January 27, 2016

The Evolution of a Quilt

Do you ever have an idea for a quilt and then just never get it started? I'm talking years here. Maybe it's a rough sketch. Maybe it's just in your head. Or maybe you actually start the project and it evolves into something completely different? That's how I feel about my current project. It sat around forever and then evolved. For the better.

The initial idea sat around for years in the form of these leafy fabrics in my stash and this sketch. I don't buy traditional fabrics like this anymore but I still love their leafy goodness. After all, I love all things leafy.   : )

My intention was to make a wall quilt to use in the family room during the winter months when my decor goes mostly white with a touch of green. See my white post for more on that. I planned to use my leafy print collection including these great large scale leaf prints that I've saved just for this project. I love them!

I've also had another idea tucked away that was inspired by a lovely blue and white checkerboard quilt in a home decorating magazine I saw years ago. One of those images that's makes an impression and stays with you. It was so simple. So clean and crisp. I thought one day I'd make a checkerboard quilt with white and one additional color.

Then along came the scrappy trip quilts everyone was making not all that long ago. I learned Bonnie Hunter's clever technique for making these blocks. Love the technique. Love the look. Here are a few blocks made for a baby quilt.

After seeing numerous lovely Scrappy Trip quilts online, I had an aha moment. Why not use this technique to make the checkerboard blocks. Instead of a random placement of leafy prints they would appear somewhat clustered and create movement within the checkerboard look. I liked how it looked.

I started making blocks for the wall hanging and the idea evolved into a quilt for our master bedroom instead. True confessions . . . I call myself a quilter but I don't actually have a quilt on any of the beds in my house. Go figure. I think it's finally about time I make a quilt for a bed. Since leaves play a role in my bedroom decor, this idea was the perfect fit. Here are some of the blocks laid out on the bed. Checkerboard look I feel in love with. Leafy prints I love. Perfect.

I've been making these blocks on and off now for months, mostly at various guild sew days. I need about 68 give or take. Truth be told, I'm really tired of taking the same thing to sew day over and over, month after month.

This past weekend was the last time I'll be doing these at a sew day. Yeah! I spent the day cutting the final batch of strip sets into segments and then unsewing as the tutorial calls for. Here's a batch of them all ready for the next step.

See this post for my tips on how to keep the segments organized so you unsew the correct seams. Believe me . . . it's quite easy to make a mistake.

As I worked on the blocks for my bed quilt I had another aha moment. I should just bust out the wall quilt too. I only needed 9 more blocks plus some strips for the checkered edge. Why not make both? It seems like a no brainer and yet I hadn't seriously considered it once my thinking shifted to making a quilt for the bed.

Now I'm well on my way to having the wall quilt almost done and the bed quilt is getting closer and closer to completion too. All the blocks should be done by the end of the week. Then I just need to sew them into rows. WaHoo!!! It feels like two quilts in one.

Next month I hope to have two finished quilts to share. Two projects that have been on my to do list for way way too long. That's a really good way to start the year.

Do you have projects that you've wanted to make for a long time?
Why not move forward on just one of them this year?

Linking up with a few parties this week. Another of my 2016 goals.
Let's Bee Social, WIP Wednesday and Needle and Thread Thursday.



  1. Why not make a wall quilt? What a great idea to use up those leftovers. Lovely quilts so far...can't wait to see the finishes.

  2. Great story! I've had a few ideas in my head for years like that. I'm glad you finally got your ideas down in fabric and they look so nice. Wonderful leaf prints that you collected.

  3. Love your combination of the checkerboard and scrappy Trips method. And all those leafy greens go so well with white! I have far more quilty HBIs (half-baked ideas) than I'll ever get around to executing, but some of them will become actual quilts eventually.

  4. I do not know what it is, but there is something so appealing about checkerboards. Love your idea of all green leafy prints. I love red and I have been collecting ladybug prints so this may be a good implementation of them for me.

  5. That bed quilt is just wonderful. The subtle movement of colour and print, broken up with white, is a genius move. I have not been attracted to realistic prints but now I see wonderful possibilities. Well done.

  6. Love love love the bed quilt. Looks perfect in that room!

  7. Oh Anne, what leafy green goodness! And I love your glassware and pottery!

  8. Your blocks look so precise! I'm hopeless at accuracy - which is why I do improv :)

  9. I love the green checkerboard Anne! It is so fresh but also quite tropical! I have an idea for a quilt that I am trying to develop! I have started a few blocks but am not feeling the 'love' for it! I am not sure if I should keep going or just abandon it and start over.....Decisions, decisions!

  10. I just want to move into that bedroom of yours now--it looks fabulous with the green/white glassware and that beautiful green/white flimsy on the bed! Sometimes the hardest part of a project is near the end, when you are so tired of it--trying to push it through (or at least that's one of the hardest for me!). Beautiful work, as usual, Anne. Carry on!

  11. I like how you were able to modernize these very traditional fabrics. It is a cool effect, and one of the qualities of a true quilter (which you can call yourself once you get a quilt on your bed) :)

  12. I'm in love with your Hosta fabric! Someday, I'd like to try a Hosta art quilt. Mmmmm!

  13. The green checkerboard is very cool, it goes so well with the room. Great design.


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