Wednesday, June 23, 2010

... a quilt for me

feet and quilt again

with just over a year of quilting under my belt, i have finally made a quilt just for me. though i should say "us," considering i will most likely be cuddling with c under this quilt.

quilt front

i finished piecing the quilt top almost a year ago, but this poor thing has sat neglected for so long in the face of quilts i wanted to make for others.

quilt on the bed

i call this my deep sea quilt. but after completing it i'm going to give it the nickname, the wabi-sabi quilt. because while i do love it, there is so very much wrong with it.

up close on the quilting

some things i learned:

  1. trim your thread from your quilt top before you make your quilt sandwich. especially when you (inexplicably) decide to piece everything with bright pink thread. what i wound up with is vague strands of pink visible under the white blocks. but in my effort to put a good spin on things, i'm trying to imagine these as ethereal jellyfish floating by in the background.
  2. basting, basting, basting! i swear i am usually a thorough and good baster, but maybe i got cocky on this one? i don't know, what i was thinking, but what i do know is that i did not baste nearly enough for this kind of quilting, so there was a disturbing amount of shifting going on.
  3. and that leads me to something i learned about myself: i don't like to undo work i've already done. i had already quilted about a third of the quilt before i started to notice the shifting. but since that represented five to six hours of work already, i just couldn't bring myself to rip it out. c'est la guerre, non?

quilt back and feet

but, boy howdy, do i love the back of this quilt! one of the first fabric lines i fell in love with after i started sewing last year was heather ross's mendocino and one i used a bit on the quilt front. so i knew i wanted to feature it even more boldy on the back. i was inspired by this gorgeous quilt, by erin from house on hill road with its large, bright, happy squares.

quilt back on bed

mermaids! fish! octopi! sea horses! oh my!

quilt with dramatic lighting

some quilt specs:

  • it measures 60 x 84 inches, by far the largest quilt i've attempted so far.
  • the front is a simple four-patch with solid borders. each square is 4 inches finished and the border measures 2 inches, so each finished block is 12 inches total.
  • fabrics on the front include mendocino, joelle hoverson's cake rock beach, some alexander henry, and a bunch of other stuff i can't for the life of me remember. sorry.
  • solid fabric is all robert kaufman essex linen/cotton blend in colors i also don't remember.
  • backing fabric is almost entirely mendocino with one yellow alexander henry floral.
  • binding fabric is cake rock beach.


  1. It looks great! I absolutely love the freehand straight line quilting, and if you hadn't pointed out the flaws, no one else would have noticed :)

  2. I love it, especially the bold back. One day I too will make myself a quilt (sigh)

  3. I love the Mendocino line! It's getting harder and harder to find nowadays. Your quilt is gorgeous. All that painstaking, hard work really paid off!

    PS- That bed is amazing!

  4. It's so beautiful!! You are amazing.

  5. I didn't discover how amazing the "expensive" fabric is until the Mendocino stuff had already been out and sold out - I'm jealous of the amount you have! And, now that I've experienced QUALITY fabric, I won't be going back to cheap garbage any time soon!

  6. Eeek! Great quilt!!! My fav thing about it is the subtle dark vs light aqua borders. But I also really, really like the wavy line quilting. That's what I was thinking about for my Fairytale Patchwork quilt, but settled on a looser quilt design instead, since I fear that those close lines might make the quilt stiff. Do you think it did stiffen it a bit?

  7. Amazing!! I love it and I'm so happy you finished off that quilt top, I remember you posting it at the time! It's funny how we learn things about ourselves this way, isn't it, and then carry that knowledge forward into all the other domains of our lives. And I'm totally going to integrate boy howdy into my every day vocab - not sure I can pull it off with the English accent but there's only one way to find out !

  8. Gorgeous, front and back! The quilting is perfect for the design, and I really love the pinks in a sea-inspired quilt. And the two blues for the sashing. Basically, just great all around.

  9. This is the funkiest, freshest, coolest quilt I've ever seen! You are so talented!

  10. I just found you thru cjane's provo blog ... your name caught my attention since i'm "sara jane" and then i fell in love with this quilt ... wow! love it. i do a lot of sewing and quilting too so i know how much time went into that!
    love your blog :)

  11. I love the simplicity of this quilt. Beautiful

  12. thank you all so much! i am seriously enjoying having my own quilt... finally.

    rachel: the quilting definitely made it stiffer than other quilts i've done, but i find it a really satisfying feeling and it doesn't make it any less cozy. it feels like a moving blanket, which i love, but maybe i'm just sentimental about those since my dad was a long-haul trucker.

  13. Oh, you pulled it off........this is just beautiful, especially including your quilting !
    I know what you mean about the you can see in this post of mine ( )
    Unlike you, I gave up ! I like my finished quilt, but was so disappointed when I had a totally different look in mind and couldn't achieve it !

    I just am crazy about this quilt.....front AND back !

  14. i love this, the colors and quilting are just gorgeous!

  15. This is beautiful! I just recently started quilting, and I have yet to make a quilt for myself. I should though. I love this pattern. I struggled with basting as well...I pinned and pinned over and over, but in the end I used spray adhesive designed for basting and it was so much easier.

  16. Thank you for the inspiration......I've had this quilt of yours playing on my screen saver for days, and finally decided to try quilting my latest quilt this way.

    I LOVE IT !

    Now I can drop my 'quilt envy' of your quilt......well, maybe not !