I am so, so excited to finally have this quilt all done and at home. It is my most favorite quilt I've ever made - my favorite fabrics, my favorite quilting, my favorite batting (100% wool and oh-so-wonderful).
I don't really know where to start to talk about this quilt! It didn't take a particularly long time, but I suppose it was a long time in the making because some of the fabrics used have been in my stash since 2009. Maybe that's why I feel so connected to it? We bought the Mendocino prints at Fabrika in Savannah when I lived there after college, over six years ago. Their store was a tiny little thing on Abercorn with fabric bunting in the window and a small but fun selection inside. We walked away with yards of the swimming sisters and the goldfish, and my mom eventually made a dress from some of it. But the rest lives in my stash and now in this quilt, and whenever I see it, I think of that summer, before I even owned a sewing machine. To say I'm excited for the 2016 reprint is an understatement, but then again, when am I not excited for new fabric?
The rest of the lines were collected over the years. When I limited myself to four yards of fabric during the entire summer of 2011, Far Far Away III was what I purchased. Briar Rose dropped into my lap soon after we moved to Charlotte. Nursery Versery is another summer purchase - summer typically means a new Heather Ross line in my house. I bought the fabrics from stores that are still open, stores that have since closed, Etsy sellers who were selling secondhand. Everything has a story behind it.
I talked about fussy-cutting previously, and I still think it was the best thing to do for this quilt. It used a lot of extra fabric, but it was fun finding the exact kitty to include, or the random knitting details throughout the fabrics (Briar Rose features knitting in a few prints - had to include them). I'm not typically a fussy cutter and I'm not always a details person, but this quilt felt like anything less would be a disservice. I wish I could take a picture of every single block, every single detail, but I think the pictures I've included are enough to overwhelm most of you.
This quilt is large, even with some of my poor piecing. I had it longarmed at Quilted Thimble Cottage, which is my LQS and they've never steered me wrong in the past. I spent about an hour with Jenn and her mom, talking about the quilting design, the thread color, the pattern details. I opted for light pink thread (this is a girly quilt, though unfortunately Nick is not swayed) and 100% wool batting, as I mentioned, which I've never tried before. I am in love with wool batting now. It puffs! It's warm! It breathes! I want it in everything.
Though you can't see it, I backed this quilt in older Anna Maria Horner fabric. I originally wanted to use the new Lizzy House butterflies, but I'm glad it was out of stock everywhere, because this quilt required some creative piecing. Even nine yards wasn't enough for a clean piecing, so there's a strip down one side that had to be sewn together randomly - thankfully, the AMH design is pretty abstract so it isn't too noticeable. I used Heather Bailey to bind it - Jenn, Mary Catherine and I were auditioning fabrics at Quilted Thimble when I picked it up yesterday, and we decided purple was the best choice. I guess it's fitting that I used these designers as well because Anna Maria, Heather Bailey, Heather Ross, and Amy Butler (missing from the quilt!) were the first designer names I knew - my mom and I would shop at the Olde Green Cupboard in Jacksonville, where they deemed these designers "novelty" and didn't carry much of their stock. And then they closed like five years ago, so I'm going to go ahead and say it's directly related, even though I know it isn't.
So this quilt is done and I'm so happy when I see it. I tend to be someone who focuses on the final project, just getting through the process. But I'm glad I savored every part of this quilt, from partnering fabrics to sewing the binding. I wanted this to be my best quilt, and I think it is. It won't stop me from making more, of course, but I want this to be the quilt that lasts forever. So Nick and Schnoz need to stay away from it.
Pattern: Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt sampler / Fabric: Heather Ross (multiple lines, from Lightning Bugs to Far Far Away reprint, and Munki Munki pieces); Dear Stella mini dots as the coordinate; Anna Mara Horner Field Study (backing, not shown); Heather Bailey Lottie Da (binding) / Long-armed by Quilted Thimble Cottage with 100% wool batting