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 here, here, 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.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.