WIP: kilim quilt

I haven’t technically started cutting or sewing yet, but I feel like I’ve already come a long way on this project (previously blogged here) just by figuring out the design and choosing fabrics.


I spent a lot of time coloring in this rather large color & piecing guide. But I think it will be time well spent because now the design and color placement are all but finalized. And bonus: I can see it across the room.

I used double stick tape to attach the individual pieces to the wall so I can take the one I’m working on to my cutting station. The design has 8 whole blocks, 6 half blocks, and 4 quarter blocks. To create the half and quarter blocks, I’ll actually be able to piece a whole block and then cut it.


That would have been far too confusing if I didn’t have this handy color chart.

For the fabric, I chose Art Gallery Pure Elements, which I am delighted to tell you were provided by Fat Quarter Shop because they have agreed to sponsor this project!


I chose Pure Elements for 2 main reasons. The first is because I had a strong suspicion that these solids would be really soft and shimmery just because they’re Art Gallery. I was not disappointed. They’re gorgeous. But, even more importantly, I was drawn to this line because it’s a cohesive, limited collection. There are only 54 colors and they all seem to look great together. Ordering solids online can be tricky, so a line like this helps.


I have ordered just a couple more shades to give myself some additional options. I love this stack but it doesn’t quite capture the contrast of the colors from the rug. This stack is almost too coordinated.


I ordered a truer red, a less-blue purple, and a less-green yellow. That should give me an effect closer to that of the rug.

Kilim rug photo

After the holiday weekend I’m going to hit this project hard! I can’t wait.

Be sure to check in with me tomorrow because I’ll be giving away my very first blogger bundle, from the really cool Canadian site Fabric Spark!


Sometimes the best incentive to finish a quilt is the burning desire to start the next one.

I saw this kilim (kee-leem: a middle eastern flat woven rug) on Instagram a few weeks ago and couldn’t get it out of my head. It is so obviously meant to be a quilt.

Moreover, it seems it is meant to be a quilt done in solids. What??? I know. Not my usual thing. But in this case I think any print would take away from the graphic impact of the design. I truly want to make a quilt that looks as much like this exact rug as possible. I don’t stash solids, so I’ll have to do some shopping. Oh darn!


I started sketching and experimenting with different ways of putting this quilt together. If you are an experienced quilter, you probably noticed the HSTs (half square triangles) right away. They’re set on point (diagonal) but I think I can handle that aspect. The truly challenging part has been deciphering a repeatable block pattern to make the process more reasonable (to avoid the tedium & confusion of piecing this row by row).

Ultimately I came up with this block.


Set on point and colored in, you can see the kilim design begin to emerge.


Now, this doesn’t quite replicate the rug exactly. There will be some small differences, but I hope to capture the essence of the kilim while at the same time creating a quilt block that can be easily shared and replicated by others.

It’s going to be a lot of HSTs. A lot. I’m going to try a different method this time- kind of a “back to basics” approach. In my HST tutorial, I advocate creating oversized HSTs and trimming them down (a very common modern day method). But as my sewing accuracy increases I’m not sure it’s necessary. And it’s such a pain that I’m not going to do it if it’s not necessary. I’ll test it and report back! I may be updating that HST tutorial soon.

I guess I need to be careful making absolute statements like “I don’t use solids” or “I always trim my HSTs.”

But meanwhile! I have another quilt that I am forcing myself to complete first, at least to the “finished top” phase. I am so close.


I’m hoping to be able to share it on Friday because HIP HIP HOORAY SPRING BREAK IS OVER. Spring break is very hard on the mothers. My preschooler goes back to school on Thursday, and I’m planning to stitch this all up then.

I am also collecting fabrics for one more project, but I’ll share the details of that another day. Here’s a sneaky peak of the growing pile though.


Mmm. These are personal favorites of mine, all Denyse Schmidt (Katie Jump Rope, Flea Market Fancy, and Picnic & Fairgrounds).

I’m sure it will be the thought of cutting into this project that gets me through all those HSTs for the kilim quilt. And the cycle continues…