Bohemian Festival Quilt

Here's a quilt I finished last week. This one was requested by my sister-in-law Michelle. I think she has discovered the fun of giving quilts as birthday gifts...and asked me to make this one for a good friend of hers who has a birthday this week. 

Michelle asked me a couple months ago if I would make this quilt, and said she would need it at the end of July. I figured it was doable but I knew it would have to wait until after our big move at the end of June. We moved from Minnesota to a lovely little state on the east coast...and lets just say that the transition was a little rough for me. Ok, a lot rough. Things were totally different than I could have ever imagined, and I was so excited to move out here that it never occurred to me that I would possibly hate it!! I was not prepared! After being here for a whole month, things are much, much better, but the first two weeks were kind of awful. There was lots of complaining, freaking out, crying, and hunting for the elusive "weird smell" that pervaded our too-good-to-be true condo. Luckily, I had this quilt to snap me out of it, and all is well now. Thank you, quilting, for helping to restore my sanity! :) 

For this quilt, we first chose the fabric. Michelle said she wanted bright, fun prints with white to accent. After looking a bit, I suggested a couple fabric lines, and Michelle chose Bohemian Festival by Lila Tueller for Riley Blake. I think it was a great choice...definitely bright and fun! Originally I had planned on making a different quilt, but once I mocked it up, I was not in love. So Michelle looked online and found this post showing a few quilts made in this pattern which unfortunately I do not know the name of. Probably something to do with half-square triangles, since all the quilts I saw were made up entirely of half square triangles. Bleh.

I feel like a little bit of a traitor saying that I am not in love with half-square triangles. Seems like lots of quilters really like them, but I am just not a huge fan. The thought of making an entire quilt from just half-square triangles was slightly nauseating (even with Thangles, or programs like Triangulations which make it slightly more bearable).  So I messed around in EQ until I came up with a way to use the least amount of half-square triangles but still get the same look. Here's the block I used:

Now with any block that I am just making up as I go along, it doesn't always work as planned at first. I printed the rotary cutting measurements out of EQ, but it rounds to the nearest 1/16. So the measurement it gave me for the printed squares was 3 11/16. So I rounded to the nearest 1/4 and cut my squares at 3 3/4. No big deal, right? WRONG. Apparently a small amount of rounding can really mess things up. Each triangle ended up being just a tiny bit too big! So when I sewed the rows with 3 or 5 triangles, they were too long and didn't match up with the white pieces (which I cut out as indicated on the rotary cutting measurement sheet with no modifications). So, I am happy to report that it only took me until the 3rd block to figure out a fix: when sewing the triangles together into rows, I just used a slightly bigger seam allowance, and then it worked out perfectly. And with this block I didn't mind using triangles at was actually fun to put them together! YAY!

For the quilting...I looked a little bit online to get ideas of how others had quilted this...and found straight lines, mostly. I thought about looking for other quilting designs, but then just decided to Cynthia-fy it. This quilting is very similar to the quilting done on the Central Park Kaleidoscope and the Beach Umbrella quilts. I can't get enough of this type of quilting. Lots of rulers and loops and fun to do. My loops could use some help...they are kind of crazy, but what do ya do?

The back is yellow pretty!

Did scrappy binding...I bought a fat quarter pack, and had so much leftover fabric, I figured I ought to use as much as scrappy binding it is!

Happy Birthday Miss Renee!


  1. Great quilt! And love the quilting too. Seems like everyone in my modern quilt guild is into half-square triangles as well, and I just hate them. I must be doing something wrong, because I'm just not understanding the enjoyment of them.

  2. SO pretty! And your quilting is awesome, I think! I'm not a fan of HSTs either! As a matter of fact, I'm hardly ever riding the bandwagon. They do make into some pretty quilts tho! I love how you worked your way around your dislike. It's exactly what I would have done too. There will be one lucky, happy recipient!

    1. Gosh, I forgot to mention that the scrappy binding is PERFECT!

  3. Another home run Cynthia...I can see the thrill on Renee's face when she gets it! Your quilting is fabulous and your loops are what they are supposed to be, loopy!! As your blog title says, Ahhh quilting...gets you through those tough days doesn't it?

  4. It looks wonderful and fun. Great job. So what was that weird smell?


  5. I LOVE it. And I must be a traitor too, because I don't like em. I think it is the idea of squaring up so many, and when I cheat and don't square them up, things get worse from there. I like your fix!

    And don't kid yourself, those loops rock.

  6. That is one pretty quilt and the quilting design was spot on.

  7. So pretty, and love how you came up with a way to use a minimum amount of half square triangles, very clever!

  8. I don't much like making 1/2 sq tri's either! Ingenious way that you figured out how to make it easier. Love the quilting. I am happy to hear you are doing better too :-) I hope to get your surprise in the mail this week-we were on vacation all last week.

  9. Glad you are staring to settle into the new place. It can be hard to move so far and have to figure everything out. Good thing you remembered 875. ;)
    The quilt is lovely. That yellow Minkee is fantastic. The quilting is awesome. Wish it was my quilt.
    Take care.

  10. This is so beautiful. I love using bright colours set amongst white and your quilting is gorgeous. What an amazing birthday gift for a very lucky person.
    Hope you are well settled now.

  11. Love it! Very very cute. Maybe that half-square triangle hatred is genetic? I think I know what I don't like about them...I don't mind making them...but they are awful to sew together. Too many places to have to be perfect in sewing things together without easy ways to know beforehand if you're on the right track (like with squares). Anyway, the quilt turned out amazing! You rock.

  12. So bright and cheerful! Love the colors with the white.

    Glad things are looking up. Moving can be so discouraging...

  13. A whole quilt of HSTs makes me crazy too. :) The problem is that they look so good so I want to make one, I just don't want to make it, ya know? ;)

    The quilting is AMAZING!!! Great job!

    I love the rainbow quilt in your next post too. It looks great! So easy and pretty!

  14. This quilt just makes me happy, and I'm glad it helped you be happy too. The colors are so pretty and I love the quilting! Ha, I'm not a quilter and can't imagine sewing all those pieces together, so I am totally in awe! I'm so glad you found a way to make it work - another amazing quilt!!