This is one of those fabric and pattern combinations that I love so much that I have been working nonstop, absolutely obsessed with finishing it. I had been thinking that I needed to find a new quilt photo setting, and yesterday after church, as I passed our little prayer garden, I realized that it would be perfect! I love, love, LOVE this quilt. The vivid colors in the fabrics against the crisp Kona white make me so happy. Let me go ahead and apologize for the picture heavy post. I just couldn't stop photographing it!
In my last post, I mentioned my personal weakness for Amy Butler fabrics, and recalled the 40-yard(!!) Amy Butler stash that I powered through almost two years ago. I don't know that there will ever be a time when I'm not mesmerized by her fabrics, but I have learned to not let them accumulate so much before using them up.
Not every print in this quilt is AB, but many of the others are fabrics that I have purchased and just couldn't fit them into another quilt. I was happy to find a home for them in this one. Sometimes, bold colors and prints only work well with other bold colors and prints.
I used all of my extra fabric on the backing, and I decided to improv piece it to keep the leftovers intact as much as possible. I didn't want to waste any fabric at all trying to cut them to a uniform size. Although I always use up my scraps on the backing, I haven't done an improv pieced backing in awhile. I really love the way this one turned out.
I stippled this (of course-it's my favorite) with the tightest quilting I have ever done. I'm not a lover of super-dense quilting, so you'll probably never see matchstick quilting or micro-stippling on my quilts. The spaces between my quilting lines on this one are 1/2 to 3/4 inch apart, and as much as I like the result, it's probably the smallest I'll ever go for a couple of reasons.
First and foremost, I like the drape of quilts that have quilting that is a little bit wider. For minis and wall hangings, or quilts for display only, stiffer quilting is really stunning (and I can totally appreciate the artistry and skill involved in creating such intricate motifs), but for sheer snuggle-factor, I like the softness that wider quilting gives. My second reason is purely selfish. When I get into the rhythm of stippling smooth curves, it is a very relaxing process (unless I'm quilting a huge quilt). The tighter quilting definitely required movement that was much less natural for me, so quilting this one was not very relaxing. As a result, even though I'm still really pleased with it, I don't think my curves are quite as fluid as usual.
I chose an orchid fabric for the binding that was actually intended for my Interference quilt, but it turned out to be too purple. I think it creates a perfect frame for this one though!
Formal gardens are simply gorgeous, with their lovely pathways of stones and tiles meandering through perfectly shaped flower beds and topiaries. The tile shape in this pattern, paired with the flowers created in the negative space, immediately made me think of a walk through a beautifully manicured formal garden; so I'm calling this one Stems and Stones.
The pattern is already in the works, and it's easier than you might think!