Finished Quilt: Treetops

Finished Quilt: Treetops

As a serial sew-along participant and pattern tester, I have finally made the transition to designing and making my own quilt patterns. Even though this quilt is not my first self designed quilt, I feel that it’s the first one that truly reflects my aesthetic. Here’s a picture of my first self designed quilt from 2015 to show the difference.

First self designed quilt

My first self designed quilt! Second overall.

It’s a queen size that I managed to piece and quilt on a $80 entry level sewing machine (that I still have and use on occasion!) I also did not have all the quilting knowledge that I have now. For example, I used straight pins instead of safety pins to baste the quilt! Let me just say that it was a very painful quilting process. After that was complete, I took a Quilting 101 class and started getting my act together. I made other people’s patterns for years until I started thinking more about submitting my own designs to MQG Quiltcon and creating my own patterns.

This quilt I’m calling Treetops. Designed in Illustrator, it’s based on a doodle my dad taught me years ago on the back of our favorite restaurant’s kid’s menu. It ended up on a lot of my school notes as well. The fun thing about it is that it’s drawn without lifting your pen off the paper.

I started off making the curved blocks with only traditional piecing methods, but I wasn’t super pleased with how my first block looked. The seam work wasn’t matching up quite right. I put it on the shelf for a while and got back to some sew-alongs I was doing. After making a few hand appliquéd blocks for Lucy Engels’ Naïve Melody sew-along (@_lucyengels), I had a lightbulb moment. I could use the freezer paper appliqué method to make the shape templates I wanted! So, that’s what I did.

The greens of the quilt are definitely inspired by the PNW environment. I LOVE a dark forest green, and I wanted it to look like light was radiating out from the center of the quilt, similar to light streaming though the trees. After choosing the colors in Illustrator, I used my Kona color swatches to get the best match. I highly recommend cutting up your swatch card if you haven’t yet! It makes a huge difference in seeing how colors truly play with each other.

For the quilting, I went with a simple echoing motif to emphasize the design. I used my walking foot on my domestic machine with dark green thread. It came together just as wonderfully as I imagined in my head!

Thanks for reading! (Originally published October 27, 2020)

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