A wonderful quilter friend of mine provided two different, but similar quilts for me to work on recently. Margret chose to do a Block of the month (BOM) from a local quilt shop – Country Stitches, in two different ways. This is a BOM times two!
Quilt one – Christmas Fabrics
The first quilt to discuss is the original, a lovely Christmas themed beauty. The fabrics are just gorgeous. Margret wanted to do something fun and with movement for the E2E quilting. She chose the Frost pattern from Urban Elemetz.
Quilt Two – Retro
The second block of the month quilt was done with vintage-inspired fabrics and takes on a more sedate and elegant look. We discussed how to quilt this one and ultimately decided to do a moderate custom design. Margret just said “make it pretty”.
I started out with a nice but not too dense block design as all the blocks were the same.
Next I looked at the sashing and corner stones. I do admit, that one of my favorite elements on this quilt are the cute flowers in the corner stones!
The last element to plan out were the borders. In the past, I have done piano key/type treatments to other quilts, but I felt that softening the hard lines instead would work better. So, instead I did a clam shell design that was just perfect.
I am a real sucker for reproduction fabrics, so to work on this second version was so much fun for me.
One hidden benefit to our home in Texas is that we are only 1 mile from the main Antique Alley shows. Some may feel this is a negative because of the added traffic 2x each year. We don’t!
This year was surely a wet one, so it was fortunate that we went on Friday before the deluge of the weekend commenced.
Each year, you really don’t know what you will find. While there are vendors that we see from year to year, there are also new booths and treasures to find.
My first find was this cute pair of scissors! I just love how well they fit my hand and can’t wait to use them at my long-arm.
The old/antique quilts I found at Antique Alley actually fell into two categories. First were hand-quilted cotton beauties:
The second category were non-cotton and mostly polyester. I have never came across so many at one time before:
Of course, the biggest purchase we made this day is the beautiful fountain that fits perfectly outside my kitchen window. We have been looking for something special for quite a while and was so happy to find it. A big thanks goes to Portillo Concrete Patio Furniture and Alejandro Portillo and son.
As you can see, we had lots of help, including our grandson, Hunter. I can’t wait to get it painted and filled with water, it will be so beautiful!
Finally, with Halloween just around the corner, I couldn’t resist taking this special selfie. I see a profile picture coming on 🙂
I have said it before, but will say it again – there is great joy in quilting a person’s first quilt top. More special is when that top was quilted by a child. Avery’s quilt is such a first project.
Usually, I begin with the parts and end with the finished quilt – not this time. Instead, I really wanted to start out with a picture of Avery and her quilt.
Avery has every reason to be proud. Her finished quilt is so lovely!
Avery is a very hands-on type of girl. When it came time to choose an edge to edge (E2E) pattern for her quilt, she took her time. Deciding on the perfect pattern for her very first quilt is super important.
After perusing through many different motif’s, the perfect pattern appeared – a wandering butterfly design. Avery chose well. Her quilt is a perfect place for fanciful butterflies to dance across.
I think Avery’s Quilt turned out just beautiful – I sure hope she continues to create whether it be quilting or some other medium.
I have been so excited lately! So many new quilters have come by the shop to have their quilts finished. Christa’s quilt is no exception.
Great choice of fabrics
Christa’s Quilt, while a simple design, utilizes some very beautiful fabrics. I am sure your grandmother, Margret Lewis, had a hand in helping pick them out.
The pattern may seem familiar, and there is a good reason for that. Christa and Avery are friends. They were lucky enough to begin this journey in the same class.
Loading on the long arm and choosing a pattern
After loading this quilt on the long arm, it was plain to see just how much fun the fabrics are!
Choosing a pattern
Sometimes you do not get to choose a quilting pattern, the quilt does it for you! This time was one of those. Take a good look at the images. You will see a cute, daisy pattern dancing along the borders.
This pattern is what made the choice easy! The quilting pattern, done in a pale pink is … you guessed it! Daisies!
Whether the quilting was on the lighter fabrics or the deep, bold ones, the pattern just fits.
A special surprise
Young people never fail to surprise and please me. Shortly after Christa received her quilt, she presented an envelope to me.
The front of the card reminded me of long arm quilting but it is the inside that touched my heart.
I was speechless (which as many of you know is a true rarity). Her heartfelt words touched my heart and made my entire week! I can’t wait to see what this young lady comes up with next.
It’s a mystery – a Mystery Quilt! As a person who likes to plan out every aspect of my life, giving over control to someone else can be difficult. I can safely say that there was nothing overly difficult with this mystery quilt. I am so glad I made this quilt.
I thought long and hard about the element I could control – the fabrics. The initial instructions called for (3) fabrics. I considered patriotic, monochrome and floral but then finally ended up choosing a Christmas theme. In addition, all three fabrics had elements of gold to unify them.
The adventure begins
Because I never follow a quilt pattern unless I have designed it, the thought of beginning a new quilt at the instruction of others made me apprehensive. My concerns were calmed as I began putting my sections together.
It was easier to keep track of each set by using labels and zip loc bags.
Putting it all together
I won’t say that there weren’t a few bumps along the way, but in the end, I really enjoyed the process of constructing this Mystery Quilt top.
As I started placing blocks on the design wall, I was rewarded with another surprise – the circular secondary pattern that was coming to life. It began time to consider how I was going to quilt this beauty.
Time to quilt
I pieced the entire top, then took pictures. I find this is an important first step when beginning to consider what type of custom quilting to employ. My first consideration was thread color. I thought of white, or beige or even red or green, but none of them seem to unify the quilt like I wanted it to. Then I realized that the perfect color was GOLD! As gold was laced throughout all three fabrics, this would be one way to tie them together.
Next, it was time to consider the actual quilting patterns. I chose two different snowflake block patterns for the two blocks in the quilt; however the top ended up having an additional row around the blocks that completed the secondary pattern, so I wanted to address that separately. I chose to use a meandering snowflake border to go all around the quilt. This pattern was actually mirrored in the white background fabric.
I did have to fill in with some hand-guided long arm quilting to finish up the inside sections.
The borders were a different story. As I said, the inner border was filled with dancing snowflakes, but the outer border was something special. I thought a great deal about what to do here and I really wanted to include something like piano keys. The problem with that is that it was not quite Christmas. Then I had a revelation! I created a Tree/Key combination for the border that was perfect.
No longer a mystery!
I will never say that I did not follow a pattern again! I am so glad that I took the plunge and went outside my comfort zone. Thank you Donna Bardwell for all your hard work designing this quilt. I can’t wait for next year’s mystery adventure.