Watermelon Wedge Quilt

Here's a fun summer quilt I finished last month. I'm on a roll with finishing my seasonal quilts before or at least in the right season! Yeah! This is a quilt I have been wanting to make forever. Well, not this quilt specifically, but some kind of watermelon quilt. I don't know why but I think watermelon quilts are so fun...I love the greens and pinks or reds together. So five or six years ago I decided I was going to make a watermelon quilt. I even bought the Timeless Treasures watermelon seed and rind fabrics...you know the ones I am talking about. Then I tried to decide on a pattern...but I wasn't in love with any of the ones I found...so I decided to just make up my own. This also proved difficult. Every spring I would pull out a notebook and try to draw up something I liked...but to no avail. Guess I am just too picky! Well one night last spring I couldn't sleep so I was Google searching quilts and still trying to come up with a good idea for a watermelon quilt. I started looking at black and white quilts and saw a great abstract one (that of course I can't find now)...so I started toying with the idea of making the watermelon quilt more abstract. I started messing around in Inkscape at about 4 am and by morning I had come up with this design. 

I bought a bunch of fabric and started working on this quilt last summer. I got about 1/3 of the way done but then got frustrated with it and put it away because for some reason it wasn't turning out quite right. I really wanted to finish it for this summer, and actually had planned to try to finish it for the Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival (success!). Anyway, toward the end of February my older sister sent me an email announcing that the HMQS quilt show was 7 weeks away and she said I should enter something. She's been trying to get me to enter something for the last few years. I was about 30 weeks pregnant at the time and in need of a really good distraction so I didn't go crazy...so I told her that if I could finish my watermelon quilt, I would enter it. Nothing like a deadline to motivate a quilt finish! Good thing too...this quilt got so frustrating at times, I never would have kept working on it without that deadline!

This quilt is 70 x 70" finished. All the pink, white and dark green fabrics are pieced. The black "seeds" and the light green accents around the edges are appliqued. So to construct this, I first printed my illustration out in Inkscape and figured out the scale (i.e. 1/4 inch on the picture equaled 1.75 inches on the quilt). Then I had to measure every single piece separately, multiply the measurements by 1.75, cut the pieces out and sew. I have done this on other quilts (this one) and it worked out OK. Well on this one, the angles were killing me. I later discovered that the reason it wasn't working out in the beginning is that I had messed up a couple of the first measurements and it was off from then on. So frustrating! And once I sewed the final 2 pieces together to make it a square, the edges were fine but the center was way too big...so I had to take in several of the wedges in the center and fudge everywhere to make it work. There was lots of unpicking...I think I said, "Are you KIDDING me?" about a hundred times...or at least every time I realized that it still wasn't fixed. Eventually I got it to the point where it laid flat enough that I could applique the center circle on. The rest got worked out once it was quilted.

I intend for this to be a picnic blanket, so I wanted the quilting to be simple and something I could finish quickly--I started quilting it with about 4 days until my deadline. I decided to make a grid, but change the size in the different colors of the quilt. The biggest squares are 2 inches (in the pink), the black and green are 1 inch, the white is 1/2 inch and the light green are 1/4 inch. I marked just the 2 inch grid in water soluble ink and used a ruler as I went for the rest. I really like the way it turned out!

Here's the back...my friend Lissa gave me the idea of making stripes on the back. I decided to make them wavy so it looked more like a watermelon rind. The lighter colored stripes were cut out freehand with a rotary cutter. Then I just pinned them on and used a zigzag stitch to tack them down. I think the green is kind of perfect...since this is going to be a picnic blanket, the grass stains will blend right in! 

I entered this quilt in the quilt show as I promised my sister I would. Luckily they extended the deadline for entries an extra week, or I wouldn't have made it. Normally finishing a quilt like this would have been no problemo, but by the time I finished it I was about 38 weeks pregnant...so definitely moving slower, and swelling (so I couldn't stand at the quilting machine for very long)--and not feeling very well some days...it made it a little rough there at the end, but it was a great distraction--made that last couple months of pregnancy fly by! And I'm just glad it's finally done. So it had to have a label on the back for the show. I had a little too much fun with this label. Too bad we are moving soon so the address on it will be wrong...guess I'll have to make another one! 

Yay for fun quilts!