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.
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.
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!
Here's a peek at the back. I love using my stash for quilt backings!
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!
P.S. I'm officially naming this one, "Diamonds for Ducklings", but I will always remember it as, "The Circus Quilt"!