I am so excited to share my latest finish with you today: my entry for the Modern Quilt Guild Fabric Challenge using “The Cottage Garden” by The Quilted Fish from Riley Blake Designs, which I am calling the Lucent Quilt! The more I worked on and thought about the quilt, the more I realized that this quilt is is not really a Swoon block, nor a Star of Magi block, but the quilt design stands on the shoulders of these two awesome block designs. Camille said she saw the traditional (Star of Magi) block, made it big, and broke it into more parts to eliminate the Y seams when she came up with her “Swoon” block. I saw Camille’s Swoon quilt, made the block even bigger, and added back a select number of Y seams to allow for continuous cuts of fabric.
I signed up for this challenge because I really liked the fabrics (teal, grey and white go so well together!) and because the challenge rules really spoke to me as well.
The rules for the challenge are:
- Make something fantastic that is quilted.
- Make something you have never done before.
- Challenge yourself to learn something new.
- Use only Riley Blake “The Cottage Garden” fabrics and coordinating Riley Blake basics and solids.
I hope you agree with me that this Giant Swoon quilt is fantastic.
I had never made a swoon block before this quilt, and if “The Cottage Garden” prints are not swoon worthy, then I do not know what would be (although the quilt is not a swoon block as it uses full cuts of fabric instead of HSTs)! Because some of the prints in “The Cottage Garden” series are so large and graphic, I up-sized the swoon block to 72-inches square to really show off the prints.
Prior to this quilt top I had also never sewn Y-seams. The challenge I presented to myself was for each print fabric in the swoon block to be from one continuous piece (again, to allow the prints to really shine), which required 8 Y-seams in the piecing method I created.
The fabrics I used in the quilt top are:
- Cottage Main in Gray (the center of the swoon block)
- Cottage Newsprint in Teal (the flying geese around the center and binding)
- Cottage Wallpaper in Teal (the vertical and horizontal “house” blocks)
- Cottage Birds in Gray (the angled “house” blocks)
- Cottage Wallpaper in Gray (the angled points / diamonds)
- Cottage Aster in White (the cornerstones of the swoon block)
- Riley Blake Basics – Solid Clean White (the background and backing)
I pieced the quilt top with 50wt Aurifil 2610, my go-to piecing thread. In retrospect I probably should have used 2021 (white) when I was piecing the white.
For the quilting, I used a combination of 3 50wt Aurifil threads that I color matched to the fabrics: 2021 (natural white), 1148 (light jade), and 2620 (stainless steel). I coordinated my bobbin thread with the thread I was using on top, so the quilt back has a subtle color scheme that matches the piecing on the front of the quilt. I estimate that I used 2275 yards / 6825 feet / ~1.25 miles of thread in the quilting!
I spent the better part of one morning (probably 2-3 hours) just mapping out my quilting plan.
I opted for straight line quilting across the background, and while I outlined each major component of the swoon block, I wanted the block to “float” with the extension border I added, so I did not define the outside edge of the block to border transition.
On top of the center block, I chose to use a flower pattern to echo the beautiful floral print. I love how the Aurifil stainless steel thread blends in so perfectly on the front but how the quilting pattern I chose then pops on the back to echo the print from the quilt top.
On top of the text print I used a meandering loop in light jade, and for the teal wallpaper print I chose to use a stipple. I like how the change in size of the quilting reads on the back of the quilt and indicates the scale of the fabric from the front.
For the gray wallpaper print I used a combination of paisleys and pebbles, and the stainless steel blended in so well that it was a challenge to see where I was going while I was quilting this portion!
I thought that a meandering leaf / vine pattern would best compliment and suit the bird print.
Finally, for the asters and cornerstones, I decided to go with a little bit of dot to dot quilting and then filled in the secondary design with arcs and swirls. I quilted over the aster print with white.
The pieced swoon block finished at 72-inches square, and the quilt top finished at 80-inches square prior to quilting. After quilting, trimming, and binding the quilt is now 79.5-inches wide by 77.5-inches long. I believe that the horizontal matchstick quilting allowed the quilt to shrink a bit more vertically.
I really enjoyed this fabric challenge, and I am excited to have a beautiful quilt as a result!