Thursday, August 10, 2017

Spin Cycle: A Finished Quilt

Sometimes, someone just really deserves a quilt. My friend Melissa certainly did this summer! She's one of my closest friends from college, and I'm so happy for her. She graduated with her PhD, became a college professor, and moved to a whole new apartment, all in a couple of months. And a new, modern apartment needs a quilt, don't you think? In fact, one of my very first quilts was made for her!

"Spin Cycle" is a homage to her graduate school's colors (Penn State). For some reason, I have more blue scraps than any other color, so I dove into that bucket first. After piecing together some panels using brick-by-brick improvisation, I made large half square triangles. 

Ironically, right before I started making this quilt, we had a guild meeting full of linen up for grabs. I scored several yards of a gorgeous navy, and after a nice prewash, it was absolutely perfect for this project. Sometimes, the universe just speaks, you know?

I played with several different layouts before laying the HSTs in a couple of rows, turned at unexpected points. Then, instead of densely quilting the triangles to death to life, the image of a spiral popped out. Quilting a spiral can be time-intensive, but after doing it many times at this point, it's almost second nature to me. I listened to a really great audiobook during this time (Lincoln in the Bardo), and, over a few days, the spiral emerged. That's what the quilt was named for, too!

Out of all my blue threads, Aurifil 2735 (Medium Blue) shone most against the linen, so that's what I chose. I'm really pleased with the crinkle from the dryer, which you can really see below!

For the back of the quilt, I pieced together several large cuts of fabric. Top: First of Infinity, which feels sleek like sateen; middle: the blue linen; bottom: Jumbo Plaid by Pepper Cory for Studio E Fabrics (I LOVE this fabric so much, I hesitated to use it - but what good is it sitting in my fabric stash?).


Finally, I bound the whole thing in one of the Me+You batiks by Hoffman Fabrics. I love the whimsy of this print! It was the perfect frame for the navy background.

Melissa loves the quilt; I totally surprised her! I had the opportunity to gift it to her in person last week (the best!!). I hope it brings her much joy in her new home. She even laughed and said she still uses the other quilt I made her (though I'm sure it's probably starting to fall apart; I didn't know much about quilting back then! I've come a lonnnng way).

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts, TGIFF, Needle and Thread Thursday.


  1. Love the quilt! Gives me so many cool ideas! Could you tell me the dimensions?

    1. Hi Judith! I was unable to locate your email to answer, so I hope you see my answer. I don't know the final dimensions but it's a lap size quilt. I want to say close to 50" x 65". Hope this helps!

  2. It's a really beautiful quilt. I love the way the triangles float in the background.

  3. I love it when the universe knows just what you need before you do. The linen background is great and I love that the quilting inspired the name. How awesome to be able to gift it in person. And given that she still uses the first quilt, knowing this one will be appreciated, used, and loved must be really a great feeling, too. :)

  4. It is gorgeous! I love the modern look of the blue scrappy triangles!

  5. Excellent design and I love the how the quilting compliments the quilt top.

  6. Lucky Melissa--two of your quilts to love and make her new home feel warm and loving. This is a great design, and I love the colors!

  7. beautiful quilt. All of that blue is so soothing. I know your friend will love it!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  8. I love all of those blues! The design and the quilting really do work so well together. And how fabulous to know that she'll love and use the quilt for years to come!

  9. Great quilt. I love how you made the HST's from improv piecing. Great idea!


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