I’m so excited to share that I have finally finished Bright Sisters, my version of the Color Block quilt from 3 Dog Design. It’s been gifted to my amazing and talented sister, Sonja Stone, who loves it and will give it a good home. She writes young adult suspense novels, by the way. If you’re looking for a gift for that 11-18 year old reader in your life, I highly recommend her spy-school series, Desert Dark and Dark Divide.
I wanted to make this quilt for her the minute I saw it. I’ve documented the journey here on the blog in case you want to read all about it from the beginning. I’m so pleased with how it came out! Let me introduce you:
When I first pieced it back in 2017 I had a vision for how I wanted to quilt it. In the Midnight Quilt Show episode featuring this quilt, Angela Walters uses a variety of quilting designs that she matches to the different shapes and colors. I wanted to do something like that, but I also knew that I didn’t have the skill at the time to pull it off.
Since then I’ve been practicing like mad, and I also got a new Juki TL-2010Q in December 2018 that quilts like a dream. I planned a complicated quilting design using my iPad and began practicing each design on scrap squares. In September 2019 I finally felt ready to start quilting it.
I ended up modifying my planned design a bit as I went. I re-drew each part of my planned design, think about whether I could do it or would actually like it, and sometimes doodled other designs until I found something I preferred. Here’s the original plan:
And here’s a drawing of the final design:
There was only one place where I quilted something that I didn’t like at all. In the purple circles, I originally wanted to use a design that broke the circle border and blended it together with the ribbons or starburst around it. Here’s the practice sandwich for that design, which doesn’t look too bad.
When I put it on the quilt, it looked okay from the back . . .
. . . but on the front, it was unsuccessful.
I found that the contrast between values of fabric in the circle and the star interfered with my plan to blend them. The thread I chose, a medium purple, blends in completely in the circle but stands out very obviously in the star. Add to that some inconsistencies in the quilting that show up very clearly in the lighter star patches, and the design just doesn’t work. Fortunately, I realized this before quilting the closely-spaced meandering that goes in the very center of the circle (you can see it on the test pattern above).
I decided to pick it out. It took about 30 minutes to quilt this part, and it took two and a half days to pick it out. I almost never unpick quilting but I just couldn’t bear to leave this in because I felt so good about how the rest of the quilt had turned out. So I started up the pilot episode of Sports Night, sat down, and unpicked my way through both seasons of the show.
The final design features two different thread colors — the same medium purple in the circle and a lighter pink-purple in the star — and no overlap between the quilting on the circle and the quilting in the star. Otherwise, it’s very similar to the first design.
That was the only part that gave me any trouble. The rest of the quilt went smoothly and I’m pleased with how the other designs came out.
As always, it’s a little weird to see my sewing room without the quilt that’s been the focus point of the space for weeks (or months). But I’m happy to have made it for my sister, and I’m so happy she loves it!
The previous post in this series was Feather & Fern, and this is the last post in the series. Another quilt finished!