July 30, 2022

Quilt Concert: First Notes



Last summer, I joined a sew-along for the First Notes quilt, a pattern co-designed by Lissa and Cassandra. It caught my attention because it features all kinds of different block designs in different sizes, which isn't really something I've done before. My fabric choices were all from my stash, which may be why they're a little wild and crazy -- lots of Rifle Paper Co. florals plus blenders and crossed fingers that it would all make sense together in the end.




The sew-along pace was one block per week, released on Fridays, and that turned out to be a pretty good fit for my schedule. I made most of my blocks over the weekends and didn't feel rushed.




It's interesting to see the blocks individually first. In my finished quilt, all the florals kind of muddy the design a bit and you lose track of some of the blocks.






At the start of the series, Lissa and Cassandra provided a coloring sheet that turned out to be tremendously helpful for me. It helped me figure out what fabric I'd be putting where before I cut anything out, and then I used it frequently as a reference to make sure I was everything was in the right place.










Around this time, I wanted to see how things were starting to come together, so I put the blocks up on my design wall. Interesting!



Then it was back to making blocks, with some large ones and some small ones and some just filling in the gaps.







That pinwheel above, which is pretty small, is one of my favorites. I used that caramel-colored print in another project and was happy to incorporate it here, too. I never would have expected that color to be so useful, but now I keep an eye out for it to add to my stash. It's the perfect warm, not-brown blender.











And that's all of them! So how do they look all together? Like I said earlier, pretty wild, but it's good to push your boundaries every once in a while, right?








I used a bright navy solid for the backing (from my stash) and free motion quilted it myself using a variegated blue thread. I dealt with many, many thread breaks and was very close to losing my patience, but I persevered and got it done. It's not perfect, but it's finished. 



From the beginning, I knew I would donate this quilt to a child in need through Project Linus, so I look forward to dropping it off for distribution soon. I don't think I'll ever use quite so many busy prints all in the same quilt, but it was good experience.

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