Celtic Knots

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Celtic Knots is hung!

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Don’t you love the bright colours of the Laurel Burch bias tape? When I started the quilt, she was alive and designing very popular fabrics that I absolutely loved. They had the same vibrant quality as the book of Kells, whose illuminations have provided inspiration for many images we identify as Irish. These mugs, for example, have the letters ABCD.

My father was Irish. He left Ireland in the late 1940s when jobs were scarce, and moved to Newfoundland, where he met and married my mother. I first went to Ireland as a teenager, met my Irish family, and saw the book of Kells. This 9th century illumination of the Bible is absolutely beautiful. Its intricate, vibrantly coloured images would be noteworthy if produced today, but are nothing short of miraculous, given they were handmade more than one thousand years ago.

In 2007, as a very new quilter coming off years of cross stitch, I enthusiastically enrolled in a winter long course in a Celtic Knot quilt. Our teacher presented us with the patterns, and now, close to fifteen years later, I have no idea where they originated. I learned how to make and work with bias tape, copy images onto fabric, and invisibly hand stitch the tape with YLI 100wgt silk thread. The blocks were fun, but the assembly using endless straight lengths of handstitched fabric, was torture. I rapidly abridged the proposed 20 block quilt with intricate borders to 12 blocks without borders. It took several attempts to get the top pieced, many years with it in a plastic bag awaiting quilting, and another couple before it was hung. The final delay was because I couldn’t figure out how to get it high enough in my stairwell.

And here is my first tutorial …

How to Hang a Quilt Higher than you can Reach in a Stairwell. Use at your own risk.

If you hate long ladders (or don’t have one), but would like to hang a quilt a little higher than you (or your tallest friend) can reach in a stairwell, this is a solution.

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Materials: Rubbermaid step stool

Two gallon paint cans

Piece of board at least one inch thick (depends on weight of hanger) and

6” x30”(or so)

BBQ tongs

Hook/ Hammer

Fearless friend

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Method: Decide where you’d like to hang the quilt. If the quilt is heavy, this will involve finding a stud. You’re on your own here.

Place the two (closed) paint cans about a 8″ apart on step directly below the desired location. Put board across them. The board should be pretty well level with the step above.

Place stool with two legs on a step and two on the board. Stool legs should be directly over the centre of the paint cans.

Position fearless friend (spotter) one step lower than the paint cans.

Stand on stool. Hammer the hook in place

With friend supporting the quilt, use BBQ tongs to lasso the hook with the hanging cord.

 

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One other piece of advice… If you’re using a café rod, don’t rely on tape to hold it in an extended position. Insert a dowel in the rod to keep it out to length. You can guess how I know this.

The only sad ending to this story is that I still have one of the original borders in my UFO/orphan block pile. Wonder how long it’ll be there.

Linking up with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts