously, designer types: why the off-whites? Do you want dingy looking fabric, because I don’t!)

Anyway, done is good. And that’s another finish for the year. I’m not a terribly prolific quilter (like some bloggers are) and I tend never to finish things, so every finished piece is a bit of a victory.


10 thoughts on “Double Hourglass Quilt”

  1. It is lovely and it is DONE !! The child who gets it from Project Linus will treasure it. (I have 2 “P/L” works-in-progress right now, that were stuffed in a tote for 2 years. My goal is to get them donated before Christmas) White really makes the brights pop!! I think the photo shows the contrast between the white & off white. Deciding how to quilt is always a challenge for me, doing it on my domestic machine. Nice finish!

    1. I don’t have a local Linus group (I’ve tried to find one, but the only website I found was several years out of date and also seemed tied to a religious organization, and while I don’t care what anyone else does with their time/brains, religiously speaking, I don’t get involved with them myself), so I usually send mine to a friend down in Texas who is heavily involved with a Linus group there. I’d love to find a charity group here (there’ve got to be other ones than just that one Linus group), but I can’t seem to find them if they exist (and I’d probably need a car anyway – everyone is so far away from my end of town!

      I do all mine on my (kind of garbagey, but too functional to bother upgrading yet) sewing machine too – and yeah… it’s definitely a challenge deciding what to do! I’m not very comfortable with FMQ yet, so I tend to default to fairly simple straight-line quilting options. I don’t mind them done simply, though.

  2. YAY!!

    But seriously, what is with the light in this country? It’s either too harsh, or not enough. We have no happy medium for photos. OR it’s perfect when you are working or without quilt holders who only appear once the sun goes down… I need to find a magic picture taking spot. Some people have them…

    1. Haha… I don’t even know. It’s just not fair though – I’ve seen at least three blogs today with pictures taken on bright green grass and I’m just kind of going NOFAIR in my head. I don’t mind pinning things to the fence (and that bit of fence from the photo has some nice colour variation, unlike most of rest of it, which just looks like weathered wood) but it’s hard to get access to the good side of the yard with all the snow in the way. And also, if I ever finish a larger, heavier quilt, a handful of pins aren’t going to do me too much good!

      I should go make an all-white quilt a la Mollie Sparkles and then photograph it on that abundance of snow we’ve gotten already this year. You wouldn’t even been able to see it for all the glare if the sun were high in the sky.

  3. I’m right with you on mixing pure white with off white… I’ve been making blocks in rainbow colors for Project Linus quilts all year and in the orange month I wasn’t paying attention and cut some whites from a different fabric. I’ve convinced myself that no kid will ever notice but I still don’t like it much! Such a happy quilt you’ve made and I love the mix of fun prints!

    1. It’s amazing how much those slightly off whites stand out from everything else, isn’t it? I find off-whites seem to fit in well with more traditional fabrics and colour-schemes (like 30s or civil war era etc.) than they do with a lot of the brighter, more pure colours that are so common now. (I mean, obviously there are exceptions, but just generally speaking.)

      Anyway, thanks for the nice comments! I’m starting to work on another, larger one for my sister so I’ve been adding more fabrics to the pile and changing things up a bit. I think it’ll be a lot more scrappy the second go around. (If my sister had her way, the entire thing would be all red, black, and white, so I’m not giving her an option πŸ˜€ I will forgo pink and purple, just for her, though.)

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