Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Holly's (Not So) Little Ruby Layer Cake Quilt + Retro 80s Sampler Progress

Good morning and happy Tuesday, my lovelies! It's a rainy spring day here in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the grass looks so vividly green against the overcast skies.  My favorite kind of weather -- cool but not cold, new life springing up all around me, yet it's not such a beautiful day that you have to feel guilty for squirreling away in the studio instead of being outdoors.  It's drizzling out there, but it's dry in the sewing room where all the good fabric is waiting for me!

Holly's (Not So) Little Ruby Layer Cake Quilt

Speaking of all the good fabric...  Today I'm sharing my client Holly's enormous 100" x 100" quilt made from layer cakes (packages of precut 10" squares of coordinating print fabrics) of the Little Ruby fabric collection by Bonnie and Camille for Moda Fabrics.  Doesn't this fabric collection channel the spirit of Spring?  I did find several Etsy sellers who have Little Ruby precuts available here (affiliate link) in case you can't find them at your local quilt shop.  

Little Ruby Layer Cakes + Winter Flower E2E Quilting Design

I don't know the name of the pattern Holly used to make her quilt, but every time I see a quilt like this I think "Why don't I ever make quilts like this?!"  When you have great fabric prints, a simple patchwork pattern shows them off so beautifully.  I love how the large print squares are separated by frames of white.  My cerebral wheels are spinning, y'all -- I have a couple of fabulous large scale print fabrics stashed away, waiting for me to figure out how to show them off in a quilt.

This King quilt is for Holly's guest bedroom.  Won't this be a wonderful treat for her overnight visitors?  We used Hobbs Tuscany 80/20 Cotton/Wool batting for this quilt (affiliate link), a batting that I've only recently started stocking.  I like it -- it's an 80/20 blend so it's similar to the Hobbs and Quilters Dream 80/20 Cotton/Poly battings I carry, but the wool seems to give it just a bit more loft resilience than the cotton/poly blend.  Like the other wool battings I carry, the Hobbs cotton/wool blend batting is resin bonded to prevent the wool fibers from bearding through the finished quilt the way that cheaper wool battings do.  The cotton/wool blend has a lower loft -- and a lower price point -- than 100% wool batting, so it's not going to replace 100% wool in my inventory, but it's not going to replace my go-to 80/20 cotton poly batting, either.  Some people have wool allergies, and wool battings are less forgiving than cotton or polyester if someone throws a quilt in a hot dryer after laundering.  But I love having so many different choices so we can get exactly the look, feel, and laundering options we want for every quilt!

100 x 100 Little Ruby Layer Cake Quilt with Winter Flower E2E Quilting Design

I used Superior's Omni 40 weight polyester quilting thread in color Natural White for Holly's quilt, with 50 weight So Fine in the bobbin.  I do prefer cotton when I'm looking for a matte 40 weight colored thread because cotton fibers take dye so much better than polyester.  With whites and neutrals, though, Omni looks identical to cotton, it's super strong to perform well at high speed in a long arm machine, and the price point is much, MUCH lower than a comparable long staple cotton thread.  As with batting, it's great that we have so many thread options available for our quilts today.

Holly's Quilt Top Before Quilting

One last look at Holly's pretty quilt, from the rear view!  I'm always excited when a client brings me a solid backing fabric because it makes the quilting look A-MAH-ZING on the backing side!  Here's where you can really see the great variety of flower types and sizes in this Winter Flower E2E quilting design from Wasatch Quilting.  We chose this design because the flower shapes and drawing style of the pantograph is analogous to the flower shapes and drawing style of the fabric prints in Holly's quilt.  There's even a little birdie in there!

Winter Flower E2E, Backing Side

I think it was a mistake of the designer to name this pattern "Winter flower," by the way.  I can see how maybe this might evoke amaryllis and what -- cardinals? -- on wintry fabrics, but on Holly's quilt this design is so evocative of Spring!

Thank you, Holly, for choosing me to quilt this for you!

And Now, for Some Retro 80s Sampler Quilt Progress

Meanwhile, I've been inching forward with my so-close-to-being-finished Retro '80s Building Blocks quilt!  This must be what it felt like for ancient sailors when they finally spotted land after being lost at sea for months (years!).  Hah!

My Slow-But-Sure Process

At this point I've got everything printed out, fabrics precut and prepped and ready to go for the remaining few blocks.  As you see above, I printed out rotary cutting charts in EQ8 quilt design software (affiliate link) for my 5" quilt blocks, but since I'm paper piecing them, I set my printing preferences in EQ8 to "round up" and "add 3/8" seam allowances" instead of the standard quarter inch.  That way I'm rotary cutting oversized fabric pieces that I can trim down in my paper piecing process.  Not shown in the above photo of my messy worktable are the foundation paper piecing patterns themselves, which I've printed on newsprint and then marked up with the order I want to construct each unit to result in nesting seam allowances when I sew the block units together.  It takes time, but the results are worth it!

5 Inch Finished Block

Whoops -- that's a different block than the one I showed in the first photo that's nearly identical but with purple and black.  Still need to make that one today.  But I did finish the block that was on the left, and it's so CUTE!

5 Inch Finished Block

Here's a glimpse of this quilt on my design wall.  Can you spot the two blocks I finished yesterday?

Newly Finished Blocks Added to the Design Wall

I am deliberately not showing you the whole thing because it's so close and I don't want to spoil the Final Reveal.  ðŸ˜‰. I think I only have FOUR blocks left now.  One of them is straight up foundation paper pieced, the one with the black and purple cross, and the other three are combinations of foundation paper piecing with Y-seam construction to join the FPP units together.  The FPP for those three blocks is already finished so they will go together quickly when I'm ready to tackle the Y-seams with my vintage Featherweight machine.  And then?  I'm not quite decided -- do I proceed immediately with joining the blocks together, or do I make the four border corner blocks and the Mork's Rainbow Suspender borders?  

Either way, oh my gosh, wouldn't it be amazing if my Tuesday To-Do List item this week was finishing ALL of the blocks for this quilt?!  Fingers crossed, and stay tuned to find out if I can pull that off without getting distracted by something else!

I'm linking up today's post with my favorite linky parties, listed on the left sidebar of my blog.  Thanks for taking the time to check in with me today, and happy quilting!


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

only 4 left to do! you will be putting the whole thing together before you know it. that is a nice quilt that you quilted. Nice design overall! said...

Fingers crossed that you complete all the blocks! You are making great progress! The texture the 80/20 wool batting provided is wonderful. What a beautiful finish. Who wouldn't want to sleep under it?

Linda said...

Holly's quilt is gorgeous, and the Winter Flower panto is so beautiful! I love your sampler blocks, looks like you are having fun with them.
Thank you for linking up with To Do Tuesday!

Brenda @ Songbird Designs said...

The sampler is gorgeous and yes, you can finish it!! The layer cake quilt is lovely.

Sandy said...

Yup -- I'm betting that you'll get all of those blocks finished. Seeing the end so close is quite an incentive. :) Beautiful client quilt, too, of course -- as always!

Kathleen said...

Gorgeous king size quilt! I don’t love Omni-much prefer SewFine for quilting for the same reason that you love Omni. But, I must say, I love the quilting that you did. I am amazed at your steady progress on the sampler and to think you are almost there. It is gorgeous!

Quilting Gail said...

Great quilt!!! And I LOVE the quilting!

Jennifer Fulton Inquiring Quilter said...

Lovely quilt and quilting as always. I'm so excited for you that your Retro 80s quilt is almost done! I await the big reveal. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Love the flowery panto you put on her quilt! Yes, I want to make that quilt pattern, too!!!

Andree G. Faubert said...

Hi Rebecca, the quilt that you quilted is really gorgeous! Your own quilt is coming along well. I'm looking forward to seeing it done! Have a great weekend.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Love the pic of the quilt back, your quilting looks wonderful! And you are so close to finishing your "retro 80's" quilt … looking amazing!

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Beautiful customer's quilt, and you did a great job with this pretty quilting pattern! But most of all, I love your design wall! Les 2 nouveaux blocs sont superbes, et j'ai hâte de les voir tous assemblés !
Thank you for sharing, and linking up ;)