Work continues on my Aqueduct Quilt! This quilt was inspired by my trip to Spain last fall, and in particular by our stop in Segovia to see this truly awe-inspiring Roman aqueduct in the heart of the old city. I absolutely loved seeing this ancient structure and thought the stones of the arches would translate nicely into patchwork. Hence, a quilt was born. 🙂
I stared by drawing a small sketch and translating it to a full-scale drawing on tracing paper. You can read about this process in my previous post about the quilt. Then, I made tracing paper templates of all the pieces (104 in total), added 1/4 inch seam allowances, traced them onto fabric, cut them out, and got to work piecing the quilt top. This was a pretty slow process, not gonna lie! Then again, I enjoy being slow and methodical with my sewing. The more tiny little pieces there are, the more relaxed I feel.
I took some step-by-step photos of the process of piecing one of the curved arches:
Step 1: Full-scale tracing paper templates created. Each template has a grain line and a number that corresponds with the full-scale drawing.
Step 2: Corresponding fabric pieces cut out.
Step 4: Arch topstitched to yellow background about 1/8 inch from folded under seam allowance.
As each arch was completed, I assembled them into two rows and then sewed the rows together.
I spent a lot of time trying to decide what colors to use for the rest of the quilt (above and below the arches), and I finally decided on warm colors to evoke a sunrise or sunset. I think I could have gone in a bunch of different directions here and achieved all wonderful quilt tops with their own unique feel, but at some point I just had to pick one and run with it. Knowing that I’m a sucker for bright colors, I’m not surprised with my decision. 🙂
The sunbeam pieces were also cut from templates, and I was careful to make sure each odd-shaped diagonal piece stayed on grain. I cut the templates without seam allowances but added 1/2 inch on all sides with a rotary cutter and ruler when cutting the fabric out. Pro tip: I taped the templates to the fabric during cutting. Low tech, but it kept everything in place nicely!
The orange piece directly above the arches has tiny stars and moons on it, which I thought was perfect for a “sky” piece. The pink fabric below the arches has heart-shaped trees, and the orange print below that is reminiscent (at least to me) of the cobblestone road below the real aqueduct in Segovia. Overall, I’m quite happy with both the colors and the individual prints.
Now, moving onto the quilt back. Decisions, decisions! I have 2 yards of the bright yellow Kona cotton that I used for the background of the arches, and I think that will be the main fabric of the quilt back. However, I want to do some abstract piecing on the back. I made a bunch of little blue rectangles…
… and sewed them into long chains.
I’m picturing these chains going diagonally across the quilt back in the same sunburst configuration as the front. I’m also thinking about adding pink and orange circular arcs made out of bias tape, interspersed with the blue chains. I think I’ll topstitch everything to one large piece of yellow fabric, as opposed to slashing the quit back and piecing in the different colors. We’ll see.
I also have grand plans for free motion machine quilting, including quilting some flying birds beneath the arches, and perhaps even some spectators/tourists on the ground. I think it would be fun to use the quilting to really enhance the scene and bring in some additional aspects of my visit to the real aqueduct.
I’ve been having so much fun with this project! The creative opportunities with quilting are truly limitless.
Happy sewing, everyone! 🙂