I saw this kit at a quilt show at the Portland Convention Center and fell in love instantly. I tried really hard not to buy it, but somehow I knew in my heart that it was going to come home with me. I loved everything about it. I loved the subtle bargello, I loved the colors, I loved the Asian style fabrics and I loved that it was a wall hanging. Yep, pretty much everything about it. As I was wandering around the show trying not to think about the kit, I realized that I hadn’t yet made anything for my niece Jessica. I had made quilts for her boys Trevor and Jake, and even one for her brother Dean, but not one for her. Once I realized this horrible oversight on my part, I marched directly to the stand and bought the kit. Well, as directly as one can march at a quilt show. Ya know… shiny things?
Anyway, the kit was great and I was pretty sure that Jessica would love the colors. The pattern was well written and the fabrics nice to work with. I did change a couple of the fabric placements, but only slightly so. I took just a couple pictures (of questionable quality) while the quilt was in progress.
When I was finished piecing I contacted Karen for some custom quilting. You can read about it on her blog here. She did SID (stitch-in-the-ditch) in the Bargello part, background McTavishing, and modified piano key borders. Even on this small project I learned a couple things:
- Let your longarmer design the quilting. When Karen and I discussed how to quilt this wall hanging, I remember asking for something specific in the borders. I don’t recall exactly what it was, but it was different than the “modified piano keys” border that she had suggested. After I slept on it a few nights, I realized that her idea was actually much better than mine and that I should just let her design the quilting – always. She has way more experience and is just plain better at it that I am. Since then I’ve tried to just let her do her thing. It’s hard for a control freak like me to do that, but I’ve not been disappointed in the results.
- Measure your fabric before you start cutting, especially in a kit. The skinny black inner border was supposed to be a tiny bit wider (1/4″), but there wasn’t enough fabric in my kit to make it the designated width. I don’t think that 1/4″ matters much in the end, but if I had started cutting without checking, I’d have had to either skip the inner border or buy more fabric. Glad I checked.
- I loved the bargello process! I haven’t yet done another quilt using this technique, but I know that I will. I particularly like the subtle Bargello of this quilt. I’ll probably lean that direction in the future too.
I’m not sure why I didn’t get any finished pictures of the quilt. All my post-quilting pictures are from Karen. I vaguely recall finishing the binding, and within minutes wrapping the quilt in Christmas wrapping paper. Someday when I visit, I must take a full photo.