Howdy Quilting Friends!
I’m ready to tell you about Ms. P. Designs USA’s newest creation, the “Blue and More Blue Quilt!” Anyone who knows me has figured out that I am not a big fan of blue. I don’t decorate with blue, I rarely use it in quilts, and I would rather not wear blue clothing. So the big question is, why on earth would I decide to make a blue quilt??? I ran across Judy Neimeyer’s Bohemian Blue fabrics when I was making my cute little Polar Pals quilt and inspiration hit! The collection has lovely blue and white fabric, with pretty snowflakes. It didn’t hurt that I already had a length of white fabric with blue snowflakes in my private stash, thus a plan began!
This year Sharon and I decided that we would think “outside the block”, which for us has always been 7″ squares, so I got out some graph paper and started playing with 15″ blocks. I have learned quite a few fun quilting tricks over the years, so I wanted to incorporate as many shortcut piecing techniques as possible in our patterns for this new quilt. If you make this quilt, you will learn how to make eight half square triangles with only four seams and four flying geese with just five pieces of fabric. No, it isn’t magic but it makes the blocks magically easy to piece! One of the blocks in this quilt uses paper piecing, so I used the paperless paper piecing technique described in this blog post.
Without further ado, here is our Blue and More Blue quilt!
The first block in this quilt is a Sawtooth Star.
Sawtooth Star includes some half square triangle blocks and large flying geese units so you can warm up before you make the rest of the quilt top!
The second block is called Crown and Star.
I was looking for a traditional Bear Claw block and ran across this one instead! I liked it a lot, so here it is.
Our third block is a variation of the Florida Star block.
I extended the checkerboard around the star to fill in the block. This is the only block in the quilt that includes paper piecing.
Our fourth block is a variation of the King’s Crown block.
You guessed it! I also stumbled across this block when I was looking for a traditional Bear Claw block (which coincidentally didn’t make it into the quilt).
The fifth block is a variation of a Pinwheel Star.
I loved the simplicity of this block, so it HAD to be in the quilt. Isn’t it beautiful?
Now I needed to decide what would tie all of the blocks together. Since I learned how to make quick and easy flying geese, what would be a better choice than a Wild Goose Chase block?
Instead of setting it on the diagonal (as is traditional), I wanted it to be on the square to tie in with the four-patches on all of my blocks. I love that when the quilt is all put together, those pretty navy squares remind me of an Irish Chain.
Okay, so I sewed my blocks and offset blocks together and ended up with a 45″ square quilt … that might work for a kid, but I wanted mine a little bigger to make a cozy adult-sized throw quilt. I modified the “Wild Goose Chase” and the “Crown and Star” blocks to come up with blocks for the outside border, which gave me a quilt that finished to 57″ by 57″ square!
When I started working on the quilt, I was hoping to be able to tell you that I did it all on a weekend, but the total time to cut and assemble the top was about three days of sewing time. Not bad for a throw-sized quilt with this much piecing!
What you don’t know is that I finished the quilt top using Judy Neimeyer’s Bohemian Blue fabrics and was quite pleased with it! It was gorgeous (in my humble opinion, and Sharon agreed with me)! I decided to have the quilting for my “Blue & More Blue” quilt done professionally and that is the start of a sad story.
Unfortunately, I was not at all happy with the finished quilt. I requested feathered wreaths to fill the blocks but not take away from the design. The quilter (who was highly recommended to me by a trusted quilting friend) ignored what I requested for the quilting. She also failed to communicate with me that either: 1) she didn’t understand my vision for the quilting or 2) she didn’t have the skill level to make it happen. The result was by far the most disjointed quilting effort that I have ever seen. There was no rhyme or reason for the design placement and I will never understand why she put the backing on wrong side out! Oh my goodness!
How disappointing is that after all of my time in making a beautiful quilt top? In any case, we will definitely not be working with this particular quilter in the future, so here’s to lessons learned the hard way!
SO, I bought more blue fabric and pieced the quilt top a second time and you have just seen the second quilt in this post . . .
The good news is that I didn’t immediately put the first quilt on our burn pile (as my helpful hubby suggested). I added more quilting to hold the lop-sided stitches in place and donated the quilt to my friend’s mom, who is always cold and would enjoy having a quilt to keep her warm while she watches TV. Every time I looked at the quilt I wanted to cry, so I am happy that it is now giving someone warmth and joy!
So now is the time that I am supposed to say that I’m no longer adverse to blue? I think not, but it was fun while it lasted! (Well, mostly.) My husband’s favorite color is blue, so I will dedicate this (second) quilt to him!
Thank you for visiting our blog today, I had fun telling you about our newest quilt and would LOVE to hear what you think!
If you’d like to purchase the “Blue and More Blue” quilt pattern, or any of the individual block patterns, you can find them in Ms P’s Pattern shop!