Thursday, June 7, 2012

Blue Beginnings

Sunny blue skies provided an opportunity to photograph the quilt I finished for
  I can finally lay claim to sewing a quilt in nothing but solid fabrics!  I used over 30 different values of blue - from dark navy right down to a pale-almost-white blue.  The majority of fabric used, being Kona solids, along with a half dozen of Moda's Bella solids, became this twin sized quilt for my son.  I thought variety of value would be key in making this monochromatic quilt look more dynamic.

The pattern I followed used prints - not solids, but I could see the potential for solids to look stunning in this design.

The pattern for my quilt can be found in Evelyn Sloppy's book, 40 Fabulous Quick-Cut Quilts.

Natural light  best shows the range of value in the blues.
The piecing for this quilt looks more complicated than it is.  I highly recommend this pattern for the easy methods for construction.  I will say that be prepared for taking your time when matching seams and careful pressing, but it's more than worth the effort, in my opinion.

 Full view photos proved a bit tricky to take, despite having two tall assistants to hold the quilt. ;o)
I don't think it helped matters that the quilt has been folded up since Monday (waiting for a bit of sunshine for me to take photos of it!).

It's interesting to see the texture changes between the border and the blocks - all thanks to the 2 different FMQ patterns I used. 

I'm amazed at what is possible using a domestic machine!

 Sewing a scrappy binding proved to be the right finish to the quilt.  I kept the value changes random and didn't repeat a single fabric.  At times the binding will blend, but it also contrasts, which I quite like.

Looking back on this project, I had two concerns.  Initially, I was concerned about the possibility that using only solids could make it boring (I can laugh at that now!;o) and once I got past that, I was concerned that my quilting would ruin things ( but not because I lack confidence with quilting). 

Not perfect, but that's not the point.  I'm embracing the learning that comes from stretching my skills and keeping my creativity from stagnating.  I can only get better one stitch at a time. ;o)
I realize both these concerns hinged on the idea that solids are unforgiving. That either you "get them right" or they look BAD. Solids don't hide badly matched seams or wonky stitches the way print fabrics can and being somewhat of a perfectionist, this gave me serious pause.

 Is this quilt perfect? No. Did I have to rip stitches.  Yes. Will it win any awards? No. Will it be loved, used and treasured? Yes, yes, yes!

  So, once I put it all into perspective, my concerns didn't amount to anything. And look! I finished my first quilt in only solids and my soon-to- be-18-years-old-son is thrilled with his new quilt.  I see two milestones here.  Which is how I came up with the name for it, "Blue Beginnings" - a special quilt to mark my son's start into life as a young adult as well as being (what I believe) only the beginning of my foray into quilting with solids.


  1. Wow and wow - it's finished - well done you!! I am tremendously impressed - it is awesome!!! ove the quitling you chose in the end - it suits it perfectly!

  2. Oh sigh.. and sigh again. I love it! The quilting you did works lovely. I was a bit afraid of the busy border pebbles but it's just the right contrast. (coming from a newbie quilter.. the nerve! LOL)

  3. A stunning quilt Katherine! Love all about the Blue Beginnings!

  4. I've loved this quilt since you posted the first block. It is beautiful.

  5. Oh Katherine this quilt is amazing on so many levels! What a fantastic job you did. It's been great following your journey in the making of this quilt. Many milestones indeed. it's oozing with the love (and sweat) you put into it for your son! No kidding he loves it!
    P.S. Don't you ever say again that solids are boring!

  6. Katherine, your quilt is amazing! It's the sky, the sea, the waves, even shadows on the snow! Well done! x Teje

  7. Would it win awards? Yes, in my book it would. This is just the most beautiful quilt ever Katherine.

  8. Congratulations on a fantastic finish! I'm so impressed you completed this project in such a short span of time!

  9. your blue quilt is wonderful! You can now boast that you made a scrappy quilt with only solids!

  10. Hi, I have been following your progress via Jane and well done on finishing such a magnificent quilt in what seems like no time at all. No wonder your son loves it.

  11. Gorgeous. I am going to have to get my hands on this book.

  12. As a scrappy quilter I didn't think this challenge was for me, and I think your solution for the possible boredom of using solids, ie. using a wide variety of shades, is a masterstroke!

  13. Oh Katherine, it's beautiful in the manliest of ways! What a lucky son you have, and the most important part is the loved, used and treasured part!!

    By the way, I nearly fell out of my chair when I read about your soon-to-be-18-years-old-son!! So much time has passed!! It shouldn't really have surprised me since I have a soon-to-be-14-years-old-son, although writing that nearly knocked me out of my chair too! They still feel so little to me :-)

  14. This is a beautiful DYNAMIC quilt. Since I like blue to begin with, I am totally sold.

  15. C'est magnifique - perfect for young man! I particularly like the scrappy pieced borders and binding --- no surprise there, lol!

  16. What a fantastic quilt, Katherine! Do you like blue or something?!?! ;) your son is one lucky young man to have such a beautiful quilt lovingly made by his mama. You did a wonderful job on it!

    I love that you are embracing your not quite perfect quilting and seeing it as practice to get better. That's a great approach! Although I must say that your quilting looks dandy!

  17. This is gorgeous kat.... It creates quite a kalaeidescope ....

  18. Did i loae your comment again lol


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