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!




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8 Responses to Taking the Plunge

  1. Christine Savage says:

    Can you use a jelly roll?

  2. Diane says:

    This is such a different but very fun pattern!

  3. Colleen C. says:

    I am really liking this, Dawn! Not my usual wheelhouse (as you well know), but I’m loving the emphasis on the chosen fabrics. It is calming too with all of the white space.

    Have you given thought to how you are going to have it quilted? It seems like that choice would be especially impactful on a quilt such as this one. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product!

    • Dawn says:

      Hi Colleen! This pattern is not in my usual wheelhouse either but somehow it spoke to me. Go figure! As for the quilting, I am thinking of clouds.

      • Dawn says:

        On the other hand, the quilt definitely has a contemporary vibe so maybe I should go with something more modern . . .

  4. Valerie Womack says:

    Coming along nicely; can’t wait to see the finished project. I really have liked every quilt that you have made! Now that I’m retired, I hope to finish at least one top a month. Fingers crossed!!

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