Thursday 2 March 2023

Heart Quilts


As Valentine's Day approached, the Inside Out Heart quilt popped up in my YouTube feed.

Only 36" square I figured it would make the perfect wallhanging for my living room. I've had Celtic Ballad hanging there since I finished it in 2017, aside for a short time when I entered it in a local fair. So, maybe it was time for a change. And maybe what I will eventually do is have a different wallhanging for each month of the year. When I'm doing a workout by video, I've found it's much nicer to focus on the wallhanging than the trainer in the video. I can still do the exercises, but have something much prettier to focus on. 
I pulled some appropriate layer cake squares from my stash and used my pale pink solid yardage, left over from Stitch Pink, for the heart part. Then I picked up a metre and a half of fabric from the local quilt shop for the backing and binding. It was a squeeze to fit this quilt onto only one metre of backing when I loaded it onto the longarm, but I didn't really want to piece the backing when a 36" square will fit onto a fabric piece approximately 39" (one metre) by 45". 
I have several heart-themed pantographs, but then I thought that flowers are appropriate for Valentine's as well and decided this would be a good opportunity to try the Crosshatch Roses pantograph
It worked out as beautifully as I'd hoped and was not as labour intensive as I feared. 
Meanwhile, Follow My Heart, which is a free pattern download, came across my Instagram feed. 
That, I decided, would make a nice table topper for my dining room table. I ran out of the pale pink background fabric while making this quilt top, but I only needed one more border strip. Fortunately, not only did my local quilt shop have some in stock, but they were also having a 50% off sale! I bought what was left on the bolt. The new fabric is a marginally different hue than the old fabric, but not enough to make it readily apparent. The rest of the fabric came from my stash. 
I used the Valentino pantograph for this quilt. 
I think it was the ideal design. In my opinion, this is such a pretty quilt!
In my stash, I also have a couple of heart fabrics that I decided to use to make another throw quilt for my living room. 
During the sale at my LQS, I also purchased a couple of different red Michael Miller Fairy Frost prints, using one for the backing for Follow My Heart and the other (in the photo above) I intended to use as a third fabric in the throw quilt. I originally planned on making a 3-yard quilt. But then I decided to try something different. While 3-yard quilts are great for a relatively fast and easy project, sometimes they can be boring. So, I chose to make a quilt using quilt blocks made from the red fabric and the smaller heart print, with the larger heart print for a focus fabric in between blocks.
I chose Grandmother's Choice as the block I would use. This is my first block. And while I liked it, I wasn't sure if I was totally satisfied with it. 
And when I put it goether with the larger heart fabric, I knew that just wasn't right. I had been so determined to use the two heart fabrics in the same quilt top that I ignored the fact that they really don't go together. Yes, they both have hearts and the main colours are pink and red, but they are different pinks and reds. And they just don't look good together. 
So, now what? First of all, I tried replacing the red fabric in the block. 
That's much better (even though the majority of the vote went to the one on the left amongst my Facebook friends, I still liked it with the coral fabric better than the red fabric). But now I needed a different focus fabric and decide what to do with the other heart fabric. Not that I needed to use the other fabric right away, but for whatever reason, I wanted to solve this dilemma now. And I determined to make two quilts, identical in layout, but using different blocks. 
With this in mind, I took the block and a square of the larger heart fabric into the quilt shop to find fabric that would coordinate with each. I had a harder time finding a fabric that would go with the block. I did finally choose one, but haven't taken a picture of it yet. I want to wait until I see how it actually looks together. 
For the larger heart fabric, I found a couple of coordinates that I just felt so good about, and decided to try a block. 
That's much better, in my opinion. The block is Grandmother Percy's Puzzle, and it really is a puzzle to assemble it. I had to use several partial seams, but first had to figure out how. I was just using BlockBase+, which doesn't give assembly instructions for the blocks. Ironically, it has the exact same pieces as Grandmother's Choice, only in a more complex arrangement. 
I will call these quilts "Grandmother's Twins" and the individual quilts by their respective block names. Grandmother Percy's Puzzle will be for my living room and Grandmother's Choice will go in my craft studio.
I may or may not share the quilts later. If I want to sell the design to a quilting magazine, they want previously unpublished designs, which includes just sharing pictures of the quilt to social media. I checked with them when they called for submissions for holiday quilts, including Hanukkah. I thought about submitting Children of Israel, since it is my design, but I have published pictures of it here on my blog, plus on Facebook and Instagram. I think I mentioned that I sent in a couple of designs previously. The first one was rejected, but I've redesigned it and am hoping to offer it to Quilts of Valour Canada once I get it written up. I submitted the second one on January 5 and still haven't heard back. But it's pretty much too late now. I haven't even purchased the fabric for it, let alone made the quilt, and it would be due in their office in the USA by March 23, and I would want to allow at least 2 weeks for shipping. So, unless it was a really simple design (it isn't) and I could readily find the fabric I wanted locally, there is no way I could have a quilt ready to be mailed by no later than March 9, even if I heard from them today. I think that from now on, if I want to submit a design for publication, I will make the quilt first. That way if they wait overlong to let me know that they've accepted the design for publication, the quilt will already be ready when I hear back.

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