When I was asked if I wanted to participate in the AGF Stitched with Kimberly series of course I said YES! Quarterly, Art Gallery Fabrics and the Fat Quarter Shop team up to design a free quilt pattern. Sewists from all over make their version of the free quilt pattern with their choice of any Art Gallery Fabrics generously supplied by AGF. The participants make and then blog about what they've created. Many make the quilt while others use the block design to create a table runner, bags, or other sewing projects from the design. It is so much fun to see all the different interpretations of the original design.
The Fat Quarter Shop Blithe Quilt project is made using Caroline Hulse's newest AGF fabric collection Chalk & Paint. Playful and flirty, Caroline's prints are so adorable and you really get to see the prints on the large half-square triangles. Find kit information here.
So, the exciting part of the AGF Stitched with Kimberly series is to take an already awesome design and make it your own. I love the simple geometry of this quilt and thought maybe this would be the perfect quilt for my youngest. My youngest is turning 23 this month and is an industrial designer, a year fresh out of college. He's always been my wild card and the one I butt heads with the most because we may actually be too much the same in personality. We use each other constantly to bounce off ideas. Sometimes, I think I learn more from him than he does from me! We sorta keep each other grounded in a way.
I sent him a mock-up of the Blithe quilt design I was playing around with to see what he thought. He really liked the design and said it reminded him of Sergels torg, which is a public square in Stockholm, Sweden.
My world-traveling son has lived in Sweden for several months on two separate occasions and is very smitten with the country. What a cool way to make a quilt more meaningful than to have it evoke memories of a wonderful trip and place. From this image we found our color inspiration for my version of the Blithe quilt. For an off-white and grey palette I used Art Gallery Fabrics designer Katarina Roccella's Imprint fabrics. Katarina's Imprint fabrics are edgy, modern, and tend to have a more masculine look to them. The quilt design was very cool (literally and figuratively) and needed a little pop of something. I noticed the yellow taxi in the photo and my son told me that although not seen in this image, there are bright yellow planters around the square and that also during the holidays, yellow lights and decorations are installed. Brilliant! Bright, PE-448 Canary Yellow Pure Elements solid was added to the design for our POP!
For my Blithe Quilt I kept the orientation of the A/B/C blocks all the same to mimic the inspiration photo more closely. In the original, you will notice the blocks are flipped for a different overall look to the quilt. I also decided to make the quilt wider than the original design and added another block row to the width to make a 72'' square quilt. The decision to enlarge the quilt on the fly (after I already had the material) meant I had to do some creative piecing to my pieces to finish the quilt top and back to get the amount of material I needed for the larger size.
I can't tell you how many times I have had to piece scraps of fabric together to get a usable patchwork size. Honestly, this practice does not bother me one bit and makes me feel a kinship to past quilt makers that needed to do the very same out of necessity. Even though I knew the pieced sections were there, I had a hard time finding them to take this photograph. No one will even notice if you are hard pressed to do the same! I also needed to piece my backing to get my added width and find I like a pieced backing way better than not. This not only added interest but also economy and I used every last scrap of fabric for this project.
Fun backing huh? Makes for a nice optional look to the quilt. And yes, you may have noticed the signature on the painting above the sofa. I painted that (a few years back) , it's the Chicago skyline at night and painted for the same son who will receive this quilt for his birthday.
Get the free Blithe quilt pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop and see where the design takes you. Kimberly has a great YouTube video of how to use Triangles on a Roll for making half-square triangles, how to assemble the blocks, and quilt.
But wait, there's more!
This blog is now sponsored by the Fat Quarter Shop and we are teaming up to bring you a chance to win an Art Gallery Fabrics fat quarter bundle giveaway every month! Yes, a bundle of fabulous AGF fabrics every month.
The beautifully curated By the Lake is a sublime collection of 15 Art Gallery Fabrics prints pulled together by Pat Bravo. A $42.98 value, includes coordinating prints from your favorite AGF designers like Pat Bravo, Katarina Roccella, Bonnie Christine, AGF Studio, and (me) Sharon Holland.
Giveaway begins Monday, March 7, 2016 and will end on Monday, March 14, 2016 at 4 p.m. EST.
- Leave a comment on this blog post anytime between 3/7/16 and 4 p.m. EST 3/14/16 to be entered into drawing
The winner will be randomly drawn and notified via email so be sure to use a valid email address. If I cannot reach the winner within 24 hours I will select an alternate winner.