Almost three years ago I finished my first quilt top using a Carolyn Friedlander pattern. Since then I’ve made six more quilt tops using her patterns, and four smaller projects. I can’t think of another designer whose patterns have interested me as much as hers. With all that stitching (most of it needle turn applique) I haven’t had a finished quilt from one of those patterns. Until now. Meet my finished Botanics quilt!
I did the quilting myself on my Juki TL-2010q sewing machine. I’ve had the machine for over a year now and still love it. I saved these quilt tops because I want amazing quilting on them, but never paid anyone to do it. Finally I studied lots of photos and did it myself. After all, I bought this machine so I could quilt my own quilts more easily. How will I ever improve if I don’t just do it?
I decided to do the inner white panel like so many others have with this pattern. I quilted lots of different freehand “straight” lines in small quadrants for texture. There is no quilting on any of the applique pieces. This makes them stand out really well.
The first border I struggled with. I studied other options but didn’t feel confident. Then I looked at the applique and thought how much I love those navy blue leaves and an idea struck. I could quilt that shape into the border!
I quilted the shape and filled in the rest of the border with pebble quilting. Later I went back with a green 12 wt thread and hand stitched inside them to help them stand out more. I was worried they would be totally lost.
I learned instead that this style of quilting, and these fabric prints as well, are very forgiving and the mistakes add to the overall charm and texture of the quilt instead of looking like mistakes.
For the backing I chose a white pattern with orange stars. It perfectly compliments the quilting and the colors in the applique. Straight lines in the orange border finish the quilt.
I felt satisfaction and accomplishment in finishing my Botanics Quilt. In fact, it gave me courage to start a much bigger and more intimidating project: quilting my Light quilt. I am glad I found “ten seconds of courage” to start!