Friday, April 23, 2021

Friday Quilt Finish: Color Outside the Lines is Ta-Done at Last!


63 x 63 Color Outside the Lines, Bear Paw + Sawtooth Star Blocks

Happy Friday, y'all!  I have a quilt finish to share with you today!  I finally put the last hand stitches into the binding of my Color Outside the Lines quilt last night, wrapping up a languishing WIP (Work In Progress) that I started way back in 2014.  Woo-hoo!

I Hope You Appreciate the Azaleas...

I goaded my grouchy and reluctant husband into driving around with me to find a photo location with azaleas in the exact shade of pink as the hand dyed fabric patches in the center of my bear paw blocks.  I was like the Knights Who Say Nih from Monty Python -- "YOU MUST BRING ME A SHRUBBERY!!!!!"  Also, I told him that none of the OTHER quilters' husbands complain that their arms are sore from holding the quilt up for so long.  ðŸ˜. 

Remember what this quilt top looked like before I quilted it?  Here's that Before picture again:

Before Quilting, 65 x 65 Flimsy Completed in 2018

I love comparing the Before and After Quilting photos, don't you?  This quilt lost 2" in both directions, 3% shrinkage, just from the dense graffiti quilting design -- it has Quilter's Dream Poly batting that doesn't shrink at all, and I haven't washed it yet anyway.   

Detail in the Shade

I'm really pleased with how the teal ombre fabric worked out for the binding on this quilt.  It is SO HARD to get good photos of finished quilts that accurately represent what the quilt looks like in real life, don't you think?  The struggle is real.

60 Weight Bottom Line Thread in Silver Disappears into Fabric

I used 60 weight Bottom Line thread in Silver for this quilt so that the thread color would just melt and disappear into my Kona Snow background fabric, as well as the dark gray Anna Maria Horner print (Lou Lou Thi Clippings for Free Spirit Fabrics) that I used for the bear paw blocks.  I love how that gives the finished quilt loads of texture without the quilting thread upstaging the fabric or obscuring piecing lines, almost like the quilting design was embossed rather than stitched.

After Quilting, Prior to Binding

The Story Behind the Quilt

This might be the first quilt I ever made without a pattern, now that I think about it.  When I started it in 2014 (you can read about the quilts beginnings in this post), I'd seen a couple of really traditional bear paw quilts in a book and in a magazine, and quilts made with this block kept catching my eye so I decided to make one of my own.  I played around with the math and decided to draft a block that would finish at 10 1/2".

There are lots of other "firsts" with this quilt as well.  Prior to this quilt, I hadn't been using any solid fabrics in my quilts, let alone a solid white background fabric like what you see here.  Back in 2014, I was discovering Pinterest and began to realize that many of the quilts I was admiring and pinning to my inspiration boards had a lot more "negative space" than mine.  This was my first experiment in that direction, floating my blocks against a sea of Kona Solid fabric in Snow.  

I'm So Glad I Chose a Solid White Background Fabric!

I was also experimenting with breaking some of the "Quilt Police Rules" regarding how the scale of a printed fabric pattern is "supposed" to relate to the size of your patchwork pieces.  I liked the way my large scale Lou Lou Thi Clippings fabric print looked (it's out of print, but I found more of it here on Etsy) when I chopped it up randomly, paying no attention to where the print landed.  It reminds me of gobs of paint on an artist's palette.

Lou Lou Thi Clippings Fabric in Passion, by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit Fabrics

See what I mean?  I love the fat roses and butterflies in this fabric print, but I also kind of love how different the print looks in my quilt, with the pattern fractured and rearranged to be more abstract.

I also put my design wall to good use for this quilt, playing around with different sizes for the sashing width and sawtooth star blocks (you can read about that here, if you're so inclined).  The sawtooth stars were my first time using Marjorie Lee Bevis' hand marbled fabrics in a quilt project, the same hand marbled fabrics that I'm currently using in my son Anders' kaleidoscope quilt.

Finishing Touches: Ombre Teal Binding + Tula Pink Snail Print Backing Fabric

Ombre teal fabric (from my stash, it's V & Co's Ombre in Teal for Moda) was the perfect electric zing for the binding.  My backing fabric is kind of tongue-in-cheek for a quilt that took 7 years from start to finish -- it's Tula Pink's Slow and Steady snail print in Orange Crush.  Hah!

Like the Little Snail That I Am...

That brings up another point, though.  Scroll back to that photo where I've got the corner folded up to show my quilt backing.  The quilting that shows up so dramatically against the white solid fabric of my quilt top is virtually invisible against the busy backing print.

You can also see that with this client's quilt that I just shipped back to her yesterday.  Her pieced backing illustrates this beautifully because it's the same lighting, batting, same Raindrops On Water E2E quilting design, same everything.  I love the retro '70s vibe of her fun floral print fabric, but if you really want to see the quilting design on the back of your quilt, you're much better off choosing a backing that is either a solid or a tone-on-tone that reads as a solid.

Quilting Shows Up Better on Plainer Backing Fabrics

Just as an aside, I am DYING to show you the front of this quilt.  Ah, the AGONY of quilting Top Secret Client Quilts That Cannot Be Shared!!!

PSST!!  I'd Love to Quilt for YOU!

By the way, if you or any of your quilty friends has a quilt top or two that needs quilting, I'd be delighted to quilt for you!  My turnaround for edge-to-edge quilting is currently running about 2 weeks, and you can click here to find out how to book your quilt with me.

Alright, I think I've rambled on long enough for today.  That kaleidoscope quilt isn't going to finish piecing itself, now, is it?!  I'm linking up today's post with the following linky parties:


UFO Busting at Tish in Wonderland


Frédérique at Quilting Patchwork Appliqué

Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework


Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts  

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

BOMs Away at What a Hoot Quilts


Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter


Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation  

Free Motion Mavericks with Muv and Andree


Whoop Whoop Fridays at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More

Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts

Off the Wall Friday at Nina Marie Sayre

 TGIFF Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday, rotates, schedule found here: TGIF Friday


The Joyful Quilter said...

Coloring Outside the Lines turned out beautifully, Rebecca! LOVE that graffiti quilting!!

piecefulwendy said...

I don't think it's possible to read one of your posts and not get excited about quilting and the joy of making something you love. This quilt just sings, and I love everything about it. Your choice of backing, given the name, makes me smile. My very first large quilt was a Bear's Paw, which was loved to the last thread. This quilt makes me miss that one. Great finish!

Brenda @ Songbird Designs said...

Beautiful, Rebecca!! And the graffiti quilting is fantastic! Is that free motion or a motif? I just love this quilt!!

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

I love the movement the quilting adds to the quilt!!! Great job by the Quilt Holder--love the azalea photo! It was worth it!!! And the snail backing--haha!!!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

It looks great - I used to use a lot of Kona or Bella white and now I rarely do - weird. the quilting looks great and kudos to the husband for holding it up - he is tall enough for that duty!

MissPat said...

Tell your husband I appreciate his patience in driving around so you could find those beautiful azaleas to include in the photo shoot. The quilt is beautiful and I have to wonder why it took your so long to finish it.
Pat said...

Wahoo! Love the finish and please thank hubby for making the drive. . .it was DEFINITELY worth the trip!

Vicki in MN said...

Congrats on a gorgeous finish. So gratifying to finish an older project isn't it. I love seeing before and after quilting photos. I still get amazed! Love the Azalea's too;)

Ivani said...

It is a gorgeous finish, Rebecca! The azaleas spot were perfect for the those photo shoots it worth it the drive.

JustGail said...

Color Outside the Lines is gorgeous. If you didn't know, you'd be hard pressed to know that all the bear paw bits are the same fabric. Love the backing, that's something I always seem to forget about when fabric shopping.

Will you be able to show the client quilt, or have a link to it, after it's no longer needing to be kept secret?

JustGail said...

Oh - please tell your DH that his work as a quilt rack IS very much appreciated by your readers :-)

Gretchen Weaver said...

BEAUTIFUL! Your quilting just brought the quilt to life. You have a definite talent for long arm quilting. Happy stitching!

Sherrie said...

Awesome the colors.
Have a great day!

Karin said...

Nice with the flowers looks great!

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

THis quilt is such a beauty. Thank you for showcasing it this week and taking the time to pair it with appropriate shrubbery!

dq said...

Your work is always absolute perfection!!!
I love your quilting style so so so much! Congratulations on this finished beauty!!

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Wow, this quilt is amazing! Bravo, il est magnifique ! Et les Azaleas aussi ;))
Thank you for linking up!

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

Beautiful! Your graffiti quilting looks amazing. Thanks for linking up with Oh Scrap!

eileen said...

Great finish! I have always loved the bearpaw block, and the stars are a nice addition!! Beautiful azaleas, spring has sprung!!

Preeti said...

Spectacular finish. The colors are so vibrant. And your quilting is beautiful - but that ain't news. Kudos on a lovely quilt!!!
Speaking of good photoshoot locations, I am always looking as I drive. Paul is mostly willing. Now only if the weather cooperated. The weekend was too windy and the work week has been outta control.

Miaismine said...

Congratulations on such a gorgeous finish! Wow! I learned so much from your post! I have a large print that I will soon cut up into a cheerful quilt! You are certainly right - the colors look like splotches of paint!
And your quilting? Really stunning!
Thank you for sharing the before/after quilting photos. I love what my daughter says, "The quilting is the icing on the quilt!"
I so appreciate LAQs - you all seem to magically bring my quilts to life!

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

A gorgeous quilt! I love how your large print creates a focus and sets the mood with this quilt. Your quilting really is amazing too!

Kat Scribner said...

These blocks just sparkle and the quilting is fantastic !! I can't find the quilting path, so magical !

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Beautiful finish!! and ps - none of the other husbands complain, because.... we don't tell you about it hahahaha!! I am glad he went with you and you founds some amazing spots!!!

Jennifer Fulton Inquiring Quilter said...

Love the graffiti quilting on this! Such a gorgeous finish. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

For the love of geese said...

Absolutely stunning. Thank you for linking up to Put your foot down.

Kathleen said...

My apologies, I am woefully behind on catching up to my TGIFF link ups. I love everything about this, your decision making process - more white space, blobs of terrific fabric, and the exquisite quilting. This is one gorgeous finish and deserved a photo shoot in front of the perfect azalea! Congratulations on another RG stunner!

Andree G. Faubert said...

Hi Rebecca, this quilt is really stunning! Sorry for taking so long for linking up to Free Motion Mavericks. I really love your work and your posts :-)