Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The One I Almost Scrapped - The Circus Quilt

Wow. It's been so long since I've shared a new quilt! I promise I'm still quilting, I've just been spending a lot of time with my longarm lately. A friend of mine has started writing quilt patterns, so I did some quilting for her - if you're at Market this fall you may just see some of it! Be sure to check out Sew Many Creations - she's got great bag and quilt patterns! And if you're in the Adirondacks and/or Capitol Region of NY, check out her quilt shop!

So, about that new quilt! This quilt taught me a great lesson about my work - more specifically, to keep an open mind and reserve judgement even when it comes to my own projects.

Diamonds for Ducklings Baby Quilt

I began this quilt as a baby gift for a friend. I had saved these Lizzy House prints for a long time, but suddenly I felt that this was the project for them! I had a few design ideas involving small triangles with borders, but really I set about creating the triangle units without a firm plan for them. Once I had all of the triangles pieced, I played with layout. My initial design idea wasn't playing out quite right when I got the idea to create diamonds. This idea came to me as I was thinking about the name of the fabric line, "Ugly Duckling". I wanted to play around with the name when I thought of the phrase, "diamond in the rough" - Bingo!

After I had the diamond layout I chose the light orange solid. I love the orange, which I had used in another project. However, as I pieced the orange with the diamonds I started to question it. Something about the quilt reminded me of the circus, which I mentioned to a friend during a late-night sewing session. She innocently commented that the orange reminded her of circus peanuts, which started to worry me even more! I thought about taking the quilt apart and using a different solid, but in the end pure laziness won out. I decided to continue with the quilt as it was, but if I didn't like the finished product I would make something different for my friend.

The best part about using solids in quilts is having that area to show off some quilting! Using a light peach thread I quilted smaller diamonds in the solid sections; each quilted diamond area was filled with pebbles and the surrounding area was filled with swirls. Even after the quilting, I still had my reservations. But I charged forward and added the binding, and then tossed the quilt in the wash.

Diamonds for Ducklings Baby Quilt

I was completely shocked when I saw the freshly washed quilt. Everything about it suddenly fell into place - the quilting was soft and crinkly, the colors flowed beautifully. Something truly magical occurs in the washing and drying process!

Diamonds for Ducklings Baby Quilt

Here's a peek at the back. I love using my stash for quilt backings!

Diamonds for Ducklings Baby Quilt

I'm so glad now that I didn't give up on this project. I shipped it off to my friend a few weeks ago and she absolutely loved it! She's a quilter as well, and has a great eye for color and design, so I was a bit worried about her reaction. In the end, the very part of the quilt that I questioned the most - the orange solid - was my friend's favorite part! Call it a happy accident or a learning experience, I'm calling it a win!

Diamonds for Ducklings Baby Quilt

P.S. I'm officially naming this one, "Diamonds for Ducklings", but I will always remember it as, "The Circus Quilt"!


felicity said...

It's amAHzing! All of it! Your quilting is fabulous, and the orange solid definitely makes the quilt unusual and beautiful. Well done you!

Laura C @ littleandlots said...

Oh, how I love a good process post! I'm so glad you didn't unpick. (I admit to seeing "circus peanuts" but also "creamsicle" which sounds more appealing!) Bright colors are very good for newborns too, isn't it a scientific fact? Beautiful quilt. Yay for withholding judgement until the out-of-the-dryer moment ;)

Live a Colorful Life said...

This is really beautiful. The orange is such a soft pretty color--a great backdrop to your beautiful diamonds!

Christine S said...

The orange is great! I love quilts with colors besides white. Very nice!

Rosa said...

It`s just stunning.Love both sides.Grat job!

Farm Quilter said...

Love the way the orange plays with the blues of the diamonds!! Your quilting really adds to the beauty of this quilt! Love modern quilting!!!! SCORE!!!!!!!!