A foundation-paper-piecing quilt project featuring the Chic Escape fabric collection by Tilda.
When I first laid eyes on the promotional images of the Tilda's Chic Escape fabric collection, I immediately noticed the oriental elements in the fabric designs. Although, Tilda's official story behind this collection seems to suggest that it is inspired by the interior decors of old French chateaus.
From Tilda's official website:
Our escape during lockdown, a rather chic escape I might add, was following charming people that have left their old lives behind to restore derelict French chateaus, on YouTube. Chic Escape is inspired by brave people saving and bringing life back to old forgotten homes, and all our shared interests in vintage fabric, pottery and flowers.
When I was trying to come up with my own quilt pattern for the Chic Escape fabrics, I wanted it to lean oriental. I took clues, however, from Tilda's free patterns for the Chic Escape collection i.e. the Dressing Gown and Cocktail Hour, both of which can be downloaded from Tilda's official website, because who knows best how to maximise the potential of the fabric collection if not the designer herself? Both these patterns are garment-related and the fabric cuts are big to accommodate those lovely large prints. Guess which oriental garment always feature large flowers and peacock prints? Cheongsam.
Now, it was a long winding road from conception to the final design. I had to balance its likeness to a real cheongsam with feasibility to piece. Sleeves or no sleeves? Is someone wearing it or is it just the garment? Perhaps have it propped on a dress form?
Here's the illustration of the final design:
Download the Cheongsam Quilt Block foundation-paper-piecing templates here:
My Cheongsam Quilt with the 12 Cheongsam Blocks finished at about 180 cm x 200 cm. You can easily make it smaller or bigger by reducing or adding more Cheongsam Blocks.
In addition the Chic Escape Fabric collection by Tilda, I used a solid pale pink homespun cotton for the background. The whites in the collars are white-on-white quilting cotton. The batting was a 80-20 cotton-polyblend, and the backing is the same quilt backing fabric I used in my Easy Batik Quilt. All these materials besides the Tilda Chic Escape fabrics were purchased from my local Spotlight.
There really isn't much to the sewing process other than piecing the cheongsam blocks using the FPP template, adding sashings (mine were 2cm wide, finished) between the cheongsam blocks and then all around the four sides of the quilt top.
Here are some photos taken during the making process of my Cheongsam Quilt:
Some of my first cuts of fabrics. These were glued to the FPP paper templates. Shortly after, I switched to machine-stitch baste (the fabrics to the paper templates) instead of glue as I realised the glue was too strong.
Most parts of the Cheongsam Block were fussy-cut.
A close-up of the cheongsam collars that really was the reason this pattern had to be FPP.
My first three completed Cheongsam Blocks.
All 12 cheongsam blocks completed and laid out on my kitchen floor.
Sewing sashing strips to the cheongsam blocks.
Late-night quilting in progress. I used ruler-work for these cross-hatch quilting.
A quilted cheongsam next to an unquilted one.
My binding roll, which was made scrappy with the Tilda Chic Escape Daisyfield fabrics.
The Cheongsam Quilt all finished, washed and dried to crinkly goodness!