Category Archives: Ribbon Box quilt

Update on the Picnic Quilt

The top I made using the free pattern Ribbon Box from Cloud 9 Fabrics is finished!  Before I show it to you, take a look at the top before I corrected a mistake:

(Pay no attention to the feline photobomber in the lower right corner.)

What’s the mistake, you ask? This: I sewed one of the pieces upside down. Compare the two versions and see if you can spot my booboo:

(Hint: look in the lower left section.)

It may not be obvious at first glance but I saw it immediately after taking the top photo. The mistake occurs at the bottom of the first vertical ribbon, the black print with all of the fruits on it. If you look at the watermelon wedges, which to me are the ones that immediately draw the eye, you’ll see that the wedge in the bottom section is upside down compared to the wedges in the rest of the ribbon. It’s a directional print so it’s important that the print be oriented the same way so the ribbon appears to be woven from a single piece. (In the fourth vertical ribbon featuring the same print on an aqua background, I deliberately oriented the print in the opposite way; you can tell by looking at those watermelon wedges.)

It was a simple matter to unsew four seams in order to turn the rectangle of fabric around and resew the seams. It’s possible very few people would have noticed it but it would have driven me crazy if I hadn’t fixed it.

Another thing I did (which almost did drive me crazy) was match the seams in a couple of sections of ribbon so as not to interrupt the design. Here’s the fourth vertical ribbon with one matched seam . . .

. . . and the first vertical seam with two matched seams:

Can you spot the seams? They should be almost invisible.

In my previous post I mentioned making changes to the way the quilt is constructed. It has to do with sewing the quilt together in sections rather than in strictly horizontal rows. It enabled me to eliminate 17 seams! I’ll tell you all about it in my next post along with some important considerations regarding fabric choices, cutting instructions, and arranging the ribbons. If I ever make the pattern again — and I just might! — I will surely be keeping these considerations in mind.




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Taking the Plunge

Remember those “picnic quilt” fabrics I showed you a couple of weeks ago? Here’s a reminder:

You can read the post about my fabric selections here if you wish to revisit it.

My plan was to make a test block of the pattern I had in mind. I usually do this to confirm that my vision for a quilt is sound and that the fabrics work well with the pattern design. Turns out making a test block was impossible — because the quilt design is not made of blocks.

I’ll show you what I mean. This was the pattern that inspired my purchase of fabrics:

It’s a free pattern from Cloud 9 Fabrics called Ribbon Box. I saw it recently on a website advertising a new line of fabric for Cloud 9 called “Hidden Thicket” by Leah Duncan. Eight prints from the line were showcased in the design featuring four vertical and four horizontal “ribbons” weaving in and out. It’s on the small side for a lap quilt or throw, finishing at 45″ x 59″.

Over the last few years I’ve seen several quilt patterns with interweaving ribbons but none of them grabbed me like this one did. A bit more research revealed an earlier version, also a free pattern from Cloud 9 Fabrics, dating to 2014 and a subsequent version dating to 2017. Designed by Michelle Engel Bencsko, the first quilt featured 12 different prints — six vertical and six horizontal ribbons — and the second one featured six prints used twice, both quilts finishing at 55″ x 63″. This is the 2017 version:

I much prefer the most recent version and decided to make it — with one significant change. I’m making my quilt larger by adding 3″ to every side of the quilt. My version will finish at 51″ x 65″ — still a bit small on the throw/lap quilt side but it will certainly suffice.

Since making a test block was not doable, I had to commit to forging ahead with the entire quilt. Friends, I took the plunge. Here’s a little over half of it:

That black floral  fabric at the bottom of the picture (the third horizontal ribbon) was an afterthought. I played around with the eight fabrics you saw in the first photo and determined that I needed another dark print to achieve the balance I was seeking in value and scale. This one is a companion print from the “Fruit Loop” line by BasicGrey for Moda. I found all of these fabrics at Montavilla Sewing Center in Lake Oswego OR, where I teach.

I can’t wait to show you the rest of the quilt. I’m almost done with it but garden duty is pulling me away. When I return with the finished quilt top, I’ll tell you about a major change I made in the way the quilt is constructed. I think you’ll be interested in the whys and wherefores!




Posted in picnic quilt, Ribbon Box quilt, update | 8 Comments