Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Quiltmaker's "Back to School" Quilt

I happened onto a fun quilting blog published by Quiltmaker magazine. (http://www.quiltmaker.com/blogs/quiltypleasures/) In September, they presented a "Back to School" quilt, and gave directions day by day for a week.  It was a cute pattern, and I thought the daily directions might be just the motivation I needed to quickly get a quilt made for my family Secret Santa.

The first thing I did was shop my fabric stash to see if I could come up with fabric I already had to make this quilt.  Actually, I came up with several options.   
I could go with a Christmas theme.

Oranges and turquoise would make a fun combo.

Or red, pinks, and greens would make a classic beauty.

I decided on the third grouping (reds, pinks, and greens) for several reasons.  I liked not only the contrast in values of the fabrics, but also the scale of prints seemed right.  There was just enough of the large scale floral to make center blocks.  The stripe added the contrast needed to make the other fabrics come alive.  And, finally, I know this palette will go with the decor of its recipient.

I very much enjoyed this project. My assignment was just enough to complete and stay up with the daily directions.  It's a simple design, but the applique petals give it pzazz. I always want to put my individual stamp on my projects, and I did it this time with the borders.  The directions called for just 2 rather plain borders.  I added 3 borders + a binding that looks like a 4th border.  It was my idea to add squares and petals to the border corners, and I think that really helped carry the design all the way to the edges. 

I used a solid coordinating green for the backside (It also came from my stash!).  Starting in the center and working my way outward, I quilted it using free-motion quilting on my machine.  The quilt was a good size for this; any bigger, and it would have been a struggle.  The solid fabric on the back really shows off the quilting.  I'm pleased with the results and can check 1 Christmas present off my "to-do" list.

The finished "Back To School" quilt.

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