I started this quilt last spring as part of a Quilt-Along led by Jenny Pedigo of sewkindofwonderful.com and finished the top in June. The pattern is Jenny’s Urban 9-Patch, since renamed Urban Holiday. I added the fuchsia diamonds between the blocks for an extra jolt of color.
Why did it take so long to get it quilted? Well, I had lofty ideas of doing some fancy free motion quilting (FMQ) on it. The longer I put off practicing my free motion quilting skills, the longer the quilt top languished. There’s just no getting around the fact that FMQ demands lots of practice.
Little Miss Marta is now 14 months old. I figured I’d better hurry up and get her quilt done before she graduates from college. I had done some preliminary stitching in the ditch to stabilize the blocks in preparation for FMQ. I stitched in more ditches and then quilted ribbons in the center of each block and a loop-de-loop in the borders to finish it.
A leftover block went on the back:
Don’t you love that wrinkly, crinkly look a quilt gets when it’s been washed?
I wrote in an earlier post about my very first Quilt-Along, hosted by Jenny of sewkindofwonderful.com. A few weeks have passed since the Quilt-Along officially ended and I’ve finally finished the top of one of the projects I started:
It measures 48″ square, a good size for a baby quilt. I’m toying with the idea of using curves in the border but will wait till I’ve quilted it before making a final decision.
And here’s a little something I made recently for my friend Vivienne’s birthday:
. . . or QAL, as it’s known for short. Essentially it’s a virtual community of quilters working independently on a project over a set course of time, reporting progress and pictures via the initiator’s blog and a shared photo site such as Flickr. Quilt-Alongs have been around for years but I’m just now discovering them. (Part of my Late Bloomer syndrome.)
So how did my first Quilt-Along come about? One day in late January I was innocently cruising some quilt blogs and spotted this picture:
The block was designed and made by Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful, using her own Quick Curve Ruler and a method for sewing curves without pins. Hmmm. Sewing concave and convex seams together without using a single pin? I was skeptical . . . but also intrigued. So I watched the tutorial video on Jenny’s blog, ordered the ruler, and gave it a try. I became an instant convert. And a big fan of Jenny’s, I might add.
Jenny was just getting a Quilt-Along started, the plan being to make a quilt top over 12 weeks — one block a week — using her Urban 9-Patch design and her ruler. A block a week? I can do that, I thought. So — totally on impulse — I joined the Quilt-Along. As if I didn’t have enough other projects in the works.
Here’s the first block I made, using a Riley Blake floral:
I liked the block but I had been saving some other fabrics for just the right project, and I realized this was it. So next came this block, using three fabrics from Mo Bedell’s Party Dress line for Blue Hill Fabrics:
And here are the first four blocks joined together:
(The fuchsia diamond in the center was my addition to Jenny’s design.)
I was humming along, happily making my Urban 9-Patch blocks, when Jenny introduced her Urban Deco block:
I was captivated by this new design – it’s the Urban 9-Patch block with another row around the outside. Now picture that block without the last strip of fabric that makes the block a square. Can you see the remaining curve as the outside of a quilt? I could! I decided to make a small project testing that idea, so as not to totally abandon my other QAL project.
Here is my three-block quilt, made mostly of batiks, with a pale lime Fairy Frost border and dark green batik binding:
I am so pleased with it! And Jenny has kindly given me permission to teach her design. My class, “Jenny’s Urban 9-Patch,” is scheduled for June 9 at the Pine Needle Quilt Shop in Lake Oswego.
Jenny’s Quilt-Along is over now and I’m still several blocks behind. Time to get back to work.