Poinsettia ~ A Finished Quilt and Pattern

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It’s finished! After a few days of quilting, yesterday I stitched on the last bit of binding. I’m so very happy with how it turned out. Hopefully you all are as excited as I am – if for any reason, because you don’t have to hear about this one anymore. Ha!

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I know I’ve said so much about this quilt already, but I’ll touch on the main details again because I always have questions in the comments. I started this quilt over 2 years ago at a retreat put on by Pink Castle Fabrics (formerly known as Quilt Camp, now known as Camp Stitchalot). I was teaching a session on paper piecing and we were making the larger Poinsettia Star components as part of a small mini quilt pattern. I had already made the mini quilt, so I decided to play around with a new layout for all of my sample blocks.

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’m sure a lot of you know how it goes – life gets busy and your UFO pile grows and grows. The original quilt section was put aside while I waited for the right time to pick it up again. That time proved to be last November.

A little more than 2 months later, the finished quilt measures 62″ x 75″. There are 99 quilt blocks…2,610 tiny pieces of fabric. But who’s counting. ;) Despite those seemingly overwhelming numbers, if you followed along on the progress you saw how this quilt was pretty achievable to assemble when broken down into steps.

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Almost every piece of bright fabric in this quilt is from my stash of fabrics by Anna Maria Horner. (I can only think of 1 piece, from the original section 2 years ago, that isn’t hers.) I could gush all day about Anna Maria’s talent. Her collections just sing together. The colors, the designs…they are perfect for patchwork. The black/cream fabric is also from my stash. Half yards I’ve collected here and there. I used a lot up for this quilt, but I certainly don’t regret it. Much is from various Moda designers. A lot from Sweetwater, Lu Summers, Zen Chic. If I see it, I buy it, because Moda does not reprint fabric once it’s gone. Some are text, some are shapes and lines. Together, it just works.

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

For the backing, I used a print from Anna Maria Horner’s Hand Drawn Garden collection for FreeSpirit Fabrics called Sketchbook in ivory. The binding is a scrappy mix of black prints I used within the quilt. I think it provides a nice finishing frame. By some truly accidental piece of luck, when I cut the this large piece of fabric in half to sew together for the backing…the design matched up perfectly. You can’t really even tell where the seam is (it’s in the middle of the above photo, down the middle of the black hand drawn birds.)

I quilted using straight lines, just organically measuring – not marking. They are about 1/4 to 1/2 apart.

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

And…for the moment many of you have been waiting for…a quilt pattern! This pattern is now available in my shop as a PDF instant download. I have a few new PDF patterns that I haven’t announced formally, so be sure to check them out. There’s the Poinsettia Quilt, Big Top Quilt and Holland Mills Quilt. I plan on sending all 3 to the printer this week for hard copy pattern booklets (if you prefer that to an instant download PDF file). Those should be available in about 2 to 3 weeks.

Now it’s time for me to go cuddle under that quilt. This one is for keeps.

Stage 3 ~ Complete!

Poinsettia Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Yesterday was such an exciting day in the sewing room, as I stitched together the last of my filler or connector blocks.

Poinsettia Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Even though I pretty much knew what this quilt top would look like with all the blocks on the design wall together, there is just something about seeing them up there for real.

Poinsettia Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It’s pretty safe to say this is the scrappiest quilt I have ever made. It’s been a lot of work – but not as much as I thought initially. If it hadn’t been for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years happening right in the middle of the project, I think I would be finished with the quilt by now.

Poinsettia Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Today I’ll begin stitching all these blocks together. I’m guessing that will take several hours. I can’t wait to have the top completely assembled and start quilting. It’s beginning to feel real!

Travel Home

Travel Home Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

My first back-to-school finish! It only took almost 2 years. I’m so happy today to share with you my finished Arkansas Traveler quilt. I decided to rename it though, since really the blocks have been changed from the original Arkansas Traveler quilt block. I chose “Travel Home” because this quilt is destined to live at home with me, on my couch.

Travel Home Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This quilt is the product of a lot of different inspiration sources combined. First, I’ve always been in love with historic two color quilts ~ red and white quilts, blue and white quilts, black and white quilts. There’s just something so striking about them.

Second, around two years ago I discovered Folk Fibers. I am really in awe of their quilts, the process that goes into making them, and then of course the natural colors.

And finally, last year I made an Arkansas Traveler quilt as a wedding gift and it was hard to give up! I knew I wanted to make some version of it again, this time for keeps.

Travel Home Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

When I started designing the Travel Home Quilt ever so long ago, I knew I wanted it to have the same overall look as my first Arkansas Traveler quilt. I liked the chain effect…but I didn’t really want to make a quilt that large again. Honestly, for lounging under the couch I just don’t need something bed sized. If I kept the blocks at 12″ finished squares, I would need to make another large quilt to create a nice looking design. I ended up shrinking the blocks to 8″ finished squares. That allowed me to have the chained look, but a smaller quilt. This one finished at 56″ x 72″.

Travel Home Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Another change I made to the Arkansas Traveler block was to eliminate the 4 diamonds that made up each quadrant of the block. Instead, I used just one fabric for that space. I did this for a couple of reasons. I did really love the effect of the 4 diamonds in my original quilt (gave a sort of shimmering effect). But since I was doing cream/black prints on this quilt, I thought it would be overly busy and/or not very noticeable. Second, as I shrunk the blocks, the diamonds also shrunk so I though one fabric was plenty for these spots.

Travel Home Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts
Nevermind my son running around like crazy!

The backing is a print from Melody Miller’s Mustang collection for Cotton + Steel. It’s quite different from the front, but I think complimentary. I quilted free motion meandering with a dark blue thread over the blue portions of the quilt, leaving the cream diamonds unquilted. I really wanted this quilt to have a nice, cozy drape after washing and it does! Now let’s see what I can finished next. :)

A New Quilt Beginning

Arkansas Traveler by Fresh Lemons Quilts : Faith

Remember the last Arkansas Traveler quilt I made and gifted? I’ve known since I sent that one away that I wanted to make one for myself. So as a bit of a reward to finishing up some UFOs and deadlines, I decided to start this week.

Arkansas Traveler Fabric Choices by Fresh Lemons Quilts : Faith

For the last several months, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about making a quilt where the background was a nice, dark blue and the focal fabrics were cream with black accents. (Many of those here are from Sweetwater, Summersville, Comma and Collage.) I spent a bit of time last week with my solid color cards and decided to go with Moda Bella Solids Admiral Blue for this quilt.

Arkansas Traveler Fabric Choices by Fresh Lemons Quilts : Faith

I changed up the Arkansas Traveler block a bit. I reduced the size some to make an 8″ finished block. I also decided with this smaller size, I would just use one fabric for the diamonds (rather than piecing in 4 smaller diamonds to make a larger diamond). I’ve started and finished cutting the fabrics for the quilt yesterday and am ready to start my chain paper piecing. Can’t wait to share more!

I also wanted to let you know today that one of my sponsors, Christa Quilts, is starting a new quilt along on September 25th called Modern Trees. It uses scraps to create a fun Christmas themed quilt from “Tri-Recs” trees. Make your trees solid or improv – the choice is up to you. Visit Christa’s blog for the complete quilt along schedule!