I have wanted to make a blue version of Blaze for years. When Island Batik sent me a sneak peek of their upcoming Winter Sky collection in spring 2021, I knew it would be perfect. The company sent me sampling fabric to make it, and now that the fabric collection is shipping to stores I can show my quilt.
Pattern: Blaze by Canuck Quilter Designs
Fabric: Winter Sky from Island Batik
It turned out just as I had hoped. Well, I think perhaps I might prefer the leaves all turned in the same direction, as in the original version, but the colors worked perfectly.
I was asked to not share pictures until the fabric shipped to stores, so I couldn't share progress as I made this. I am really enjoying partnering with fabric companies, but keeping things to myself as I work on them is hard! Here's what I would have shared if I could have.
Late September 2021:
Pretty sampling fabric has arrived. It's 6 months later than expected, but ooh, so pretty that who cares that it's late?
The background is Storm, one of Island' Batik's basics. The fabric that looks gold isn't actually gold - that's just my camera having trouble getting the colour right. It's actually more beige/grey, a very light neutral called Milkshake, also from the basics collection. Everything else is from the Winter Sky collection.
Mid- October 2021
I made the pieces and parts of the leaf blocks.
While I finished assembling the top by the end of October, I took a break from this project while I worked on other projects and debated whether I had time to quilt this myself.
I decided to make time to quilt it myself after all. That started with pin basting in sections on my cutting table. I like to have pins in a 3 1/2" - 4" grid. That seems to work well for me to keep the layers from shifting too much as I quilt.
My plan was to use this quilt to practice freemotion quilting, but I started with some walking foot quilting, stitching in the ditch to stabilize the quilt sandwich. Next I added a little bit of outline quilting 1/4" on each side of the seams in the chevrons.
While I meant to add some background filler in the leaf background and some sort of freemotion pattern in the chevrons, I ended up leaving them blank. Once I had the stitch in the ditch and outline quilting done, I rather liked the puff and felt the fabrics were pretty awesome on their own, without any extra stitching to distract from the prints.
I did choose to dress up the navy blue background chevron. Because I don't draw freehand very well, I printed out a drawing of a maple leaf and used it to trace leaves with an erasable fabric pencil, adding in a swirly stalk between the leaves. I freemotion quilted on the drawn lines.
When it came time to fill the rest of the background space, I procrastinated for a week or two because I really don't enjoy doing freehand freemotion quilting. Still, I wanted to freemotion some swirls with an occasional leaf tossed in so I finally started.
I hated my swirls! It was just too busy for my taste. Maybe if I could manage a more regular size and shape I would have liked this more, but what I did quilt had to go. What to do? Pick out the swirls and default to walking foot straight lines, of course! I actually don't have a closeup photo of the evenly spaced vertical lines I stitched to fill the background, but I think their simplicity really helps the stitched maple leaves in the chevron stand out.
I'm so, so pleased with the result. I don't often make a design more than once, but I'm glad I made time for this one.
What quilt have you made more than once? What inspired you to do so? Please share in the comments.
The small throw (44" x 60"), large throw (51" x 75") and twin (64" x 91") sizes, all included in the pattern, share the same layout using different block sizes. The longest leaf tip is foundation paper pieced, but it's a very simple shape so it's an easy way to dip your toe into FPP if you're new to it.
You can get your PDF copy of the pattern in my Etsy shop, or you can ask for print copies at your favourite quilt shop. Shops, the pattern is available wholesale from distributor EE Schenck, or directly from me. See my wholesale page for more information.