My First Jack's Gate Quilt

Today I'm sharing about the first Jack's Gate Quilt I ever made. It has taken me 1 1/2 years to finish the quilt, but I made the quilt top before I wrote the Jack's Gate Quilt Pattern. So I guess I'll also be sharing about why it took me so long to get it finished.

Jack's Gate if my modern quilt pattern named after my son, and inspired by the gates in our neighborhood in India. This pattern is a play off a modern gate overgrown with flowers.

You can find a copy of the Jack's Gate Pattern here.

I love this pattern because it isn't what's expected. It isn't symmetrical and has a lot of negative space. It also reminds me of my neighborhood and the gates that welcome friends to our homes.

I didn't want the gate to be symmetrical because life isn't perfect. We also, see gates that are hanging crooked or leaning to one side in nature. For this reason, the gate in the quilt is a bit odd and so are the flowers that grow into it. I almost picture it as a gate leading into a secret garden.

This quilt top took me quite a while to make. I was writing the pattern and figuring out how to piece it all together as I made it. For this reason, it doesn't have as large of negative space on the top as the final pattern.

I also chose to use only two colors for the flowers in this quilt. In the Jack's Gate Pattern the instructions are for the flowers to be a variety of colors. However, I wanted this one to be a simplified version.

You can find my other versions of Jack's Gate on my blog. Read here for the throw size using Andover Fabrics.  Look here for the Bed size Jack's Gate Quilt featuring Ruby Star Society. Find the Jack's Gate baby size here.

More about the Pattern

Jack's Gate is a block based quilt pattern. The blocks are set on point which  means the quilt blocks are turned at a 45 degree angle. This can make the piecing a little bit trickier when squaring the sides at the end. For this reason, the pattern is listed for an intermediate quilter.

When quilt blocks, or fabric, are cut on the diagonal, it's called on the bias. This part of the fabric can stretch and pull very easy. If you are a new quilter, trimming a quilt on the bias can be frustrating if the fabric stretches.

If you are a newer quilter make sure not to pull your fabrics, especially when pressing them. This can stretch the blocks and they won't all fit together or the quilt will ripple.

Jack's Gate includes flying geese and half square triangles. If you haven't sewn flying geese, you can find a tutorial on flying geese here. They aren't hard, you just have to go slow and be consistent with the 1/4 inch.

Jack's Gate has three sizes:

  • Crib (41 in. x 54 in.)
  • Throw (54 in. x 72 in.)
  • Bed (69 in. x 74 in.)
The flowers of the quilt are created using fat eighths. The pattern is not written for scraps. However, you could easily use scraps to make the flower blocks. I would love to see a version like this! I haven't made one yet, but I want to.


This Version of Jack's Gate

As I said, this quilt is a bit different from the final pattern for Jack's Gate. This pattern was hard for me to write because it was on point and my brain was not used to thinking that way. I was also struggling with how to piece the negative space in the most efficient way.

I love the background fabric in this quilt. It is an older fabric with a subtle white on white print. I found it at one store in Las Vegas (I was in Oregon at the time) and had to keep reordering it from them because I couldn't find the fabric anywhere local. And since I was figuring the quilt out as I went, I kept running out of fabric! Note to self, use an easy to find fabric when unsure of how much you will need.

When it came time to back this quilt I didn't have a good backing option for it. But I did have an old quilt top from 5 years earlier that I hadn't ever basted and quilted. I was also in the middle of my declaration to have all quilt tops in my house made into a quilt by the end of the month.

It just so happened this quilt top was a good size for the Jack's Gate backing. The coloring also went well with the Jack's Gate Quilt because it had lots of pinks and white in it.

So I killed two birds with one stone and finished two quilt tops by sandwiching them together into one quilt. The result is extra fun because I have a reversible quilt.

The backing quilt top is from a pattern written by Meghan from Then Came June. It's called Seeing Double.

Fixing My Mistake

I used the squiggly stitch on my Janome sewing machine to quilt this Jack's Gate. I realized after I had finished and bound the quilt that there is a row where the tension was way off. I meant to take the row out and redo it, but I had forgotten.

So I took it out after. This is my first time doing this and I was kind of nervous to quilt a quilt already bound.

First, I figured out which stitch length I used for the rest of the quilt. Starting as close to the binding as I could get I locked my stitch in then restitched the row and then locked my stitch at the end of the row.

I also made sure to sew in the same direction as I had previously (if you remember, which I did). This will help prevent some bunching between the rows. When you switch directions in your quilting lines there can be a strange ripple affect to your quilting. So I like to keep the quilting all going one direction.

If you have a better way to fix stitching on a quilt that has already been bound please let know, I would love to hear.

This Jack's Gate Quilt turned out to be a nice large throw. It's also nice and thick, it has a medium loft batting inside, combined that with the two quilt tops, I'd say it's a one of a kind quilt. But all homemade quilts are, right?

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