My Current Favorite

This quilt has been a long time in the works. It is ‘just a patchwork’, no complicated piecing, no fussy blocks, but oh I have wanted to make it for a really long time! There are a some really gorgeous quilts made with very bold colors which totally appeal to me. A while back, I started to collect pieces with powerful color and scale. When I had my shop, I would cut 1/3 yard of pieces that appealed to me and set them aside in a project bag. I got lucky at thrift stores and garage sales a number of times and picked up pieces that I knew would work in this quilt. Mixing the scale and the lights and darks to make sure there was a good variety was a lot of fun. Finally the project bag was full to bursting and I knew I had enough to work with.

Doing some very complicated math, I decided to cut 11″ blocks and end up with a quilt measuring about 100 x 110 inches. This is by far the biggest quilt I have made. The piecing was not a big deal. I laid the squares on the floor and moved them around for a bit trying to keep like fabrics from touching. Other than that, I didn’t worry too much about a particular layout.

Once the top was assembled, I had to move furniture around to be able create enough floor space to baste it. Honestly, this is a monster size quilt (for me anyway)! The backing is a wide back I saved for this project when I closed the shop. I am fortunate to have a reasonably sized sewing table but it wasn’t going to work for this. So I commandeered the dining room for a couple of days to quilt this. I don’t know how I could have free motioned it – there is so much weight. Instead, I bought a walking foot (hurray!!) and stitched straight lines, two inches from each seam.

I do love this bar for projects like this. The walking foot came with one for the left and another for the right side. It really wasn’t too difficult except for when quilting the middle sections – there was a lot to stuff through the throat of the machine at that point. It all worked out though – save for a few puckers on the backing. I took a bit of time and ripped out some stitching to fix a few of the puckers. For the most part though, I left them as is. After all, it is the back side of a utility quilt. Who is going to see those puckers?

It doesn’t show in the photos but, on a whim, I decided to use the blanket stitch on my Bernina for the binding. I can’t give a reason for this – I just thought it would look cool. Which it does but, oh my gosh, it ended up taking fooorrevvver to bind this.

If you are admiring the walnut headboard on our bed, it was made by my talented husband.

This quilt is a bit like a quilter’s I Spy quilt. See if you can find fabrics by the following designers: Alison Glass, Sharon Holland, BariJ, Kaffe Fasset, Malta Dubrowsky, or Amy Butler – there is something from all of them. (Plus many where I cannot tell you who designed them)!

Another fun fact – this is the first time I filled a quilt with wool batting. It surprised me how different it was to work with. Much puffier (more loft) so the quilt is thicker. When I cut my usual 2 1/4″ strips of binding, I didn’t know there would be such a difference and it was a bit challenging to wrap that binding over the side. Next time I will definitely cut a 2 1/2″ binding. That should work better. I love the feel and heft of the quilt plus it feels warmer.

I have fabric set aside to make a couple of matching pillow shams. This is going to happen very soon. Shams will finish this off nicely!

Thanks for reading folks! Big quilt equals long post I suppose!

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45 thoughts on “My Current Favorite

  1. Karen

    it looks good. I make quilts this size all the time and have put a couple of them through my sewing machine to quilt and when I do it is straight lines for sure or I select a serpent stitch from the stitches on the machine and it does all the work and I just keep moving it through the machine

    Reply
  2. Rebecca Grace

    I love this one too, Bernie! Using your dining room table was a great idea and I get why you wanted to use that gorgeous Bernina blanket stitch to bind… I also know how long it takes to stitch, which is why I only used it for binding ONCE on a baby quilt. But I’ll bet it complements the vibe of your glorious fabric mix beautifully. You know, some of that shifting you experienced with your backing may have been because the wool batting doesn’t cling to the cotton fabrics in the way that cotton batting does? You might like Hobbs Tuscany 80/20 Cotton/Wool batting if you haven’t tried it already. I expected it to be an all natural version of regular cotton/poly 80/20 batting, but it really is more like a cross between that and a wool batting. More loft than cotton or even cotton/poly batting for sure, but less than an all-wool batting and it may be easier to work with for domestic machine quilting than all-wool. Of course I love ALL the battings. Wool is what I used for my own bed quilt. Congrats on your beautiful finish for yourself! Quilters deserve quilts, too! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Rebecca – This is great information. I didn’t know that the wool batting could cause the backing to slip a bit but now that makes sense. You are a wealth of knowledge!!

      Reply
  3. Helen

    Beautiful quilt. May I ask if you quilted the entire quilt on your Bernina regular machine? I love Bernina don’t you? What is size of each block … please.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      I do love my Bernina. It is able to take on some pretty large projects. I used a 10″ square and I did quilt the whole thing with straight lines. Thanks for stopping by Helen.

      Reply
  4. Wendy

    Clever you, collecting those fabrics over time! I love the way this turned out; it is a true scrap quilt with all those glorious designs! I haven’t tried wool batting, but I bet it feels so nice to cuddle under!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Wendy. The wool batting is pretty nice – feels quite different and makes the quilt a tiny bit puffy. Not like the quilts that used to have polyester batting, just a little bit of loft. I quite like it. The label seems a little bit fussier with laundering instructions but it is still washable. The quilt makes me so happy. Our room is painted a medium/dark gray and needed this blast of color!

      Reply
  5. Kathy

    Very nice quilt to use up blocks from so many fabulous designers. You will long admire it now that’s it done versus just leaving fabric sitting in piles. My long armer uses wool batting and I love the soft feel of it when cuddling with a quilt.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      I still have loads of fabric in piles or pulled into little collections that I hope to use together but I am so pleased to have finished up this one. It makes me happy!

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      It is definitely doable. Just sort of awkward. Basting and quilting it was not ‘hard’ but it took up some space and time. I am pleased to have done it and now its back to smaller projects!

      Reply
  6. Cindy Beal

    Love these fabrics! What a wild collection!!!!! You were so smart to cut & save these for a rainy day! This is fabulous!!!!

    Reply
  7. Deb E

    Love your very scrappy quilt – its very colorful and full of character. Your quilting was the perfect finishing touch, it adds so much texture to it. After seeing your quilt I now want to take my 2 foot high stack of layer cakes and make one for the master bedroom, just like yours. Thanks for the eye candy and the ideas.

    Reply
  8. Kathleen McCormick

    That is one happy quilt! I love the carefully curated collection of fabrics and the colors are just fabulous. I can’t imagine doing that on a domestic machine – big congratulations to you for that.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      It really wasn’t terribly hard to do on a DSM – just a little tedious when rolling the quilt to fit through the throat. Otherwise, it wasn’t a big deal. Of course the quilting is very very simple – I couldn’t have manipulated it to do anything fancy. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl

    What a fun quilt and it seems packed with so many memories of collecting the fabric. Wool batting is a lot loftier, isn’t it? I have had success stitching a second pass around the edge of binding 1/8″ away from the edge for loftier battings and smaller bindings, but I second going up to 2 1/2″!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Ooooh, I think the idea of stitching at 1/8″ is fantastic. That totally would have helped. Between that and cutting a slightly wider binding strip should do the trick next time.

      Reply
  10. Roseanne

    Hi Bernie! What a beauty and one that you will enjoy for years to come. And to enjoy the fabrics is the key to something you’re going to be looking at every day! I love the straight-line quilting, too. I think it looks sharp and doesn’t take away from those pretty fabrics. Nice job. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you! I hope we do have it for a long while. Quilts, in my opinion, should be used and used till it is worn out! I appreciate your note!

      Reply
  11. Carol Westover

    I love this quilt! And you give me courage to try quilting my own quilts. I used to, but for whatever reason I lost my confidence so have been sending them out to be quilted. May I ask how you baste your quilts? I always pinned mine with safety pins, but can’t get down on my hands and knees anymore. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Carol – Do you have a dining room table or a kitchen island that could help? If so, I would baste on it. Lay the backing down, and have chairs on either side to support whatever flows over each side. then layer the batting and finally the quilt top. I would use painters tape and secure the layers to the counter or table and pin baste out from the middle. When I do it this way, I carefully slice the basted section over, bringing up the unpinned section, smooth and make sure the layers are all in the right place and pin again. continue till it is complete! This wouldn’t have worked with a huge quilt but I have successfully basted many lap size quilts in this fashion.

      Reply
  12. Sandra B

    What an amazing quilt! All those simple squares combine to make a beautiful finish!! I know you call this a utility quilt, but it just makes me smile!! Thanks so much for sharing….

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you – that is why I love simple patchwork so much. Combining colors and fabrics in such a simple way yet the look is different with each one.

      Reply
  13. Judy B

    I can only add that your quilt is glorious. What fun to have the memories of your shop and the selecting of these fabrics. It really is awesome!

    Reply
  14. CathieJ

    This is a great quilt. Simple, but so pretty. I really like that you quilted it just using your sewing machine. Your pattern gives a window pane look.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thanks Cathie! I am pleased with being able to finish such a large quilt. I like the idea of ‘making the whole thing’ myself. Plus the cost of long armers is a bit prohibitive for me, as much as I admire the work they do. Take care and enjoy the weekend!

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Nancy – I am with you. Love the simple process of stitching squares together. Why is that?? Maybe the simplicity makes it a little meditative. It also feels nostalgic and very often makes me think of how quilting really began. Anyway, I am glad you popped in. Have a great weekend.

      Reply
  15. Cindy E

    I love the simplicity and fabrics chosen for this quilt. Now I need to go through my stash and cut out large squares and start saving them to try and make my own beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  16. Nancy

    This is a beautiful and fun quilt, Bernie. Bright, engaging, and it will be oh-so-warm this winter!
    I’m totally impressed that you quilting this on your sewing machine. Bravo for you!
    My only experience with a wool bat (it was 80% wool/20%poly) was a failure. I’m sure yours will be successful. With your experience as a shop owner you probably got all kinds of feedback about bats.
    I hope you get to enjoy this beauty on your bed soon!

    Reply

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