So this is the project that I’ve been dedicating all my time to this month – my second quilt! Ever! I do actually enjoy quilting. I really do. I find it relaxing and methodical. Cutting out little geometric shapes in coordinating colors really brings me some sort of zen level inner peace. …but it’s not my first love. No, ironically my first love is using quilting cotton to sew clothes. As much as I enjoy the process of quilting, I find it difficult to start a quilt of my own free will. Whenever I buy new quilt fabric, I just want to make dresses! So, believe me when I say I *need* a deadline or I probably won’t commit to a quilt. Luckily, the wonderful people at RJR Fabrics asked me to join their “What Shade are You?” Blog Hop for the second summer in a row, and I was eager to oblige.
The quilt I made for their blog hop last summer was the first quilt I ever made, and as many times as I’ve “planned” to make another quilt since then (I’ve even bought quilt books and attempted to design my own quilt pattern) it just hasn’t happened. …until now!
Keeping with the theme of last summer, I couldn’t decide what quilt to make until nearly the last minute. I considered following Devon’s Wonky Log Cabin tutorial, but couldn’t trust myself to decide on a size or number of blocks on my own accord. I wanted to follow a pattern with more set guidelines so I ultimately decided to follow the Sparkle & Fizz pattern included in Issue 15 of Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine.
Just a few days before Quilt Market, RJR surprised me with a Pie Making Day bundle, which happened to include the exact number of fat quarters I needed for the Fabric B pieces of Sparkle & Fizz. All that was left to do was pick some Cotton Supreme Solids to coordinate.
Quilt Pattern: Sparkle & Fizz by Karen Lewis for Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine
Print Fabrics used: Pie Making Day by Brenda Ratliff of Just A Bit Frayed
Solid Fabrics used: Cotton Supreme Solids by RJR Fabrics
I liked this pattern a lot because it was equal parts free-hand and structure, though I didn’t expect the final layout to be as difficult to decide on as I made it. The blocks are supposed to come together randomly but I found myself swapping squares around over and over to try to evenly distribute colors and prints. It was tough! I even had family members helping me spot when I had too much of one shade or pattern too close together. I could have spent an entire week over-thinking it, so finally I threw up my hands and said, “Nope! Enough is enough! This is good. I’m sticking with this.” Overall I’m very happy with my choice.
You know your quilt is bright when you lay it down in the grass and immediately start attracting bees! I’d like to think they were a couple of old ladies admiring my work, like “Hey Phillis, did you see this?!” “Yeah wow, Marge, this patchwork is just beautiful! Stunning work.” “I know. So charming.” “Oh yes, quite charming.” – Haha! …I may or may not have a wild imagination 😉
The actual quilting on the other hand? I’m not sure I even want to talk about that, haha! This quilt is a bit bigger than my first one and I had an awful time trying to manipulate the batting and backing around my machine. I used my walking foot, I tried rolling and folding the extra fabric in different ways, and I still couldn’t sew a straight line to save my life. It looked so awful that I stopped after one row of blocks and ripped out all of the stitches.
No big deal I suppose, I’ll just throw in a few hand-tied knots, or maybe take it to a quilt shop and have them quilt it for me. We’ll see. All I know is I had a lot of fun making the top and it’s impossible for me not to smile when I look at this quilt. It’s just so colorful! It’s reminds me of clown pants and balloon animals. …in the best way, of course 😉
NOW CLOSED – Congrats to the winner, Andie L!
Now for the Giveaway! If you’d like to win a fat quarter bundle of the eight solids I used for my quilt, please leave one comment, using your first name and a valid email address, and tell me you’d love to win! That’s it! The giveaway will close on Friday July 3rd 2015 at midnight EST. I’ll draw one randomly selected winner and announce the lucky person here (as well as contact you via email) on the 4th. *Please note: This giveaway is open to the US and Canada only, no P.O. boxes.
p.s. I had to include my little Vandie “Peanut” Cat a lot in this post since she’s 19 years old now and starting to show signs of her age. …though she tries to prove otherwise by the way she scales furniture like a Sherpa of Mount Everest <3