About two years ago now I made a scrappy Campfire Glow for my sister in law for Christmas, you can read about it here. This quilt was such a joy to make and after not having made one in about two years, it was time!
A tiny back story on why I wanted to make this Fall Scrappy one - I needed to. We moved the business out of our home last September and although it has been the BEST choice for work life balance, it has proven difficult to just "sew for fun" on the weekend. All of my sewing supplies - machine, rulers, mats, ironing board, fabric, etc are at the studio. So for me to sew for fun, I'd have to go into work on the weekends and that feels... not right? I have worked so hard to make a solid boundary around work time and non work time. So it took me a year to even consider going into the studio to sew for fun on a weekend. It's too easy for me to just head to work and then work on actual work, there is always something to do.
Now, I am sure some people may ask "well why can't you bring your machine home and sew from home?" Well, then I would be bringing work home and again, I have enforced some solid boundaries around NOT working from home. It's been a pickle. But as I have found more balance and grace, I am able to see my need to sew for fun as just that. It's not a job, even if I have to go into work for it.
So, I was staring down a giant list of to-dos for work and realizing, I needed to make for no other reason than to explore and create and find the rhythm of sewing a balm to my spirit. And I wanted to use some newer fabrics we had gotten in AND I remembered how therapeutic the Campfire Glow pattern can be.
Also, I needed to make something that forced me to just jump in. Not plan. Not make a mock up. I needed to take a little risk, just dive in and let the quilt lead me. so that is what I did. I went in on a Sunday, grabbed the Campfire Glow pattern to reference and started pulling fabric.
The Campfire Glow pattern is mostly 9 patches with some stars sprinkled in. There are two different 9 patches - 2 fabrics for one of them and 2 for the other one. You can make the 9 patches out of yardage OR you can make it scrappy and use a group of FQs to make one fabric group. I decided to go the scrappy route. Here is where I landed.
So needing four main color ways - 2 more one set and 2 for another - you can see that 4 FQs make up each color way. Golds, lavenders, pinks and peaches.
I could have been even more intentional with how I paired up colors within the families but I wanted to start. As a note, I decided to not decide on my star fabrics until I'd made all my 9 patches. Here are all my FQs cut into their strips.
And then because I was sewing for fun and not thinking about documenting all the steps, I only photographed the 9 patches finished. But, you can imagine the gorgeous ribbon like strips falling over the edge of the machine. It is a batch sewing breeze.
Ahhhhh, they are so pretty!! They were a joy to make and really encouraged me to just let go and make. There were several time where I was like "ugh I should have planned this out better" or "oh man, I hope I like this" but it was a lesson in patience and trusting that all will end well.
Now, remember, I wanted to wait to figure out the stars until all my 9 patches were done. Because the 9 patches are incredibly scrappy looking, I needed to see them all on a wall together and then make some stars to test it out. Originally, I was thinking I'd use Speckled in Neon Pink as the star backgrounds for each block and then maybe a single fabric star or a few different fabrics for the stars. I made some examples to test it all out.
Here were the first 4 tester stars. All individually, I love them! All together I love them! But in this quilt top? Nope, don't love them.
I couldn't really figure out why I didn't like the stars. I think it was a combination of the Speckled Neon Pink as the background of the stars felt too harsh once next to all the scrappy 9 patches and I didn't love the prints, I needed something warmer in the fabrics. So my next step was to test out inverting the stars. Making the Speckled Neon Pink the star itself and then using different fabrics for the background of the star blocks. And I settled on three different Merchant + Mills linens I had purchased late summer.
And now here they are all spread out on my design wall.
The 9 patch seams are all pressed to the side for the ultimate seam nesting. The star blocks are pretty opened at the end but it makes for sewing rows together incredibly fast and easy. I always take a photo of my layout because it's super easy to get confused or mixed up when sewing all the blocks together.
I am so happy with how the stars turned out. Inverting them so that the Speckled Neon Pink print makes them glow and sparkle throughout the top.
The Campfire Glow pattern is beginner friendly and has 3 different sizes. This sample is the Throw Size which finishes at 54" x 66".
For the backing I decided to go warm and use Kona Spice. And I sent this off to Emily of So Sunny Quilts and I chose a very swirly pantograph. We used Echoed Swirls because I loved the idea of smoke from a campfire and it adds such a fabulous texture.
So so in love! And we used one of the same gingham as the stars for the binding. I am thrilled with how this turned out. Sometimes I just need to trust the process and dive in and risk using the fabric without a plan.