Saturday, January 12, 2013

Finished Block of the Month Quilt!

Just over a year ago I started following along with Jackie's Block of the Month over at Canton Village Quilt Works.  You can see some of my progress herehere, and most recently here.
And now that Christmas is over and the surprise has been givene, I am so excited to share what I've done with them! I put them together into a quilt for my Mother-in-Law. I added a couple of extra blocks to round it up to 16 blocks. 

My husband's parents and brothers recently retired and moved to Utah. They bought a house this fall and my mother-in-law has enjoyed painting and picking out colors for her new house. I wanted to make them a quilt for their new home and as the decorating progressed, I realized my quilt blocks were just the right colors. I'm happy to report she was thrilled with the quilt. There's nothing like making a quilt for someone and seeing them love it. It doesn't happen every time, so I don't take that reaction for granted. It was a fun part of Christmas morning for me.
The layout of the quilt ended up being different that what I'd originally planned. When I started constructing what I thought I was going to do, it looked like a hideous mess to me.  I wish now that I had taken pictures so you could see the improvement. Basically, I put multiple different colors of the setting squares around each block and then I was going to just sew the blocks together. It looked terrible and I started to panic.

So I thought about it for a while. I didn't want to waste the setting triangles I'd already cut out because many of them came from some precious bits of fabric. So out came the seam ripper.

I decided to try putting one color (even though the fabrics were different) setting triangles around each block.  That alone made a big difference. But the quilt was still too busy. There was no place for the eye to rest. Adding the sashing made the biggest difference. I chose a really pale blue dot as the sashing. I like that it's neutral and spaces out the color, but because there's a subtle pattern, it gives that 'white' space some texture. Then I added the red corner stones. They were the perfect punch of color to keep things lively. I think I squealed when it came together. (And I'm not normally a squeal-y person.) A HUGE improvement.

So lessons to share:
- Don't be afraid to pull out the seam ripper. It was a pain in the moment (a lot of times I'm too lazy) but I'm so glad I did. The outcome is much improved.
- Neutral sashing can really tone down and unify a lot of busy prints and colors.
Every fabric in the quilt came from mystash. Yay! I did not buy any new fabrics to complete this quilt. Including the back and binding. I had this nice chunk of a Sandi Henderson Meadowsweet strawberry that was just right for the backing. It was really fun to use fabrics that I've collected and loved and put them all together in one quilt. Especially those vintagey-retro prints. 
 The quilting was done by Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting. I mainly wanted an all-over stipple since the fabric and quilt design was already so busy.  Melissa embellished with some cute flowers that tied it all together.
It's fun to look at something so cheery now that blah, gray January is here. Fortunately this quilt lives close by so I can visit it often.
I've had thoughts of doing a similar project for a kind of Quilt-a-long from picking fabrics to finish. Obviously the pieced blocks would be different, but maybe a similar layout. Thoughts?

53 comments:

Melanie said...

Yes, double yes! I'd love to do a quilt-a-long with you! Especially if we'd start with picking fabrics. I always love your fabric choices, and that's still hard for me, as a rookie quilter.
This quilt turned out so beautiful!

Dawn said...

I would love a quilt along, and you quilt is beautiful. I love the fabric choices.

wipgirl said...

Such a lovely quilt! Very bright and spring-like in those colours. And it's pretty great that you could shop your stash for the whole thing :D (Soooo easy just to buy that one more thing to make something perfect, isn't it?)

(clumsy.chord(at)gmail.com)

dolores said...

I feel ya....seamripping isn't a fav thing to do but some times you gotta suck it up and do it! Good for you!

Isn't it lovely to have family that totally appreciates all that goes into a quilt?:) It is also fab that your hubby's family is now enjoying their new home and it's close by!!:)

Yep....you do and QA and I'll be there...you know I will!;)
xo

Lisa in Port Hope said...

lovely candy colors--good enough to eat! I'm glad your recipients loved it too.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I love the block that could look like two kissing fish (row 3,column B or the third row down, second block in) I'd love to make that one with an ocean themed fabric and the two light blue "kissing fish" with some pretty batik fabric.

Carolyn said...

What a beautiful quilt...it just says "happy" all over it!!!

The Gaertegang Homestead said...

It's just gorgeous, you should be proud! Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures so we could all enjoy it ❤

Svetlana said...

oh, so very beautiful. And thanks for sharing the story of putting it together. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who sometimes has to rip out most of the blocks and redo them :)

~Niki~ said...

very nice. lots of work into that one!

QuiltyGirl said...

I really love how you pulled this together! The sashing is perfect, the cornerstones are perfect, it all just fell together so well in the end!

I don't know if I have time for a Quilt Along, but I would definitely enjoy reading about it!

(And YAY for using stash fabric! I have several fabrics to back and bind, and I'm determined to use as much stash as I can before I go anywhere near the LQS!)

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Absolutely gorgeous Amy! What a lucky recipient!

Erin @ Sew at Home Mummy said...

Love the colors you used - and it came together beautifully, so great. And the quilting is awesome, too!

CathyK said...

Two words: YES PLEASE!!!
Also, that quilt is absolutely beautiful!!!

Cathy K said...

What a charming quilt, and such a refreshing treat for the eyes!! Wow, you really pulled it together. I love everything about it!

Di~ said...

I love it! Good recovery, really! Happy colors and not one line! You've done a great job on it.

Bev said...

This is an AMAZING quilt! I love the colors and the fabrics and the setting! Good job! I just love it! Thanks for sharing! I'm a new follower and really love your work (can you tell)?

Cheery wave from
Bev

the girlfriend gap said...

This is beautiful! Thanks for sharing . janita

Terrie said...

lOVE YOUR QUILT !!! And I would love to participate in a quiltalong with you !!!!

felicity said...

Thanks so much for sharing your process - I adore what you went with for the setting triangles. It's just a wee bit different and really gives the quilt character. The red pops beautifully in the cornerstones too. It's a beautiful quilt, Amy! :)

Cille said...

It ended up really pretty. I can certainly understand why your MIL was happy :) Actually I just started putting my BOM blocks together today. I made two of each so I have 24. I thought the quilt along was so much fun....

Katy Cameron said...

It looks fab, no wonder you squealed! Glad your mother in law loved it too :o)

Heidi said...

I'd love a quilt along!

chris said...

Loverly...and such happy color combinations!

Helen said...

Waaau, it´s very,very beautiful!!!

Kirsty Kennedy said...

What a beautiful quilt! It looks amazing! Such great colour/fabric choices.

Claire Fisher said...

Oh Amy what a lovely quilt and great story. I'm so glad your quilt is appreciated and loved and that you can visit when you want - that has to be a bonus! I'm in the process of making one for a colleague's mother, for her 80th birthday and am very keen to hear how it is received when the time comes.

stitching under oaks said...

It looks awesome! Beautiful fabric choices and the layout looks great. What a wonderful gift!

Chris S said...

Love it!

~ Julie ~ said...

What a beautiful quilt!!! The colors remind me of Pam Kitty! I would LOVE to do a quilt-a-long with you! Just tell me when and I'll be there! :)

Michele said...

I too love the vintage-y look. I think I can imagine your first layout attempt and I have to agree this way is so much better. Nicely done.

pizzaeater said...

I would love to do a quilt along. I would like a post or two on how to pick fabulous fabrics like you.

Gina said...

Beautiful quilt!! I love the fabric and the squares!

Cherilyn said...

Beautiful quilt! I would love to do a quilt along. Your quilts are all so fun!

diane said...

a beautiful quilt and a lovely day to photograph it. You are a wonderful daughter-in-law to make such a generous gift.

Cindy said...

Beautiful quilt, Amy! I love everything about it! I'm going in too many different directions right now for a quilt along but I too would love hearing about it! I love everything you do!:)

Tammy said...

Beautiful. I am sure she loves it. I would ...And I really love tha strawberry fabric...I think it is the crowning glory of that quilt...Absolutely gorgeous.conn_and_vans_mom(at)yahoo(dot)com

Chris said...

Oh I LOVE it ! It is just so happy and the colors are bright and cheery without being obnoxious. :) I wish I were your MIL..LOL :) The aqua/blue outside boarder is just perfect..your quilt turned out beautifully!

jlk said...

A QAL would be so much fun! You should totally do it. I love the layout of this quilt. The triangle corners in the different fabrics turned out amazing.

Katelyn said...

That is a beautiful quilt! I would love a quilt along. I have never done anything like that and it would be so much fun!

Thimbleanna said...

Wow Amy, it's gorgeous! I LOVE the final setting -- I don't think there's anything that a simple sashing can't fix -- it's my favorite setting. Well Done!

Sinta Renee said...

I love your blocks and your setting... and the colors you used! It's so adorable... and the backing too!

Nedra said...

Congratulations on a finish! I love how yours turned out. I still need to complete the last block and put mine in a setting. I made extra blocks each month, so will have to play with it a little still.

Sewn With Grace said...

Yes please, i would love a quilt-a-long!

Janice said...

Great quilt. Your MIL must be really pleased to get it. I understand what you mean about the reaction. I when I give to someone who is under enthused with my quilting efforts, it makes me want to snatch it right back. Thanks for sharing.

Sarah said...

Your blah grey Januaru looks very beautiful this particular day! Look at the gorgeous blue sky with snow topped mountains, and even storybook puffy white clouds! The quilt is gorgeous. I love the fabrics.

Jen Styles said...

I'd love, love, love to quilt along with you!

trish said...

I absolutely *LOVE* this quilt Amy and have visited this page dozens of time, looking at your colors and placements.
I am actually planning my "bees knees" blocks a lot like yours, with the white sashing and red squares between. However my blue and yellow will be flip flopped because I have a yard of yellow and a half yard of blue and I want to use those two fabrics from my stash.
You always inspire! Thank you so much for sharing with us as often as you do!!
Have a super day. Love ya! Trish

trish said...

ps. Yes yes Amy! I would love to follow a quilt along of yours. :o)

Live a Colorful Life said...

This kind of blows my socks off. So sweet and cherry. Very lucky MIL. Well, not only because of the quilt, but because of you for a DIL. :) It's interesting to read about the process you went through to get it to this point. It's just beautiful!

Aunt Spicy said...

I am totally in for a quilt along ;-)

what fabric is your outer most border, I am dying over it!

Claire Jain said...

What an amazing quilt! Your photos are so lovely, too :-)

Swedish Scrapper said...

I love how this came out! And now, having read how you overcame the design issues, I'm really glad you showed us how! Thanks!