After I got pregnant with my son, my husband and I decided we each got one big splurge before the craziness that is parenthood. My husband chose to get a large TV for his game room and I chose to attend a quilt retreat hosted by The Quilter's Market.
One of the things they do at every retreat is offer bundles of fabric for $3 each. The fabric is samples donated by fabric representatives once they are done with them, and all the money raised from the fabric goes to Quilt for a Cause. This is one of my favorite parts of the retreat. You get access to tons of beautiful fabric in usable sizes, for a price you could never buy them at in a store, and all the proceeds go to charity! Who would not love this?
At some point during the retreat a large plastic bin is brought out and all the fabric bundles are dumped on a table for everyone to go through. While riffling through the fabric bundles I found 3 bundles that were the same fabric line, but different color ways. Once I opened up the bundles I knew I needed to have larger block to showcase some of the super cute fabrics. I sketched out a very simple design on some graph paper. I alternated an 8" finished solid block with a 8" finished block with 4 rectangles.
I was able to get all the blocks together and assembled during the retreat, and I got the inner border sewn on once I got home. It then got put in a project box because my sewing room became the nursery. I didn't pick it up and complete the outer border until my son was almost 16 months old. It is just random lengths of scraps that are all cut at 3 1/2" wide pieced together. One of the other attendees had picked up two flannel bundles of the fabrics I was using. When she realized it she donated the fabrics to my son's quilt. I used them to construct the back along with the wavy fabric you see in the picture.
I decided it was a good project to learn how to quilt on so I planned out the quilting in the blocks so I could use a walking foot. First I stitched in the ditch around the blocks and the inner border. Then in the solid block I did a square spiral inward. 1/2" masking tape was used to keep the spacing consistent and the lines straight. The blocks went very quick and smooth, but the one downside to this method was that as you got closer to the center the quilt had to be turned quite a bit. Despite that I am thrilled with the result.
In the pieced blocks I wanted something with a curve to give it some circular movement. The idea was to have a curve that goes through the center and changes directions. I made a template and sewed from one corner of the block to the other and since the curve wasn't steep I was able to do this with the walking foot. I then just rotated the template and made a total of 8 of those lines in each block.
After completing the first block with this design I wasn't sure if I liked it, but I had made myself a promise to trust myself and so I kept it. Once completing more blocks with the design I'm happy with how it turned out.
The center of the top is about half way complete and I have not planned out the quilting for the borders, but my helper is working hard to figure it out for me, as you can see from the picture. I've also included a picture of the quilting from the back. So far I'm very happy with the result.