To be honest, each quilt I’ve made is a favorite in some way or another, but there is one particular quilt that still makes me smile whenever I think of it. I do not own the quilt; it was made for someone else. Grab a cup of coffee or tea, and let me tell you about it.
Connie and I have been friends for many years now. At the beginning over games of golf, which she still plays and I’ve taken a haitus. She has encouraged me not only in life, in golf (that’s another story for another time), but also in quilting. When she began long arm quilting, I wanted to encourage her in her growing business. One day Connie called me about a woman wanting a quilt made. Would I be interested in taking it on?
Here’s a little secret about me. There are a lot of things in life that I’m too chicken to try, but taking on a difficult quilting project is not one of them. I love the challenge of new things in quilting, just to see if I can do it.
So I said yes and asked about the quilt. Connie said the customer wanted a quilt with a Frank Lloyd Wright design. Ok, I’ll admit — I was a bit intimidated by that. You can imagine the patterns and lines that were running through my head.
I agreed to meet with Connie and Carol, the customer, to chat about the quilt and see what Carol had in mind. She had found a book with a Frank Lloyd Wright panel and wondered if I could make it into a queen size quilt. The panel measured approximately 14″ x 40″ as I recall. I was excited to begin.
If my memory serves, the book where she had found the pattern for the panel was Quilts in the Tradition of Frank Lloyd Wright by Jackie Robinson, published back in 1995. I believe I found a copy of it at our library, and I was on my way.
I enjoy sketching out quilt designs on graph paper. It feeds my creativity — a little sketching, a little color, a little math. Well actually the math makes my brain hurt a bit, but I usually get it figured out. Once I had the design in my head and sketched out, we moved forward with the fabrics. The colors she chose were tan, burgundy and black. My plan was to make 3 panels and lay them side by side. The rest of the quilt would be a lighter tan/cream fabric. When finished, it would be a queen size quilt.
If you are familiar with Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs, you will know that they are very linear in nature. Straight lines that intersect, or chevrons. I was thankful there were no chevrons!
The black fabric represented the leading in the panel. I remember that the black strips were cut at 3/4″, so after sewing they finished at 1/4″. I was still fairly new at quilting, so mine were probably closer to 3/8″. At any rate, they were tiny when finished!
The first panel went together well. I got the second one done and laid it next to the first one, to make sure they were coming out even. It was then I realized that I had shifted one of the little burgundy squares to the wrong place. I had to rip the entire panel apart to fix it! That done, I moved on to the third panel.
Third one done, I laid all three panels out on the floor. I have no idea how, but one panel was longer than the other two. Not knowing where the mistake was, and not really wanting to rip yet one more panel apart, I wondered what I could do. And then it came to me — why not offset the longer panel just a bit from the other two. Problem solved!
Once I had the top done, it was Connie’s turn to work her longarm magic. To bring the focus to the panels, she just quilted in the ditch on each one. She crosshatched the rest of the quilt. She also made the pillows you see on the bed in the photo.
Carol was nice enough to invite me out to see the quilt once it was on her bed. I have to say, it was stunning. The house was newly built, and they had matched the paint in the bedroom to the colors in the quilt.
To this day, I still get excited when I think about making this quilt. It was nerve wracking but really fun. I enjoyed the challenge!
Happy stitching, all! Enjoy the challenge!