In Featured/ Quilting/Home Dec

Loose Ends Tied Up

Thank you, All, so much for your kind words about my latest quilt top! Many of you also had some great suggestions for how I should finish it, since my first attempt to quilt it by myself was a complete disaster. While I initially intended to take everything to a quilt shop, there aren’t any in my immediate area. So, rather than leave the top laying around collecting dust and cat hair, I decided to hand-tie it myself and call it finished.


I never bought any fabric with the specific purpose of backing this quilt, so I was pulling from my stash and hoping for the best. Luckily I had enough things to make it work! The main fabric I used is called Folly in Butterscotch and it’s from Amy Butler’s Cameo collection. Even though they’re not by the same company, the neon green in Folly is a near perfect match for RJR’s Cotton Supreme Solid in Neon! I also thought the warm orange-y brown hue was a good compliment for some of the colors on the front of my quilt.


I only had two yards of Folly so I had to get creative with how I used it, hence the little chunk of Neon on the left (which will eventually become a space to leave a dedication/date/etc) and the large chunk of mustard houndstooth flannel at the bottom, which I decided is a well planned out foot-warmer panel (not a lack of fabric workaround). 😉 😉


I think the Sparkle & Fizz pattern works perfectly for a hand-tied quilt. The arrangement of the blocks showed me exactly how to space out my ties so I didn’t have to do any kind of measuring or marking before I got started. It made the whole process pretty painless. In fact, my Peanut Cat was the biggest hurdle. She was eager to test out a new comfy sleeping space so I ended up making ties around her as she slept, haha!


I didn’t have any fabric I really liked to use as a binding so I skipped that part and finished the edges like you would a regular blanket. I had a pretty big pack of embroidery floss left over from my days of “I’m going to learn how to do that, too!” but not enough of any single color to tie the entire quilt. No matter, it was an easy enough decision to add more rainbow to the rainbow and I’m glad I went that route in the end.


Quilt Pattern: Sparkle & Fizz by Karen Lewis for Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine
Quilt Top Fabric: Pie Making Day by Brenda Ratliff of Just A Bit Frayed
Solid Fabrics: Cotton Supreme Solids by RJR Fabrics
Quilt Back Fabrics: Folly by Amy Butler and Robert Kaufman Flannel (I think…)


Looking back, I laugh at how hard of a time I had trying to quilt diagonal lines through everything when compared to how easy it was to just stitch around the perimeter. Maybe my machine was trying to tell me I should go with the hand-tied look instead of attempting to quilt the whole thing myself 😉 Good call, Machine. Good call.


I had a lot of fun making this quilt and I’m really pleased with myself for finding a way to finish it. I don’t like having unfinished projects laying around to haunt me and it just plain feels good to finish the things you start. There is just one small thing left to do and that’s write a little note to my mom in the green space on the back, but I don’t have a good fabric marker right now to do that (Maybe you can recommend one?).


Yep, this quilt is going to my mom! I never would have guessed she’d go for all the color but from the second she saw the first few blocks she couldn’t stop commenting on how much she loved it. I’m definitely a selfish sewer, guilty as charged, but it does feel awfully good to make something for someone else. …not that my brother would know. I still owe him pajama pants from Christmas 2012 (Whoops! I’ll make up for that eventually, I swear).


If you want to read more about the makings of my Sparkle & Fizz quilt, which I made for the RJR Fabrics “What Shade Are You?” Blog Hop, you can see that first blog post: here!

Back to more garment sewing adventures soon (I’m itching to sew some more button-up shirts!).

Thanks for reading 🙂


  • cjanemake

    This Looks great. I want to work on my quit ASAP now!!! I bought a cheap Walmart , look-alike-quilt for $15 and its my husbands favorite bed cover. He has requested that I make one from scratch. This gave me the confidence. I must make my quilt. 😀

  • This turned out so pretty! Lucky mom!

  • What a beautiful quilt! I just love the mixture of colour and pattern – well done!

  • Debra Ward

    I like it! A quilted quilt is lovely but a hand tied quilt in my books feels homey. You’ve got both beauty and homey so its a win, win situation!!!

  • Lora

    Very cute quilt, and tying is a perfectly good way to finish off a quilt. It’s going to be much appreciated by your mom. Having quilted a number of quilts myself, sometimes it’s just not worth the hassle, plus physically it can be more demanding than you might think!
    For signing, use Pigma Micron pens- they are archival quality and used by lots of quilters for long-lasting results.

  • jannapyj

    This quilt was definitely meant to be hand tied!!! It came out so bright and fun and happy, just my kind of project!!!


  • Gorgeous finish! I’m glad you figured something out, even if your machine wasn’t cooperating with quilting. It looks great tied, and the backing is a great match.

    I, too, have had a couple of pretty bad experiences trying to machine quilt – unpicking it was pretty awful!

  • Great fabric choice – the wee little folks hiding, so to speak, amongst the pattern are super darling and the fact that they’ll now be hidden all the more on the underside of this quilt is just darling.

    ♥ Jessica

  • Erin C

    I owe my sister a dress from a few years ago as well. I’m glad I’m not the only one!

  • Sara

    cute! I love that fabric on the back especially.