Sunday, March 17, 2013

sam's {scrappy} quilt

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This quilt top was inspired in a last-minute burst of creativity as I was flipping through the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns* and daydreaming of emeralds the other week.

The block itself (#3725) is titled "Sam's Quilt," which seemed appropriate seeing as it's a family name and my husband has hinted that we need a larger-than-lapsized quilt for the family room (finished top is 72" x 77").  So I set to work selecting prints from my stash, cutting plastic templates (and lots of fabric!), and chain piecing like a crazy person.  Now, typically I infuse order into everything I sew (e.g., this quilt), but lately I've been envious of several quilty peers' innate ability to whip up brilliantly scrappy designs that seem so effortlessly carefree and cheerful.  In fact, after seeing this particular beauty, I told myself the next block-based quilt I made would be off-limits to any attempts at order.

Seeing as this approach goes against every designer grain in my being, it's been an interesting experience, to say the least.  Ironically, my little helper's eagerness to participatenamely by tossing triangles all over the floor at randomwas actually quite useful in keeping me on my scrappy task.

Indeed, it's safe to say that from piecing to photography, she had a hand (or foot) in it all.

It's certainly not the "scrappy riot of colour" I one day aspire to achieve, but it's a start!  Entering this in the quilt tops category of a2(w)'s Pantone Challenge:  in addition to green, I used off-white fabrics (beige + eggshell + snow) for my neutral and various blue prints for my secondary color.

Much thanks to Ali for hosting and to the amazing sponsors and judges for your generosity and time!  You can check out the (steep!) competition here.

*Note:  Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns has been out of print for some time, and eBay/Amazon sellers have raised their prices in light of its relative rarity.  I happened to snatch up an old library copy at a fair price last fall, but I just stumbled up this newly released eBook for less than $30 in case spending upwards of $80 on a used book just isn't your thing ;)

Plum and June  WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced  A Lovely Year of Finishes
Edited to add:  A few of you have commented about the stained glass effect of this quilt.  And I must say, after walking out to this in my family room the past few days...

Yes, it's still up.  Don't judge!

...I'm inclined to add quilted curtains to my {lengthy} sewing/dream home wishlist!


  1. It looks like a curch window this way.

  2. This is a gorgeous riot of colour! I love this scrappy yet calm. Sometimes scarppy quilts are too much for my taste, but this is absolutely lovely. Congrats on a perfect finihs :-)
    E xx

  3. It's beautiful! I love seeing quilts with the sun shining through the backs.

  4. The pic with your "little helper" makes me think of "The Wizard of Oz", "Don't pay attention to the man behind the curtain...!" Or something like that. Especially strong allusion considering it is an "Emerald" quilt.

    Lovely pics and quilt.

  5. Cool quilt! The block centres look a little bit church windowy to me too. I love the pic with the little helper! :o)

  6. Oh wow, this one puts my emerald stars to shame! I actually said "oooh and ahhh" when I saw the first photo.

    Thanks for linking up!

  7. That is beautiful!! Thanks for linking up to WIP Wednesday! : )

    That's good info about the Encyclopedia, btw!

  8. Lovely quilt! Love the stained glass effect of quilt tops too

    Think my favourite photo is the one with the helper behind it ;)

  9. Absolutely beautiful! I'm glad you reigned in the order and went "coordinated scrappy" because it works wonderfully. :)

  10. Very pretty! You can also buy BlockBase from the Electric Quilt Company, and it will give you templates, fabric requirements, and allow to you color or resize the blocks however you want. I bought mine for $50 on ebay :)

  11. Definately looks like stained glass, its exactly what I thought when I first saw it, then I saw that so many others have said the same. It is simply beautiful! can't wait to see how you quilt it.

  12. Spectacular! And good for you for going design wild on this! It is lovely!

  13. I like the block pattern you chose. And I love the little legs sticking out. I have a 'helper' too :)

  14. Love that scrappy blue thing you have going on. Works really well with all the white. Very pretty quilt.

  15. This is absolutely stunning! I need to pick up that book stat. My first son's name is Sam so it would be perfect for him! Thanks for the wonderful inspiration!

  16. This is gorgeous! I've just voted for you at the quilting gallery. Good luck :)

  17. stunning! and inspiring. thank you so much for sharing this with us.


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