Quilted English Paper Pieced Patchwork Table Topper: Part 1 – Disaster Looming!

I have recently redecorated my dining room, and have been wanting to make a new tablecloth centrepiece using the colours I now have in the room.  I decided on doing a quilted table topper using a hexagon pattern, as I thought it would be the best way to include all the fabrics and colours I was wanting.  I had plenty of fabric bits in my stash to use to make this so I got started straight away – I need to thin them out a bit as I can  hardly get the door of my fabric cupboard closed now!   

I decided to do one side using different shades and patterns of greens and purples, and stick to using just one fabric on the other.  This means I can change between each side depending on what I am wanting at that time.  The side with just one fabric will be completed using the same fabric which I used to back my owl cross stitch pillow with which also sits in this room, the green in the owl cross stitch pattern which matches the green in this purple tulip pattern and it also matches the greens which I will use on the more patterned side, meaning the table topper will match the room really well.    This all sound nice and simple so far doesn’t it? That’s what I thought – and it was, until I made the decision to make both sides out of patchwork hexagons rather than just having a single piece of fabric at the back. Little did I know this decision was going to come back and cause me no end of trouble very soon and lead to a huge task of unpicking – the most happiness sapping task I think there is!   

Back to happier times and the starting of this table topper, I got all the hexagon paper templates cut out and fabric cut and sewn into them with no problems, and got on with sewing the hexagons together, with plain and patterned fabrics in purples and greens going together for one side and just the tulip fabric for the other, with rounds of hexagons going around a central hexagon.     Now it was time to quilt the layers together, a task I had been really looking forward to – I think my excitement meant it was going to be doomed from the start! I placed the three layers together (top hexagon layer, batting, bottom hexagon layer) and put in enough pins to cause quite a risk of jabbing myself more than I would like! I spent a long time trying to match up the hexagons on the front and back pieces while pinning them so that the quilting would look ok on both sides.  

I chose a darker colour for the top bobbin and a lighter beige for the bottom, and started to sew around the edge of a hexagon a foots width away from the edge.  It looked great from the front and in my excitement to get some more done I foolishly didn’t check the back before doing another 3 hexagons! Then I thought – I really should check the back, why haven’t I sooner, I always do normally! And to my horror I could see the quilting stitching had not lined up correctly in the back at all! Just look at it – it’s truly shocking!    A mild panic later, and almost giving up completely I decided to unpick and go back to pre-quilting and have a think about re-doing it so this problem doesn’t happen again.  

Luckily I have found a great idea as a solution to this problem which I will share in my next update on this table topper, I am checking it is going to work first before sharing! If it still turns out to still be a disaster it may be the project that doesn’t get a finished post! In the meantime I am off to do some serious unpicking and find some plain fabric for the back – the hexagons will be gone! But don’t worry they are going to be reused on this project just in a slightly different way! 



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