I just realized that I haven’t shared with you the story behind my entry ‘Winter Tree’ for the Project QUILTING Fat Quarter Shop Bundle Challenge – Tradition Times Three. So – before I forget any longer, let’s take a look at how this quilt was created. I had many ideas go through my mind until I finally decided on doing a squarey quilt inspired by a quilt I saw show up on my facebook feed. My mother-in-law and her sister, Barb, are teaching squarey-quilts at the 2013 Quilts by Barb Quilt Retreat so this quilt would be for dual purposes:
- To fit the challenge
- be another example of what the retreat attendees can create with these blocks.
I always love a project that can be used for multiple purposes.
Before I got too far – I knew that I had to alter some of the fabric colors. The bonus bundle is very nautical and I wanted to do a tree. I decided to use oil stix and rubbing plates to change the colors of some of the fabrics. I rubbed copper and golds over the red fabrics to ‘dull’ the brightness and give it more of a ‘tree’ effect. Since there would be metallics in the trunk I wanted to bring at least a little metallics into the other portion of the quilt so I rubbed silver oil stix paint over just some of the blue fabrics (sky) and some of the cream fabrics (snow/ground). I think it helped to pull things together a bit by doing this and created even more dimension in the final quilt.
We were allowed to add up to two fabrics to our bundle and since I was lacking in the cream/white (snow/ground) department I decided to first add my original spoonflower fabric ‘Parchment Rolls’.
For my second fabric I decided to go with a Wintergraphix Jason Yenter fabric from FabricFascination similar to the one shown above. Instead of red swirls though, the color way I used had brown swirls.
Next – I needed to come up with my layout. I’ll be honest. I rarely plan my quilts let alone sketch what I wanted to do. But for this one – I needed something to go by since color placement and size would be really important to get everything to fit all together and still look like a tree.
Here’s what my original sketch looked like. I stayed pretty true to it with just some minor modifications to make the sizing and math a bit easier for me to work with.
I chose to basically do a courthouse steps log cabin block in the finished sizes of 3”, 6”, 9” and 12” (yes – I’m an overachiever…the challenge only required three sizes…I decided to go one step farther with four…)
Once my fabric was prepped, my design sketched and my block decided on it was just a matter of cut, sew, press, repeat.
It wasn’t too long until I had the top all pieced. It did take me a bit more than normal just getting everything to fit into place and there were a few ‘Y’ seams to be had but they went together really pretty smoothly. At this point, I was just a few weeks away from the May deadline with my trip to North Carolina at the end of the month cutting my deadline by 7 days. There was no time for me to send my quilt to Barb to quilt…I had to do it. So, I loaded it onto my frame, took a deep breathe and went for it.
I used a gorgeous, rich blue Aurifil thread in the top (seriously – how have I never used Aurifil before – AMAZING!) and white Superior Bottom Line thread in my bobbin. The quilting on this took just a few hours with only minor issues. I decided to do an all over meander with a swirl in the inner square of the block…basically the same pattern Barb did on one of my very first squarey quilts. I loved it so much I thought – why no?
I was so amazed! When I pulled it off the frame – it was straight! It was my biggest quilt that was a success quilting myself to date! I was super happy. Now – it was time to bind. I put a ‘lip’ of Parchment Rolls around the edge first and then finished it up with a solid kona blue binding.
photo taken by Karmen Linder Photography
I frantically hand-stitched the binding on so I could include it in my random ‘Pop Up Outdoor Quilt Show’ and so Karmen could get it in a few shots.
Whew! I made it just in time and I am SO HAPPY with how it turned out! I would love to hear what you think of my quilt ‘Winter Tree’.
This is amazing. Very inspired. You are so talented and I love hearing about your creative process.
Thanks so much Roslyn! I'm glad I could share with you 🙂
Thanks for sharing a bit about your process! This was one of my favourites from the festival and it's nice to have the insight into its creation.
This is a gorgeous quilt! I love 'tree' quilts, but this one is just stunning and so different from what I have. Love, love, love it!!! You did an amazing job!
Thanks so much! It was really fun to create this one!
This is one of those wonderful quilts I wished I would have designed myself! Beautiful! Great job!