Sunday, June 26, 2016
Summer Tourist Quilt (Designer Edition)
This quilt...it's been a year and a half in the making.
I first designed the Summer Tourist Quilt for my book, Sew Organized for the Busy Girl, back in 2013. In the original version, each of the 9 blocks is made up of 36 squares all containing a single color (red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple, pink, and gray). From a distance, it almost looks like a paint box full of watercolors. I absolutely love that quilt.
But then I thought, wouldn't it be fun to do a version where, rather than focusing on color, each block featured only fabrics from a single designer? I tucked the idea away until the book was finished, finishing a few blocks during early 2015. Soon after, though, our family was plunged into the chaos of packing up our home in California, moving to Texas, and settling into our new home. It wasn't until recent months that I was able to pick up this project again and work at it here and there between other assignments.
And then this week I spotted the project box where I've been keeping my blocks and materials, and I decided that it was time. This quilt deserved to be finished. I spent the weekend working on it during every free moment I had, sewing the last stitch last night after the girls were in bed.
It was so hard to limit myself to just 9 blocks for this quilt. I seriously considered adding at least another row so that I could feature more fabric designers, but in the end, I felt that it was more important to finish the quilt. The blocks feature fabric from the following designers (from top to bottom, left to right): Denyse Schmidt, Heather Ross, Lotta Jansdotter, Alison Glass, Melody Miller, Carolyn Friedlander, Bonnie & Camille, Lizzy House, and Anna Maria Horner. Since many of these were finished a year ago, there are newer fabrics missing from the blocks which I would have loved to add, but so it goes. I still have bags set aside with fabric that I had hoped to use by other talented women like Heather Bailey, Tula Pink, Lori Holt, Rashida Coleman Hale...the list goes on and on. I would really love to do another designer based project in the future, maybe a Weekend Tourist quilt (also from my book) with smaller blocks by more designers.
I used a La Creme dot print by Riley Blake for the sashing, quilting each block separately to the batting before joining them all together with batting backed sashing pieces. It was a different way to construct the quilt, but it allowed me to do more extensive quilting on the blocks than I normally do on a full quilt top. The quilt is backed in Tula Pink's Free Fall wide back fabric and bound in Melody Miller's Facet print in pink from the Garland collection. Both prints are gorgeous, and I love the way they work together.
So now I sit typing on my bed with the finished quilt nearby, fresh from the dryer, a warm and crinkly expanse of rainbow colored joy beside me.
It was definitely worth the wait.