The pattern is written to be block based, FQ or half yard friendly AND scrappy friendly. I decided to really just go for it and work block by block in a diagonal rainbow gradient. We moved into a larger house in April of this year and I finally have a studio space! So this is the first time I've been able to easily work this way. I use to work at our kitchen table so everything had to be organized and packed away at the end of the each day. I didn't have a design wall or a space to just drop in and out of a project. It felt weird working this way but also really relaxing. So let's dive in!
I first wanted to come up with the general idea for the rainbow gradient. I had toyed around with just 20 fabrics in a rainbow gradient but then I got it in my head to go crazy with my stash and work even more scrappy in the rainbow. Here is the mock up I used to help me plan out my blocks.
These aren't any specific quilting cotton colors, I just played with the color dropper to get general color gradients. I then divided my blocks into 4 sections. I started in the upper left corner and grouped them into my weeks. I did this so I didn't have to pull out all the fabric at one time. Because I chose to work very scrappy, pulling out the entire gradient would have destroyed my studio haha!
Week 1 was the pinks to peaches to yellows!
I also decided to make the background scrappy low volume too! I used just a mix of what I had in my stash, some linens, quilting cottons, some shimmery fabrics and some very low volume geometric prints.
Each week I would readjust my gradient pull as the quilt would shift ever so slightly compared to my mock up since I was working with whatever fabric I had on hand. The next week I moved to the deeper golds, oranges and into red.
One thing I never photographed during this process were the few Kona Cotton Charm packs I used. Whenever I was trying to round out a block or a tone of color and I couldn't find something in my already pulled stash, I would go to these. So a handful of the corner squares are actually individual charm pieces of Kona Cotton.
The next week we moved into keep purple, reds and back into lighter purples and blues.
It's crazy. Some of these fabrics I have had since I started getting into quilting in 2015. And I love how some of the metallic prints are popping in these blocks. Also, I rarely ever fussy cut anything but some of the center prints/squares were just too perfect to NOT fussy cut, so I did.
The last set of blocks to be made were the bottom lower right, the blues, teals and lime green. It may be my favorite gradient section of the whole quilt.
This last block may be the happiest of them all. I love love this block. It is so cheerful.
And now here are the last section of blocks. Those Ice Cream cones I definitely fussy cut.
And now here are all the blocks together on my design wall in their places!
Once all my blocks were done, I had to decide on my sashing for the quilt top. The Backyard Party quilt pattern includes some skinnier sashing and it's fun because it helps connect the background fabric from inside each block to the rest of the quilt. Also, this way you don't have to worry about seam matching. But, the gradient looked so fun and seamless I decided to just skip the sashing all together. I am SO glad I did.
If you'd like to make a Backyard Party Quilt WITHOUT sashing, here is the updated Background Fabric material requirement you'll need:
Small Throw - 1 yard
Large Throw - 1 5/8 yards
Small Bed - 2 1/4 yards
Large Bed - 3 1/4 yards
When I finished sewing this top together, I knew immediately where I wanted to take photos of it. This building in downtown Portland with the trees in buckets has been around for 2-3 years now. Only recently (or that I noticed) did the lower part of the building get painted to match the top. I had come down here before to grab photos but the lower half (the cement) was just a solid gray for so long. But I am so happy they had the painting extended because it's such a fun funky building.
Also, someone pointed out on Instagram months ago that the quilt looks like it has bunny ears on it. Lol scroll back up, once you see it, you can't unsee it!
I sent this quilt to Kaitlyn of Knot + Thread Design and holy smokes, the quilting is INSANE. I choose the Textures pantograph and we offset the design so it staggers a little more overall. Kaitlyn has used this pantograph on a Bright Side quilt of mine from a couple years ago but then recently used it on a quilt for her daughter with the design offset. Once I saw that, I knew it had to be the one. I also decided I wanted to play up this super fun and crazy gradient with neon thread. Go big or go home, right?
This quilt turned out STUNNING. Luke is in love with it. Alysson loves it. Amy could NOT stop photographing it. We have loads of pictures coming up and I think you'll see why. I love love love this quilt.
These photos were taken during the same photoshoot for Rosecity. When we got there, Amy saw this quilt and was like "we are starting with this one!" And let me tell you, this quilt was the star of the day. The studio and the quilt paired perfectly together.
Can you see why this pantograph is called Textures? And can you see the neon green thread? I just really can't get over the light in these images, so gorgeous.
I backed this quilt with the Navy Speckled Wide Back by Ruby Star Society and I bound it in a Kona Sheen called Gleam On. They both shine and sparkle and shimmer and I love how much the quilting pops on the back and the binding highlights the neon thread.
As the light changed in the studio, we moved the quilt around to get some full flat lay photos so you can see the entire quilt clearly.
I really do appreciate being able to take photos of myself with my work a few times a year. Each pattern has a story to it, each photoshoot captures a different stage in my life. And this photoshoot is the first one we had with our 3 person team - me, Alysson and my husband Luke. There is a light to me that I haven't seen in awhile here. I am happy that Amy was able to be here and capture this next step for myself and for this business.
This studio was insanely gorgeous, well curated with furniture and props, fabulous light and we had it for four hours. I would love to shoot here again!