Bow Quilt Top

I finished a quilt top!  It was an easy one to put together, and it felt like a great way to begin a new month.  Four simple rows, large top and bottom borders, and it is ready for quilting. Here is my Bow Quilt top!

After finishing all the blocks, I didn’t worry much about the layout.  I believe I’ve shared this before, but I don’t typically stress much about block layout when piecing together a quilt.  It seems like there will always be a reason to keep moving them around.  I guess I’m too impatient for that; I just want to sew them together!  But it’s more, because I feel like part of the beauty is letting them fall where they may.  If you’re going to say it’s a “random” layout, why fuss over it for an hour?

For example, I honestly didn’t think twice about the aqua fabrics being so close to one another until I took this photo.  I think if all the colors and fabrics in the quilt are beautiful together, then it shouldn’t matter much where they all end up.  So that’s what I did, and I like it.

Sewing my blocks together got me excited about this project once again.  I am planning several more complex applique projects, and was anxious to complete this one.  My bow blocks had ceased to be interesting to me, but together they look so cute!

My daughter Liberty took one look at these blocks and decided it’s her favorite quilt ever, which makes me happy.  I’ll give the quilt to her when it’s finished.  The pattern is the Bow Quilt by Carolyn Friedlander, and I highly recommend it.  Carolyn’s patterns are always well written and fun to make.  I altered mine, though, and split the background fabric in half, sewing one piece to the top and one to the bottom.  This places the rainbows across the center of the quilt instead of at the bottom.  Liberty agreed.  We both want the rainbows to be seen easily across the center.

I feel great about finishing my Bow Quilt top.  I nearly set this project aside to work on other things, but decided to finish it instead.  Now I’m happy to have my first quilt top of the year instead of another stack of blocks, and another item on my list.  Perhaps 2023 can be a year for finishing old projects?  With QuiltCon 2023 around the corner, it feels good to have this one done.  No need to let it languish past the year mark.

Hooray for a finished quilt top!

Hunter’s Star Nine Patch Quilt

This quilt is the result of simple experimentation and working with what you’ve got on hand.  Some time ago a customer asked for help resizing blocks in my Giant Hunter’s Star pattern.  Just for fun, I made a block to test my math before sending her the measurements.  Months later, not knowing what else to do with it, I made some more.  I had a lot of the Denyse Schmidt floral and figured it would be good to use it up.  Then I ran out of pink fabric, so I added the green, and this is how I came to make a Hunter’s Star Nine Patch quilt.

It’s a fun twist on the traditional Hunter’s star quilt.  I’ve made a lot of them, you can see some here, and here

I’ve made scrappy Hunter’s star quilts before, but never one with two distinct second colors.  And I like it.  I think it’s really fun.

Like too many others, this quilt top waited a very long time for quilting.  And like my Raspberry Applique quilt, I had a good idea for the quilting but wasn’t able to execute like I hoped.  It’s a combination of my poor novice skills and the limitations of my machine.  You can see that I tried!

But once again, a finished quilt is more useful than a quilt top, so I’m happy it’s done.  I really enjoyed adding the nine patch twist to an old favorite.  Exploring ways to combine quilt patterns is a good way to get creative juices flowing.

I used the remainder of the Denyse Schmidt floral fabric on the back of the quilt (I still remember buying it for $2.40/yard on a crazy clearance sale years ago), and the rest of my green solid finished off the corner.

My final bit of pink solid was barely enough to bind the quilt, and I also finished it on my machine to give my elbow a break from binding.  It was nice to use up three pieces of fabric in making this quilt.

 

One less quilt top in the queue means I’m making progress!  

What are you working on?  I hope you’re enjoying it, whatever it is.

Happy Sewing!

Raspberry Applique Quilt

This Raspberry Applique Quilt needs a better name because I love it so much.  But for now, here it is, known simply by the name of the pattern/project.  I have to tell you, this one went directly to the foot of my bed.  I have other quilts dearer because of their message or personal meaning.  But this one, this one makes me want to wrap up in it simply for the color.

I learned a good lesson when finishing this quilt.  Way back in 2019 I finished the applique and sewed the blocks together with colorful sashing.  At the time I pictured it turned on point with elaborate corners added, to showcase more fabrics designed by Amy Butler.  When I got it back out last fall, I realized how huge it would be if I finished it on point.  I also realized that all along there was only one fabric I had pictured myself adding to this quilt.  Sure, I would have used more, but only one seemed essential.

So, if my heart had always only been set on this one, why not use it and call it finished?  That’s what I did.  And obviously that “one” fabric is pretty amazing.  When fussy cut, it makes a border that looks complex but is really just art.

And that is all I did.  Plus the birds in the corners, of course.  I have many other Amy Butler fabrics, definitely enough for another quilt or two, but this one is complete.  All it needed was an epic border from her Hapi collection.  I really love that print.  (I used a bit of it on the back of this quilt, too.)  

This makes me wonder, are you someone who tires of fabric after it’s been around for a while?  I’ve learned that most of the time, I am not.  I don’t care how old a print is if I like it.  And if I liked it once, I usually still like it 10 years later, even while my taste in new fabric continues to evolve.  So I’m not concerned with how old a print is, especially if I still like it and it works in my project.  In this case, it totally works.

So, it’s a finished quilt because I re-evaluated my original plan and only used the detail I cared about most.  It was a good lesson for me in finishing; I can pivot and keep only what I still care about.  I hope I remember that as I try to finish other long-standing UFO’s.  Thankfully I still had some strips of those dots I used for sashing, and they became the binding to finish the quilt.

I quilted my Raspberry applique quilt on my longarm with gold thread.  My quilting design looked good in my head, but not as good in real life.  Gratefully the fabrics are so busy that it doesn’t matter – you can hardly see it!  No one will call it a masterpiece, but every day I have smiled at it on my bed.  I call that a success.

But really, it needs a new name.  Any suggestions?

 

 

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