Sherbet Heart Quilt

I finished my Sherbet Heart Quilt in time for Valentine’s Day snuggling, and we thoroughly enjoyed using it.  My favorite part of this quilt is the color.  It feels like being in a candy store!

I made this quilt using my Scrappy Heart Quilt Pattern (you can find the free tutorial and pattern here) but this time I used all solids, including a peachy pink as the background.  I added pinks, purples, oranges and reds to make the hearts.  Many of these colors come from the Tula Pink solids collection, with additions from my stash.

I decided to quilt this myself in an allover pattern, and settled on a clam shell design.  This is my first effort at using an acrylic ruler while quilting on my Juki.  I made a lot of mistakes, and there are a lot of wonky clam shells in this quilt, but I also learned a lot and improved as I went on.  No doubt I’ll try this again in the future.

I pulled from my stash for the backing, and this Amy Butler print above won out.  I supplemented with an orange dot print along one side.  The colors of the backing complement the front perfectly.  I used more of the background print for the binding.

This quilt is fun to observe as the light changes through the day.  The subtle changes in color are beautiful.  It’s fun to revisit a design and see how it changes with different design decisions.  I’m enjoying sewing more with solids, and this quilt was a great way to do it!

January Quilt

As I write this, my children are curled up on couches for the first official “snow day” they’ve ever had from school.  The gusty wind has snow swirling in every direction, drifting across porches and driveways and mostly blowing horizontally.  It’s cold and white and I’m thrilled we’re warm and cozy inside.  Even my college student opted to drive home last night and ended up being with us for this unexpected free day.  While winter howls outside, I can’t help but think that my January quilt is far more cheerful than this winter storm!

I quilted my January quilt top in time to gift it to my daughter for her birthday.  Every time she walked in my studio and saw these blocks in process, she declared it to be her favorite of all the quilts I’ve made.  It made perfect sense to give it to her.

I still love straight line quilting, so I quilted this in lines just less than 1/2 inch apart.  The close quilting adds a nice texture to the quilt.

I love looking at this quilt.  It’s like taking a memory walk through fabrics I’ve loved and sewn with over the years.  Many of the pieces in this quilt were the last I had of that fabric.  It makes me happy to see them in this quilt.

I chose the backing for this quilt before I started it, an unusual thing for me.  I love the floral and the hot pink binding might be my favorite detail.  Most of all I loved the surprised delight on Anna’s face when she opened it on her birthday.  I’m glad she loves it as much as I do.

I love quilts and quilting, warmth on cold days, and color that makes me smile!

Pattern available here

Jenny Eliza Quilt

This is my Jenny Eliza Quilt, named for the fabric collection it comes from.  The Jenny Eliza fabrics were designed by Jennifer Paganelli and I loved them at first glance.  I bought a piece of every print, went home, and promptly cut them up.  I made some half square triangles and sprinkled them in with squares in a random, patchwork style.  Within hours I had a quilt top.

But it felt incomplete.  I’d added some black and white in the center of each side, just for fun, as a subtle hint at structure.  It wasn’t enough.  It needed another layer.  So I folded it up and hung it in the closet to wait for an idea.

Shortly after I attended an exhibit of quilts from Pakistan and India, and they affected me emotionally.  I couldn’t stop thinking about them.  At length I decided to add some applique to my Jenny Eliza quilt top.  But I had one rule:  it had to come from my stash.  I picked a high-contrast black polka dot (less than half yard) and got started.

Scale was a challenge.  The wreath in the center should have been larger, but I didn’t have a piece of fabric wide enough.  Drawing, cutting and appliqueing it was tricky.  I finished it, stepped back, and felt dismay.  It was too small and it looked silly!  Somehow I had to stretch this small amount of black fabric.  I needed to create a large enough design to hold its own on the quilt.  Afraid I’d ruined it, I pressed on.  Using the black and white half square triangles on each side as a guide, I added stems, a tulip type flower, and scalloped leaves to each side.  Four small circles completed it, and I was OUT of fabric.

Somehow, it worked.  I’m happy with this first attempt at a layer of applique over a quilt top.  I used the last of my yardage to make a quilt back.  I quilted diagonal lines on the outside of the applique design into the corners, and filled the center with folksy flowers and leaves.  I’m not very good at floral quilting designs yet, but the busyness of the patchwork and the backing was very forgiving and gratefully it’s not something you notice right away.

I’m still intrigued by using a quilt top as a canvas for applique.  I started doing that with a lone star quilt top a couple of months ago, and it’s very slow going with all the hand stitching.  My Till We Meet quilt top might get an applique layer too.  We’ll see how long it takes me!

I learned a lot from making my Jenny Eliza Quilt.  It took me a few years to finish, but it taught me a great deal, and for that I’m grateful.

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