Friday, November 18, 2016

Liberty Color Wheel {Quilt}

This quilt.  It has quite a story!
 In 2009, I bought the book Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts at the store when I was about 12 weeks pregnant with our Jamie Lynn
 I never imagined when I picked it up that I would end up laid up a lot during that pregnancy and reading that book.  Over and over. Some of the projects gave me such a feeling of productivity by making quick quilt items when I was feeling super low and unmotivated.  
 It was, basically, the book that made me see that quilting might bring me solace during my grief journey.  A therapy of sorts.

The one thing I always knew is that I wanted to really make the color wheel quilt!  I always envisioned a scrappy one, but never seemed to be particularly motivated to make one because didn't really have a home for it.

Then, on my 40th birthday, my husband sent me to New York City with our oldest son, two years ago. It's a super long story, but it worked out for him to go with me and we have now established that our family will be doing a Mother-Son trip with each of our sons when they turn 18, just like we do a Father-Son trip when they are 16.  

Josh and I did all the normal sightseeing, but I had to stop at Purl Soho knowing how much that book meant to me. I also always try to pick up a little bit of fabric as a souvenir when I travel.

I was delighted to see that they had bundles all worked out for a Color Wheel Quilt! I chose the Liberty London bundle because we had just visited the Statue of Liberty.
And lets be real,  its beautiful!

After we moved into our new home last year, I realized I had the perfect wall just for the quilt in my studio. After renovations started dying down and the dust settled? I felt compelled to finally make the quilt, one beautiful spring day. 

It was painful to break up the bundle, but I persevered and cut the pieces keeping them in order.

But the good news?  I still have enough to do another quilt!!! 
I'm planning a Flowering Snowball for our "pretty" room since I rainbowtized my library bookcases!!

After cutting, assembly went really well.
I used Kona Snow as my background because the white finishes in my room are a soft, not harsh, white. And it seemed happier with the prints. 

I was surprised how quickly I had a finished top! It seriously goes under the "quick" heading.
I then wondered why I hadn't started it sooner?

I did some quilting sketches for quite a long time.  I really wanted it to be "right" before I ever loaded it up on Ole Betsy.

I knew right away that I wanted to emphasize the quadrants with geometric versus organic themes.  But always using pebbles as a consistent background.

I started at the top left making free motion flowers.
Hindsight, I wish I had looked for more flower motifs and had made sure I did some really solid echo lines around them because some really got lost in the pebbles.

I moved over to the top right to make circles.  I thought it was going to be the most difficult quadrant, but it proved to be the most fun for me!

Geometric versus organic...

In the bottom left corner I chose squares, but with the consistent background of pebbles throughout.  I didn't really think about how tricky they would be, but I let go and tried not to be too perfect, because the more perfect I tried to be, the more wonky they got!

I went with feathers in the bottom right corner.
 I love the nod to traditional, but the ability to make them fun and crazy.

The wheel itself was a close to the seam, but not quite in the ditch quilting.  

I was looking for a trapunto effect.

Which certainly helps when you use double batting.
 It was the first time I layered two cotton battings for a quilt and I have done it again since.
I can't resist.  All the texture!!!!

I chose a backing that was a french text/pictorial print.  I really wanted something that felt like a long ago London gal picked up some French Parisian textiles for her home.  The binding was more Kona Snow.

I just adore it in my sitting area in the studio. This is where Button plays (see toy house above), where I sit and unpick my quilts (a lot), occasionally do my hand-stitching and crosstitch. More often than not, where Button and I snuggle and fall asleep.

  It's amazing to see it up on the wall, right where I wanted it ever since we moved in this new house. A testament to my quilt and grief journey since 2009. 
Delightful, really. 


  1. Heidi, this is a beautiful story. I have found quilting to give me solace in times of both grief and happiness.

  2. I LOVE this and the story behind it!!!! And liberty is just amazing!

  3. Heidi, it is beautiful. The story is as well. How lovely to have special trips with Mom and each son.

  4. What a lovely, lovely, lovely quilt. And a lovely story as well. I wish you many, many afternoons of happiness gazing at your beautiful work!!

    Happy Thanks Giving, my friend.

  5. What a gorgeous quilt! And the quilting is awesome too. Really love it!

  6. Heidi, What a stunning quilt, the quilting is AMAZING! It looks wonderful on your wall, so eye catching. Wonderful work.

  7. That is a fantastic quilt and I love the different quilting in each quadrant. What a lovely story behind the making of your quilt too - I think it will be perfect in your sewing room and always give you good memories to think about.

  8. Such a beautiful colour wheel - lovely fabrics and fabulous quilting. May you get comfort from your little quilt, and thank you for sharing the story of your sad loss.


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