The Viola Quilt

This quilt comes from a series of whims.  I first bought the Kaffe Fassett pansies fabric from Ebay just because I liked the look of the print but I had no plans for it.  Then when I was in Oregon in 2006 I bought a few more pansy fabrics thinking vaguely that one day I’d like to make a pansy quilt.  I don’t have a particular affinity with pansies, I just kept seeing the fabric here and there and added to my small collection.  After finishing my first quilt I can across the July Star Blocks Tutorial on the Cluck Cluck Sew blog and thought I’d give it a go with the pansy fabric.  From the first block it became an obsession, I searched high and low online to find more fabrics to add to the quilt and just could not stop making blocks.  The Brick Path Quilt took me literally years to make, this one took just over a month start to finish!

It’s called The Viola Quilt as I’m sure a few of the fabrics are actually violets rather than pansies.  My horticulturist Mother informed me that both flowers are from the viola family so I’m going with that!

There are 23 different viola fabrics here along with 4 solid colours.  I didn’t think through the solids very much, again a whim to use brown and light yellow.  The cream and green were from my stash and I kind of wish I’d not used the green as I didn’t have that much of it and it stands out a lot, live and learn!

The backing fabric is Valori Wells Cocoon, Liv in Stone and I used almost the entire 4 yards that I bought.  It actually changes direction at the seam in the middle, I probably should have made sure it all went the same way and seen it was a directional design but by the time I realised it was too late to change it.  The pattern repeat is huge so it would have taken probably another yard or more to match it up.  I seem to have a thing for Valori Wells fabrics, the backing for my Owl Quilt will be one of her fabrics (a lovely flannel) and I’ve picked up quite a few FQs recently of her prints.

I used Quilters Dream Blend batting for this which is a 70/30 cotton poly mix. I chose the extra poly content as I didn’t want it to be too wrinkled when finished.  You can just about see my quilting on the above photo, I stitched in the ditch (or rather with a technique I like to call ‘stitch in the general vicinity of the ditch’, now I know I can buy a stitch in the ditch foot for my machine it’s on my wish list!) around the outside of each block and then around the centre block and star points of every single block.  There are 48 blocks in total so it took a lot of shifting about to get it done but I’m very happy with the result!

The binding is a Kona Solid in the shade pansy, I couldn’t really not use that one could I?!? I decided on plain binding as there are enough patterns in this quilt already.  The shade is very close to the purple in the backing fabric which pulls it together.  I ordered some thread online to sew the binding and when it finally arrived it was totally the wrong shade!  I had a look through my threads again and discovered I’d overlooked a reel of cotton thread that matches the  binding almost exactly, I think it might have come from my Grandmother’s sewing things that I was given.  I sewed the binding down using the walking foot on my machine.  I am just not good enough or patient enough to do it by hand and also, even though I’ve had the carpel tunnel surgery, my hands still have issues and trying to sew something that long by hand would have been agony.  I think it looks nice and neat and I’m very happy with my first go at binding.

So, the final stats for this quilt, it used 23 FQs, 1 3/4 of plain fabrics and 4 yards for the backing making a total of 12 1/4 yards.  The squares are evenly divided with 16 each of the 3 different ways of mixing the fabrics (solid centre star, 3 patterns or centre square and outer square matching). I have to admit when I was looking at the blocks laid out together I wasn’t too sure on this one at all, there are some squares that don’t really work that well, some that clash like nobody’s business and some that I adore and can’t stop looking at.  However, as I joined them up and then quilted it it grew and grew on me and in the end I am incredibly happy with the finished piece.

My Mum asked me what I was making it ‘for’.  I didn’t mean to make this quilt so it really doesn’t have a purpose, nor do a lot of the things I make.  I just like to see if I can and to play with fabric and to have something interesting and nice to look at in the end.  At 60 x 80″ it is big enough to cover the top of my bed for some added warmth in the winter, but for now it’s hanging out on the back of my sofa looking like this.


7 thoughts on “The Viola Quilt

  1. Liz M says:

    Lovely – and I think the green is great – it’s your “salt and pepper” in the quilt – sometimes they need a bit of something to spice them up! Looks like you’re hooked on quilting now 😉

  2. Chris says:

    That’s so gorgeous, well done. I have Kaffe Fassett fabric squirreled away for a quilt for my son, this might have inspired me to get it out at long last.

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