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The Backyard Party Quilt is the latest block based, mix and match quilt pattern from yours truly! I really have been craving another fun, larger block, quick pattern and Backyard Party quilt fits the bill. So let's dive in!
I feel like a broken record but I designed this quilt idea over 2 years ago now. I originally had intended to film a beginner class using it but it never ended up happening. When I decided to circle back around to this pattern to write it and release it, I knew I wanted it to have some fun retro vibes. So I picked a fun palette with some cool, warm and bright tones.
I used all Bella Solids by Moda for the cover quilt. All the colors are listed in the pattern and on the cover page but here they are for easy reference:
White Bleached (background)
Bunny Hill Pink
Bunny Hill Blue
Another fun thing to note about this pattern is it actually appeared first in the Spring 2021 Ruby Star Society Lookbook! I submitted this design to show off Alexia's new line Starry that ships to stores in November of 2021. Here is the mock up I made for that:
Starry is one of my favorite lines for Ruby Star Society and I could not be more thrilled it is being released with 17 different colors. I'm crossing my fingers that if the popularity is there, it will become a new basic!
I just received the Starry fabric and I can't wait to make a Backyard Party quilt with it!
Okay, back to the cover quilt. So I loved the fun retro colors and I cut the fabric 2 FQs at a time - it helps speed up the cutting process.
Then it is time to mix and match. One of my favorite parts!
I love making my little block stacks. This time I kept all the backyard pieces together so I would just pull what I needed from them block by block.
The Backyard Party quilt block is a quick and satisfying one to make. You start from the center of the block and build outwards.
The blocks really do come together lightening fast. I personally "chain piece" each block individually but you could definitely chain pieces the entire quilt in sections if you liked. Before I knew it, I had all my blocks done!
It was time to sash the quilt and get it all sewn together. I debated putting sashing in this design and it is super easy to just omit it if you feel like it. But, I did decide on skinny sashing because I like how it connects with the background fabric in the blocks.
We moved into our new home in April and this was the first time I sewed here in my own studio. I am working on getting a few more things done before I do a studio tour but it was such a joy to have my own space!
Also, it was really fun to find a way to hang full sized quilts for photos. Our main floor has picture rail trim around all the ceilings. There is a small gap between the ceiling and the top of the trim so you can put hooks in it. I bought these hooks from Rejuvenation on super sale and then I bought these curtain clips from IKEA to create my very basic hanging system. So far it works like a charm and I am SO happy!
I knew right away I wanted to send off these Backyard Party Quilts to Michelle of Mariposa Quilting. I wanted to be able to see the handwork of her free motion quilting and pretty quickly I knew I wanted two merge two different quilting designs she has done for me before.
Unless it is straight line quilting, I don't love super linear quilting. I like there to be all over design or something more organic in its feel. Recently Michelle has quilted me some gorgeous organic looking flowers and some fun little ribbon knots. I suggested we merge the two designs and offset the rows so it alternates between flower and knot. Here are the two quilts she has done before for inspiration:
And this is what we ended up with. I LOVE IT.
Okay before I dive into alllllll the photos Amy captured for this release, let me say how much of an honor it is to shoot these photos in my new house. We spent years paying down debt, saving, dreaming and really not believing we could be where we are right now. I never imagined the little quilting business I started 5 years ago would grow to what it is now. I never thought I'd have an entire room of our house dedicated to my work. It still is sinking in day by day how drastically things have grown and changed in the last 5 years.
I could go into so many details about the last 6-9 months of our lives and how it has been filled with so many amazing experiences but equally filled with lots of hard things, talks, realizations, changes and honestly - reckonings. This release is happening in a period of my life that feels like a hurricane. My mental health is not good, I am in therapy and I am taking things minute by minute.
Day to day is a struggle to feel good. To feel not riddled with anxiety. To not be so overwhelmed with feelings I've neglected for years and years that I am finally letting see the light of day. And this release has been hard for me because I feel not all there. Or not there, how I would want to be. I am still proud of this work and I am happy with the quilt pattern but I don't feel myself.
One day, when I am not in the middle of this storm, I will share more. But for now, just know that even though my new house is gorgeous (toot toot) and I am smiling in so many of the photos because I AM happy in moments, that life is still happening. Amy, my photographer and friend for years, asked me about an hour into this shoot "how are you?" and all I could was cry. We talked and I cried and we shared hard things with each other while sitting on the living room floor in front of this quilt about what is going on. And it is these moments that are so precious and real but not easily captured or shown that mean the most to me.
I am questioning why I am sharing this right in this moment but I think it is because I am a creative. My work is an extension of me - the good and the bad. How I am doing personally greatly affects how I express myself creatively. It is a vulnerable place to be and I feel like I am constantly living in a place of depletion right now but I am really excited to get this work out and then give myself time - however long that may be - a week, a month, etc to sit most present in my life. And honor everything I am dealing with right now because I want more than anything to come out renewed, focused, settled and ready to share more. I have so much more to give, so much more I WANT to give.
And with that, let's take a look at this gorgeous quilt all finished!
I bound the quilt in the same bright blue as in the quilt top itself, Cornflower. I love how it ties it all together.
I may or may not have thrown Redford on these pillows. You'll never know how he got perfectly on there.
Having newly painted white walls and the contrast trim in the house really is the perfect backdrop of these quilt photos. Amy loved all the little corners and niches in the house to take some photos in. There are so many we haven't used so I can't wait to have more shoots here!
Now obviously, I titled this quilt pattern Backyard Party. So it felt right to have a little mini backyard party with the quilt for this shoot. We did a shoot kinda like this for the Granny Cabin release at a park and I loved it so much. It is fun to stylize a quilt and a scene. Amy is so skilled at it too. I love how these photos turned out!
Of course Everett, myself and Redford had to be in some of these shots. No one tell my husband I let Redford drink water from my glass. No one.
The Backyard Party Quilt really is one I know I will make again and again. It is fast, fun and you can dive right into your stash too!
Be sure to tag me on social media with your makes and use the #backyardpartyquilt and #thencamejunepatterns hashtags!