Sunday, January 12, 2020

Peppered Cotton :: Especia Tile

It's funny (not funny) how fast a year goes by the older you get.  It seems like with the blink of an eye months and months have flown by.  In the case of this quilt, it has been a month shy of one year.  One year! 

49 1/2" x 49 1/2"
There are many reasons why it took so long, but the good news is its finally finished.  And I have to say I'm kicking myself for not having it done a long time ago!

I took a design I made last year (Connections) and revamped it using bright jewel tone Peppered Cottons.  Reworking old designs to make them new again is something I'm obsessed with these days.  


All of the blocks are paper pieced and finish at 2 3/4" square.  It's a very simple block to piece, the hard part is making sure all of the seams match up.  I was very aware with every single block and took an enormous amount of care to make sure I managed near perfection.

The fabric I used is Studio E Peppered Cotton.  With the exception of the lightest yellow which is a Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton.  If you aren't familiar with either of these fabrics, what makes them unique and different is the warp and weft of the weave.  There are two colors woven together to make the fabric almost appear iridescent and gives a depth that you don't get with regular solids.

When I started I first designed the center using EQ8.  Once I was satisfied I printed my templates and the design on paper.  The paper design was extremely helpful as a reference to the correct block placement round by round.

With the center finished I moved on to round 2.  I guess you could think of this as a Medallion Quilt.  Medallion quilts start with a central focal point.  From there rows or rounds are added on all sides around the center which increases the size of the quilt.

Once a round was finished I would run to my laptop and add another round in EQ8.  I would experiment with the colors until it was right.  There was a balancing act with the colors because some of the fabric I had very little to work with.

I honestly had no idea how big this quilt was going to end up!  I just kept working until it was acceptable.  Or maybe until I got sick and tired of it!  Nonetheless, it was pretty fun!

With the forth and final round complete I was ready for a break and promptly set the quilt aside for a couple months.  


Another month later I pieced the backing and pinned all the parts and pieces together.  It was finally ready to quilt!!  But you know what came next, right?!  It was tossed aside (carefully of course!) because I didn't want to quilt it.  

First of all, I didn't have a plan.  Secondly, I was not looking forward to quilting it.  The thing about Peppered or Shot cottons is the weave of the fabric is looser than regular fabric.  If you don't pin or spray baste the heck out of can become frustrating to quilt.  It might stretch, pucker or move.  And I didn't want to deal with all...never if I had a choice!

So, imagine my surprise when I finally did quilt it and I didn't have one single issue, problem, frustration or aggravated moment!  Naturally that made me happy, but also slightly mad that I hadn't finished it sooner!

There was that part about not having a quilting plan though!  It just got to the point that I was going to go for it.  With my big girl panties on, I went for it.  The usual straight lines here and there, and a bit of FMQ for the texture effect.  

The back shows some of the design elements in the quilting.  A few different thread colors were used throughout, but I tried to limit the thread changes to some degree.

With the purple binding added I could finally relish in a finish that was in the making for far too long.  Now that it's finished I wonder what all the fuss was about!  I can't say that it won't happen again though!

Are there certain fabrics you dread using or quilting?  As long as it's quilting cotton I'll give it a try!



  1. I'm glad you finally pulled it out. It's awesome. The colours are so bright and vibrant.

    1. Some quilts leave you stymied on how to quilt them and it takes a while to gather up the courage to move forward. I’m quite happy with how this one finished up!

  2. This quilt is beautiful. The colors are stunning as is the quilting congratulations on finishing such a lovely quilt

    1. Depending on the pieces that I’m working with, I’ll increase my stitch and stitch a few stitches where I want to match. After checking to make sure the match I’ll then reduce the stitch length and sew the entire seam.

  3. Just a stunning piece--and your quilting is amazing hugs, Julierose

  4. This version is so beautiful in the jewel tones, Jayne! You really do match those seams well - I remember matching the diagonal ones being quite a bear when I've done paper-piecing in the past. Do you have a special technique for making sure they match up?

  5. What a bright and fun quilt, Jayne. Congratulations on getting it done before it marks it's first birthday. :)

  6. Now this is a quilt that will wake you up and keep you warm during the grayer days of winter. The design is fabulous. I keep seeing quilts that people have first designed with EQ8, so it has me thinking that I should investigate this more. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Well done on the finish, Jayne! I love the colors, the design and the quilting. It's just such fun, and so you! How delightful it must have been to work on this, running back and forth to your computer as it was created. What grand fun!

    1. I was inspired by the colors when I started, and then it got out of hand with each round! But it was so much fun. If I hadn’t had EQ8, I don’t think I could have created this one!

  8. It is good to see this one again. It quilted up beautifully!

    You are doing such a fantastic job cleaning up all your UFOs. Thanks for sharing this beauty with Oh Scrap!

  9. I love Peppered cottons! Your quilt is beautiful !

  10. Woo-ee! This one is neon bright! I love bright colors and you never disappoint, Jayne. Did you have to wear your sunglasses while quilting it? The only fabric I really didn't like was a line that came out a few years ago called Loominous. It was too loosely woven for me. I made a small piece out of silk dupioni once and that was really fun to quilt, but a pain to piece :)

  11. what an amazing rework of your connections quilt! I WILL get my peppered cottons out and do something with them soon. you've inspired me

  12. Love the bright jewel colors you reworked this in.

  13. This one should be called Hot Tamales!!! Great job on winging it with the quilting!!!


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