I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Summertime Quilt - a Finish ~ Bitty Quilt - a Beginning

Happy Friday!  It's finished, it's finished! Summertime, The Quilt, is finished. Yay! Pop the champagne, guys, this baby is finito. [sigh of relief.]

I am thrilled and relieved to be able to say I have sewed the last stitch on this project. I can now fold her up and let her rest in the quilt cupboard for awhile .

I think this is the most detailed, labor intensive quilt I have made so far. I began it in April of 2015. It was a project of the seasons, four issues, in Primitive Quilts and Projects, actually called Spring Break by Jan Patek. (I changed the name because, to me, it looked like it was inspired by a hot summer day---and ''Spring Break'' kind of reeked of puking frat boys' drunken reveling and wet t-shirt contests in Cancun, lol.) This is a photo from the magazine.

I liked the design because it combined piecework with Patek's usual applique motifs.

I also loved the animals and giant sunflower above the house.

Kitty, my feral friend.

Mo the Pug [tweaked from Patek's possible golden retreiver].

I changed the colors from the mostly yellow of the original design. I didn't make a color board for this quilt but my color inspiration was "Raspberries, blueberries, and lemonade", for a clear lemon yellow, pinky-rose, and indigo palette.

As always there are things to learn--what I saw as white shirting tiny prints, blue and cream toile, or blue and white picnic plaid all look dull grey from a distance. I struggle with value; these should have been whiter or bluer.

And of course I changed things! Here is the pattern border:

Instead of [to me] repetitive dot berries, I used brilliantly colored, mostly rose, a few red and yellow, yoyos made by my friend Sue McQuade. We did an etsy shop swap, so fun. She encouraged me to use a variety of fabrics, and I am so happy with the results. The brilliant Kaffee Fassett prints worked especially well. (I ran out of the royal blue picnic plaid and had to sub a black section  into two  borders. Can't even tell when all the appliques are on, so that's okay.)

To me these are zinnias, the sweet standard of a summer cottage garden.

Next I eliminated the small stars in the border swags and added birds.

And more of the funny vine flowers. Inspired by heirloom morning glories.

Sue made lots of yoyos so I used many more than called for and they're my favorite part of this quilt.

Referencing birds---a summer day must have songbirds!---I used this pretty chintz-like print in the large squares border.

Interestingly very similar finches appear on my antique English chintzware pitcher set.  Quite a find!

And here is an unexpected hole in the antique black on white sprig muslin. Instead of removing the section, I patched it with a butterfly from that same bird print.

Here is the butterfly on the pitcher, c. 1830-50?

An inner border is also a bird toile in blue and cream.

Big sawtooths ---in the raspberry colors of the rosettes---in the border, beautiful quilting by Lori Cangemi of Quilter's Imagination. Lori is listed on eBay and on FB.

Backing is a vintage sheet with delightful pansies. You can see the beautiful quilting again here.

The filling of this quilt was an experiment. I used cotton flannel instead of batting, mostly because I thought the thinner material would make it easier to sew on the approx 80 rosettes, the beadings, the buttons etc, which had to be done after the piece was quilted, bound, washed. In the end the rosettes were tedious but not difficult to sew.

You can see the quilt is very large! It weighs a ton. The flannel was very heavy for all that it was thinner. I think actually heavier in weight than a nice thin cotton batting would have been. It made a crisp but not soft or drapey quilt. I probably would only use flannel again for something that maybe was foundation pieced, if at all. [Price is similar to batting.]

So: begun April 2015. Completed August 2017. Not a labor of love though I don't hate it as much as I did for awhile.


When one quilt is finished a new one must begin. This is a Minick and Simpson small crib quilt called Bitty's Quilt, referred to here, in future as Bitty.

The palette was simply the threads I picked up for the applique, shades of blues. It's small enough that if I make a mistake in the fabrics I can redo as needed.

I would love to hand quilt this project, but that's a long ways in the future as this is Mo and my summer afternoon sewing hour project now.

Meteor showers Friday and Saturday! Take a look?

Here are  the wonderful succulent gardens made for Kel's husband by a friend. Very cool! A motorcycle part [ Kel says ''cylinder head"]. And a cute and tiny cowboy boot. I guess anything can be a garden accent, how fun! I'll move the pics to my truck garden post but I wanted you all to see them. Inspiration!



gone to the beach...


  1. Your quilt is great and I love the fabrics and the colours you used.
    It is certainly bigger than it looked on your blog, while you were stitching it. Congrats.

  2. Yay! I think Summertime came out great, and your brighter color choices just made it pop! I can't blame you for being tired of it after sewing on the dozens and dozens of yo-yos but they really make it cheerful. I love the little touches - birds instead of stars, and the butterfly (no one will ever guess it's over a hole!) is adorable. I think once it's 'rested' for a bit and you forget all that tedious sewing you'll love it again. Hopefully you'll use it? Summertime bedspread?

    And after all that sewing you're taking up another applique project! LOL, I think I'd be doing something easier! Like...a pieced table runner or something, haha! But I know you like to keep your fingers busy during deck time with Mo.

    I sat out in a dark parking lot by the lake with my daughter and her fiance for about an hour, and saw 5 'falling stars' - 2 bright ones and 3 faint ones. It's the most I've ever managed to catch so I'm happy, and maybe I'll see more here and there (Saturday night, too). I hope you get to see a couple!

    Congrats on the finish, and thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks! As for easier, I enjoy the handsewing. And Bitty is small.

      Lucky you! You saw the shooting sdtars. We had low clouds. Maybe tonight? 13th.



  3. I love everything about this quilt, from your fabric choices to the special individual touches you added, yo-yo flowers are perfect for adding dimension, and your little primitive birds and of course Mo! I would think the flannel would soften up as the quilt is used. Interesting that it seems heavier than a light cotton batting, I've never used flannel as a quilt filler so didn't know. Anyway, your quilt is a winner in my book!

  4. What a gorgeous quilt! Your colors are spot on for a summer quilt and it's interesting to see primitive style done in brighter colors. I didn't know flannel would be so heavy. I've often wondered if it would be a good choice for smaller, hanging quilts. It's sad you don't love this quilt after all the work that went into it. Perhaps that will change after a rest from it?

  5. I just love it, and I think your colors are perfect. I wouldn't change a thing. I admire your diligence with the yoyos. I probably would have given up on those for sure, but they add so much to an already beautiful quilt. I love all your quilts posts. Keep 'em coming!!

  6. It's wonderful! The kitty, Mo, the butterfly patch. Really, really, wonderful! So many personal touches. The quilt may end up being a favorite one day.

    Bitty looks pretty already.

    My husband informed me that the motorcycle part is a cylinder head...had to have him remind me a couple of times ;)

    Ugh, forgot to look for meteor showers last night, and will be at work tonight :(

    Enjoy the weekend!


    1. Thanks Kel! for kind words about Summertime.

      And thanks to your husband for sharing his planters. I corrected what the motorcycle part is.

      I missed the meteor showers too, cloudy with a bit of rain both nights. Never fails

  7. So cute! I love that you put Mo on the quilt too! I was thinking it was wall hanging size until you showed it on the bed. Very nice finish--congrats!

  8. Wow! It looks fantastic. I just love the yo-yo's on it. Tedious, but so worth it. Keep those ocean pics coming, I am living with forest fire smoke and can just imagine breathing your fresh air. :) Kit

    1. Forest fire smoke! Awful, must be hard to breathe. Air today here was perfect, dry, hot puffy breeze.

  9. Love your choice of colours with the plaid. They just sing together. Mo and kitty together are inspired. Such fun. Well done You. Never tire of your wonderful beach and seascapes. Sympathies Kit, we're getting over the acrid fumes and smoke of a dump which caught alight. Regards, Penny

  10. Wow! I love it so much! I really love the personalization you made!!


    Your color choices are great and really make it feel more spring/summery than the inspiration!

    What I think is so awesome is that it is actually a treasure hunt for the viewer ... there's so much detail and so many stories that it is a gift that keeps giving anyone who uses it or is privileged enough to see it!

    So proud that you did it, persisted, and SHARED it with the rest of us!



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