Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Florida Quilt

When we were in Florida a couple weeks ago, I finally had the chance to give my mother-in-law this Christmas present. While she doesn't do a whole lot of cuddling up to stay warm down there, she has alway made it clear how much she admires the things I make. So I was happy to finally make a special quilt just for her.

She loves bright sunny Florida more than anyone I know, so I tried to pick colors that felt Floridian. They even feel kind of specifically like the beach town I grew up in there. I actually had a hard time with these colors when I was working on the quilt top because they are SO unrelentingly bright. I normally need some toned down shades along with black or gray in my schemes, or at least some soothing natural linen. And I don't usually use so much bright white, but I do love the subtle stars scattered in there on this Lizzy House print from Constellations. (I have to say thanks to Ara Jane for sending me the extra fat quarter I needed of that fabric!) And to top it off, I really hated a few of those larger floral prints in there. So many little things irking me, how neurotic of me.

But really, once I got it all finished, the front and back and quilting and binding as a package really made me love it. It definitely has that Florida feel I was going for. And most importantly, she really liked it and it looks at home in her home. Good good.

The back is a length of ombre fabric from Sewn Studio with a strip of scraps up the center. I'm really liking those ombres for quilt backs lately.

The quilting was really fun to do.  Cloudy Florida skies. (Yes, it's mostly sunny, but every summer afternoon needs a freakishly short thunderstorm, just for fun.) It's not the most amazing quilting job ever, but it's so nice to finally feel like it's not a huge deal to try new things with my FMQ skills. And I love the puffy, cloudy texture!

So it's the most electrically eye-searing quilt I've ever made. But it took me back to my roots (both literally and by way of fabric), and it turned out to be a really happy thing. Giving a quilt to a loved one who really appreciates it is always a happy thing.

I used the "Small Plates" pattern from Elizabeth Hartman's first book, but kept it a bit smaller at 56" square. Next up, I'll show you the very scrappy string quilt I made for my brother and his family. It's much more me.


  1. The cloud quilting is soo cool!

  2. Such happy summery colors, and the cloud quilting is awesome! Nicely done.

  3. I love these colors, so fresh! and seriously, that quilting is amazing!!!!

  4. I love the colors and the fun quilting.

  5. Way to do Florida without a mixture of oranges, flamingos, and palm trees. I like it as a Florida quilt. Bright white with pops of color is fun. I visited there a couple of times with Tim and it definitely had its own vibe. Since I hate hot weather I was pretty well miserable most of the time. Your quilting is neat! Such a great idea.

  6. those clouds are so amazing! and i adore the happy colors. and i'm so happy to have been able to help you out with fabric to finish this quilt. that's a much better place to be than hanging around all lonely-like on my fabric shelves.

  7. It is beautiful! Unrelentingly bright is spot-on. Isn't it so hard to really love sewing in someone else's style? It always makes me procrastinate on a project!

  8. Oh, ombre on the back. Nice! I hadn't seen that before. It fits perfectly with this quilts bright personality too.


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