This week I started on the overlapping ovals that will fill the top area of the quilted petticoat. The design is similar to the quilting pattern called ‘The 7 treasures of Buddha‘ where circles are used instead of ovals, but I am sure it wasn’t referred to as that in the 18h century.

Planning

I wanted to make sure that the there would be complete ovals all the way round, so I would not have any that were skinny/fat/incomplete and so the pattern would look even all around.

  1. measure the circumference of the petticoat
  2. work out roughly how big the ovals should be
  3. divide the circumference of the petticoat by the width of the ovals,  adjusting slightly to take up any excess
  4. make a template oval using card (fished out from the recycling box), putting a cross marking the centre/top/bottom/left/right points
  5. draw out on pattern paper and measure to check calculations are correct. Use the cross marking on the template to line up and position correctly to draw one oval to the next.

I am glad I drew out the pattern on paper first. The ovals I ended up with were about 2/3rds smaller the size of the ones I originally thought would be a good size. This obviously means more stitching, but  I think it will look better in the long run.

Transferring the pattern

Instead of using the transfer mesh and chacopel pencil to mark the ovals, I used the card template and a silver quilting pencil along with my pattern master to make sure everything was level.

Marking out the ovals using patternmaster, card template and silver quilters pencil

Marking out the ovals using patternmaster, card template and silver quilters pencil

I started at the centre front above the front panel pattern. In the image above, the quilt is laid out on the table upside down (with the waistline of the quilt closest to me and the hem furthest away). The pattern master is (almost) following the centre front line and I have used the horizontal guideline on the card template to make it level. In the image below you can get a closer look.

First oval drawn over CF line. Template positioned ready to draw the next oval.

First oval drawn over CF line. Template positioned ready to draw the next oval.

I ended using a long ruler to make points to mark the line where the centre of each oval should line up along the circumference of the petticoat. I wanted to make sure this horizontal line would meet up at the centre back before I marked out all the ovals. I knew I would end up following the wrong line if I had to redo the guide marks. The silver pencil is quite faint on this colour fabric, but this is good as I don’t want it to show later.

You can see 3 rows with the ovals overlapping to make the pattern

You can see 3 rows with the ovals overlapping to make the pattern

Having the cross on the template made it a lot easier to line up the template. Each time I drew an oval I would mark the top/bottom/left/right quarter points and use these to place the next, making sure I was also following the horizontal circumference guide points.

Close up showing ovals overlapping and how the cross on the card template helps to position the oval squarely shape

Close up showing ovals overlapping and how the cross on the card template helps to position the oval squarely shape

At the top of the centre back of the petticoat had not been sewn up to allow access to get in for fittings, so I pinned this up carefully, but didn’t draw the centre back ovals. I could see that it would match up, but I will quilt the rest, sew up the seam and then sort this bit out.

Centre back of the petticoat.

Centre back of the petticoat.

Right, with most of that marked out – only 70 ovals to sew!