Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Big City Quilt Debut

When k-ster's niece got married in May, I decided it was time to try a pattern I've had my eye on for a while.  I follow on instagram and when I saw her Big City Quilt, I knew I had to make it.  I can't tell you what struck me- probably the octagon pattern- but I loved it from the beginning.

I bought and downloaded the pattern and was shocked at how simple it was.  The hardest part was suffering through  making all of the HST (half square triangles).  The only part I really don't like about them is drawing that stupid line down the center.

I decided to go with a grandmas fabric stash kind of feel.  Sort of lights and pastels.  No reds, but lots of everything else.  I noticed in one picture, there was a sprinkling of blackish fabric throughout, so I wasn't too worried about using a few darks in mine.

It all came together really well, but I had a mental crash over trying to get the corners of the octagon to line up just right.  I fiddled and winged my own way of doing it and I'm sure there's some smooth and fancy way to get it right every time, but everyone assured me what I was doing was right.

I did the twin size with the intention of not adding a lot of borders because I want it to be more like a throw than a blanket for a bed.

It was just big enough that I needed to either piece two pieces together or try one of the large fabrics meant for quilt backing.  My Joann fabrics doesn't have much in the way of choices for the 108  inch fabric, so I had a lengthy debate about what to do.  I hate fabric waste, and piecing was going to end up with a huge back that would mostly be cut away because it was juuuuuust too big for one 44 inch piece.

So, I went with a white back.  None of the other choices really worked and I thought the white would continue the light color scheme.  I loved using the one large piece on the back so there was no back seam and shifting around as I quilted.

It was small enough that a twin size package of batting was perfect!

When I machine quilted it, I ran into a very small snafu at one edge and needed to cut the border back before I bound it.  Which I completely forgot about and happily cut up a bunch of fabric for the binding.

After I had sewn on one and a half sides, I remembered the need to trim that one edge and at the same time, realized I didn't have enough fabric for the binding.  That was a shame because I really liked the way it looked.

So, off it came and I selected the only fabric that I had a lot of.

By the way, I realize that in this picture, it looks like I think the binding and the orange in the block match and I want you all to know that I absolutely do NOT think they match!  I thought about this when I posted it on instagram!  One is soft salmon and one is bright peach!

Also, I've been using the clover binding clips lately and love them.  I don't have enough, so I had to use some pins and I have to say that my favorite part of the clips is not getting poked or getting the pins stuck on things.  The only place I feel like I still have to use pins is in the mitered corners.

Sadly, I chose the nastiest, muggiest, hottest days we've had to quilt and bind this one, so I had no choice but to finish the binding in the hammock!  She got married in May but I didn't even start this until afterward, going with the get it to them within the year rule.  I've never done that before, but I had no time beforehand.  I knew if I didn't do it when the mood was striking, I'd never get it done!

I am a one trick pony and I did my signature wavy line quilting.  I did it a little narrower than I have in the past and I really liked it.  I think this was the easiest one to quilt so far.  I made some changes to the set up in my sewing room and I quilted it on the width, so it was a shorter distance for each line.

The colors are not quite as dark as they look in all of these pictures.  The ipad isn't the best at getting the colors right, but I like how it all came out.  I like the randomness of it, but at the same time, I also think this quilt with each octagon in the same colors would be really neat.  No one else I've said this to agrees.  I guess that means I'll have to try it!

I also thought doing a super dark background (where all of the white is) with light or white octagons would be really neat too.  This pattern will be around for quite some time, I think!

By complete accident, the periwinkle matches the blue in these flowers so well, it almost makes me want to make a whole quilt of just those!

Just another intersection I wanted to share.  The green in the top right is a swamp scene that I think is hideous as a large piece, but with small pieces, it had so many colors, it goes with everything.  I used it for a purple and green quilt that I made years ago and didn't realize I still had a nice piece of it left.

All of the material in the top and binding was from my stash!  I don't know what it says about me that I have that much in my stash.  And plenty more to make another one.  I don't have a huge stash.  It all fits in two of those things you hang in your closet to store sweaters.   I have two hanging on a rack and organize my cottons by color.  To me, a stash would be shelves and shelves of a million fabrics that are not organized in any way!

I don't have any quilts for myself that I've made, and I'm suddenly thinking I might need one of these for my living room!

I really like the way April designed this and would definitely make another one in her collection.

Linking here:


  1. This one turned out really well! I like the quilting a lot. I need to make a full size quilt for Lena's new bed and I'm dreading the quilting part already.

  2. I love quilts. I keep saying that I'm going to make one before the year is over, but ....Thanks for sharing with us at Funtastic Friday. Please join us again for the party this week.

  3. I am so impressed by your abilities, and the quilt is beautiful! I know nothing about quilting, and very little about sewing in general, so it just awes me how you can create such great pieces! Thank you for sharing at Merry Monday!

  4. I love this one! Quilting totally intimidates me, so I think it will be a long time before I attempt it. In the meantime, I'll just admire yours <3 ;)


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