Flower Wheel Quilt

Yay for Blogger's Quilt Festival...it was the motivation for me to start this blog 3 years ago--and it keeps me posting! So here's a fun spring quilt I finished recently! This quilt has been waiting patiently for about 3 years to be completed! I don't generally have a lot of unfinished quilts lying around--this was one that I just couldn't let go of, but couldn't quite finish either...until now! 

I kind of love how this quilt turned out...but it definitely didn't start out looking like this! The original plan was MUCH different. Shortly after I made my first stripey quilt (which was the quilt from my first quilty blog post ever!) I got all excited about stripey quilts and wanted to make another one. I also wanted to make a spring quilt with cute applique flowers on it, so I decided to make a quilt that had diagonal stripes and flowers appliqued over the top...a little spring wall hanging. It sure seemed like a good idea at the time...but sadly, it wasn't. Unfortunately I didn't figure that out until I had sewn all the stripes together and made 8 applique flowers. The stripes were just too busy and it didn't look good. Need a visual? Don't worry, I took a picture of the diagonal striped failure before I hacked it all apart! :) 

So the picture above shows the original plan...cute in theory, but once I tried to put the flowers on top, they just got lost. I didn't know what to do with it, so into a box it all went. I pulled it back out a couple of times and tried some different layouts...

...but I wasn't in love. So back into the box it went. Fast-forward to February of this year. After a quilt idea drought that lasted from September til January (likely brought on by pregnancy) all of the sudden the ideas were just flowing! I had been wanting to make some kind of quilt using my 9 degree wedge ruler. I bought it to make the Freebird circle quilt and Freebird wedge quilt but hadn't used it since. In the middle of one sleepless night I started thinking about that wedge ruler --and then I remembered this quilt--and inspiration struck! (Thank you insomnia!) The next morning I pulled it all back out and started plotting!


I wish I could say that this was as easy as just cutting apart the diagonal stripes and sewing it all back together...but it wasn't. I had to break out my (rusty) geometry skills and figure out what size to make the white wedges. I somehow figured out that I needed nine 31 degree wedges. Too bad I didn't have a 31 degree ruler. Instead I just had to wing it...I made myself a little fabric template by sewing three of the 9 degree wedges together plus about half another one, and adding seam allowances. It almost worked perfectly. Once I sewed it all together, the circle was only short by about 1/2 an inch, so then I just fudged it. Go me. :)

I appliqued the flowers to the white wedge sections before I sewed it all together. And I just love these flowers so here are some close-ups. They come from the book Flower Festival by Kim Schaefer. There are tons more flowers in the book too...I just picked a few of my favorites and added my own embellishments here and there.

The quilting on this one was super fun! I did a radiating zigzag around the outside of the circle with loops in every other row and echoed the zigzag in the center circle. Once again, my loops are all crazy...but I've just accepted the fact that I can't make uniform loops. Oh well. The white sections around the flowers were filled with a swirly flower meander.

Most of the cute fabrics in the wedge sections are from the line Ivy Trellis by Gabriella Hunter. It is a super old Riley Blake line...the first Riley Blake fabric I ever bought. The rest is just random stuff I had that matched. 

The backing is all pieced together from the leftover yardage and stripey scraps I had. Not my favorite back ever...but waste not want not, right?

I bound it in the cute stripe fabric and I added a label on this one...I don't normally label my quilts, but my older sister talked me into entering a couple quilts into the HMQS quilt show last week in Salt Lake City, and this was one of them. Since they had to have a label, I thought I might as well make it cute! I entered this in the Wall Hanging category (it's 50 x 50") and though it did not win, the quilt got mostly positive comments back from the judges. Yay! They thought my loops needed help...but then I already knew that! :) 

I was planning on just keeping this one, but instead I'm giving it to my cute friend Jami who saw it and loved it. She has been a bright and happy part of my life here in New Hampshire and I will be sad to say goodbye! We're both moving away this summer to start our real lives...(our husbands are both finally going to be REAL doctors!). I'm glad she'll have this little reminder of her crazy, neurotic, quilt making friend. 

Have fun checking out all the other great quilts at the festival!