I am excited to announce that my quilt Beacon is finished and the pattern is also now available in my pattern shop. The pattern will be on sale for $7 for two weeks (through April 3rd). The Beacon quilt pattern is an intermediate level, minimal, modern quilt design offered in three sizes: baby, lap, and queen.
I believe that quilts hold power in the mindfulness behind their creation. My goal with the Beacon quilt pattern is to encourage you, the quilter, to incorporate a mindful story into the quilt. I have included a planning worksheet into the quilt pattern to help you spend some time gathering your thoughts to help you use this quilt to build a unique story, or you may skip ahead and use the blank quilt pattern to create your color story instead.
When I developed the Beacon pattern, I was thinking a lot about how quilting allows my inner light to shine. When times are hard, when emotions run deep, when stress and life get me down, I know that even just a few minutes at my sewing machine can help bring an inner peace and calm into my life. That knowledge of a lifeline that is waiting to be used is like a lighthouse beacon to sailors on a stormy sea. So I chose to use Robert Kaufman Kona solids in Nautical, Torch, and White for my version of the quilt. Not only did the colors speak to me, but the names of the colors pulled me. I love the stark, crisp contrast of the bright white against the nautical background. And just like a lighthouse, the the Kona Torch just glows against the dark night / sky / sea.
Trying to photograph a large quilt on a sea coast can be quite a challenge. I will share a fun outtake photo of my darling husband doing his best to battle the wind and finding humor in the situation at the bottom of the post. And even though I had lighthouses as an allegory in mind when I made the quilt, I knew it would be OK to lay the quilt on some rocks anyway. The quilt still sings to me and reminds me of my quilting journey, and just writing about it makes me eager to be back at my sewing machine!
I chose to piece Beacon using Aurifil 2783 (Medium Delft Blue) because the majority of the quilt is Kona Nautical, and I didn’t want my typical lighter piecing thread (2600, Dove) to show through at the seams. I am really pleased with the result, but I will continue to use my standard Dove thread for most of my quilt piecing in the future!
The background of the quilt is quilted using Aurifil 2784 (Dark Navy) which blends beautifully with the Kona Nautical. The background quilting motif is meant to evoke waves on the ocean, but others have mentioned they see fish scales or the clamshell motif that I used. As long as it has that sense of the sea, I am definitely satisfied. I discussed previously how I kept my clamshell rows straight as I moved along the quilt. I heavily quilted the white angled piecing using a dense horizontal matchstick quilting in Aurifil 2024 (White). The quilt is backed in solid Kona Nautical as well, and with the heavy quilting, the angles picked up a slight navy undertone (I used Quilters Dream Green Batting). If I were to remake the quilt, I would definitely consider using double batting under the angles if I were going to quilt them to heavily again with a dark backing fabric. I also heavily quilted the beacon points using a dense vertical matchstick quilting in Aurifil 1104 (Neon Orange). The side beacon points quilt up and over the background quilting to the top of the quilt, and the top beacon point is heavily quilted in a pattern that I hope evokes the sense of a rotating light, like a lighthouse or beacon at an airport.
To do the quilting, I first quilted all the background and dense white quilting in the angles with the quilt loaded on my long arm, top to bottom. Then I unloaded my quilt and rotated it 90° so that I could quilt the vertical lines for the beacon points in one motion instead of needing to roll the quilt forward and back. It took me a bit of time to get the quilt loaded so that the horizontal lines would be truly vertical when finished, but once the quilt was loaded, the quilting was finished very quickly.
Because the quilting for the piecing on the front of the quilt is so dense, the pattern still glows and shows when viewed from the back! I made the lap size version of the pattern, which finished at 72.5-inches square as a flimsy and 68-inches square (~3.5% shrinkage) after quilting, squaring, and binding.
I had the wonderful pleasure of having the Beacon pattern made, tested, and reviewed by 3 fabulous quilters. So in addition to my quilt, pattern, and notes, you will get to see the amazing work of Audrey @Hot Pink Quilts, Judy @Quilt Paradigm, and Renee @Quilts of a Feather this week in a blog hop to celebrate the hard work they put into making their own versions of Beacon. In addition, Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs gave the pattern a wonderful editorial review. The Beacon pattern evolved a lot during the pattern testing process, and I am deeply grateful for their help and support.
Beacon Blog Hop
- Monday, March 21st – Introduction by Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl
- Tuesday, March 22nd – Audrey @Hot Pink Quilts
- Wednesday, March 23rd – Judy @Quilt Paradigm
- Thursday, March 24th – Renee @Quilts of a Feather
The #IGQuiltFest is kicking off today, hosted by Amy @Amy’s Creative Side on Instagram. I am a sponsor for the event, and I will be giving away (3) Digital PDF patterns of the winner’s choice from my pattern store, so be sure to check out the #IGQuiltFest on Instagram for details on how to enter to win.