At the Dallas Quilt Show in March of 2013, I spotted this quilt in Material Girl’s booth. I can spot Tula fabrics a mile away, so I was immediately drawn to this one. I loved the use of the cool colorways from Tula’s The Birds & The Bees line, the pattern itself, and the use of a Denyse Schmidt plaid from her Chicopee line for binding and backing. It paired perfectly with the Tula fabrics and I would never have thought to put them together. They were of course offering a quilt kit for sale but it was outside my budget. Months went by and I continued to obsess over this quilt. I have a stack of The Birds & The Bees fabric to make Tula’s Cartwheels quilt, but it is only the warm colorways, so this seemed to be the perfect compliment. I shared this quilt pic with Sylvia and she immediately fell in love too. Some googling on the internet brought Sylvia to the free quilt pattern called Five Yard Wonder by Mill End Textiles, which is exactly the pattern used for this quilt. There was much rejoicing once we knew the pattern it used. It’s simple enough I felt I could have recreated it, but way easier to follow a pattern. It is called the Five Yard Wonder because the whole quilt is made with a yard each of five different fabrics. Time to order fabric! Luckily, the Tula fabrics were still relatively easy to find so I ordered a yard of each and then enough of the Denyse Schmidt plaid for the backing and binding. The hard part was the solid. Sylvia ordered a couple different solids and was able to find one that worked. I went to Hawthorne Threads’ website and used one of the features I love – you can choose a fabric (in my case I chose the squirrels) and then it shows you coordinating prints, the print in other colorways (if applicable), and then at the bottom coordinating solids. Lo and behold, Citron was my color. So I ordered my citron fabric and off we went.
I started cutting for this quilt in February of last year. It was then I discovered a problem. In order to fussy cut those squirrel blocks, I really needed more than a yard of fabric. You may remember the podcast episode where I lamented the fact that only half my squirrel blocks had the squirrels facing each other, the rest were comprised of squirrel butts. Not the look I was going for. Of course, by this time two years had gone by and the squirrels were impossible to find. I ended up buying two FQs from etsy sellers at the low price of an arm & a leg. But, at least I now had all squirrel faces in the blocks.
In May, I finally had my cutting done and started assembling my quilt blocks. I had podcasts to keep me company while I sewed, in this case the Must Stash podcast where Dianne from Suburban Stitcher joined.
Aren’t those squirrels adorable?
Squirrel blocks done and bee blocks completed not long after.
And then in June of 2015 I attended my very first “In Town Sewing Retreat”. This is a retreat put on by the Dallas Quilt Guild and it’s a fun weekend at a local location and we sew all day until midnight then go home to sleep in our own beds and come back the next day. It runs Friday morning through Sunday afternoon. So, I decided that working on my squirrel quilt was going to be my top priority.
I managed to get all my blocks sewn and then started sewing rows together on the first day.
On Saturday, I had a completed quilt top!
I’m seriously so in love with it. But, it wasn’t until I went to send a photo of my quilt to two friends that I noticed the issue. And strangely enough it was because I was looking at a thumbnail of the photo in the email that I realized something was amiss. My pattern wasn’t working right. Do you see it?
When I was sewing the blocks together I turned some of them intentionally because I wanted those center bees to be facing different directions. It never once occurred to me that by doing that, I was also changing the direction of the corner fabrics. So, I had three blocks going the wrong way. Ugggghhhhhh! It took me until September to finally feel like I could face ripping out those blocks to fix them. And typical me, I went the hard way about it. I sat down and started ripping off the inner and outer border and then started ripping back to the first block. Eric saw what I was doing and said, “can’t you just rip out the seams on all sides of the block itself?” So, I gave that a try and it worked. I was able to get the three blocks ripped out, turned, and sewed back into the top in the right direction. Perfect! Now, time to take a photo of the corrected and complete quilt top.
Sure, come stand on that. I’m not trying to take a photo or anything.
So, you’ll just have to take my word for it that all the blocks are the right way round this time and I’m thrilled with my quilt top. One of these days I’ll take it to be quilted, I can’t wait!
I am grateful for squirrel faces and black spots on my quilt.