Monday, December 28, 2015

"Hibernation" - A Finished Quilt

This quilt became something more special with every stitch, and I was proud to gift it to my dad for Christmas/Hanukkah this year (so it stays in the family, right?). Also, he loves purple, he had admired the quilt as I was making it, and he hadn't had a quilt to call his own yet. It was serendipity!

"Hibernation" is named for both the modernized bear paw block in the center and the hope that my dad would sleep with it in his living room chair. He's already chosen it over the other quilts in the room, so that's a start. :)

I started with a pile of Loominous fat quarters from Sew Me A Song, my longtime blog sponsor. It's woven cotton dotted here and there with metallic by my favorite fabric designer, Anna Maria Horner. The drape and softness of this fabric is hard to pass up (though it does fray and stretch easily, much more so than quilting cotton - the only downsides).

Washed and crinkly!

Until I saw this bear paw block by @hoosiertoni, I had no idea what I was going to make. I figured out my own measurements and took out the middle strips to create a different bear paw block. Then, I started creating modern maples (because I love them so). Finally, I pieced together improvised wonky piano keys out of the strippy scraps I had left. I actually still have a few bits of Loominous left over for another project.


I also used some Kaffe Fasset gray and purple shot cotton, plus some bits in the maples that I had laying around. Shot cotton is a similar sheen and softness to the woven cotton of Loominous.

Once the top was pieced, I was pleased. However, the quilting had me stuck - except that I wanted it to come from the middle. My husband Mike, ever the quilt genius, suggested quilting straight lines along the four triangles that emerge naturally. I sighed because I knew it would be monotonous, but super effective (this is starting to sound like a Pokemon battle).

While quilting with my walking foot, I didn't mark anything and I kept the spaces between lines both large and small - whatever I felt like at the moment. I used Aurifil #2600 (Dove Gray), which I use to quilt almost everything now. It's the perfect shade of gray and it both blends and pops on the fabric. I love it!

The backing was simply two large pieces of Big Love in Primary and Big Love in Candy, my two favorite prints from Loominous. These were also purchased from Sew Me A Song (thank you Becca for having all the fabrics I needed, especially since this line is becoming hard to find!!). I bound the quilt in FreeSpirit's solid Grey quilting cotton (the shot cottons and woven cotton seem to make iffy binding).

I posted my dad's reaction to the quilt on Instagram when he unwrapped it on Christmas morning. He was putting on a bit of a show (he's my goofy dad) but in all seriousness, it's everything and more that a quilter can ask for!

With this quilt and my current ongoing medallion project, I've realized how much I love to create my own designs, usually while flying by the seat of my pants. It's both thrilling and therapeutic.

You can read more about this quilt here, here, and here.


  1. It turned out so pretty! I love your dad's reaction, and I bet he loves how soft and cozy it is!

  2. It's a fabulous quilt, so glad your dad loves it.

  3. The quilt turned out beautifully, Jess! I do love your dad's reaction to it. :) <3 I know you love free motion quilting, but I really am excited by how the angled straight lines worked for this quilt.

  4. What a Happy Papa! And a pretty cool quilt!

  5. I recently started following your blog, and I love your work! Your dad looks so happy with his gift.

  6. It's beautiful, and I like the way you gave your own twist to traditional block patterns and then combined them so fantastically. Your real reward is your dad's reaction.

  7. Spun cotton has the best feel ever. I think it is definitely my favorite medium. Your dad looks thrilled! Great quilt.

  8. What a wonderful quilt! I love your fabric choices - the plaid makes it masculine but you used bright colors instead of the usual guy navy and grey. And I love the center block!

  9. A lovely quilt! I love the look on your dad's face, that is the reaction every quilter likes to see!

  10. Beautiful quilt! I love your design and fabric choices. Thanks for sharing!

  11. What a great modernization of traditional blocks! The quilting is perfect for the design; glad you had the patience to do it. claire aka

  12. What a fun, bright quilt!

    Do you have any tips for working with the metallic Loominous fabrics? What setting did you use on your iron for those?


Let's start a conversation! I love comments and I'd be happy to reply to all who have an email address accessible. Thanks for commenting!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...