I am so excited to finally get to share this large queen sized quilt with you! I worked on this quilt last fall and winter, and I teased heavily modified images of my progress on my Instagram account. Now that it has been gifted, I am really looking forward to sharing the details. 🙂
I was contacted by 3 sisters a little over a year ago about the prospect of making a custom, queen sized quilt for their parents based on a photograph of an old family flag that they had created together.
I quickly sketched up several concepts, and the winning idea was a more modern take on the elements of the original flag without screaming “flag”! Blocks of colored stripes interspersed with trees, hearts, suns, all surrounding the family crest in the center.
The fabric selection was made last May, but the sisters needed some time. So when the go-ahead for the project was given at the end of September, one of the few feature prints I had previously selected was really unavailable: Terrain in Green from the Carolyn Friedlander Architextures. Thankfully, Jo @Riddle and Whimsy came to my rescue and sold me her nearly full yard. Thank you so much, Jo!! 🙂
I started with the stripe blocks. I mixed up the use of the blues and greens to make the stripes more interesting and less harsh for the final quilt assembly. I needed 19 blocks but made 21 knowing that having a few extra on hand when laying out the quilt top would be beneficial.
The sisters definitely wanted 5 round top heart blocks for the quilt – one to represent each family member. We agreed to add in one additional heart block with a tree to represent the growing family (husbands, children, etc.). I found and used the Sweetheart Quilt Block tutorial on Sew Mama Sew by Lindsey Rhoses of LRstitched. The block perfectly met the needs of this quilt.
I also had several discussions back and forth with the sisters about the appearance of the sun block. They were very clear that they were not looking for different versions or anything that was too “star” like. We settled on the variable star block, which I constructed using HSTs (and not flying geese).
For the tree blocks, I found a paper pieced pattern on Craftsy called the “Pine Tree Park Paper Pieced Pattern”, but that pattern is no longer available on Craftsy, so I cannot point you to the pattern. Again, 5 tree blocks were requested with a 6th block to have 5 trees in it. As you can see, I made good use of the Terrain print and used up every last scrap when I was piecing these blocks!
The trickiest part of the whole quilt turned out to be the shield in the center. I originally envisioned using thread painting to get the central elements to show up, but the sisters did not think it was bold enough. I had a bit of seam ripping to do at that point, and I was able to use raw edge applique instead.
Due to the bright colors in the quilt, the majority of the quilt was quilted using 50wt Aurifil #3817 “Marrakesh” which is a bright variegated thread with primary colors. Locally I did use other 50wt Mettler thread that I had on hand for the green, red, and yellow detail on the center shield. In the stripe blocks I quilted horizontal lines. Over the suns I quilted swirls, over the tree blocks I quilted a meandering vine, and in the heart blocks I quilted a meandering heart pattern.
I am so impressed with the creativity and vision of these 3 sisters, and it was a pleasure making something special for them to gift to their parents.