Before I dive right into the quilt itself, I feel like this entire PB journey needs to be prefaced by my personal journey.
I have spent the last 12 weeks being kind and gentle with myself. I plummeted into a deep burn out and exhaustion in early December of last year. I didn’t go into the studio or work for almost four weeks. And when I did go back, I almost had a panic attack. The depth of my burn out was so much more vast than I thought and burn out isn’t something I’ve really experienced before. I have experience with depression and anxiety, but burn out - no. They are similar but can happen for very different reasons and motivators. I really didn’t know how to get out of burn out. But in January, I started going back to therapy more regularly to help support myself. And I started a very new self-care journey.
I am naturally a morning person, I wake up and I am ready to rock. I love coffee and feeling the newness of the day. And what I use to do was get up and go straight to work. I felt like since my energy was high, I had to capitalize on it. But what that ended up doing was leaving myself with very low energy come the end of the day and I couldn’t take care of my own needs, let alone any others outside of myself. So in January, I flipped the switch. I now wake up and prioritize myself first. I have my coffee, get my son ready for school, then move my body and have a little downtime for whatever I need. Sometimes it is journaling, sometimes it’s reading a book, sometimes it is just relaxing for a bit. Only after I’ve made sure I am taking care of me, do I go into work. And I will say, I understand and recognize how much of a privilege this is. I have the unique ability to change my schedule to fit my needs in a more adaptable way than most. It is also one of the reasons I think I was destined to own a small business. The weight is immense but the power is great - once you learn how to wield it.
So, for over two months, I have been showing up for myself every single day. And in turn, I have so much more energy, patience, joy and love for myself and for those around me because I am learning to fill my cup first, before I pour things out. I told my husband the other day, I have never in my life - except for so far this year - shown up so consistently for myself. I have never been more kind to myself. I have never trusted myself more. I have never loved myself more. And the seeds that I have sown are starting to bloom.
I feel stronger, I feel wiser, I feel happier, I feel more settled, I feel peaceful, I feel ease, I feel good. I feel myself coming alive again. And I am amazed at the progress I’ve made. Back in early December, I actually told Luke I wanted to sell the business and be done. I said it in a moment of desperation and exhaustion but that felt like the only logical way for me to not feel the pressure. The only way for me to not be in burn out.
And now, three months later, to love what I have built and to love what I am making is pretty astounding. Not every thought and feeling is a fact or a truth to be believed. And I am finally learning that. A hard day can be a hard day. A long, sad season can be just that, a season. Tomorrow isn’t promised but it is always new. And while I am not entirely out of my burn out, I see the light. I feel the joy and the spark coming in. I feel hope for what the future holds and for what I can create and share.
And with that, comes my first new creative make of the year - the Peanut Butter Quilt!
A big part of finding my creative spark again has been me focusing on simplicity. Finding solid new routines and habits. Remembering what brings me the most joy. What feels nourishing over just exciting. And for me, lately, this has been playing with color and very basic shapes and ideas. Going back to square one. And one of the easiest ways for me to do this is revisiting some older TCJ quilt patterns and using those as inspiration points. This Peanut Butter pattern is inspired by my City Grid Quilt Pattern.
City Grid is my take on a traditional grid pattern. Imagine looking on a map of a city from above and you will see the grid of all the intersecting streets. The City Grid Pattern includes 3 sizes and uses color blocking as a main visual design aspect. The pattern also includes different cutting sizes and construction techniques than this Peanut Butter Quilt. So while yes, they look very similar, they are pretty different.
So with that said, let's get into this new pattern!
The fabric pull was actually one of the harder parts of this quilt sample. Usually fabric pulls are super easy for me, I just do it and boom, done. I don't question myself much or my instincts. This one though, not the case. It took me over like 3 or 4 days to figure out what colors to use. I was trying to use what I had on hand, including the background fabric. Here is what the fabric pull includes:
12 FQS of the following:
- Kona Colors: Black, Leather, Chili, Dragon Fruit, Petal, Peach, Pearl Pink, Cloud, Waterfall, Lemon Ice, Acid Lime
- Ruby + Bee Solids: Pool
3 yards for background fabric:
- PBS Fabrics, Painter's Palette: Clay
I really needed this first creative make to be just for fun, be simple, be therapeutic and to be free. I couldn’t jump right back into the business aspect of my creative brain. I needed freedom to play. It is one size - my favorite kind - a large throw which finishes at 65" x 76". And I will show you two different ideas on how to make it - with FQs or with a bounty of small scraps.
The Peanut Butter Quilt Pattern includes only 3 different fabric cuts - Small Squares, Strips and Large Squares. For the FQ Version, you will be cutting both the Small Squares and the Strips from each FQ. And the Large Squares come from the background yardage.
The pattern is a chain and batch piecing dream. You can put on a TV show, a podcast, music or an audiobook and get lost in the hum of the machine. Alysson told me this is her favorite kind of quilt to make.
So first up, we chain piece most of our cut pieces to get all of our units ready to be sewn into Peanut Butter Blocks.
Once all of our units are pressed and ready, we again chain piece to construct our Peanut Butter Blocks!
I decided to assemble this quilt in quadrants. This way there aren't any super long seams that need to be sewn. And it helps when you are laying out your blocks and sashing strips to get a better flow of the design. And I kinda like working section by section, instead of row by row.
Another aspect of the Peanut Butter Quilt that I love is they are 100% nested seams. This means you are pressing seams opposite directions throughout the quilt top so when you are sewing units together, the seams nest. I personally didn't pin a SINGLE seam on this top. Even the last longest seam. You could easily press everything open if that is your jam but then you'll definitely need to pin.
When I finished sewing this quilt top together, I cried. It felt like sweet relief. I have created something that is pure joy and love. This make is based in a need to show myself that I can still do it. I can still create and enjoy the process of quilting.
The satisfaction I felt immediately after finishing this quilt top was addictive and soulful and just what I needed. I immediately picked out fabric for my next Peanut Butter Quilt - I will share that blogpost soon!
I knew I wanted Emily of So Sunny Quilts to work her magic on this top. Luckily, we was able to squeeze me in last minute. I chose the Arches pantograph because I've used it 1 or 2 times before and its gorgeous. It has the most insane texture, movement and modern feel to it. I couldn't decide what color thread to use so I told Emily to surprise me.
Oh and I backed this quilt top in a Speckled Black Wideback fabric from Ruby Star Society. It felt like the perfect combination with the pops of Kona Black on the quilt top. And then I bound this one in Kona Dragon Fruit, the same bright pink as in the 12 FQs.
Emily picked a gorgeous gold shiny thread and it sparkles! I love how it plays off the metallic gold flecks in the backing fabric too.
I love this Clay colored background fabric. It is the perfect amount of warm tones that help bounce off the brightness and vibrance of all the FQ colors.
There we have it! My Cover Peanut Butter Quilt!
I'll be back soon with the Scrappy Peanut Butter Quilt Pattern!