October 31, 2020

QUILTING | my mermaid, bad girl quilt

Recapping some quilting success from throughout the year....

 I should definitely catch up on posting this wonderful pattern from Melanie @southerncharmquilts

I learned so much!  Melanie is great at writing patterns and she has really made this one not only original, but also has great techniques for making these unique star points.  She even created a ruler just for trimming the shapes perfectly!  

So I have to talk about my color/fabric selections...

In my stash I have these wonderful bali, fossil fern fabrics in a glorious color range that is so perfect for beach inspired quilts.  I have been holding onto these small tidbits {only had fat quarters} for just the perfect project.  I came across my inspiration for a beach/mermaid quilt from one of the super talented quilters that I follow on Instagram, Suzanne @suelovesthesea.  She had created a #littlemisssawtoothquilt using various mermaid fabrics.  I began collecting mermaid fabrics soon after and put them in the pile with my bali fat quarters.  Then I stumbled across a fantastic mermaid collection in deep, dark navy blues and my idea for my mermaid bad girl quilt began.
But, I have to say that my execution of the color transition is not perfect!  Like I said, I learned alot while creating this quilt and I now realize just how hard it is to carry this type of color transition off.  Another one of my favorite quilters on Insta is Laura @llinkshwk.  She has this technique down to perfection! Check out some of her beautiful creations.

Back to how much FUN making this quilt was....
At first I was super intimated by the star points for this quilt.  As with learning any new technique I was really nervous about cutting into my fabrics that I've been hoarding like a crazy person for almost 20 years and messing up! Like talk about devastating! haaa...this is how you know you have a fabric addiction.  So anyway I finally decided earlier this year it was time to just get over it and start.  I soon figured out that Melanie's pattern was great... that I could just relax and follow her instructions and everything would be not just ok, but awesome! Each block made me so happy!

During the first months of lock-down this creation process was great.  I found alot of happiness in just being in the sewing room and creating beautiful blocks with bright beachy colors and wonderful happy fabrics... the mermaids, fishies and octopus are so cute!  The whales, starfish and seahorses along with constellations and sea grasses were blending sooo wonderfully with the bright pops of the bali prints.

Once all the star blocks were finished I moved onto creating the four-patch blocks that would be a big part of the color transition.  This was harder than I thought it would be!  And, in the back of my mind had this looming fear of the dreaded Dresden!!!  Haaa.  I had never made Dresden blades before so I was looking forward to it...anxiously :)  I completed all the four-patches... began laying it all out in rows on the floor {by the way, taking every bit of space in the living and dining room LOL} 

Then came time for Dresden blade making!
Once again...facing the dwindling stash of my bali prints.... 
I just decided....nows the time! I'm going to learn this YAYYY.  I mean I've already decided that Melanie is not going to lead me astray so I'm just totally excited about this new process.

I've seen pictures on all the best quilters pages of these huge piles of little bits all sewn together in strings....endless little flag banners it seemed.  I would wonder to myself...what in the world are they doin!? Well, now I know! So following along carefully with her instructions I began making my own pile of lovely colors all strung together in immediate cheerfulness!  Then I began clipping them apart, turning them and ironing ....sewing the sides together and waalaaaa; all the sudden these glorious beams of sunshine, shells and creatures began coming together!

I was amazed!  I mean really amazed at how these little bits of Dresden blade sunshine brought this quilt to life!  I thought I was happy with the star blocks but then.... the blades!
I attached each little Dresden unit by hand to the four-patch blocks.  I did vary off of her pattern for this process because I just was not good at sewing the blades down in a straight manner.  I couldn't bare them not ending up as perfectly placed as possible...although, believe me, I'm seeing in my pictures how I did not get them perfect at all... the little circle shape that's created when you place the rows together doesn't match up but hey... nature is never perfect right!? LOL, at least that's what I tell myself.  It's one of those imperfectly perfect situations on this quilt, for me.  I still LOVE it so much!

Then, as picture taking was happening I looked over and saw my mermaid doll {I've just recently re-worked her face/eyes and I love her now...there was just something off before but I think she is so sweet}  She is perfect on the quilt dont you think!

I do wish that I had more of the darker colors on the bottom of the quilt so.... 
I've decided to make another row to attach on the bottom using more of the dark background! I'm so excited...I realize I have enough fabrics left over to do this.  I'll post completed pictures later... And of course then there will be the story of the hand-quilting process.  That will be a douzy!

So this quilting story has a wonderful, happy ending.  

check out my Insta for more inspiration @andes_heirlooms

Happy Quilting everyone! 

                                                  xoxo, ande