Monday, December 26, 2022

Bella's Garden

I'm sure you've heard the old saying "the shoemakers' kids have no shoes". That's what it's been like here, at least regarding our own bed.  While I've made plenty of snuggle quilts that reside on the couch and get used by all of us regularly, our own bed was neglected for far too long.

I'm a little embarrassed to show you the "before" picture but I'm so happy with the end result that I want you to see the huge difference my new quilt makes.









 

I had purchased this quilt from a store when we moved into the house, to have something to put on the bed until I could make something prettier.  That was 11 1/2 years ago. I grew to really dislike the color scheme and I was long over the brown curtains.  The headboard needed to go to.  We bought it at a huge discount 28 years ago because of a small chip on a leg that no one could see and it wasn't our style any more.

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen some of the photos I've shared of the process of making my new quilt.  It all started with this stack of fabrics I purchased exactly 10 years ago this month. It's Bella by Amanda Murphy.










When this line came out, I immediately fell in love with the color palette and the prints.











After picking a pattern (The Garden Fence by Ann Baxter, published in QUILT magazine in December 20??), calculating the yardage because I needed to make it bigger than the pattern finished and placing my order, it went into a project bag, onto the shelf and sat.  And sat, and sat and sat.













In May 2020, since I was stuck home and had a lot more time on my hands, I pulled this out, determined to get it started.  The construction was easy enough as it really was only a huge pile of Half Square Triangles.












 

I had a bit of an impediment  help when it came time to trim all 168 HSTs. I guess Miss Callie had to ensure I was doing a good job.













Laying out the blocks is a favorite step.  I get a first glimpse of how the finished quilt is going to turn out.  I'm pretty OCD about not having the same print or color right next to each other.











 

Adding the Yellow sashing was the final step to assembling the blocks.












Next the blocks were sewn into the rows, adding the Green sashing strips between the blocks and the rows. The colors are off in this photo because I took it at night. 













With the addition of the borders, the top was done.  This pic was taken in February 2021. Needless to say that while I typically work on only 1 quilt at a time, this one was the filler between other projects.













Then in Sept of this year (Yes  1 1/2 years after I finished piecing the top) I finally loaded it on the frame. I was determined to get this done before the end of this year.













I chose Glide Light Turquoise for both the top and bobbin threads.  I love how it plays with all the colors and prints.













Hand stitching the binding was a longer than normal drawn out process due to our Fall activities but eventually it was finally done, 2 1/2 years after it was started.  It's certainly not my oldest WIP but it's one that I'm beyond thrilled to have finished.












 

As I was working on the photo shoot, the sun decided to cooperate and gave me the most amazing light. It was tough to get the whole quilt in the photo as it's really big, finishing at 94" x 106". That's 400 lineal inches of hand stitched binding.













I love how you can really see the gorgeous texture.













Even the stitching shows nicely on the back.













I used one of the prints from the fabric line because for this particular quilt, I wanted it all to match. No matter which side you see, it's all so pretty.













The panto choice was Tickle Too by Beany Girls from Willow Leaf Studios and of course, I used my favorite Quilters Dream 80/20 batting.  I love how this batting is just the right weight, shows just the right amount of the stitching and doesn't crinkle up quite as much as 100% cotton batting.













With the too long overdue replacement of our mattress and the purchasing of a new frame, this quilt now adorns our bed. I'm a happy, happy girl. No more daily backaches and a pretty quilt to snuggle under every night.













The greatly disliked brown curtains was also replaced and now this space is a ton more cheerful and bright.  It makes me smile every time I walk in the room.  













Finishing this quilt was my Christmas present to me. 


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