Friday, October 29, 2010

Off the Rails

Thanks Amy for putting together Bloggers Quilt Festival! Here's my offering. There were so many great suggestions for names for this quilt like "Birds on a Wire" or "Peaks and Valleys" but when Jodi suggested that they looked like railroad tracks I decided that this quilt was a little "Off the Rails".  Its very similar to my "Skittles" quilt but with less white. Last month when Saffron Craig so generously sent me some of her beautiful Bird Tree range I had two designs in mind that I wanted to try, so I made two baby quilts (instead of one larger one) and now I can't decide which one I like better.


This quilt was very quick and easy to piece as I stacked and cut six layers at a time. I didn't use any templates or precise measurements making angled cuts, and that's generally the way I like to work - quite free and fun.


I agonised over the quilting. First I machine quilted horizontal wavy lines across the quilt using my walking foot and pulling the quilt from side to side (about 3/4 inch from peak to valley). Then I hand quilted 1/4 inch either side of that line a couple of times with Perle cotton no.8 in green, pink, yellow and purple. One evening as I was quilting I wasn't sure that I liked the way it was coming together and decided that in the morning I would unpick the whole thing (this is when it was 3/4 completed!). Luckily in the morning my sister in law, Kaila, saw it and told me she loved it and I was nuts and just to keep going with it. I'm so glad I did because I now think the quilting looks lovely and adds another dimension to the quilt.


I also love how it looks on the back. I seem to go through an uncertain period with most of my quilt where I'm just not sure that I like it and I'm tempted to scrap the whole thing (usually its my husband that tells me I'm nuts and to just finish the thing!). Fortunately I usually love it by the end. Do you ever go through that with your quilts?


I used flannel on the back of this one and Quiltlite as the batting. I just love how its so drapey and soft. The Quiltlite (a very lightweight cotton openweave fabric) was lovely to quilt with, both on the machine and by hand. I'd definitely recommend using it for baby quilts or quilts with a flannel backing, so they aren't too thick and stiff.


I'm very excited that this quilt will be appearing in Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine next year!! Its so rewarding seeing my work in print, and I love seeing professional photos of my quilt (I'm sure their photos wont have fingers in it!) They have kindly allowed me to show and sell my pattern in the mean time. I'll definitely let you know as soon as the magazine comes out.

The pattern is now available on my Downloadable Patterns page, and I have combined it with the "Skittles" pattern (just in case you can't decide which one to make either). Both patterns contain instructions for a throw size as well. Kits are available from Saffron Craig in two colourways.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and make sure you check all of the other great quilts at Bloggers Quilt Festival.

73 comments:

  1. As soon as I saw the thumbnail, I knew this was yours. It's such a great quilt and I love your use of hand quilting.

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  2. it is awesome, i love violet and green and together with the white it´s really beautiful!!
    thanks for sharing,
    Claudia

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  3. Another awesome quilt Kate! I especially like the way you quilted it, the wavy lines against the angular blocks. Fantastic!

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  4. Kate i love it!...The back turned out so great with the quilting..i cant believe you nearly unpicked?? AND for the record?? You are NUTS!! i cant wait to see it in the flesh..im dying to feel how softly it drapes and try the Quiltlite batting. xx miss you xx we shouldve pulled an all nighter and blog hopped together!

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  5. Love the quilting! Such lovely vibrant colour.

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  6. Oh, Kate, I always love your work and this is no exception!! I adore the way you quilted this, can't believe you doubted it! And the name you picked for this quilt is absolutely perfect :)

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  7. I'm usually not a purple person, but I must say this is a really great quilt and I love the colors too! Congrats!!

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  8. Lovely quilt - the colour combination looks great. And the quilting compliments it perfectly. Your sister in law was sooo right to tell you not to unpick a single stitch ;-))

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  9. so glad that you didn't unpick the quilting!! It is wonderful. I think I will have to tuck that idea in the mental file!!!

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  10. I love this, Kate! I'm so glad you didn't rip out the quilting. It's perfect!

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  11. Unpicking?? Nuts! The quilting is beautiful. I especially like the combination of machine and hand quilting. Great quilt design and use of Saffron's fabrics.

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  12. I'm not usually a big fan of anything purple, but this quilt is just so lovely! love the use of the green in it and the way you quilted it is fantastic! really made me think of rail road tracks!

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  13. I love the color combination, beautiful quilt. Congrats on your magazine feature!

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  14. Hi Kate: LOVE the way this quilting turned out. I knew you'd come up with the perfect thing. I'm hoping I can find Quiltlite in the US as I have a perfect project for it. Thanks, as always, for your inspirational designs, and for so generously sharing them with us less creative people.

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  15. You were right to stick with the quilting plan - it looks wonderful. I love the idea of combining machine and hand quilting. This is a gorgeous quilt - thanks for sharing it!

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  16. Wow! I love everything you did with this quilt. Thanks for sharing!

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  17. I love your skittle quilt, but I think I love this even more! Simply beautiful!

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  18. I love the purple and the hand quilting!

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  19. It's gorgeous. Love the colors.
    The story about your quilting doubts is one that many of us can relate too :)

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  20. I love your quilt, it is sooo beautiful. I love your color choice, and such a fun/cute pattern. thanks for sharing. love this quilt.

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  21. GREAT quilting, thanks for sharing...

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  22. your hand quilting is gorgeous....this is so fun and the color is so pretty.

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  23. Such a great pattern to show off Saffron Craigs fabrics. I usually have a time of uncertainty at some point during a quilt. That's when I end chopping and changing between different projects.

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  24. Eeek, this is lovely Kate! You're just so talented and creative - that's why I love you!

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  25. I'm so glad that you didn't undo your quilting as it really does add further interest to this quilt. The wavey lines are the perfect foil for the wonky rail lines and I just love the colourful handquilting!

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  26. Wow, I love the colors and the design! Amazing quilting too! I love the mix of the machine and hand quilting, really pretty!

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  27. Your quilt is so pretty. I love the fabrics and your quilting. Stunning!

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  28. It's so beautiful, Kate! And I like the name, too!

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  29. Love it so much - and the quilting is perfect for it!

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  30. I LOVE it all, so glad you didn't rip out the quilting!!

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  31. love the handstitching..adds a beautiful element

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  32. I love the quilting too! Glad you didn't pick it out! :)

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  33. Another lovely quilt Kate! I LOVE the handquilting!

    I totally go through the same love/hate feelings with pretty much every project! I usually end up loving it in the end, but I get frustrated in the middle and just want to scrap it all! :-)

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  34. Love the purples and the simplicity of the design. Such pretty fabrics!

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  35. Great pattern and beautiful colors with the pink and green.

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  36. I'm glad you didn't pick out the quilting. It looks gorgeous.

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  37. gorgeous! Love your quilting, fabulous colors.

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  38. I love this fabric! Your design is wonderful:)

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  39. This is beautiful! I love Saphron's fabrics, the colors are great. Love the free, scrappy style. And I think your quilting choise turned out great....but you are not alone, i always stress about the quilting pattern!!

    Happy Festival!

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  40. You're right, the hand quilting really enhances the quilt. It's very nice!

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  41. So pretty and creative! What a wonderful baby quilt.

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  42. Great use of fabric and love the design in the pattern. I think the quilting just sets it off perfectly!

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  43. Kate superb quilt. Thanks for everything.

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  44. I really love the handquilting! I have yet to quilt by hand and I've been totally inspired to do so. I understand completely about feeling uncertain about your quilt midway through the project - I think I go through that with every spontaneously pieced quilt I do! It's reassuring to know I'm not the only one. Great job!!!

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  45. It looks so fantastic in person too! I'm so glad you did not unpick a stitch. I had such a wonderful time with you and the kiddos these last few days ... miss you already XO

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  46. It looks so fantastic in person too! I'm so glad you did not unpick a stitch. I had such a wonderful time with you and the kiddos these last few days ... miss you already XO

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  47. It looks so fantastic in person too! I'm so glad you did not unpick a stitch. I had such a wonderful time with you and the kiddos these last few days ... miss you already XO

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  48. Love it. I'm totally going to have to get my hands on that pattern.

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  49. such a joyful quilt. LOVE the hand quilting :)

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  50. so glad you did not unpick any of the stitching, the entire quilt is gorgeous!

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  51. Such a beautiful quilt. I love the colors and the quilting.

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  52. original dans le choix de couleurs superbe félicitation

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  53. Fabulous! I absolutely love it!

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  54. Great job! A really pretty quilt.

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  55. I love the color combination i this quilt. Lovely!

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  56. Very cute! It does sort of look like wonky railroad tracks. I'd love to see it in some boyish colors. Not that yours aren't lovely, I just have a boy who loves his trains (and tracks).

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  57. What a fun design and beautiful colors. Thanks for sharing!

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  58. I really like your design! I might have to give this one a try. Love the stitching too!

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  59. What an amazing design and the fabrics you used are just darling! I would have to agree with your SIL, the quilting you did is just perfect.

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  60. It is very beautiful. I love the quilting on it.

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  61. I'm so glad that your SIL convinced you to keep going with the quilting.. I think it looks great!!

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  62. Love the colors of this quilt, and especially that you combined techniques when it came time for quilting. I am a fan of the big, primitive quilt stitches, and I often combine that with a bit of tieing.
    Happy Quilting!!

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  63. This is so beautiful - LOVE the hand stitching!!!

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  64. love your quilt! so vibrand and fun. as for fingers in quilt pictures...that's one of my all-time favorite things about this festival or looking at other's quilts...fingers at the top and often legs/feet at the bottom--so human! thanks for sharing and have a great day

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  65. forgot to say, the quilting is so fantastic, also...the combo of machine and hand, and perle cotton is one of my favorite things to work with. love it all

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  66. The entire thing is beautiful and fun! The quilting caps it off great.

    And yes, I usually get to a "I am not sure/I hate it" phase before I just finish it and then love it. :)

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  67. This is lovely. I love the colors and the pattern realy features them.

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  68. This is lovely. I love the colors and the pattern realy features them.

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Thanks so much for leaving a comment! I try to respond but life sometimes gets in the way. If you have any questions please email me at kate(at)kateconklindesigns(dot)com