A sweet finish

Here is a quilt I’ve been working on in little bits over the past few months…

Not my typical style for sure, but I loved the new English Paper Piecing pattern I got to use!  I wanted to make a quilt for our friend’s new baby, and the mom-to-be requested that I use these Strawberry Shortcake fabrics…

Strawberry Shortcake Collage

I don’t often buy novelty prints, so it took me a while to come up with an idea that would feature the prints while being fun for me to put together.  I knew I wanted to use English Paper Piecing, so I could work on the quilt in little bits of time- at the table with my kids doing schoolwork or on trips in the car.  Eventually I settled on this open-centered chrysanthemum (I’m calling it a sunflower) because I found the shape of the petals so appealing, and the big circles worked to feature the big prints.  I love the methodical pace of EPP- iron down the freezer paper templates, cut out the shapes, baste over the edges, join the shapes with tiny invisible stitches, remove the basting, remove the papers… then in this quilt the shapes have to be appliqued as well, so there’s another round of basting and more tiny invisible hand stitching… this is just the kind of quilt I love to work on.  I kept it ever handy in its little tray so I could work on it at any time I had a few minutes.  School time, car time, guild meetings, Sherlock reruns…  They all add up to a finished quilt before you know it.

After all the blocks were together and up on the design wall, I realized that the intense color was pretty unrelenting, so I added the tiny white sashing to break up all that color.   I used tiny yellow cornerstones for a little extra sweetness.  The quilt is backed with one of the Strawberry Shortcake prints which was a really thick, cozy flannel, so it has a nice heft.  It’s quilted simply with a little perle cotton.  Quilts like this that are all about the fabric don’t need extensive quilting, in my opinion.

The quilt was delivered last week, in time for baby’s 2 month birthday… pretty good by my usual standards and, in my defense, she came earlier than expected!  I am feeling antsy now without a project to focus on.  I’ve got too many up in the air and I can’t decide which is the most important.

I just found a new weekly linkup that is just my style- Monday Morning Star Count at Life Under Quilts.  Jessica Alexandrakis, author of Quilting on the Go, is a fellow proponent of EPP, and she hosts the linky to provide some encouragement to keep plugging away at our projects!  I”m really looking forward to watching other quilters’ projects progress!  For this, the first week, she asked for a picture of our sewing kits, so here is the kit I carried around when I was working on this quilt:

I loved using a tray rather than some sort of bag, because everything stayed so nice and flat!  Everything was easy to find, too.  Highly recommend it!

31 thoughts on “A sweet finish

    1. Thanks Kerrie! I will definitely deep that design in my back pocket in case I have another feature fabric some day; it was so fun to put together.

      On Tue, Jan 7, 2014 at 12:36 AM, Jessie Aller

  1. Oh my gosh….what a great way to use a novelty print.ni absolutely love it. I make many baby quilts and have never done English paper piecing so maybe I will have to give this a try. Thanks so much for sharing !

  2. Nice work as always. That baby is so lucky and it’s too young to know. I found Jessica two years ago and she led me down the EPP path to Claire who sponsored that Rose Star project. So nice the way your kept your pieces in a box. It reminded me of my sewing kit which I keep in a little wooden oval box. Bags are great for fabric but scissors and thread etc need a hard case it seems. 🙂 BTW did you get to some agreement with Kate about the commission on our sales? Is the announcement or Call for entries official now for our show at Anacostia Arts center? I feel like I missed the end of that discussion somehow. Hope I am the only one.

    Frederick woodcut55@aol.com

    1. Frederick, you should check out the linky, too. There is someone working on a Rose Star like yours! But with more muted colors. I would love to see your sewing kit. I have not het spoken with Kate; she was out of office until this week due to the holidays.

  3. That is adorable! The kittens in the corners slay me. Makes me want to do one of these with a ring around a print. (MUST NOT START NEW PROJECTS!)

    1. I know, I fell for those kittens, too! Ended up ordering more of that fabric off eBay so I could back the whole quilt with it!

      On Tue, Jan 7, 2014 at 10:11 AM, Jessie Aller

    1. Well thanks, Judy! I need to mix my quilts up to keep them interesting, otherwise I lose interest and never finish… I suffer from quilting ADD for sure!

      On Tue, Jan 7, 2014 at 10:49 AM, Jessie Aller

  4. Thank you for sharing, Jessica. What a cute quilt. I, too, enjoy hand projects like this and usually have one or two going. I don’t “sit” well so always need something to work on. I also like the box idea. I sometimes put mine in a shallow basket which is easy to grab and go with, too. Lucky baby girl.

    1. Hi Penny! I like how you put that, I don’t “sit” well either. I’ve been pacing the house without my go-to project this past week or two! Can’t decide which one to work on next.

      On Tue, Jan 7, 2014 at 12:31 PM, Jessie Aller

  5. Turned out beautiful Jess! I couldn’t have imagined you could do so much with a novelty print and lots of pink, but you did it. Hope little Emma loves it!

  6. I am in awe 🙂 I love the rings and immediately starting thinking of how I could use them! You documented the process so perfectly! Beautiful job and what a luck little girl!

    1. Thanks, Allison! Let me know if you ever want to use these and I’ll email you the template! They were really fun to put together and fairly quick, since each petal is not really that long.

  7. Your tray idea is brilliant. I need to dig up my old Breakfast-in-bed tray again. Those BIB days are over, but it will serve a better purpose now. Love that Strawberry Shortcake, too.

  8. I’ve come to leave a reply every day since you linked up but.. words can’t describe how wonderful this quilt is. You really found a perfect way to make a sophisticated yet girly quilt that I hope the owner will treasure. I would have had a hard time parting with this one. Thanks for finding my blog and the link up. Please start another EPP and come back and share it with us again.
    p.s. I’m beginning to feel the need to find an excuse to come down to DC and hang out with the DC Modern Guild folks… you have some serious talent in that group.

    1. Thanks so much. I had fun making the quilt and that’s the important part. If they use it for a dog bed I’ll never know 🙂 We would love to have you come visit DC! I am so lucky to have joined the DC Modern Quilt Guild when I did and bask in its wealth of quilty goodness. I am amazed all the time.

      Thanks for running this linky, BTW, I feel like I’ve found my home, my peeps. I’m really looking forward to watching everyone’s progress!

      On Sun, Jan 12, 2014 at 12:09 AM, Jessie Aller

  9. Your design looks lovely! Even though I’m not the biggest fan of fabriques like the one with the strawberry girl, I think it looks wonderful in thr combi with all the rest! Great example how different fabriques can look if you combine them right 🙂

    1. Thank you! I fell in love with the red and pink together and that’s what made it so fun for me to put together.

      On Sun, Jan 12, 2014 at 5:15 AM, Jessie Aller

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