Saturday, 5 July 2014

My first quilt project - Briar Rose for Briar Rose

When I saw Heather Ross' Briar Rose line of fabric from Windham Fabrics, I knew I wanted to make a quilt for my niece, Briar Rose. Since I had never attempted quilting before, I decided to make a simple patchwork front, featuring all the different patterns in the line. I included solid squares of purple, light yellow, and white as well, to provide some visual contrast with all the patterns. Cutting all the squares took forever!
 The raw materials
I fiddled with a random layout of the squares, making sure that no patches of the same colour or pattern family were touching. When I sewed all the squares together, I did it in rows, then sewed the rows together.... Looking back, it would have been better to make smaller blocks and then sew the blocks together- my squares don't line up exactly... I added a border of white with mitred corners, and called the front done!
The front
For the back, I wanted to feature a fabric with writing on it, preferably one that had a storybook feel to it, as Heather Ross is a picture book illustrator. I found the perfect fit with Heartfelt from the Littlest collection from Art Gallery Fabrics. It includes phrases like "love you to the moon and back", "the littlest things take up the most room in our hearts", "ready for an adventure" and "life is better with you". So sweet! I also wanted to include some of the Briar Rose fabrics arranged in a loose colour gradient. I decided to make a cross out of the small squares, and where they cross over, include a personalized quilt label I made from an iron-on transfer kit.
Personalized quilt label
I did a much better job getting my seams to line up on the back! 
The back

I used a thin cotton batting for the middle, and quilted it with some free motion vines and leaves.
Quilted vine and leaf details
Quilted rose details

I stitched some roses into all four corners, and hand bound the whole thing with the same purple I included in the front. What a fun project, I have enjoyed every step along the way and definitely want to make more quilts!
The finish product (front)
The finished product (back)
All rolled up and ready to gift!

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