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!

Cut…Stitch…Cut…Stitch

Poinsettia Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Sometimes I feel a bit silly, cutting up fabric…sewing it together one way…then cutting it up again…and sewing it together to form something else. But there you have it, this is what I’ve been up to the last few days.

Poinsettia Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

These “filler” blocks in my quilt are quite scrappy. I am doing some strip piecing to speed up the process, but not using such long strips that there is a noticeable repeat in my scrappy background.

Poinsettia Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

A bit tedious, but I’ve been watching The Paradise on Netflix and it has been pleasant company. Oh, and just when I said I was getting settled back into a routine, the kids had off school because of dangerously low windchill temperatures (-35 supposedly!). Lucky for me they play nicely together, and have a lot of new Legos to keep themselves occupied.

Poinsettia Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I have everything ready to mix and sew for the final blocks. I’m hoping this step will only take one more day.

Poinsettia Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Besides finishing these blocks, I need to make some quilt hanging sleeves for a few quilts that I’m honored to have had accepted into QuiltCon. I need to mail those around Monday, so Friday just might be quilt-sleeve day! Wish me luck, I’m not entirely crazy about hand stitching, but I have always had success with Jacquie’s tutorial.

Stage 2 ~ Complete!

Poinsettia Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’m inching towards the finish line! A few posts back, I mentioned that I considered the paper piecing of the corner block components “Stage 1″ of making this quilt. In my mind, assembling those components into their final blocks was “Stage 2″. This week I wrapped up that task.

Poinsettia Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I seriously love chain piecing. It’s a bit mindless at times…but boy does it get the job done quickly and efficiently. I make all my blocks at once, dedicating a couple hours each morning to piecing specific sections together.

Poinsettia Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Now for “Stage 3″ ~ assembling those filler blocks that will pull the whole thing together.

Poinsettia Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

You may notice that I unstitched a bit of the section I made 2 years ago. When I picked this project up again, I had additional fabrics I wanted to use – both in the cream/white prints and the colors. I didn’t want it to be totally obvious that those prints weren’t in that original section. So I decide to spread those blocks out a bit.

My goal was to finish this quilt by Christmas. That’s not going to happen. But I think after the holiday’s it should come together quickly and will be my first official finish of 2015.