Wedding Whirl Quilt Top Finished

In June I wrote a blog post about starting to design a quilt for my stepdaughter, Alisha, who got engaged to her girlfriend, Wendy, earlier this year with the plan to get married in early 2019. I used a pattern called Fire Whirl in the Scraps, Inc. book that was designed by Lee Heinrich and decided to use solids in teal, turquoise, and red violet with splashes of orange. I chose fabrics using my Kona solids swatch card, and I have to say that several of the fabrics that seemed like they would work well together when I looked at the tiny swatches did not look so good together when the yardage arrived. By process of trial and error, these are the Kona solid colors I ended up choosing for my version of Fire Whirl which I named Wedding Whirl: Teal Blue, Caribbean, Breakers, Dark Violet, Geranium, Magenta, Torch, Flame, Violet, Berry, Turquoise, and Peacock.

I then spent the next couple months making over 750 HSTs (3” unfinished) and starting to sew blocks together, and in August I sewed the blocks into rows for the top half of the quilt. Oh my word, there were SO many seams to match!!! My Aug ‘18 OMG Finishes post shows a lovely shot (minus a pesky shadow) of the half quilt top with my out-of-control sunflowers. (Below is the a photo of the whole quilt top finished on 9/16/18).


I had a sneaky feeling that the engaged couple might not be able to wait until next year to get married, so I decided to prioritize getting this quilt top finished and started sewing the blocks for the bottom half of the quilt in early September. And then a week ago, I received a text that they had eloped. Below is a photo of the happy married couple (my stepdaughter, Alisha, is the lovely bride in the wedding gown).


So the following day, I did a long day of sewing with my best friend, who is a fabric presser extraordinaire, to get the quilt top finished. And because Michael at ThreadBear, who is usually my long-arm quilter, was so backed up with quilt tops to be quilted, I sent it to Melissa at Sew Shabby Quilting who is highly recommended by Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter. I’ve actually sent Melissa two quilt tops in the last two weeks, and I can’t wait to get my quilts back from her.

Linking up to From Bolt to Beauty: Brag About Your Beauties.


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September ‘18 OMG


A couple months ago I had my niece, Kim, choose a quilt for me to make for her birthday in October. I sent her links to look at that featured several quilts that I would like to make someday. Kim chose one of the quilts that has been high on my quilty bucket list: the Alison Glass Feathers quilt made up in Kaleidoscope fabrics, and she requested the quilt be made in the same colors as the pattern photo. I had already purchased a fat eighth bundle of Kaleidoscope fabrics, so I used the pattern photo as a guideline for my own fabric choices. Many of the colors in the Kaleidoscope collection are very close, so I’m sure that at least a few of my choices differ from the beautiful quilt shown in the pattern photo. I was able to put my own stamp on this project by making a design decision to change out the blocks in the pattern that had narrow sashing within the blocks. I had made up one of those blocks and didn’t like how it turned out. Furthermore, I felt stressed while making it which is NOT what I want to feel when quilting! So I modified two template patterns making sure that they would fit with the overall design. The fat eighths bundle was more than sufficient to make most of the blocks, but I did buy 1/4 yard cuts from Stash Fabrics for all the long single-colored fabric blocks. Above is a photo of the 55 blocks on my design wall. This month I again have a two-parter One Monthly Goal. The first part of my September ‘18 OMG is to finish the Kaleidoscope Feathers quilt top using the blocks above, including my least favorite paper-piecing task—removing all the papers (and I’m sure many of you can relate!)


Photo by Quilts by Catherine (Used with Permission)

The second part of my goal for this month is to make three simple paper pieced butterfly pillow covers that will coordinate with the Butterfly Quilt that I am making for my best friend. The above pattern photo is used with permission, and here is a link to the Butterfly Square by Quilts by Catherine pattern (available on Craftsy and at her Etsy shop). I am going to use Kona Teal for the background for all three pillows. The butterflies in the left and right pillows are going to be made with Kona Turquoise fabric, and the middle butterfly will be made from Kona Dark Violet fabric.

Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: Sept ‘18 One Monthly Goal.

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Aug ‘18 OMG Finishes

August has been another busy quilting month, and I did get the one and a half quilt tops finished that I set out to do in my August ‘18 OMG goal-setting post. The more time consuming project was finishing the Butterfly quilt top for my friend. I have to say that designing and sewing the seven panels so that the small butterflies could tilt at different angles gave me a deeper appreciation for all the work that pattern designers do on a regular basis. This quilt has more negative space than what I normally prefer in my quilts, but once the variegated quilting is done, three fairly simple paper-pieced butterfly pillows are made that will be placed at the back of the daybed, and a small solid color kitty quilt is finished, I think it will be a pleasing and not-too-busy combination. Below is a photo of the quilt top that shows five of the smaller butterflies (on my full-size bed) that will hang down on the front side of my friend’s daybed.


And here are the far left and far right blue butterflies that I could not capture in the above shot:

The other part of my August One Monthly Goal was to sew the top half of the Wedding Whirl quilt that I’m making for my stepdaughter and her fiancée. Below are two pics of this half quilt top (that definitely needs a more thorough pressing). I really like the second one that shows all of our beautiful sunflowers and cosmos flowers, except that it also has a shadow of one of the swing stand supports. I thought about taking another photo this afternoon after the sun had moved further west, but it’s crazy windy outside now, so I’m calling these photos good!



Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: August ‘18 OMG Finishes.

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August ‘18 OMG

My August ‘18 One Monthly Goal is to finish one and a half quilt tops. The half quilt top is the top half of the Wedding Whirl Quilt that I am making for my stepdaughter and her wife-to-be. The finished quilt will be 60” by 80” with a total of 48 ten-inch finished squares. Since my main design board will only easily accommodate the first four rows of this quilt, I decided the best strategy would be to make all the blocks for the top half of the quilt and sew them altogether and start on the bottom half next month. Below is a photo of 18 blocks that make up the first three rows:


The other part of this month’s goal is to finish the Butterfly quilt top that I am making for my best friend for her 60th birthday in October. This quilt will actually be a daybed cover, and the Seven Butterfly Charm Blocks pictured below are going to staggered on the front flap that hangs down from the daybed:


I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to accomplish my friend’s request to have the small butterflies tilting at different angles, and I decided to make a rudimentary paper-pieced block to encompass each butterfly. Below is one of the butterflies in a rectangular block that measures 11.25” by 18.25”. It is a bit klunky and would benefit from more angular pieces, but I’m not at that stage yet in my paper-piecing design skills. And when it is quilted, the quilting will give it a softer look.


Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: August ‘18 OMG.

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July ‘18 OMG Finish

My July ‘18 One Monthly Goal was to make six more paper-pieced butterfly charm blocks that will be used in the Butterfly Quilt I am making for my best friend. Below is a photo of all seven butterfly blocks placed amidst some pretty Cosmos flowers.


They sure were fun to make and the pattern is free to download from Lillyella’s website.

Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: July ‘18 OMG Finishes

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2018 Qtr 3 Finish-A-Long Goals

I have several projects that I plan to finish in the third quarter of this year. The first one is very doable since I recently finished piecing the Bowtie Pasta quilt top below, and since it such a large scale quilt, the piecing only took a few days of sewing. It will be going to my local quilt store, ThreadBear, for quilting as soon as the quilt top and backing are pressed. See my 2018 Mid Year Review post for more details on this quilt.


I plan to turn the Red Backed Fairy Wren bird block pictured below (pattern by The Tartankiwi) into a pillow cover for my 88-year-old aunt who is also quilter:


Another block that will be turned into a pillow cover is the Allie Owl block below (pattern by Elizabeth Hartman). This is my oldest UFO as I made this block in 2016.


A couple months ago I started designing a quilt for my stepdaughter who is getting married. I’m using the Fire Whirl pattern by Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced. I’m calling my version, Wedding Whirl.


I’m using many of the same Kona colors in the Butterfly Quilt that I am making for my best friend. Below are photos of the focal butterfly and two of the seven Butterfly Charm Blocks I am making:



I recently purchased a Fat Eighth bundle of Alison Glass’ beautiful new Kaleidoscope collection and plan to make her Feathers Quilt using the Raven Kaleidoscope background:


I will be choosing fabrics from the array pictured below (I’m referring to this fabric array as Colors of the Sea) to make a set of six paper-pieced string placemats:


I will also be using some of the Colors of the Sea fabric array to make a SparkleStash’ Fly Delilah Fly mini.

My last proposed finish for the third quarter of 2018 is to quilt my Random Intention Baby Quilt.


Linking up to 2018 Qtr 3 Finish-A-Long Goals.

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2018 Mid Year Review


I am so grateful to Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl for hosting several goal-setting planning parties and mid-year reviews in the past couple years as it gives me an opportunity to more clearly focus on what I want to prioritize, then reflect and re-evaluate, and shift priorities as needed. And as a bonus, there are awesome prizes that people can win simply by linking up!

At the beginning of 2018, I set a goal to learn how to free motion quilt. Toward that end, I did get my Juki threaded and put the darning foot on it and sewed a few stitches on an old practice quilt sandwich. Then I put it away when my new floor was being installed. I got it out again a week ago, and it won’t sew a stitch. Maybe it just needs to be re-threaded. I don’t know. But I’ve been rethinking my FMQ goal. I’m not planning to give up becoming proficient with free motion quilting forever, but I’m leaning toward postponing it until next year. With working full-time, there is only so much time to devote to my quilting hobby-passion-obsession. And these days what I’m finding myself drawn to is playing with different color combinations, especially color gradients, and developing my confidence in choosing colors for my quilt projects. 

My Evolution with Color Design

Feel free to skip the next several paragraphs if you are primarily interested in what I plan to make in the next six months, but as I was writing this post, I started to see my evolution related to color design more clearly and decided to share more in depth about it. I’m going to hold back on including pics of old projects, but I’ll include links to blog posts about them in case anyone wants to take a look.

When I made my Summer Sampler 2017 quilt, I used the colors included with the pattern mock-up except I used a dark grey background, and while this quilt is this project I’m most proud of because of how much my paper piecing skills improved from sewing all the blocks, I came to realize that using other people’s color schemes isn’t as satisfying as creating my own. But it was helpful to immerse myself in a beautiful palette that used colors I normally wouldn’t use, and I learned a lot about color working with this palette. The main pattern designers for the Summer Sampler 2017 are Katie Blakesley, Lee Heinrich, and Faith Jones. These women have also written one of my favorite quilting books, Vintage Quilt Revival: 22 Modern Designs from Classic Blocks, and from reading their book, I learned about creating a jeweled look by using a few different shades of each color fabric which is evident in the pattern mock-up palette for the Summer Sampler 2017. 

The first color gradient quilt that I made was the Blue Ombre HST quilt I finished in June 2017 using Sarah Goer’s Ombre HST Pattern that she designed for me, but again I did not choose the colors, instead using the Kona colors suggested by Sarah.

My next experience with color gradient was when I made my Rainbow Hexie Pillows in September 2017, but most of the work was done for me because I used red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple hexies sent to me when I participated in an Instagram swap. I did make the choice to divide the color green into yellow-green and green that had more blue in it, and I feel that slight change made a smoother color transition from yellow to blue.

I further dipped my toe in the water of color gradient design when I made two Autumn Chain blocks in October 2018 using Sarah Goer’s Color Configuration as part of her #getyourquiltywishesgranted3 request through Instagram. Making those blocks helped me to decide to participate in The Bee Hive again this year. I was the queen bee in January and asked my hive members to make a Rainbow Autumn Chain block using a light, medium, and dark fabric of their color choice. I was amazed when I started putting all the blocks on the design wall after pulling out a color wheel that was in my mom’s quilting materials, and all of the blocks just flowed from one color  to the next with me just needing to finish up the color wheel by making a red violet block.

I really started to gain confidence in my ability to choose both color gradients as well as triadic color wheel combinations when I designed Wedding Whirl in May 2018. I know many quilters are able to make their color design choices from Kona Color Swatch cards they have cut up and re-organized. I have not done that, and I don’t know how well it would work for me because those small swatches of color have led me astray. I have placed a scrap of a Kona solid fabric against one of the swatches and have thought that the colors looked good together, so then I ordered the new color fabric, and when it arrived, it was not quite what I wanted. I find the larger 3 1/2” swatch cards I am making work better for me as far as color design. I now have a good stash of Kona solids, particularly in the teal/turquoise/aqua colors as the red violet/purples. 

Projects I Plan to Make or Finish the last half of 2018

As far as projects I plan to complete in the second half of 2018, Wedding Whirl and the Butterfly quilt are my first priorities, and I’ve made a good amount of headway with each of these projects. I am especially fond of the Butterfly charm blocks pictured at the top of this post that will be part of the Butterfly quilt I am making for my best friend.

I have two other color gradient paper pieced projects I want to make this year: Alison Glass’ Feathers Quilt and SparkleStash’ Fly Delilah Fly Butterfly mini.

I also want to start designing my own paper piecing templates. I’m not planning to try anything super complicated. I’m going to start with some crazy paper-pieced blocks that I will use in my Butterfly quilt and later this summer some color gradient vertical strip placemats using the array of colors below:


Two New WIPs:

I recently finished paper piecing a Red Backed Fairy Wren block designed by Juliet of The Tartankiwi. I plan to make it into a pillow cover to give later this month to my 88-year-old aunt who is also a quilter.


A few days ago I also started working on a Bowtie Pasta quilt top below with my best friend as a gift for one of her sisters. She bought the kit at our local quilt store, ThreadBear, but we substituted three fabrics from my stash to make it more to our taste. This quilt top has come together pretty quickly. Yesterday I finished sewing the blocks together in rows, and today I sewed the rows together. We’ll be taking it to ThreadBear to be quilted in the next few days.


Finishing Two UFOs

I originally planned to use the  Allie Owl block below in a Fancy Forest quilt (pattern by Elizabeth Hartman), but I opted to make my Modified Fancy Forest version instead and did not include the owl block. I am making this into a pillow for an owl-loving friend.


Last year I designed a HST quilt top that used some of the colors of my Summer Sampler 2017 quilt, and I called it Random Intention. I hope to get it quilted in the next few months.


Christmas is my favorite holiday, and I enjoy making a few Christmas items each year. I’m still deciding on what Christmas projects I want to make, but below are some possiblities:

Leonard the Llama pillow in Christmas fabrics

A Quilting Life’s Christmas Table Runner

I bought the supplies for the beautiful Purl Soho Ornaments pictured below almost two years ago, and maybe I’ll take the supplies out of the box and start working on them in the next few months. Or maybe not!


Linking up to: 2018 Mid-Year Review hosted by Quilting Jetgirl.

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